Noam Chomsky: US Scandalous Healthcare symptomatic of populations’ failure to defend Democracy | Choice of disenfranchised masses to have blind faith in ruling elite

As the title suggests, in this interview and article by C.J. Polychroniou, Noam Chomsky unveils his expansive view of the United States.

truthout

truthout

http://www.truth-out.org/opinion/item/39064-noam-chomsky-the-us-health-system-is-an-international-scandal-and-aca-repeal-will-make-it-worse?tsk=adminpreview#disqus_thread

Chomsky claims that the rejection of healthcare and lack of a real labor presence is symbolic of the much larger issue in the United States > that people do not participate or defend democracy, but are willing puppets of a political realm ruled by a wealthy few, to whom the population simply does not oppose, but subjugate their passions and dreams to agree to the system dictated by a ruling class – who the population could overpower with their force, if they simply wished to stand up for their rights to represent and govern themselves.

I’ve basically excerpted the article, juggling it around a bit to put the most poignant parts from the conclusion – at the beginning – for those who have no time to read. Hence it’s a sort of ‘cliff notes’ version of the article.

And as I posted on Facebook regarding this Truthout article, thank you so much Noam Chomsky for being the expansive and insightful person whom you are!

Noam Chomsky-information website

Noam Chomsky-information website

“The US health care system has long been an international scandal, with about twice the per capita expenses of other wealthy (OECD) countries and relatively poor outcomes. The ACA did, however, bring improvements, including insurance for tens of millions of people who lacked it, banning of refusal of insurance for people with prior disabilities, and other gains — and also, it appears to have led to a reduction in the increase of health care costs, though that is hard to determine precisely.

Returning to your question, it raises a crucial question about American democracy: why isn’t the population “demanding” what it strongly prefers? Why is it allowing concentrated private capital to undermine necessities of life in the interests of profit and power?

….The question directs our attention to a profound democratic deficit in an atomized society, lacking the kind of popular associations and organizations that enable the public to participate in a meaningful way in determining the course of political, social and economic affairs. These would crucially include a strong and participatory labor movement and actual political parties growing from public deliberation and participation instead of the elite-run candidate-producing groups that pass for political parties. What remains is a depoliticized society in which a majority of voters (barely half the population even in the super-hyped presidential elections, much less in others) are literally disenfranchised, in that their representatives disregard their preferences while effective decision-making lies largely in the hands of tiny concentrations of wealth and corporate power…

Turning finally to your question again, a rather general answer, which applies in its specific way to contemporary western democracies, was provided by David Hume over 250 years ago, in his classic study of the First Principles of Government. Hume found “nothing more surprising than to see the easiness with which the many are governed by the few; and to observe the implicit submission with which men resign their own sentiments and passions to those of their rulers. When we enquire by what means this wonder is brought about, we shall find, that as Force is always on the side of the governed, the governors have nothing to support them but opinion. `Tis therefore, on opinion only that government is founded; and this maxim extends to the most despotic and most military governments, as well as to the most free and most popular.”

Implicit submission is not imposed by laws of nature or political theory. It is a choice, at least in societies such as ours, which enjoys the legacy provided by the struggles of those who came before us. Here power is indeed “on the side of the governed,” if they organize and act to gain and exercise it. That holds for health care and for much else.”

The House of Representatives, dominated by Republicans (with a minority of voters), has voted over 50 times in the past six years to repeal or weaken Obamacare, but they have yet to come up with anything like a coherent alternative.

Comparison of the attitude toward elementary rights of labor and extraordinary rights of private power tells us a good deal about the nature of American society.

The expulsion or mass killing of Indigenous nations cleared the ground for the invading settlers, who had enormous resources and ample fertile lands at their disposal, and extraordinary security for reasons of geography and power. That led to the rise of a society of individual farmers, and also, thanks to slavery, substantial control of the product that fueled the industrial revolution: cotton, the foundation of manufacturing, banking, commerce, retail for both the US and Britain, and less directly, other European societies. Also relevant is the fact that the country has actually been at war for 500 years with little respite, a history that has created “the richest, most powerful¸ and ultimately most militarized nation in world history,” as scholar Walter Hixson has documented.

Administrative costs are far greater in the private component of the health care system than in Medicare, which itself suffers by having to work through the private system.

Comparisons with other countries reveal much more bureaucracy and higher administrative costs in the US privatized system than elsewhere. One study of the US and Canada a decade ago, by medical researcher Steffie Woolhandler and associates, found enormous disparities, and concluded that “Reducing U.S. administrative costs to Canadian levels would save at least $209 billion annually, enough to fund universal coverage.

Another anomalous feature of the US system is the law banning the government from negotiating drug prices, which leads to highly inflated prices in the US as compared with other countries. That effect is magnified considerably by the extreme patent rights accorded to the pharmaceutical industry in “trade agreements,” enabling monopoly profits. In a profit-driven system, there are also incentives for expensive treatments rather than preventive care, as strikingly in Cuba, with remarkably efficient and effective health care.”

