Yesterday, I went to the mall. This is not a new occurrence. I go to the mall almost every day. It is where the grocery store and the office supply store are, as well as the Starbucks and many, many restaurants. To get to the mall, I ride for about 10 minutes on a mini-bus, filled with people heading in my direction. Yesterday, the driver stopped on the way to fill up his tires. The compressor was owned by a guy who had set up a little business for himself on the side of the road. That’s also no big deal.
It’s an election year. That must mean it’s time for Congressional representatives to announce support for ridiculous Constitutional amendments and for state leaders to instill fear in the population by creating all sorts of boogeymen, like (imaginary) undocumented Mexicans running roughshod in the Arizona desert, beheading (imaginary) poor, unsuspecting, hardworking, freedom-loving, salt of the earth Americans.
Which has me wondering: why is discussing problems and solutions like grown ups so unpalatable in America?
I should make clear from the outset that I am not an economist. So this post is more of a question for those of you out there who actually know something about the way economies, and more specifically financial investments, work.
When I want to learn about something, I generally start with my good friend, the Google. Depending on how much I want to know, it can stop there, or lead me to the local public library. Sometimes, when I want to know a lot about one particular thing, I even head for one of the university libraries in town.
They get six years of free reign during which they drive the country into a ditch. Not just any ditch, either--a snow-filled ditch with a pond of thin ice at the bottom, far, far away from the nearest gas station.
Then, they start losing. So, instead of asking themselves why they are losing, they double down, and lose some more.
Right after the election was over, I started a series of posts called Stuff I Learned, about the history of American presidents, as I read a book called The American Presidency. I didn't get very far into the book, and now I can't find it. I'm not all that worried about finishing, not being a fan of non-fiction.
So, at least for now, I won't be sharing with you the stuff I learned about American history. Instead, I'm hoping you'll share with me stuff you already know, because I'm confused.
Instead of asking students to shoulder the burden of improving society themselves through the dubious project of finding meaningful work, we should see that overwhelming student debt burdens have left students with little room to maneuver. Our debt-based education system reflects the neoliberal belief that college exists so its graduates will earn more: College is an “investment,” a crude financial term, rather than enrichment. We tell students to study what they find interesting and not what will make the most money, but we don't believe it. We still rank colleges by how much their students earn and expect students to pay back thousands in student loans no matter what happens to them financially.
Former Iraqi military officers and Baathists exploit Jihad, and control ISIS across Iraq and Syria. The shadowy figures send foreign fighters out to die while they run the terrorist organization with utmost secrecy. The blanket exclusion of the Baath from power they were accustomed to by the US and Shiite government, and firing of the Army by order of Paul Bremer and GW Bush, led to the formation of ISIS.
Yesterday Calbuco Volcano erupted for the first time in about 50 years. During the night it sent off a second round of lava and ash. This article was the best one I could find that covers the event with detail, pictures and video. Calbuco is in Southern Chile and is part of the ring of fire. Chile has the largest amount of these volcanoes in this chain. The main worry is that the ash column will collapse and send a pyroclastic flow over the area for several hundred miles that could destroy everything. The volcano was covered with ice and snow before it erupted so there is a watch for flooding of ash and water in the streams.