I am just back from a two week "holiday" in Puerto Rico (in quotes, because I spent much of that time working very hard - but manual labor, working the earth...more on that soon) and as I was going through the Chicago Tribune today, pieces of it just seemed, well, weird. Was it because I was out of it for a while? Who knows? Here are the items that caught my eye and twisted my brain:
Tribune fined in worker's death
"The federal government has fined the Chicago Tribune $7,000 -- the maximum allowable penalty -- for a serious safety violation at its printing plant, where a worker was killed in May when he became entangled in a conveyor belt."
This is a fine demonstration of how corporations trump citizens in our democracy. Maximum allowable penalty for killing your worker is $7000. That doesn't present much of a deterrence to companies that want to cut corners to save money, or to simply aren't inclined to proactively protect their workers effectively. Now, why would our government (of the people, by the people, for the people) set up laws that so poorly protect "the people" and so nicely benefit the company? Hmmmm.....
Poll: White youths happier than others
NEW YORK - Young white Americans are happier with life than their minority counterparts, a poll has found.
According to an extensive survey of 1,280 people ages 13-24 by The Associated Press and MTV, 72 percent of whites say they are happy with life in general, compared with 51 percent of Hispanics and 56 percent of blacks.
Twenty-eight percent of minorities believe race will hurt them in the quest for a better life. Among whites, 20 percent feel their race will help.
This is a great example of the numerous polls, surveys, studies I come across that makes me think: "You need to organize a study to figure that out?" This country is still so divided racially -- and that divide (or those many divides) certainly extends into the economic sphere. And let's face it, it's hard to be happy when you work a crappy job for little bits of money, or can get no job at all.
But really, the solution is clear: "minority" youth simply need to stop believing that "race will hurt them in a quest for a better life." Think positive or whatever that latest ridiculous fad-book tells you to do: just think different and your life becomes different.
That's what's wrong with your "minority" "youth" today.
Yes, I am back in Chicago, with lots of evidence of the world crumbling to pieces around me.