HAI PHONG, Vietnam // I just finished reading a book entitled Confessions of an Economic Hitman. I am sure there is some truth to it, but you can tell the author has an ax to grind with the system, and you have to read it with a grain of doubt.
The three biggest points I took from it are:
- All economic growth benefits humankind, and that the greater the growth, the more widespread the benefits. Those who excel and stoke the fires of economic growth should be rewarded the most, are actually false statements.
- Statistics can always be skewed to tell the story you want to tell.
- Not all news is news. NBC is owned by General Electric, ABC by Disney, CBS by Viacom, and CNN by Time Warner. Large Corporations own the news. Omitted news is as important as headlines. Reading between the lines is a skill that I should work on.
This has all kind of come to a theme I'm starting to express that I’m labeling “Disconnected". There is a disconnection between filling up our gas tank, what it took to produce that gallon of gas, and where that gas came from. We are disconnected from our clothes and the idea that a physical person made the clothes on our backs, beyond the “Made in Thailand” label. We are constantly connected to food but are disconnected from what is in it and where it comes from. Walking through some of the meat markets in Southeast Asia can seem barbaric with full dead chickens hanging from hooks. However, they understand what it took to raise the chicken, kill the chicken, cut the meat off the chicken, and cook it. We, myself included, can’t handle this process, so we disconnect the chicken running around the farm from the one that appears on my plate.
I think we have become disconnected from our jobs, the value of our money, and how much money we need. We are disconnected from our emotions and ourselves. We are one of the wealthiest empires in history yet we have more people addicted to prescription medication, high murder rates, and a large prison population than many countries who have far less than us. All these disconnections add up to one large story of being disconnected from the rest of the world and how the world views us. Our entire supply chain is disconnected from our consumption of global natural resources.
These are the problems as I see them from my soap box, but I have yet to come up with the solution. Become a vegetarian? Eat local and organic? Join the tiny house movement? Reuse, reduce, recycle? Perhaps a little bit of all of the above? Im open to ideas and discussions.