Thursday, July 22, 2010

Following up the last entry so as to actually write something

Gotta get back into the blog habit and, as usual, I feel I must tie up issues from the last one I posted no matter how untimely it has become.

Well, as all know by now Abby Sunderland was found safe shortly after my last posting. I was very glad to hear it, and then allowed myself a brief excursion back into the "how on earth could her parents have allowed this" frame of mind. Aha, perhaps I was not alone. Turns out her family was shopping around a reality show based on the Sunderland kids and their love of life and all things adventurous. The dad said they pulled the idea when it became apparent the takers were going to go after the same slant I would have--namely "how on earth could her parents have allowed this."

At the heart of it is my, and apparently others, thought that a 16 year old girl shouldn't even be out of the house after midnight with her pals, let alone circumnavigating the globe alone. It just screams a certain naivete that no parent in the 21st century has any right to possess. All that aside, I wonder at a world where a full third of the population is starving, and yet a certain contingent spends their lives thrill seeking and "self-actualizing" as in the afore-mentioned stunt. Getting into the Guinness Book of records has taken up the time available for such idle pursuits as, say, community service, for one.

I sure couldn't talk if such people donated a part of their time serving on a soup kitchen line, for example. And, well, I can't talk anyway, since I'm not contributing either; having stopped contributions to the several charities I used to support. So at this point I'll drop the subject, and maybe contemplate why I myself am not a better person.... ah, this world in which we live...

I am usually optimistic at heart, and that included my assessment of the current recession--I was fairly certain it would turn the corner, and very soon too... but lately I have picked up on several things that have me a little worried.

First, there's been talk of calling this a double-digit recession--referring to the number of years it may continue, I believe. But that's not the most telling bit, especially since there have been nay-sayers on recovery all along, and always have been through the years. No, what worries me is the undertone that we are becoming less productive, more of an entitlement based society with unrealistic expectations on the part of our young work force. That's not good--we will never recover if we become lazy in comparison to the rest of the world.

Our productivity in terms of what we accomplish in an 8 hour day, compared to other "first world" countries, has always been high if not the highest. It, along with technological advances, has been the main mast of our "Ship of State." But a perfect storm of laziness, combined with stagnant technology advances and growing economies in Asia, will permanently break the mast.

Something pretty spectacular would have to come down the pike to get us through that storm. We better hope we master fusion energy or teleportation pretty darn soon...

So here's hoping that succeeding generations of Americans find their roots again in a good old fashioned work ethic--about that, I am still optimistic.