Carol Keiter, the blogger

Carol Keiter the blogger

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Carol Keiter aka nomadbeatz welcomes donations for her writing, photography, illustrations, eBook & music composition

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Biggest Threat to Renewable Energy: Politics of Oil Industry Greed | Your Voice Against Monopolies | Ecological Transitions2

Basically it’s like this. The earth has been warming due to increasing concentrations of (CO2) carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, which serves like a blanket, containing the molecules and thus increasing the temperature. There are various man-made components affecting this, most of it due to industrialized processes; oil, gas and coal extraction among the biggest culprits, with industrialized agriculture trends also contributing to a nefarious impact.

EPA, Environmental Protection Agency, CO2

EPA Environmental Protection Agency on CO2

As the EPA site of the United States government describes, “The main human activity that emits CO2 is the combustion of fossil fuels (coal, natural gas, and oil) for energy and transportation, although certain industrial processes and land-use changes also emit CO2.”

There have been scatterings of renewable energy projects around for years and new ones emerging, despite the intention of stock-holders in petroleum industries from keeping them from floating.

A huge project is underway in Morocco which is the world’s largest concentrated solar power plant, powered by the Saharan sun, set to help renewables provide almost half the country’s energy by 2020.

12 meter high parabolic mirrors in launch of mega solar project in Morocco

12 meter high parabolic mirrors in launch of mega solar project in Morocco

Here’s a clever very short video animation “Can the Sun Cool Down the Earth?” that is so informative, on the benevolence of solar power.

Can the Sun Cool Down the Earth, Keep It In the Ground

Can the Sun Cool Down the Earth? – Keep It -OIL- In the Ground

It’s contained within an article “Morocco Poised to become a Solar Superpower with launch of Desert Mega-Project

Keep it (Oil) in the Ground

http://www.theguardian.com/environment/video/2015/jul/22/sun-cool-down-earth-video?CMP=share_btn_fb

It’s from this article Morocco Poised to become a Solar Superpower with launch of Desert Mega-Project

The project, the biggest of its kind in Europe, will have a total installed peak capacity of 6.3 megawatts, and should generate enough energy to power 1,800 homes in its first year.
In an article in his blog Rigging the Market, George Monbiot mentions that the oil industry actually had done their own studies of the impacts of their actions on the environment decades ago, and proceeded to conceal their findings of the malevolent effects. He mentions, “But some renewables firms are being tanked by the same forces: just as natural gas prices plunge, governments like the UK’s are stripping them of their subsidies.”

“Already, according to the IMF, more money is spent, directly and indirectly, on subsidizing fossil fuels than on funding health services. The G20 countries alone spend over three times as much public money on oil, gas and coal than the whole world does on renewable energy. In 2014, subsidies for fossil fuel production in the UK reached £5 billion. Enough? Oh no. While essential public services are being massacred through want of funds, last year the government announced a further £1.3 billion in tax breaks for oil companies in the North Sea. Much of this money went to companies based overseas. They must think we’re mad.” However, Ramsay Dunning in this article “COP21: Co-operative voice is being heard in the EU” mentions that Co-operative Energy has been active over the last 12 months in both REScoop and Co-operatives Europe’s Energy Working Group, recognizing that as one door closes in the UK, another one may open in Europe. “Cooperatives Europe is part of an EU project on renewable energy cooperatives together with cooperatives from across Europe to promote and develop them.”

Monbiot discusses the politics of money in the oil industry and how much this in itself impedes progress in all of the renewable industries – wind, solar, wave, biomass, etc – which would actually reduce these rising temperatures; from the dirty activities of the petrochemical industries (oil, gas and coal extraction) that have been denigrating the environment, polluting air and water and by virtue of rising temperatures alone, corrupting and dismantling the balance of the biosphere. Humans are presently witnessing far more severe weather patterns due to unprecedented draughts and flooding, and epic storms. Yet human habitat can to a degree be rebuilt after the fires and landslides and floods. However it’s a different story for other inhabitants of the earth; from coral reef bleaching to animals dying off that are very small on the bio chain, these then affect larger marine and land mammals. Not to mention the chemical wastes and biohazards that are put into the water and atmosphere due to human industrial farming, resulting in other die-offs of species; i.e. bees and other pollinators. It appears that the smallest creatures are affected the most, which subsequently directly affect human communities; with disease epidemics that are exacerbated with rising global temperatures.

The most startling thing, is that the human condition which has tended in the last decades to be more focused on material displays of wealth and economic gain over actually using our brain power and hearts towards a real spiritual transformation that is possible, has been stuck in a fixation with making short-term profit gains, without having the sensitivity or empathy to give a hoot about anyone or any creature whose lives are affected by their actions.

And in the increasing symptom of monopolization of power, which was already taking place as the New World was beginning to make its entrance on the global platform, this trend has basically snow-balled. Though monopolies may have had their place contributing to better organization to do large-scale public works, “Monopoly is the extreme case in capitalism. It is characterized by a lack of competition, which can mean higher prices and inferior products.”

Those with money who invest it well, often stealthily, gain power and more leverage. And as this game evolves, the equation of intelligence and leadership with political sovereignty has been replaced with who has the most money to buy the election. There have been so many actions taking place behind closed doors, with people placated with entertainment and distracted by being so busy and feeling powerless to change the system, that people – by not voting and not caring – have let democracy become a hollow symbol.

