Must admit that I was a bit frustrated, and ended up channeling some of my wife's frustrations.
My wife's frustrations are about water and water rights. She and I watched as cities, counties and states sold their watering rights to others, like Coca Cola, for a bit of money now. "Why, look at all the water we have," they laughed. "And those fools are going to pay us. We'll use all that money to build schools and improve our roads, subside civic improvements. Woo hoo, we're rich!"
Fast forward a few years and those same places are running out of water. Doesn't matter how much money they have; they can't get water. Sure, they still have a lake full of it, a cistern, a stream, but they don't have the rights to it. They sold those rights so companies can use their water to profit.
Here in Ashland, our water comes from mountain snow packs. People like to ski on mountain snow packs. Companies like to build places to use for resorts to house those people in luxury and offer them food, drink and entertainment, like shows at night, when they're not skiing. So a local association wanted to expand their ski resort. "It won't affect the water supply at all," they assured everyone. "And having a resort will bring in more tourists, create new jobs and add money to the local economy."
My wife and I were like, are you nuts? You're going to risk your water source for a few extra dollars? "Sure," almost everyone replied. "It won't hurt anything."
Fast forward just two years from when that measure was narrowly defeated. The resort didn't open last year. No snow. Enduring extended drought conditions, we're close to water rationing. And people still see no reason not to expand the ski resort.
She's frustrated that they can't perceive the gaps in their logic. It reminds us of our warnings about the dot com burst, the housing bubble burst, the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. We had good reasons for worrying about these things and we were ignored until disaster stared people in the face. Then they asked, "Who knew?"
Well, we knew, damn it. And you didn't listen. So we get frustrated.
This is where my frustration comes in. A friend sees no problem with going forward with ending Net Neutrality. "It'll work out," he says. "We should let them charge for faster service. Why should a medical record and a movie being downloaded have equal footing?" My response is that under the proposed systems, it would have nothing to do with whether it's a movie or a medical record. It depends upon who is willing to pay more for greater speed. In that sense, to me, it has a direct corollary with wealth inequality.
He didn't see that at all. To him, it would all be about establishing priorities based on content. Movies and amusement would have lower priorities. No; that's not what's being proposed, I told him. It's a simple, pay what the market will bear principle.
To me, an open Internet is critical to a well functioning democracy, equality and a free market place. In my mind, which can be a scary place and where I have been demonstrated to be wrong many, many times, there is one Internet and if you start charging people more for faster downloads, you're going to squeeze people out because they won't be able to afford it. Pshaw, he said, in effect. It'll work out.
Yes, I've heard those words or similar before.
The war in Iraq will be a cake walk. It'll pay for itself.
There is no housing bubble. The market will self correct.
There is plenty of water. We will never miss it.
Such confidence that "it'll all work itself out" seems weak and misguided to me. Nature works itself out. The rest of us sweat it out. And when we don't, we pay the consequences.
It frustrated me, talking to him, just as it frustrated me when I protested the planned invasions, warned people that a housing bubble was on the horizon, and winced as they said, a ski resort will not affect our water supply. They're expressing blind confidence that I just don't seem to have.
Now let's talk about GMO crops.....