Consider: Around five thousand babies will be born before you finish reading this.
At current rates:
Of those babies, something like 750 will die before the age of five.
Children in poor countries are more than 20 times more likely to die before the age of five than children in wealthy countries, which means the vast majority of those 750 children will be born in poverty.
Of the 4250 or so that make it to their fifth birthday, another tenth will die before they are adults, again disproportionately in the poorest countries.
Of the 3800 or so that remain, 80% will live in poverty where poverty is defined as living on less than ten dollars a day.
Most will die before the age of sixty and a significant percentage will die before the age of forty.
Of the 750 who remain, they are the heirs to something on the order of 3/4s of the worlds wealth.
Of those 750, 75 will grow up to control half of the wealth of that group.
Of those 75, 7 will grow up to control a third of the wealth of the richest 75.
These disparities have been steadily increasing over the past 100 years.
Numbers of children who die before the age of 5 have decreased significantly.
Mortality rates for teenagers and young adults have not seen a similar decline.
The World Health Organization tracks infant mortality as the chance of death before the age five.
These two facts make me think of Heisenberg's uncertainty principle.
There are nearly seven billion people living on the planet as of 2010.
This is almost double the population of the earth in 1970.
By the end of the next decade, the population of the earth will be more than triple the population in 1960.
It is 4 AM in the morning, somewhere in North America.
I have steady electricity, central air conditioning, and clean running water.
As a firmly middle class earner, my lifestyle is fairly modest for most Americans, probably about as close to the median for single college educated men as you can get.
That places me well above the earning potential of most of my fellow countrymen.
And yet there is a mass movement of people in this country with a low to median education, and a low to median ability to earn a living, who are furious at the idea that taxes might be raised on the top 2 percent of wage earners.
These same people, many of them, are enraged by the presence of immigrants who entered the country without visas.
They see as a threat not the increasingly generationally controlled wealth at the apex of the pyramid of world wealth, but rather the vast majority of the world who control far less of the wealth of the global economy than they do.
Since you started reading this, something like fifty of the children who were born have already died or will be dead within the hour.
In 2010, the United States Military Budget is 685 billion dollars.
The next highest military expenditure is that of the Peoples Republic of China.
If the United States cut it's Military expenditures in half, it would still be spending more than triple the amount on its military budget as is spent by China.
385 billion dollars, the amount of money spent over the line of 3 times the PRCs military budget, is enough money to give every man woman and child in the united states a check for 100 dollars every month.
For the poorest families of 4 in the United states this would be an increase of almost 50% to their income on average.
If you aren't disgusted by the Tea Party, by Fox News, and by the conservative Republicans and Democrats in Congress who make additional stimulus spending an impossibility, you are either a fool, a bastard, or a sociopath.
This is the state of the world, and we are spending our time bickering about how best to save money for the wealthiest of the wealthy and keep the poorest of the poor in their miserable conditions.
People sometimes say that the United States of America is Rome, and that our empire will crumble just as every empire before ours has.
It's clear to me that not only is this inevitable, it's also well deserved.
We have wasted the power of the most open and prosperous society the world has ever seen in a tangle of narcissistic and self-serving bigotries.
Whatever happens to us, we have it coming.
No one is innocent.