It’s been a trend for a decade or three, the continued gobbling up of companies by a larger one who opts to buy up the competition, rather than allowing it to survive. I guess it seems enticing to have the money dangled in front of you. Like the farmers fields that I have seen disappearing in the town where I grew up in central Pennsylvania, but the trend is everywhere. Developers buy the land, contractors establish new housing communities that appear pretty quickly, which have these euphemistic names like ‘Greener Pastures’ or ‘Sunny side Meadows blah blah blah.

In addition to big money affecting politics from corporate bastions, individuals with enormous wealth and investment in petroleum industry and its bi-products also corrupts, such as the Koch Brothers.

Illustration by Victor Juhasz the Koch Brothers' Dirty War on Solar Power

In the Rolling Stone magazine, Tim Dickinson writes in The Koch Brothers’ Dirty War on Solar Power “But the birth of Big Solar poses a grave threat to those who profit from burning fossil fuels. And investor-owned utilities, together with Koch-brothers-funded front groups like American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), are mounting a fierce, rear-guard resistance at the state level – pushing rate hikes and punishing fees for homeowners who turn to solar power…Republican Gov. Rick Scott’s narrow 2014 re-election was financed by more than $1.1 million in contributions from the IOUs – investor-owned utilities.

In another article, Inside the Koch Brothers’ Toxic Empire Dickinson writes, “The enormity of the Koch fortune is no mystery. Brothers Charles and David are each worth more than $40 billion. The electoral influence of the Koch brothers is similarly well-chronicled. The Kochs are our homegrown oligarchs; they’ve cornered the market on Republican politics and are nakedly attempting to buy Congress and the White House. Their political network helped finance the Tea Party and powers today’s GOP…The toxic history of Koch Industries is not limited to physical pollution. It also extends to the company’s business practices, which have been the target of numerous federal investigations, resulting in several indictments and convictions, as well as a whole host of fines and penalties.”

Recently driving across the country, I encountered just a few renewable energy projects, although I drove through southern states along flat areas with plenty of wind and as the desert approached, plenty of sun. As I heard more and more Christian leaning radio stations driving an automobile, I didn’t really see many projects taking hold that were utilizing these resources. However, entering California and approaching Los Angeles from the East, I was delighted to see this windy plain used extensively with one farm of windmills.

23,000 solar photovoltaic (PV), Walton-on-Thames

23,000 solar photovoltaic (PV) panels will be floated on the reservoir near Walton-on-Thames

Thames Water announced work on a huge floating solar array, equivalent to eight Wembley football pitches, begun in London this week. Just over 23,000 solar photovoltaic (PV) panels will be floated on the reservoir near Walton-on-Thames.

windmill, southern California, desert

windmill farm on the southern California desert / photo by Carol Keiter

windmill farm, southern California desert, approaching Los Angeles

windmill farm on the southern California desert approaching Los Angeles / photo by Carol Keiter

Phil Noble, California’s First Offshore Wind Power Project, Offshore Wind Farm, Irish Sea

This photo by Phil Noble for article California’s First Offshore Wind Power Project features an Offshore Wind Farm in the Irish Sea

This article “California’s First Offshore Wind Power Project Faces Environmental Headwinds” describes that again, funding is something to navigate. “Pollution-free, renewable energy for some 300,000 homes could arrive on the California coast in the next decade if a new wind farm plan can navigate the contentious climate that thus far has derailed all offshore power projects in the state since 1969.” Margaret Bruder of the University of Michigan and Western Michigan University commented on this article: “Have you ever seen a strip coal mining operation? have you ever lived near a coal power plant. If you think wind turbines are an eye sore take a close look at these too dirty eye sores. The only difference is they are not in your backyard. And as for nuclear power–they might be “clean” energy but we have no idea what is going to happen to the spent fuel rods that have a half life of thousands of years. Do you want to live near their storage tanks when the concrete cracks and crumbles which we all know is likely ot happen in Michigan climate.”

Even more abundant than sun or wind, are wave energy.

Pelamis Wave Power technology

Pelamis Wave Power technology

Wave Power Could Supply Half the U.S. With Cheap Electricity—Here’s Why It Doesn’t” The technology works, but surviving harsh ocean conditions and securing funding has proved tough.

On this note, check this out, Défis Transitions2 calling for the bringing together of the digital and ecological transition, to expedite the process and imbue this transition with a direction.

Défis Transitions2, Digital, Ecological

Connecting the Digital and the Ecological Transitions

transition écologique ecological, objectif,imperative!

transition écologique ecological est notre objectif, our imperative!

Agir Local, Act Local

Agir Local / Act Local

mobilités actives

mobilités actives

Respire ta Ville, Breathe your City

Respire ta Ville /
Breathe your City

Ecology by Design

Ecology by Design

Open Models for Sustainability

Open Models for Sustainability

Digital Transition

the 7 Leverages of Digital Transition

the Vectors of the Ecological Transition

the Vectors of the Ecological Transition

carol keiter, blogger, arizona, wwoof

Carol the blogger in her Moose-themed residence at her first WWOOF experience in Arizona

 

Here’s a pic of me, the blogger in my ‘moose lake lodge’ residence in the Sonoran desert where I’m participating in my first WWOOF experience on the Veteran’s Ranch, a means of avoiding homelessness while at the same time being very interested in learning about farming techniques from the pros – the people who run the farms and ranches – and I absolutely love and adore animals of every type.

