The End of the World As We Know It
Anyone who is paying attention knows that we are facing a great many interacting crises in the United States. Indeed, we may well be facing “the end of the world as we know it,” if we do not wake up and soon.
Below, I list just a few of our interacting problems.
When we work on issues like education, schools, social change, or poverty and do not place our work in this larger perspective, we are simply helping to ensure that people aren’t keeping their eye on the ball, something that benefits only the elites, and, then, even for them, only for the short-term.
Is the picture too big to look at? Perhaps.
We have waited an awfully long time to do anything about these matters, especially as they link to each other. I suspect that the best approach here is to look for these deep linkages and exploit them.
For many of our endeavors—though not all—I suspect that 25 are key.
- Broken Schools Mired in Poverty, Testing, Punitive Accountability, and the Degradation of Teachers and Teaching
- Casino Capitalism (No Tie to Production, Just High-Risk Bets Using “Other People’s Money”)
- College Graduates Underemployed and in Debt (50% are in jobs that do not really require a college degree)
- Detachment of Productivity and Compensation for Workers
- Emerging Massive Decrease in Job Creation (Robots, Internet, Fab Labs, Casualization, etc.)
- Degradation of Democracy as Money Dominates Politics
- Degradation of Work, Wages, and Benefits
- Echo Chambers on Social Media and the Internet
- Greed-Ridden and Deeply Broken Health Care System
- Global Climate Change
- Global Environmental Degradation
- Imperiled and Broken Colleges and Universities (There are now dozens of books on the crises in our system of higher-education)
- Job Market Polarization (Bad Jobs and High Ones that Require High Skill, No Middle)
- Low Social Mobility (US among bottom of European nations)
- Massive and Increasing Flows of Dislocated Immigrants
- Massive Redistribution of Wealth Upward (95% of Income Gains 2009-2012 Taken By the Wealthiest 1%)
- Monopolization of Commerce (Fewer and Fewer Free Markets)
- Ideological Polarization of Politics
- Racism and Home-Grown Right-Wing and Islamic Terrorism
- Soaring Inequality in U.S. and across the World
- Status Syndrome (When People Feel that They Don’t Count = Bad Health) [Read The Spirit Level and The Status Syndrome]
- The Dark Web (Much Bigger than the Light Web
- The Internet of Things and Hacking (Too Connected, Easy to Bring Down)
- Underfunded and Crumbling Infrastructure
- World-Wide Conflicts and Wars Between Haves and Have-Nots
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