third world america-arianna huffington

“I’m not talking about the physical state of our dilapidated public school buildings-although the National Education Association estimates it would take $322 billion to bring America’s school buildings into good repair. The real devastation is going on inside our nation’s classrooms. If America’s public education system were a product, it would be recalled. If it were a politician, it would be impeached. If it were a horse, it would have been taken behind the barn and shot.” (113)

superman’s still ducking you, son.

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3 thoughts on “third world america-arianna huffington

  1. behind the front:

    “In other words, in the absence of manufacturing, the only way to compete with Third World nations is to /become/ a Third World nation, which is exactly what will happen if we allow our middle class to disappear.” (27)

    “This is what happens when a country is willing to spend trillions of dollars fighting unnecessary wars while allowing college tuition to rise out of the reach of so many of its citizens. And it’s what happens when a country turns its economy over to the casino of Wall Street.” (28)

    “And make no mistake, the inequitable nature of the bill-bending over backward to help the credit industry while sticking it to working people who fall on hard times-was not the result of chance. Time and again, the Senate shot down amendments that would have made the bill less mean-spirited. Senators denied proposals that would have made it easier for military veterans, the sick, and the elderly to qualify for bankruptcy protection. They even rejected an amendment that would have put a 30 percent ceiling on the interest rates credit card companies can charge. Thirty percent-that’s more than your neighborhood loan shark charges.” (68)

    “When it came to the foreclosure crisis, Obama’s audacity to win morphed into a timidity to govern. Bolder action earlier by the administration and our paralyzed, polarized Congress would have kept millions of families in their homes and cleared the decks more quickly for an economic revival on Main Street. But that, of course, would have meant giving the public the same sort of breaks the gluttonous bankers got.” (74)

  2. the audacity to cope:

    “Although Americans losing their homes are being treated like an afterthought, foreclosures are actually a gateway calamity. Every foreclosure is a crisis that begets a whole other set of crises. When families lose their homes, they are forced to move in with relatives, or into a motel, or live out of a car, or on the street. Meanwhile, the home sits vacant. Surrounding home values drop. Others in the neighborhood move out. In many communities, squatters move in. Crime goes up. Tax revenues plummet, taking school budgets down with them.” (72)

    “Moving forward, the price we’ll pay for getting it wrong is extremely high. Think of a patient suffering from a grave viral infection who is treated with antibiotics, effective only against bacterial infections. Not only will the treatment be unsuccessful, it will also dangerously delay the proper care.” (99)

    “We need to create an economy where productivity doesn’t come at the cost of quality of life. In 1967, speaking at the University of Kansas, Robert F. Kennedy called on Americans to look at our economy in a radically different way. “Our gross national product is now over $800 billion a year,” he said, “but that GNP-if we should judge America by that-counts air pollution and cigarette advertising, and ambulances to clear our highways of carnage. It counts special locks for our doors, and the jails for those who break them. It counts the destruction of our redwoods and the loss of our natural wonder in chaotic sprawl. It counts napalm and the cost of a nuclear warhead, and armored cars for police who fights riots in our streets.”
    America needs to engage in a similar soul-stirring questioning of many unquestioned assumptions. We need to move from a bottom-line-obsessed corporate culture to a “triple bottom line” approach that calls for corporations to pay attention to both their stockholders and their stakeholders-those who may not have invested money in the company but clearly have a de facto investment in the air they breathe, the food they eat, and the communities they live in.” (195)

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