And I’ve started to take videos of the animals, with the incentive to capture the sounds, to then weave into some new music (sounds on the ranch 🙂

Carol Keiter aka nomadbeatz ~ As an avid blogger who is presently picking up where I left off with my eBook to complete it and and beginning again to compose music, I ask you rather unambiguously and unabashedly to please donate, if you are able. !-))

PayPal Donate Button

In addition to the fact that donations are always welcome and appreciated, I just discovered to day February 20th, 2016 patreon, which I am very happy to join and am about to create an artist profile. It is a very similar concept to something I conjectured a month or so ago: wishing there was an artist residency somewhere where the artists can collaborate if they choose, yet which is based on earning money for what they create. They are paid, as they commit to producing work. Well, patron is not a residency, yet it does offer capital, and I’m pretty stoked to have discovered it. Certainly it will act as a motivator for all artists, lighting a fire to keep them producing new work!!! I’ll sign on to patreon as a blogger/photographer/illustrator/author creating a profile tomorrow, and will be de light ed to find some patrons encouraging me to keep on producing work!

Hilarious Pharma ads | Corpocrisy posing as Democracy

Speaking of comedy. Here in the USA, pharmaceutical commercials have in the last 5 to 10 years surpassed those of the automobile industry in terms of bombarding the public airwaves. Saturday Night Live or some comedy act should do a spoof on these. The commercials are hilarious, without intending to be satirical. The first 5 seconds of the advertisement talks about this or that wonder drug and what ailment it conquers, followed with a voice talking as fast as humanly possibly (as if reading the fine print) packing all of the warnings of the drug into the remainder of the 60 second spot. There are so many potential hazards and risks of the drug that they can barely squeeze all of these ‘warnings’ into the ad. Hilarious! Then there’s always an authoritative voice recommending that you ‘consult your physician’ which is basically through ‘power of suggestion’. My family would laugh at these ads, as my father WAS a physician, and the big pharma were turning the scenario upside-down. Instead of a patient consulting their doctor to examine their condition and give advice, the pharma’s are suggesting what their verdict for treating this or that condition is, without having a clue about an individual person’s situation or the overall context of what may be causing these symptoms to occur. The pharma’s suggest that you should be running to ask your doctor to prescribe this or that, while they are at the same time wooing the doctor’s with conferences in exotic places and practically throwing gifts at them, luring them in to suggesting these drugs to their patients, the more the merrier. It’s a joke. A dangerous joke. And since all drugs are distilled from some sort of plant or substance that is organic – which occurs in nature – it’s important to maintain a healthy planet where things can grow. Most dis ease can be prevented; through healthy diet, drinking lots of water (replenishing that which already makes up 75% of our body), having a healthy attitude, alleviating stress. Balancing healthy amounts of exercise and physical movement with having a very sanctimonious relationship to the act and art of eating; cooking and eating is fun, delicious, and something that can bring people together. Meals can be cherished, rather than rushed.

It’s the unintended hilarity of the pharmaceutical ads that reminds me of how upside-down and hypocritical the America political system functions. The country is not even remotely a ‘democracy’, but a plutocracy. It is wealth that lubricates people’s entry into the political arena. The rise of politicians has little to do with a person’s credentials or leadership qualities. Excellence seems to have been eclipsed by BIG MONEY. Now private companies funnel money to the party, discretely, so that its source can not be determined or traced. Democracy, no longer. Transparency? Far from it. Corpocrisy i.e. corpocrazy, is the standard. No longer individuals consulting their politicians to represent what they believe is ‘healthy’ and their ‘rights’, but the BIG MONEY dictating what they prescribe; which often loops into more money coming right back to their source.

Human Activity | Drilling i.e. Fracking: Definitive Cause of Earthquakes |

In the process of researching the book I’m writing, I came across information written by geologists regarding disaster preparedness around earthquakes. “FAULTLINES WEAVING THEIR WAY ACROSS SOUTHERN AUSTRALIA“. They are mostly focusing on earthquake activity in Australia, with reference to activity in China as well.

This information corroborates several earlier posts I’ve made regarding the environment, and the treacherous activities that companies are involved in to provide energy, with profit motives and shortsighted goals that are careless and reckless. I’m not leaning on a ‘political’ side of the fence but stating the facts. We need to conscientiously change our behavior, and proactively look at how our actions affect our carbon footprint.

As it is stated here in this article about faultlines in Australia
Map_World_Tectonic_Plates

While most seismic activity is associated with the movement of the earth’s tectonic plates, human activity is without question also involved.

Four main activities contribute to this phenomenon: constructing large dams and buildings, drilling and injecting liquid into wells, and by coal mining and oil drilling.

Waking a Sleeping Giant: Human-induced Earthquakes by Johnny Kilroy on January 21, 2010

Geohazards

Attention has been focused lately on the risk of earthquakes from human activity. A number of studies suggest that geothermal drilling, mining, groundwater-extraction or injection, reservoir filling, nuclear explosions, and enormous man-made structures may all be responsible for seismic events.

