Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Had Enough?

Throw a good crawfish boil here in New Orleans, and you will draw a crowd.   My brother does it really well, as the pictured members of my extended family happily agree.

I love this picture for so many reasons.  In the foreground is my 85 year old mother proving the value of eating healthy, Louisiana style; leaning over the table is my brother, passing out more goodies; the group as a whole is remarkably not talking all at once, and as quiet as they ever get, now that the crawfish have hit the table.  Five minutes earlier, three neighbors were calling the cops on us for disturbing the peace.  Also, this scene reminds me how much we love one another and a good time together; we can't get enough of either.

But there are others who can't get enough as well.  There are reliable estimates that 40% of children in the richest nation on earth live in poverty.  I will spare you a sad, lengthy, limitless itemization, but let's just say that means that they can't get enough of whatever it takes and means not to be poor.  There are some well-reasoned estimates that as many as 17% of the working age population is unemployed; it was 24% in the Great Depression.

Then there are those who can't get enough of making things worse.  The hate-filled right wingers who have campaigned against liberal government ever since it made them recognize the human dignity of all of our citizens, back in the 1960s.  As a result, union rights have all but disappeared, and with them the unions themselves; business regulation has all but disappeared, and with it most of our good jobs; and government vitality has all but disappeared, and with it the ability to address the most profound issues of the day, like climate change.  And to prove they can't get enough, now they're trying to make Social Security and Medicare disappear.

When will we get enough?

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