Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Spoiled Rotten

I was born ten months after the first atomic bomb hit Hiroshima. The week before my 40th birthday, Time magazine had "Boomers Turn Forty" on its cover.

During the 40s and 50s, the United States had unprecedented growth and manufacturing jobs were available to a lot of people, offering the highest standard of living in the world at that time for anyone working in manufacturing.

Slowly, that faded, drifting downward as international competition grew, international corporations moved their operations away from the highest-paid labor force to places where people were willing to work for less. First from the North to the South, then to other countries.

Our workforce was devastated by that loss of jobs, and those changes led almost directly to the result of this election.

Automation is of course even cheaper than starvation wage labor, and that is where things have been going for some time now.

As the standard of living rose in the "Third World", the standard dropped in the USA. That is inevitable. 7.5 billion people cannot all live in luxury, driving huge gas-guzzling SUVs and throwing out edible food because it has brown spots.

That is the background for today's rant. I am so utterly spoiled, it is amazing. If I glance around the world in my mind's eye, I see refugees living in tents in all weather, people without clean water, people starving, and people living under crushing dictatorships and oligarchies. I have never experienced anything but what we are pleased to call freedom. I have never been bombed, shot at, stabbed, or deprived of food and water. I have never been imprisoned, justly or unjustly.

The thing is, every human being on this planet deserves a decent life, with enough to eat and drink, shelter, and a caring group of people, related or not, around them. Each of us deserves to be respected and given a chance to contribute whatever we can to the world, and to be rewarded for that contribution. Somewhere in the middle is a place we can all live, between starvation and conspicuous consumption, but that is where I believe the Force is headed for humanity.

We are all ONE. Let us all see what we can do to send this energy outward to all of us. Let us embrace the end of privilege, and herald the emergence of EVERYONE's rights. Of course, that means everyone also has to take responsibility for their own part in living together as one huge family. Quite a challenge, but one I believe we can meet.