In the recent post about Ferraro’s death, I was tempted to add a video of her 1984 acceptance speech. However, the contrast between her optimism and the state of the union today gave her words a bitter taste. Of course, political speeches are hardly known for being toned-down, but reading Bob Herbert’s column in today’s NY Times, “Losing our Way,” gives one a sense of bad omens around us.
It’s his last column for the Times; here are some snippets:
So here we are pouring shiploads of cash into yet another war, this time in Libya, while simultaneously demolishing school budgets, closing libraries, laying off teachers and police officers, and generally letting the bottom fall out of the quality of life here at home…
Limitless greed, unrestrained corporate power and a ferocious addiction to foreign oil have led us to an era of perpetual war and economic decline. Young people today are staring at a future in which they will be less well off than their elders, a reversal of fortune that should send a shudder through everyone.
The U.S. has not just misplaced its priorities. When the most powerful country ever to inhabit the earth finds it so easy to plunge into the horror of warfare but almost impossible to find adequate work for its people or to properly educate its young, it has lost its way entirely.
Herbert also draws our attention to the shocking example of GE, the nation’s largest corporation, “Despite profits of $14.2 billion — $5.1 billion from its operations in the United States — General Electric did not have to pay any U.S. taxes last year.”