Alan Braunholtz: Amazing how baby changes your views; Vail
Vail, CO, Colorado
Funny how a 15-pound bundle of joy and demand brings out one’s responsible side.
Along with the obligatory infant car seat and good snow tires, my car magically now has a slower top speed, reduced acceleration, smoother cornering and automatically gives two seconds of braking room to the vehicle ahead. Suddenly it’s a more considerate and aware vehicle than it used to be. This makes my wife and, I’m sure, the drivers around me much happier.
Those care-free days of pouring any old junk into my body and environment have also gone. Now labels are read and safety ratings researched. The little squirming lump has awakened my nascent consumer responsibility to go along with her three in the morning feed.
Strange, too, how I’ll focus so much on getting baby to her future years while uneasily discounting what the world will hold for her when she gets there. Fifty years seems such a long time away, but then my 50 years on earth are approaching quicker every year and now it feels like no time at all.
The current economic meltdown is an opportunity, mentally and physically, to change how we and the markets we create view the world.
In a matter of days, governments found several trillion dollars to save “our” markets. Hopefully we’ll now have the leverage to restructure them so they serve us and not only themselves.
Most people around the world have not shared in even Wall Street’s boom times, finding themselves ever worse off. The exception to this are the CEOs who saw (and paid) themselves as more important than their companies, their shareholders, their employees and the whole world.
The world as a functioning planet of linked ecosystems is definitely a lot worse off. Trashing the environment is great for gross domestic product. Pollution cleanup costs, increased health spending on its victims, etc., are seen as good from the GDP point of view. There is no good or bad to GDP, just more is always better even if it kills us. GDP is a terrible measuring stick, but economists and their dismal science claim it’s the best they have come up with.
Climate change is a bigger failure than the current market crash and for pretty much the same reason. We’re