Monday, September 29, 2008

A Crisis of Values

As you most likely know, the U.S. economy has had better days. The government is trying to push through $700 billion plan (failed the first vote) to aid lending institutions that are struggling with failed debt, primarily caused by defaulted mortgages.

I don't want to weigh in on what I think about the whole mess because I am still processing all the information coming in. Though I have to say I wonder/worry how this will all play out for the average American and Canadian... what does a great depression look like in the 2000's??

The observation that leaves a slightly bitter taste in my mouth is this: how quickly the money came out of the pockets. Already $900 billion has been spent. Another $700 billion proposed. To save the American people (if you believe the rhetoric). My question is: how about the rest of the people? How about the Haitians who don't have clean water and are living in mud filled houses? How about the Somali's who are afraid to even step onto the streets in the capital of Mogadishu? What about the Ethiopians who are starving? What about the millions dying of AIDS in places like Lesotho and Swaziland? Why, when it comes to these people, are we so hesitant to pull out the money to fix the problems?

President Bush's plan PEPFAR came out to great fanfare in 2003 as the largest contribution by one country to fight the global plague of AIDS. It was $15 billion dollars.

The UN recently reported that not a single country is on target to reach the Millennium Development Goals (which include the eradication of hunger, primary schooling for all, etc...) due to lack of financial commitment from participating countries.

To much fanfare, countries of the UN gathered and pledged $3 billion to end malaria.

And yet hundreds of billions of dollars have been spent on a war in Iraq to secure oil for Americans. Billions have been spent on agricultural subsidies to support American farmers. $900 billion has already been spent to prop up the American banking system. $700 billion is being proposed to prop up an economy that is fundamentally bankrupted by a society of 'more'.

Where are we headed and why have we dragged ourselves to this point? Make no mistake, we enabled the politicians and businesses in getting to this desperate point.

I can only wonder at the absolutely skewed values of the society I belong to and wonder what's next. Will we change? Or will we search frantically about for band-aid solutions to aid us in our reckless living?

1 comment:

Michelle said...

Realize too that the money being pledged is not for the average American. It is for the greedy fat cats in the financial sector who brought this whole thing on themselves.