“There is no simple answer with regard to geothermal energy production and human triggered earthquakes,” Dr. Klose said. “It all depends on the geology, tectonic situation and production plan.”

Read more: http://tenthmil.com/campaigns/energy/waking_a_sleeping_giant_human_induced_earthquakes#ixzz2F3IfadQw

Understanding history | Tom Dispatch | Lewis Lapham “The Rule of Money”

I sense that this is one of the most important sources of information I have come upon. Therefore, I’m putting it out there, a reprint of a reprint. Realizing that there is much to learn and re member from history, and my previous blog mentioning Franklin D. Roosevelt as an example of an American leader when those with honesty and integrity still existed. This reading should be mandatory!

http://www.tomdispatch.com/blog/175595/95/

“Good intentions, like mother’s milk, are a perishable commodity. As wealth accumulates, men decay, and sooner or later an aristocracy that once might have aspired to an ideal of wisdom and virtue goes rancid in the sun, becomes an oligarchy distinguished by a character that Aristotle likened to that of “the prosperous fool” — its members so besotted by their faith in money that “they therefore imagine there is nothing that it cannot buy.
……..
What Paine had meant by the community of common interest found voice and form in Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal, in the fighting of World War II by a citizen army willing and able to perform what Machiavelli would have recognized as acts of public conscience.
….
During the middle years of the twentieth century, America at times showed itself deserving of what Albert Camus named as a place “where the single word liberty makes hearts beat faster,” the emotion present and accounted for in the passage of the Social Security Act, in the mounting of the anti-Vietnam War and civil rights movements, in the promise of LBJ’s Great Society. But that was long ago and in another country, and instead of making hearts beat faster, the word liberty in America’s currently reactionary scheme of things slows the pulse and chills the blood.

Ronald Reagan’s new Morning in America brought with it in the early 1980s the second coming of a gilded age more swinish than the first, and as the country continues to divide ever more obviously into a nation of the rich and a nation of the poor, the fictions of unity and democratic intent lose their capacity to command belief. If by the time Bill Clinton had settled comfortably into the White House it was no longer possible to pretend that everybody was as equal as everybody else, it was clear that all things bright and beautiful were to be associated with the word private, terminal squalor and toxic waste with the word public.

The shaping of the will of Congress and the choosing of the American president has become a privilege reserved to the country’s equestrian classes, a.k.a. the 20% of the population that holds 93% of the wealth, the happy few who run the corporations and the banks, own and operate the news and entertainment media, compose the laws and govern the universities, control the philanthropic foundations, the policy institutes, the casinos, and the sports arenas. Their anxious and spendthrift company bears the mark of oligarchy ridden with the disease diagnosed by the ancient Greeks as pleonexia, the appetite for more of everything — more McMansions, more defense contracts, more beachfront, more tax subsidy, more prosperous fools.
….
A Government That Sets Itself Above the Law

The hostile intent has been conscientiously sustained over the last 30 years, no matter which party is in control of Congress or the White House, and no matter what the issue immediately at hand — the environment or the debt, defense spending or campaign-finance reform. The concentrations of wealth and power express their fear and suspicion of the American people with a concerted effort to restrict their liberties, letting fall into disrepair nearly all of the infrastructure — roads, water systems, schools, power plants, bridges, hospitals — that provides the country with the foundation of its common enterprise.”

Milton S. Hershey Philanthropist | Franklin D. Roosevelt warning of the Tyranny of ‘Economic Royalists’ i.e. Republican Party

Because I was born in Hershey hospital and raised in a town next to Hershey, PA, I decided to check out all that this man, Milton S. Hershey contributed to this town which was named after him. Milton S. Hershey was born September 13th, 1857. There was just a celebration in the town commemorating his birth 155 years ago. He started out with the idea of manufacturing candy. Ultimately, he came up with the creation of ‘milk chocolate’ and the building of a chocolate factory, which is still a thriving business today. This region has rich soil and an abundance of dairy farms. What is most remarkable is what this entrepreneur did with his money. His legacy is his philanthropy.



Similar to Franklin D. Roosevelt who had a plan to put America to work, “The New Deal”, on a smaller scale, Milton Hershey’s vision evolved into creating a number of different enterprises for the local community. Among his creations was the construction of an elegant hotel on a hill for his wife. Hotel Hershey still looks over the town in splendor. Hershey also created gardens, horse-riding stables and an amusement park. He also established the notorious ‘Milton Hershey School‘ for orphans; originally just for boys, it now accommodates the education and shelter for girls as well. His intention was to provide for those in need and to raise the quality of life for all of the people he invited to work in the factory he built. Hershey continually reinvested. He built an empire of products and services to accommodate the townspeople. The beauty of the town and quality of its attractions have resulted in it being a popular tourist destination. He built an elegant community center for the arts. In the last decades, this elegant building has housed the Hershey Symphony; composed of a core of quality volunteer musicians whose excellence reflects the dynamic current conductor, Dr. Sandra Dackow, who brings the music to the audience with an articulate educational description of the works that are being performed. He also built a zoo. Each of these establishments are still flourishing; a testimony to one man’s intention. Presently, the town has a dynamic population of international students and workers employed at the Penn State University Hershey Medical Center.

