Oh, un-sweet mysteries of life

~a column by Colleen O’Brien

Wanting to make America great again sounded like a complaint to me at first, and then I looked up a few stats and found that the U.S. could use some work. Historically, we have tried to make our country always better; it has been a running theme from decade to decade, a bravado and brag from century to century.

But we’re slipping, and I’m left wondering if making America great again has left us cynical or if we should just leave and go back where we came from? Obviously, our complaining is perceived by some, oddly, as a not okay thing, and since our complaints are getting us nowhere anyway….

I’ve never quite understood any argument from corporations why employers can’t pay a living wage (which would be somewhere around $25 an hour had it kept up with CEO earnings*). Many CEOs earn 1,000 times what a laborer (of any kind — white color, no collar) makes. Examples of companies whose chief executive officers make at least 1,000 times more than regular employees: Coca Cola, Starbucks, Kohl’s, Yum!Brand, Ross Stores, Hanesbrands, Disney, Chipotle, Mattel. The Gap top dog makes at 2,000 to 2,500 times what his employees make*…

…or why we can spend $648 billion a year* on the Pentagon and cry poor to Health and Human Services, the Veterans Administration, the Department of Education, the Environmental Agency, the U.S. Forest Service – agencies that determine our daily quality of life…

…or why we have the most expensive health care on the planet and the highest infant mortality rate of the wealthy countries: U.S. 5.8 percent per 1,000; Canada 4.8 percent; Switzerland 3.9 percent; UK 3.9  percent; Netherlands 3.6 percent; France 3.5 percent; Australia 3.4 percent; Belgium 3.4 percent; Germany 3.2 percent; Austria 3 percent; Sweden 2.2 percent; Japan 2.1 percent…*

…or why some people denigrate the educated, a stupid population being as dangerous to the country as climate heating…

…and speaking of climate heating, why deniers deny science, that endeavor that has made modern life so much better; perhaps climate deniers have no progeny – not a child or nephew among them…

…why each year a woman makes almost 25% less than a man—76 cents to $1 — although, not to worry; it’s figured that females will catch up in 2152*…

…why the U.N. has not declared a humanitarian crisis at the U.S./Mexican border…

…why a person who has lied more than 10,000 times in 2½ years still has a job.

Life is such a mystery.

*The Balance
*24/7 WALL St.
*Kaiser Family Foundation
*Stockholm International Peace Research Institute
*Institute for Women’s Policy Research

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