I flew by to discuss recent developments with Susan but she's not here - probably out buying hummingbird food or staring at her color wheel, waiting for inspiration. She gets like that sometimes but it's okay. One of her pets is here to keep me company and meanwhile I'll talk to you if you have a moment. I've been doing some long distance traveling and need a break.
Where was I? Well, since things are a bit difficult in the US these days I thought I'd scout out a few other places just to see if there's anyplace 300 million people can go until the political, social and economic problems resolve. There are already 7 or more millions of ex-patriot US citizens living in other countries. Many of the younger ones have headed south of the southern border to places like Panama and Costa Rica for fun, adventure and entrepreneurial exploits. If Susan wants to see hummingbirds that's really the place to go but if Americans are leaving the United States, Canada is certainly one of the most convenient places for interim relocation. It may be a little chilly at times, but it’s right across the border and most Canadians speak English. Many of the major issues that divide people and political parties in the U.S. seem resolved in Canada. They have a lower crime rate, universal health care, and reportedly better education. Their medical doctors can dispense marijuana and they officially recognize same-sex marriages. On top of all that, the rest of the world isn’t mad at them.
Things have reached the point in this country that one of the best economic indicators is the 'pizza index' - the skyrocketing price of 'recession-proof' foods: pizza, hot dogs, bagels and beer. The major presidential candidates grumble about each other and just how fast or slow the US military can tiptoe out of Iraq while still leaving the oil giants, six huge permanent bases and the world's biggest 'embassy' in place but they don't talk about the fact the economy as a whole is collapsing. Individuals need help but we all need change. Is this just another market mistake, the latest bubble gone bust in a volatile business cycle? Can we solve all this with an Alka-Seltzer-like infusion of new taxes or regulations? I don't think so. We're talking big time crony capitalism here and not party politics.
If you're not quite ready to immigrate (which would probably only encourage the jerks who got you into this mess), I heard about the Fifth Party candidacy of Divajood and Nunley and stopped by to talk over the issues with my old friend David Korten who had some advice for those hoping to establish a progressive democracy. He says that the best way to start would be to envision the following changes:
1. Instruments of war to health care and environmental rejuvenation.
2. Automobiles to public transportation.
3. Suburban sprawl to compact communities and the reclamation of forest
and agricultural land.
4. Advertising to education.
5. Financial speculation to local entrepreneurship.
'There is significant evidence that for all the apparent differences, most all the world's people want the same thing: happy healthy children, families, communities, and natural systems. Properly understood, the imperative creates an unprecedented opportunity to unleash long suppressed potentials of the human consciousness to bring forth the world for which humans have long shared a deep yearning.'
Remember, humans are Pleistocene people with a 600,000 year history of being nomads. My people know because we were there with you when walked, ran, danced and rode through mighty, mysterious forests and endless grasslands. You sailed the seas in reed and wooden boats long before steel hulls and engines were invented. Wars were fought killing untold numbers of my people as well as yours but your inventiveness should provide the evidence that minds and hearts can evolve beyond destruction to something better for all of us.
Now I'm off to see if I can find something decent to eat around here and I don't mean hummingbird nectar either. Yuck.
(artwork by Rudi Herzlmeier)