Karen Schimke had an editorial in the November 16, 2009 issue of the Albany Times Union entitled "N.Y. can't compromise children's futures". It is worth a read but it makes me very sad.
We, as a society, have turned greed into a virtue and we are more willing to provide the Wall Street bankers with billions of dollars so they can get their bonuses than we are in providing for our own children. We have turned militarism into a virtue which allows us to start pre-emptive wars to bring "freedom" to countries who don't want our brand of freedom to the tune of almost a trillion dollars. We, as a society, glorify and glamorize, hate speech and celebrity debauchery with fills our air waves and culture and contaminates our children with nary a thought. We, as a culture, spend billions of dollars on advertising and marketing beer, alcohol, tobacco, and gambling and it has become such an acceptable practice that we take it for granted and this insidious assault on our youth stimulates hardly any response at all from the adults in our society who see it as "just doing business".
I know that in our current society we will compromise our children's futures because we are doing it already. There are other things that our politicians find more important to support for their political careers because, in this plutocracy, we allow it to happen. Our politicians are bought and paid for and represent the interests in the corporations whose only interest is in profit and profit comes from appealing to our baser instincts. Alcohol, tobacco, gambling, war, consumerism, nationalism, hedonism appeals to the animal in all of us and to be really honest it is much easier and immediately gratifying to feed the beast than to sacrifice for our children.
So with all due respect to Ms. Schimke she is whistling in the dark, farting in a hurricane, pissing in the ocean. Taking care of our children and grandchildren and their future is the farthest thing from our political minds. We will balance our state budget on the backs of our children, the poor, the disabled, the sick, and if they don't like it, we will put them juvenile detention centers and our state prisons which provide jobs for working class people who might otherwise rebel against their corporate masters.
We will continue to see the largest income disparity in history and the rich get richer and the poor get poorer and criminalized and yes, many of them will die young shooting each other in our inner cities fighting over the small turf of the drug trade which is the only way they can make a decent living.
Our salvation lies in our Unitarian Universalist values but we are an anemic voice, a small minority, who proclaim the inherent worth and dignity of every person; justice, equity, and compassion in human relations; respect for the interdependent web of all existence.
I wonder if Ms. Shimke would join us or we should join her as she expresses her prophetic voice on behalf of the next generation?