Here in the land of 21st century socialism, where I live, it was clear to about 40% of the population in 2002 that the country was coming apart at the seams. There were mega-protests by the opposition in the streets of the capitol and in all the major cities. Foreign news media were here in abundance and reporting on the crisis. The president at the time and other high officials would take to airwaves and say day after day ” ¡Aqui no passa nada!” (Here? Nothing’s happening here). The opposition protestors were quick to turn that phrase in their own meme. At their gathering points, where they had public address systems set up, a speaker would go through a litany of problems afflicting the country and then the crowd, in a loud but snarky whisper would repeat rythmically: Aqui no passa nada. Of course, the nest day the regime would bus in their counter-protestors from around the country who would yell with angry faces:¡ Aqui no passa nada!
I remember that every time I saw the President or one of his hacks say: “¡Aqui no passa nada!”, the image of Alfred E. Neuman would come to mind. And, when I saw the government supporters shouting the same meme, I would say to myself : “These people have their heads in the sand.”
These days, as this humble observer of the asylum we all have to live in makes his daily observations of important trends in America and in the world, that same image and thought comes to his mind. When our President speaks, when other world leaders speak, when I listen to the talking heads in the media all telling us everything is “just fine”, I see Alfred E. Neuman. As for the bulk of the people in this asylum, they either can’t see or refuse to see what should be obvious to them _ they have their heads in the proverbial sand.
The next time someone repeats the message from one of America’s Alfred E. Neumans that Obama’s policies have put people back to work and the economy is doing fine, show them this graph, which clearly shows the opposite to be true.
You can also explain to them that what little improvement there has been in the last few years is mostly due to gains in low-income and part-time jobs.
If it seems to you that there are a lot more stupid people in the world today than you remember there being twenty years ago, you may be right. Also, if it seems the US/NATO are always looking to pick a fight, you would be right again. Looking at the next two trend lines together paints a scary picture indeed.
WORLD IQ LEVEL OVER TIME
Source: MailOnline, University of Hartford.
INDEX OF MILITARY EXPENDITURES OVER TIME (1950 = 100)(a)
(a) Based on NATO expenditures (in 2011 constant US$), the longest data series publicly available.
It would seem from this simple graphics that any humble observer of the asylum we all have to live in that the world is not fine. But, the majority of the world’s leaders and the most of the masses say otherwise:
What? Me, worry?
¡Aqui no passa nada!
I can only conclude that we live in an Alfred E. Neuman world.
Well, that’s what I’m thinking. What are your thoughts?