As opposed to the Western trend (the past 15 years or so) of cutting jobs, downsizing and outsourcing – which ultimately deprives communities of work due to greed-driven incentives to cut costs – Hershey’s actions were noble. So many lives were positively affected and enhanced through his efforts to introduce conservation, education and culture to the community. All created through one man’s vision.

I compare Milton S. Hershey to Franklin D. Roosevelt as representative of individuals whose altruism and humanitarianism built their leadership; their entitlement coming through their dignity, integrity and the caliber of their actions, rather than through the persuasion and corruption of money. F.D.R rescued the American economy through bold measures, creating programs to establish a myriad of new jobs across the nation. Roosevelt’s acceptance speech at the Democratic National Convention of 1936 for his second nomination for Presidency warned of the tyranny of the “economic royalists”:
“For too many of us the political equality we once had won, was meaningless in the face of economic inequality. A small group had concentrated into their own hands an almost complete control over other peoples’ property, other peoples’ money, other peoples’ labor-other peoples’ lives. For too many of us, life was no longer free; liberty no longer real; men could no longer follow the pursuit of happiness.”

I have addressed this in another blog talking about the unequal distribution of money. https://digesthis.wordpress.com/2012/01/29/the-collusion-of-big-money-eroding-the-quality-of-life-for-all/

It was later in a 1938 message to Congress, that FDR warned that the growth of private power could lead to fascism.

Here are more pics revealing the town of Hershey, Pennsylvania today, and all that are the legacy of one man’s vision and generosity.





The funny thing about the center of town, is that the streets have names of chocolate, the street lights are Hershey kisses, both unwrapped and wrapped.

Hershey Kiss

Hershey Kiss wrapped

Hershey Kiss

Hershey Kiss chocolate candy and street light design in Hershey, Pennsylvania.

The original Chocolate factory is there in the center of town.


Another view of the original factory. One of the rides – ‘the turnpike’ was incidentally where I worked as a high school student Hershey’s enterprises have employed many people in the area !-)

the entrance to the Zoo the monorail which goes through the park. and one of several rollercoasters
Then there’s the Hotel Hershey on the Hill with it’s array of attractions; horseback riding, swimming, spas, you name it. This is next to the Milton S. Hershey Boy’s High School (which since 1977 has allowed girls to attend the school). He was an exceptional man who put his fortune into the orphanage and built up the entire town. I commemorate him, yet wanted to add the mention of his contemporary, Franklin Roosevelt, whose vision for America is even more profound today in the 21st century. As I mentioned in an earlier blog http://carolkeiter.wordpress.com/2012/09/19/america-in-decline-built-through-a-series-of-great-steals-written-by-louie-davis-june-26-1988-for-his-elderhostel-students/ on my carolkeiter.wordpress site, I cited an article those who don’t learn from history are destined to repeat it!

The Population Elephant | “The Problem” we choose not to discuss | by Kurt Dahl

I was sent this article a week ago, and upon reading it, feel that it needs to be circulated !-o


The Population Elephant

A resource for those who are willing to think

http://www.populationelephant.com

Why overpopulation and the population problem are never discussed – the taboo topic of overpopulation.

The problems with the “The Problem”


The Real Problem

Some things are so preeminent within their context that they need no adjectives or explanation. Ask any American football fan what is referred to by “The Play” and they will tell you abut the final play in the 1982 Cal/Stanford game when, after several laterals and a mad dash through the Stanford band, Cal scored the winning touchdown as time expired (do a Google search on “the play” and see for yourself). Likewise, “The Open” refers only to the British Open golf tournament, even though there are dozens of other “Open” athletic events.

The world today is beset with a host of major issues – oil depletion, climate change, food shortages, resource wars, species extinction – to name but a few. But these are only symptoms of the one true problem. “The Real Problem” – the one that spawns all others, and the one that mankind must face at some point – is that there are simply too many human beings on this planet.

Therefore, I suggest, that like “The Play” and “The Open” – hereafter overpopulation should be referred to as “The Problem”.

Unfortunately, in today’s world, we are content to address only the consequences of the The Problem – climate change, energy depletion, food shortages, etc. This is the same classic mistake that a physician makes in treating only the patient’s symptoms, and ignoring the fundamental disease.

So then, the million dollar question is: “Why aren’t we addressing the real problem?”

First – A brutally honest reality check is necessary

World population stands at over 6 billion today. Every four days one million more people are added. Reasonable projections put world population at between 9 -11 billion by 2050. Rocket science is not required to understand what that implies for the host of issues (symptoms) listed above.

CO2 emissions are causing global warming. This is a fact. Many in the scientific community propose that an 80% reduction in CO2 emissions by 2050 is necessary to forestall the extreme consequences of global warming. But how can this be done when at the same time we are adding 3, 4, or even 5 billion more people to the world?
Get real – it can’t!

Likewise for energy and food consumption – the addition of billions of people means that these commodities will dramatically increase in consumption. But these are finite resources, already we are far above sustainable levels. So, can this go on forever?
Get real – it can’t!

