Never since my earlier days in Pottstown schools have I heard so much of Central American Countries than I have lately with their children coming north to the USA. The horrors that account for the trips north, we're told, stem from outrageous conditions found in their home countries. Nicaragua, Guatemala, and Honduras are countries, I vaguely recall in school, that were referred to as banana republics. They have been governed by oligarchs who have gained their wealth from foreign businesses who exploit a country's natural resources and pay huge tributes in cash to the oligarch leaders of these Banana Republics.
Today the USA is paying for the tragedy of a hundred years of plunder as these three impoverished countries are sending north their only remaining treasure, their youth. Poverty is such a harsh task master. The glaring tragedy is The United States becoming more like a third world country than they are becoming more like us. This is the oligarch effect which promotes governance by wealth rather than honor, always wealth begetting more wealth and with wealth more power.
How do we care for our, The United States' treasure, our youth? Borrowing a line from a poem of Elizabeth Barrett Browning : "How do I love thee ? Let me count the ways." How about you doing the counting, keeping the record, adding your own input. How do we love them? Let us count the ways.
Do we honor and love them by educating our young with the best there is to offer? Fifty years since schools were desegregated, and yet today, do you sense any segregation ? Fifty years ago it was a black / white issue ; today, add in a green issue, the power of money. Wealthy districts in the suburbs seem to never be without funding, but urban districts stressed under poverty are forever wanting. Is this unconditional love ?
After educating our country's best in college we saddle them with obscene debt for many stressed years to come. It's oligarchs who devised such harsh loan repayments. They are the devious captains of capital.
I think a loving attitude toward youth would certainly require children be fed an adequate nutritious diet. The oligarchs of corporate agriculture think differently. They press for more unsaturated fats and sugars in their mass produced products which drives up consumption but disregards nutrition with obesity rampant.
Love would suggest every child feel safe wherever and whatever they are doing especially while they're in school. But rather, because of the insistence of gun oligarchs, firearms are, in their minds, a necessity to be owned and displayed in everyone's household. To the gun lobby, children are thought no more than young bunnies, so what, that they are also dazzled when caught in the headlights. Love must trump mayhem or humanity will decline completely into the deep depths of tribalism.
Knowing the young have only one limited currency at their disposal, that of "hope", they are trapped struggling against the massed wealth of an army of oligarchs. Once young themselves, oligarchs, who lost the honor of hope found excitement in power, in the sale of money, in the obscene issuance of credit based on deception, they feel power is their God.
Life in the Banana Republics is harsh, it is harrowing. Any glimmer of hope must be pursued even if it is sending children north to the dream called The USA. In their lives death becomes commonplace because all hope has been squeezed out of living. Opportunity from the value of the sale of natural resources was squandered long ago so now there are no resources left to invest in the citizens nor infrastructure which could support jobs for the populous.
Hope, for all, squandered is a dire omen for any country which can't get their act together. Do you like me get a chill up your spine when the news is read ?
Ronald C. Downie