Sunday, November 20, 2011

Waiting on an airplane!


I'm in the New Orleans Airport, waiting with Donna and Pearl to return to Oklahoma. Our original return flight was canceled (thanks American), and we missed the early morning flight. Now we're booked for the 7 pm flight, with standby for earlier connections. It doesn't look promising that we'll be on them. Remind me NOT to fly American in the future!

We spent the past 4 days here. I attended the National Communication Association's annual Convention. I spent time with them sightseeing when not attending convention events. We've had an enjoyable time in the Big Easy. Among the many experiences I found enjoyable, was to see how many trumpet players there are on the streets of NO! As someone who played for many years, this has inspired me to get my chops back in shape. I could come here and earn my keep. In the day I was better than any of the trumpet players I heard. But it's cool to see that in the home of Louis Armstrong, the trumpet is king!

On a more serious note, I just read an informative and disturbing blog demonstrating wealth distribution in the USA. Policies of the past two decades have recreated conditions of the Gilded Age. Yet unlike the Gilded Age, the wealthy have greater influence on the culture, psychology, and politics of America through their control (direct and indirect) of pervasive media. Most Americans think they live in a middle-class, egalitarian society where social mobility, through hard work and effort, is possible. The reality is that this is becoming more elusive and illusory. We need a Karl Marx like figure (I'm not advocating Marxism) to point out this delusion, wake people up, and bring about change (through peaceful means).

Above is a graphic illustration of the wealth of the 1, 5, 10, 20, and bottom 80% of Americans. The bottom 80% are smaller, on a relative scale, than sugar ants are to humans. I agree with the disturbing critique that American politics has changed from one person, one vote, to one dollar, one vote. In such a world inequality will increase. Here's a link to the article in the Daily Kos where the image is explained