The old economics view of the world, in which everyone acts purely in his or her own self-interest, in which free markets are the solution to almost everything, has been abandoned. But in order to actually change public policy, first we have to change the way economics is taught. However, the world is still waiting for the first real economics textbook of the twenty-first century.
Even in today's post-Inconvenient Truth world, there is a pervasive fear that going environmentally green will land companies and individuals financially in the red. But many leading development institutions and policy-makers fail to understand that the ruthless exploitation for short-term profits could trigger an Enron-like collapse of "Earth, Inc."
For the last 50 years, large food corporations set the agenda on what kind of products end up on supermarket shelves and in the kitchen pantry for millions of people. Today, a small chain of grocers called Hannaford is reversing the tide, with a nutrition system that gives consumers a quick, non-biased rating of the healthiness of the foods they purchase.
When Hugo Chavez became President of Venezuela in 1998, I celebrated the new savior of socialism. But when Chavez now says, "I doubt there is any country on this planet with a democracy more alive than the one we enjoy in Venezuela today," I listen with dread and disappointment.
During the Vietnam War, from 1964 to 1973, the United States dropped over two million tons of explosives on Laos, in an attempt to immobilize the supply routes to Northern Vietnam. However, the most shocking part of all is that it is estimated that up to one third of those bombs did not explode, turning this beautiful country into a lush mine field.
It's been over ten years since you've touched a bomb. I plan on contacting your warden. I'd like to get you a weekend furlough. My mom wants to trim your beard. I need help with my math homework. There's an extra mattress in the basement. Just two house rules: 1) You can't go anywhere near the mailbox; 2) You have to wear a straitjacket.
When I read about so many of our politicians who are so filthy with corruption and greed, it hits me that there is a giant black rat filling up our pleasant democracy and stinking up the place, and that rat is corruption. And I'm sick of it.
Whether at home or abroad, shopping seems to have become the national pastime in regions around the world. Shopping for pleasure is not a new phenomenon: the trouble with it today
is that our generation cannot afford the financial and environmental
costs that come with it.