30 March 2009

Chain Re(Non)actions

Our (mis)educational system loses too many of Our students, under-teaches the majority of those who stay and frustrates the living bejeezus out of the ones who truly want to make progress. This failure leads to a sub-segment of Our population lacking the basic mental and emotional tools to face the challenges of creating a future for themselves, leaving them with the options of welfare parasitism, fringe economy or illegality.

Within that illegality, the drug wars to control product distribution are shredding lives, most of them young men whose potential, even at that point, is still worthy of proper development. The rest of Us act like the deaths happen “over there,” because--in essence--they do, what with Our homes behind gated entrances, fences and security guards. We’ve become a country of medieval villages, fortresses dotting the landscape, and the sojourns “out there” are dealt with as if with the wilderness of yore: go out and get back quickly.

The “Us/Them” mentality is but a variant of the "Us vs. Them” mindset, the notion that it’s either Me or The Other, that My gain has to come at the expense of some Other person(s) and that his/her gain is a ripping out from My hands. That zero-sum mentality means We can talk about unity--talking means We’re nice, doesn’t it?--but when push comes to shove, We are not going to be unified. Even when Our path is clearly leading to widespread loss and the solution cries out for immediate action, even then We turn our backs on making a mature decision and pull away from it all.

Happens with status. Will happen with reducing Our government’s emasculating bloat. We need to bring Our government’s size down. Government jobs don’t increase an economy’s productivity: they detract from it, the same way blowing money on crack ultimately reduces your personal worth. Will We be able to reduce that bloat by the projected 30,000 jobs? Of course not. We’ll be lucky if We make it to 4,000.

Unions, those hypocritical bastions of non-unity, are already rumbling about strikes. In Education. In the Electrical Power Authority. And the Aqueduct Authority. It’s only a matter of time before the government employees’ own union--as useless an appendage as Nature ever gave a fungus--starts raising its hackles. These unions aren’t considering the long-term implications of their proposed “defense” of jobs: they don’t care about the long-term consequences. They only care about “Us.” If “They” lose jobs, great! But don’t you dare take jobs from “Us”!

Multiply that by several dozen other government unions and employee groups and what’s left in government without a “protector” are temps, contractors…and legislators. The same legislators who were ordered 5 years ago by the electorate to merge two outhouses into one…and have done squat about it. (Yes, pun intended. I must amuse Myself.) That legislature is their gated community, a near-impregnable fortress of doom to Us that is unassailable so long as We act like “Our elected leaders" are better than “Their thieving idiots." Meanwhile, all of them wreck Our economy like mad cows staggering drunkenly through a pottery shop. (Pottery, because We haven’t stepped up to china, yet…)

Our economy is stacked with talented people--many of them actually stay here to work on Our Island of (Some)Enchantment. But even amongst the talented there’s the sense of “I’d rather go it alone,” with entrepreneurs practically bending over backwards to avoid “giving anything away.” Toss into that brain spasm the equally-stringent delusion that Puerto Rico is “the whole market” and you get…more zero-sum mentality. When your bright lights act like dim bulbs, is it any wonder there’s darkness?

We look around and see nothing more than what We want to see. Thus We see too little and feel too much for ultimately not enough. We rabidly enthuse over a tin-plated beauty crown while hundreds bleed to death on Our streets. We disgustingly throw money at political hacks who invest the money in their own interests, while they seldom do anything more than pay harelip service to Ours. We wring Our hands about Our children’s education, while acting like consumer zombies who believe learning happens only in schools and only up to age 18. We decry the many killed, but only because it increases the cost of Our fortress villages and the stress of leaving them. We moan about the economy and those who run it into the underground, but We’d rather follow it there than build a new  and truly productive one. 

And yet the head-kicker, the blow-your-brains-out-with-plastique cranial wallop is that We really--deep down and in every way--We want it all. We want the Dream Life in a Dream Society. We want it all, We want it for nothing, We want it now and We don’t want to lift a goddamned finger to earn it.

We want, but don’t act to make it happen. We wish, but expect others to make Our miracles happen. We could, but We don’t bother to try

We should learn. We really should. But who knows if We ever will.

The Jenius Has Spoken.

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