Swim Or Sink In Oil

The crisis in the Gulf shows,  once again, how economy is being  played against ecology. Not only are many people who have lost their jobs because of the oil spill demanding “drill baby drill,” but many who have been, or soon will be, negatively  impacted by the spill are demanding that the oil industry keep operating, growing, and employing. Of course, it’s true that people have rents, mortgages, car loans, insurance, utilities, food, and numerous other bills to pay each month, and that individuals are going to do what they have to do in order to survive/sustain, even if it means risking their personal health and lives, as well as the health and lives of others, as well as the Gulf ecology, and the planet as a whole. This terrible contradiction between personal/family survival and the environmental well-being of the Gulf (and the Earth) could be resolved through the creation of a National Safety Net (NSN) that insures a government provided basic lifestyle for every citizen who needs it, for as long as s/he need it, but this simple and readily available solution (paid for by a tax on corporate profits and on the upper class) is not even being seriously considered by the Obama administration, or the Democratic Congress, which is not surprizing given the market-driven mentality of American politics. What is surprizing is that the so-called Progressives in this country are still not demanding , or supporting, a strong public safety net under middle class Americans, even as the country faces an entire regional collapse in which million upon millions of fellow citizens are sinking into poverty and desperation. There just doesn’t seem to be enough intelligence and courage in the country to see beyond the spirit of “you’re on your own, swim or sink,” to a vision of ” we’re all in the same boat.”


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