I use Barataria to throw out a few ideas and new perspectives that I’m not entirely sure of myself. I hope you see this as a way of thinking out loud. Difficult social topics are rarely settled in one person’s mind, no matter how much they are mulled over. I want to take the time to tell you where I’ve been going with some of this and see what you think.
Words mean things, or so the saying goes. Unfortunately, things change so words have to change. That’s where it gets interesting.
I have proposed that understanding the connections that make up a system give us a greater insight into how that system will respond to the stresses of change than any kind of institutional or academic perspective. My readers have responded by demanding specific examples, so I thought I’d start with the big one: Health Care. The system we have was developed from the connections of a time that has long passed but once made sense. This becomes important because most of the current proposals reflect the connections of our time – meaning we could be making the same mistakes all over again.
What are we gonna do? If you read those of us who kvetch constantly about not just what’s wrong but exactly what’s wrong you probably get a kind of fatigue after a while. That’s understandable. I strongly believe that if you are in the business of pointing out the bad stuff you have an obligation to produce a credible way that it can be fixed – or else it’s just whining. While I’ve done my best to produce a framework for understanding how things can go wrong that includes ways to understand fixing the world, it requires a lot of working through the abstraction – and brain ache.
This is where I get specific. This is my platform.
In the two years I’ve been writing Barataria, I’ve taken one sick day and one vacation day off from a MWF schedule. I’m proud of that record, but with my parents in town and a potential new business opportunity starting to fill my thoughts there wasn’t much room left for a piece today. So I’ve decided to do a clip show – a few highlights of pieces from Barataria past that seem to be popular. I hope you enjoy them!
If you’re trying to keep track of the money spent by our Federal Government for “stimulus”, you must know that it’s not easy. CNN has a guide that I’ve found handy that tells me the Government has committed to $1.9 Trillion (With a capital T) and the Federal Reserve about $6.4 Trillion. It adds up to about $75,000 for every family in the USofA, a number so large that it still defies description. I was wondering if somewhere in all that was, in fact, a bit for our families – or at least the kids who will have to pay for this.
We live in a time that seems to rarely be bounded by what we know. All around us are what appears to be an unlimited number of new scientific facts and imaginative ideas. Yet with all of the great products of our minds, we live in uncertain times. Great theories about economic systems have collapsed in disaster. Terrific advances in medicine are not available to everyone because we can’t figure out how to pay for them. Our political system lurches from one gridlocked intersection to another like a New York cabbie punching the accelerator and the brakes in rapid succession.
For all the smarts we have, our world doesn’t look all that smart.