December 13th, 2006

ozarque figure

Globalization; Time Out....

Last night, as I was reading page 29 of the December 18, 2006 U.S. News & World Report, I serendipitously stumbled onto a sidebar titled "Tallying Up the World's Wealth" that summed up a lot of things about globalization for me and at the same time brought me to my senses. Perhaps it would be more accurate to say that it serendipitously leaped off the page at me and brought me to my senses. It starts out by quoting "They." They say life's not fair. And it went to to explain how right They are [based on research from the World Institute for Development Economics Research], as follows:


"People living in North America, Europe, and high-income Asia-Pacific countries together hold 90 percent of global wealth... If you have net household assets exceeding $61,000, then you are among the richest 10 percent in the world...."


And now, speaking as someone suddenly aware that she is part of the richest 10 percent in the world, and feeling as if she'd suddenly made it onto a Forbes "Richest Whatsis" list, I am also suddenly aware of how blessed I am -- and of what a Puritan pain in the neck I am being in this journal. To wit:

This is not the right time for a discussion of globalization. I'm like the guest at the fancy holiday dinner party with steak and lobster on the menu who insists on discussing, loudly, the unspeakable practices of slaughterhouses and the probability that lobsters suffer when put into a pot of boiling water. There's a certain moral justification for behaving that way, holding everyone's conscience to the holiday fire, but it doesn't accomplish anything useful, and the more effectively it's done, the more Flaming Puritan it is.

Let's take a time out, please, therefore. [You'll notice, if you read the comments, that that path has already been blazed in a thread that takes up things like what the Navajo and Maori languages do or do not have in common. This is a clue.] In January, after the holidays, let's return to the discussion of globalization.

In the meantime, I'll do some reading toward repairing my ignorance on the topic, and will try to organize my thoughts a bit.

And I'll count my blessings.