Can the use of new light bulbs, hybrid cars, cloth grocery bags, and mass transit offset the sharply upward consumption demand that will come from both the increasing world population and the dramatically increasing standard of living of the existing populations in developing countries like India and China? No way!
Get real – it can’t!

So why aren’t the sirens blaring, why isn’t the alarm sounding, why isn’t this even being discussed?

In fact, the opposite is happening. There have been several recent opinion pieces in the Boston Globe and the New York Times expressing the belief that we have a problem with decreasing population! Absurd.

Why then is overpopulation not discussed? The Problem, it turns out, has many fatal problems of its own:

Five Fatal Problems with The Problem:

1. There is no money in it.

Going “Green” is a huge industry. Thousands of companies are trying to sell you efficient light bulbs, hybrid cars, cloth grocery bags, solar panels and a host of other gimmicks and gadgets.

Alternative energy sources need massive investments in capital expenditures and research and development. Government grants to universities, venture capital, bond issues, etc., all create a whirlwind of financial activity.

Money is to be made everywhere. And with these massive financial opportunities come huge profits, well financed lobbyists, publicity, and media creation. Indeed, the media explosion surrounding “going green” is a major industry all by itself. Everyone benefits financially by “going green”. Though, in the end, it is not a solution. At best, it will only modestly delay the dire consequences of our current over-consumption.

But, conversely, who would benefit financially from reducing the Earth’s population? No one! There is absolutely no money to be made in the one and only solution – fewer people.

So – one problem with The Problem is that it is a pauper, and therefore has no friends.

2. Not my problem – the short term view.

The United Nations provides the basic population projections that everyone else quotes. There is some arbitrariness necessary to create these models. For instance, the year 2050 is the endpoint for their current set of projections for no reason other than it is a convenient round number.

Almost every article written about population growth quotes the figure of 9 billion people by 2050 (though the UN projects other possible 2050 outcomes of 7, 11, even 13 billion). And then the reader of the article goes: “So what, I won’t be around by then.” As if the problem won’t happen until 2050.

I can’t speak for the rest of the world, but I would strongly assert that in the United States, the “event horizon” for concern about the future, is short and getting shorter. A major problem that arrives in 2050 is too far away for most people to even think about, much less do anything about.

Not only that, but you can’t reduce The Problem to a short time frame and have it make sense to the average person. To say that there will be two million more of us on the planet in just a little over a week (a true statistic) also gets a big “So what?” “These two million newcomers aren’t in my neighborhood, so why should I care?”

Unfortunately, even though the problem won’t manifest itself for several decades, the solutions must begin now!

So – one problem with The Problem is that by the time it becomes obvious to the average person, it will be way too late.

3. The world’s fundamental systems oppose it.

Today there are three dominant systems that define and control the culture of human beings – democracy, capitalism, and religion. And unfortunately, all three of these fundamental systems work against addressing The Problem.

Democracy, to our great benefit, allows us the freedom to make certain personal choices. Among those is the choice of how many children we are allowed to have. No democratic government would even consider limiting that choice – because, at the first opportunity, they would be voted out of office. Simply put – it is impossible to imagine a situation where any mandate resembling population management could be enacted under a democracy.

Capitalism requires growth. Anything other than growth in consumption and demand under capitalism is considered bad – a recession, or worst case, a depression. But, The Problem is only solved by a declining population and declining consumption – or negative growth. It would be hard to conceive of a model of capitalism that could “succeed” under such a deliberate, sustained, long term, decrease in demand.

Imagine how capitalism would function if population declined steadily over several decades to levels approaching one billion people. The excess quantities of goods alone (think of housing) would virtually eliminate demand and eliminate the incentive for the constant struggle to achieve the ever bigger income. Capitalism, at least as we know it today, simply wouldn’t work in a declining population scenario.

Organized religion’s primary goal, like living organisms themselves, is to continue to exist. Religions always strive to increase the flock, whether by conversion or by birth. And in today’s world, they have even become competitive with one another to see who has the bigger numbers and thereby will “rule” here on Earth.

What would happen to the Catholic Church if each Catholic couple only had one child? It would shrink dramatically – heaven forbid! That is why they continue with their completely irrational stand against birth control.

And all religions work to obfuscate The Problem by proposing bizarre superstitions like the rapture. We will all be taken up into heaven soon, so why worry? Or even more simply: Worry not, God will solve this problem.

All religions work actively, aggressively, and with massive resources, to discredit any hint of activity that might be construed as population management. Considering the influence that the world’s religions have in today’s world, it is assured that The Problem will never be allowed to be addressed in any meaningful way.

As proof that these three fundamental systems work against a solution, look no further than China. The only successful approach to population management in the world is China’s “one child per family” mandate. Without this program, China alone would have several hundred million more people today, and perhaps a billion more by 2050. As it is, China’s population will increase by only 100 million by 2050 – in contrast, India will increase by almost 600 million in the same timeframe. China’s policy is by any reasonable measure, a great success. And yet, it is relentlessly attacked, here and abroad.

And now, with the dramatic rise of capitalism in China, internal attacks on the one-child policy are beginning. The capitalists in China are raising concerns about whether a declining young demographic can “support” (read – continue to grow consumer demand) an aging population. And concerns are being raised about China’s internal market not growing fast enough. If China’s one-child policy is ever watered down or eliminated, it will be because of this increasing pressure from the pro-growth, new Chinese capitalists.

