Wednesday, January 18, 2012

A Little Worrisome, Wouldn't You Say?

Just think for a second about the implications of the following, all of which were culled from the "Index" in the latest number of Harper's.
  • Number of members of Congress among the wealthiest 1 percent of Americans by net worth: 57. (So what this means is that the body making laws for the 99 percent is either 13.1 or 10.6 percent comprised of the super rich people in the top one percent--depending on whether you're talking just representatives or reps and senators.) And they call this a "representative" democracy. We know very well who's represented up there don't we?
  • Every $1 billion in military spending creates 11,000 jobs; the same amount spent for education creates 27,000.
  • Hydrocodone is number one prescribed drug in America. US deaths attributable to painkiller overdoses were up by a factor of four from 1999-2008.
  • An average of 18 US veterans commit suicide every day--an astonishing figure. "Support the troops" is the easiest platitude to mouth, but it's a joke, really. Veterans are screwed over in myriad ways once they've been used up.
  • By 2050, the world will require 70 percent more food production to sustain the world's population; meanwhile, one-quarter of the world's land is considered "highly degraded" right now because of soil erosion, water pollution, loss of biodiversity. This is a pretty hopeful situation, no?
  • In 2011, 75 percent of Americans believed in anthroprogenic global warming; today 44 percent do. (A triumph of the "big lie.")
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