Saturday, August 4, 2012

It's a small world, after all


The world is getting smaller. No developed nation can cling to isolationist ideologies and no developing country (with resources) is allowed to.
Our differences are both peaked and dulled by this interconnection. Our similarities are either used for kumba-ya campaigning or shoved under the rug of coincidence.
You won't hear a lot about it in this country, but many of our plights are shared on this stage of global politics. And many of our decisions and stances make marks on other cultures, countries and governments, good and bad.
So, on this platform of continuous globalization, I'd like to share some news stories about us, from parallels and points of view outside of our own.

Have a great weekend, Revolutionaries!

Deja-vu in Poland: Jacek Zakowski could easily be talking about us, but he's not. In a recent article in Gazeta Wyborcza, Zakowski scolds his country for giving up the liberties it fought so hard to gain. “There was no coup, no fanfare, no lofty ideas or slogans,” he says, but slowly and systematically, the Polish government has been restricting the rights and freedoms of its people by passing laws eerily reminiscent of pre-1989. Just in the past six months, Poland has passed a handful of laws that allow invasive government surveillance coupled with restricting public demonstration. Of course, just as in the US, each law comes sugar coated and tied off with double speak logic and a sprinkling of fear. Zakowski sees this as an ominous trend and eerily finishes off his article: “No huge external threat menaces us ; instead, the threat comes from within. A quarter of a century after the overthrow of communism, we have forgotten why it had to be overthrown. We remember the censorship, the empty shelves and tanks in the streets, but we forgot that these were only symptoms. The disease was the arrogance of power. And that rot can set in even in a democracy.” Don't we know it...

Compare and contrast with a .45: I abhor mindless regurgitation of news, particularly tragic, mindless acts of violence. That's why it was so refreshing to read an article by a Brit on the events of July 19th in Aurora, Colorado. Needless to say, all of Europe was shocked, but in a way, not surprised. It's hard to be surprised when you look at our gun toting culture. In 1996, Britain banned all handguns after a school massacre in Dunblane, Scotland when a man, armed with 4 pistols, killed 16 children and an adult. Assault rifles and automatic weapons have been banned since the 1930s. Last year, 51 Brits were killed with guns. In 2009, 31,347 Americans were killed with guns. Kind of makes the adage, “Guns don't kill people, people do,” a mockery of 30,000 cadavers. One man argued, on the site, Reason.com, that if people in the theater had been allowed to carry guns, this mad man could have been stopped before killing 12 people. Ummmmm...I can't grasp that logic. Oh wait, because it isn't logical! Adding guns to a lethal situation doesn't make it any safer. It seems we suffer from “add-it-on-itis,” thinking that we can cover up a bullet wound with a bandaid and call it a day. The truth of the matter is, that bullet hole wouldn't be there if guns weren't floating around neighborhoods like runaway balloons at a Fair. But as we all know, the NRA has the nuts of government between a rock and a salad shooter. Even conservative Romney had originally campaigned to ban certain guns in 1994 to now of course stand firmly behind the “out of my cold dead hands” slogan. Unfortunately, that slogan is all to real for more than 30,000 Americans a year.

No doot aboot it: Say what you will about their funny accents and cops on horses but money talks and the Canadians are getting loud. For the first time in history, the average Canadian makes more than the average American. Personally, I'm surprised it's taken this long to surpass us. Through the economical twists and turns of the past decade, Canada has remained relatively even-keeled, due in large part to a firm set of banking regulations and a government active in social programs such as health care and education. They're certainly not perfect but they seem to get that free-market capitalism, particularly as a governing faction, doesn't quite cut it. As Stephen Marche wrote in Bloomberg.com, "The Canadian system is working; the American system is not."

Outsourced: Any businessman will tell you: it's a global economy, and times are rough. Outsourcing is nothing new yet most Americans choose to cling to the ignorant naivete that jobs on American soil are always a better option. That's just not the case. As Michael Tanner said in NationalReview.com, presidential hopeful Romney knows from previous experience that outsourcing allows a company to be more "efficient and dynamic" in a global economy, allowing companies to grow and consumers to consume. He calls on Romney to make a "full-throated defense of capitalism" via outsourcing, and to stand up and tell it like it is. Only problem is, it's election year. Romney has backed up on a lot of issues such as health care and gun control, and he's not about to lose swing states like Ohio and Pennsylvania just so he can come off as a cold but honest businessman.
So there you have it. The truth of the matter is this: you won't hear the truth. Romney won't back anything that might lose him votes regardless of how he really feels. 
He has to represent the Republican party and all the ideologies that go with it. 
And one of those ideologies is based on the needs of lower/middle class working families who rely on those outsourced jobs. 
The funny (ironic, not haha) part of it is, outsourcing will continue, probably even increase, regardless of what Romney has to say. 
It's a global economy and the figureheads of government have little to do with that.

2 comments:

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Rooftop Revolutionary said...

Thanks so much for reading and sharing! Glad you're enjoying it. About to post another :)