So – one problem with The Problem is that it requires a godless socialist dictatorship in power in order to mandate any actual action.

4. The Problem has no voice.

It is hard to think of any issue in today’s media saturated world that doesn’t have several advocacy groups speaking and lobbying for or against it. If you are a newcomer to this population debate, I am certain that you assume that an issue as important as The Problem has many powerful voices advocating for population management, sustainable population goals, etc. Unfortunately – you would be wrong.

But, you say, surely the environmental groups all support population management and sustainable population goals? After all, isn’t their primary responsibility the health of the Earth’s ecosystem? Well, once upon a time they did, but ˇ˝ no more – not even one of them.

More remarkably, the group created solely for this purpose – ZPG (Zero Population Growth) – its name identifying its position – began turning away from any specific population management agenda in the 1990’s. And now, it has even abandoned its own name! (Too confusing to have a name that says “Zero Population Growth” when that is no longer your position, I guess.) It is now called “The Population Connection” – a happy name, sounding like an arm of “Sesame Street”. Now it specializes in educating young people.

There are several reasons given for this complete abandonment of the issue by the very groups that strive to protect the planet – starting, once again, with money.

For the reasons stated above, The Problem has no friends. And no friends, means no money from contributions, memberships, grants, etc. In fact, many grant-giving entities would shy away from any organization that advocates positions directly opposed to such powerful institutions as the Catholic Church. So, no matter how important The Problem is, if it doesn’t generate any income (or might even cost money and members), the big environmental groups have no use for it.

And in addition, as it turns out, The Problem runs afoul of several Liberal sacred cows (Just an FYI – I’m a knee-jerk liberal personally, so don’t think this piece is some kind of veiled right-wing political agenda – it is not).

Understand, the big environmental groups are primarily American institutions, and so they generally take an American perspective. Population management from a solely American position (specifically – managing America’s population) becomes then a discussion of immigration policy, or of minority fertility rates. Since the Liberal “politically correct” tradition is to not offend any minority groups, serious population management strategies cannot be discussed.

But the killer blow for population management advocacy has probably come from the women’s-rights movement. Women have made incredible progress toward equality in this country in just the last forty years. The women’s rights movement is now a large and powerful force. And one of the foundational rights of women, is the right to personally control their own reproductive choices. Obviously, this is in direct conflict with most population management solutions (China’s one-child policy, for example).

Population lore even puts a time and place when the women’s movement usurped any meaningful population management advocacy. In 1994, at the U.N. International Conference on Population and Development in Cairo, the paradigm for population management dramatically shifted from “population control” to “the empowerment of women”. Virtually all environmental advocacy groups now promote the education and empowerment of women as the only acceptable population management strategy.

Now the world, facing a horrifying disaster in the making, is left with only a grassroots effort by a handful of individuals with personal websites trying to sound the alarm.

So – one problem with The Problem is that no one speaks for it.

5. There is no positive approach (spin) to solving The Problem.

Our culture thrives on optimism. We believe that every problem must have a positive solution. I recently watched Al Gore’s newest version of his global warming slide show. The first third of the presentation now emphasizes how optimistic Mr. Gore is about both our ability to fix the problem, and how positive the fix would be for us – a true win-win – problem solved, and a richer world to boot.

Politics works the same way. To the politician, all situations, all problems have a wonderful and positive solution. Perhaps the last politician to even remotely suggest that things will get worse and stay that way, was Jimmy Carter, and he was roundly criticized for his “negative” approach, not to mention being roundly defeated in the next election.

But there is a simple and obvious solution to The Problem – one that has been tested and proven to work – one that causes no unnecessary harm to anyone – and one that costs absolutely nothing: the one-child per female policy. If implemented today, calculations show that world population would be reduced to a sustainable level of 1 – 2 billion people on earth by 2100. Within one hundred years the problem would be solved at no cost, and no harm – so simple.

But the one-child solution is considered completely onerous by almost all cultures on this planet. To almost everyone, it is a terrible choice, with difficult and frightening possible consequences that would require a rewiring of our thinking. No positive spin can be applied to this solution – except that in a hundred years, people will still be here and will be living on an increasingly healthier planet.

So – one (last) problem with The Problem is that the only reasonable solution is the worst possible choice – except for all the others.

If you have read this far – thank you. Now, go forth find your own way to sound the alarm. It is up to us to speak the harsh truth – the powerful will not.

Because – as it is now – mankind heads to the abyss, knowing why, and doing nothing.

Copyright “The Population Elephant” and Kurt Dahl January, 2009 – All rights reserved.

Send any comments or reprint requests to suggestions@populationelephant.com

Matt Taibbi | Wall Street has no incentive Not to Commit Crimes |

An informative interview with Matt Taibbi. He’s very articulate and educated about the subject he speaks of and has written a book about; wall street getting away with it, American complacency, the media not necessarily being manipulated from the top-down, but influenced with what will draw the best advertising money….

Repercussions of Monsanto

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/worldnews/article-1082559/The-GM-genocide-Thousands-Indian-farmers-committing-suicide-using-genetically-modified-crops.html