6 March 2006

Cancel that plane ticket to Guatemala

Badtux the Snarky Penguin writes to tell us what it's really like living in a 3rd world country (and we ain't talkin' about Antarctica!):

Moving to a third world country

At one time I considered moving to a third world country, but then I realized that I already was moving to a third world country. Or, rather, a third world country was moving to me.

All this time you were saving for that trip "over there" to see how the "other half" lives only to find out that you've been incorporated in that half. It's always great when you can save on plane fare. The Snarky Penguin continues:

Consider this:

Corrupt government: CHECK. (Government? I hope Snarky isn't referring to the corporations running America as a government!)

Bad roads: CHECK I can vouch for this one. I'd also include trains and subways that break down weekly. (For those who have never travelled outside the U.S., trains in other countries tend to run on time all the time. It's possible to live in most places for years without ever experiencing the breakdowns that are now a weekly occurrence in New York and D.C.)

Dirty polluted air: CHECK. (See: Gutting of environmental regulations) (Does Snarky live in LA?)

Dirty water that causes intestinal diseases coming out of the faucets: CHECK. (See: Gutting of environmental regulations, various outbreaks from contaminated municipal water).

Tiny upper class, shrinking middle class, and huge number of poor people? CHECK. And to add insult to injury, a working class that's working more hours.

Lack of electricity and running water for many homes? CHECK. (See: New Orleans, where the electrical wires in most of the city are lying in the streets, abandoned by the power company which has declared bankruptcy despite its corporate parent making record profits over the past few years, and where the water is still off in most of the city because of breaks in the mains).

Treasury printing money with all the abandon of a Weimer Republic government ministry? CHECK. (See: Money supply figures for past 8 years).

Can be thrown into jail and locked up anytime someone in authority doesn't like the way you look or the people you hang out with: CHECK. (See: Jose' Padilla. Or, rather, you can't.) (Snarky must be a dark-skinned Latino penguin. We white penguins know that that sort a thang can't happen to us.)

Your telephone calls and bank transactions are overseen by the government to see if you might be engaged in subversive activity? CHECK (See: NSA spying, Patriot Act banking regulations). (Are we still allowed to talk about this? Didn't Snarky get his Homeland Security memo that this was no longer a kosher topic?)

Large masses of uneducated people, useful only as brownshirts for the government? CHECK. (See: Entire state of Alabama, entire Fox News viewership). Ouch!

An educational system that serves primarily as a propaganda outlet for the government, and does little educating? CHECK. (See: Your local school board.) Thus we have vouchers and increased government control and massive expansions of government by those who believe that the smaller government is, the better. George, where are you when we need you? (Not George Bush, but rather George Orwell.)

I don't need to move to a third world country, because one is swiftly coming here to where I already live. Ah, the joys of living in the heart of Empire!

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