Today is Wednesday, January 27, 2016 and the good ol' Seattle Times has given me the best excuse to make a decision to stop blogging.
So let's get right to it. What was on the pages of the Times this morning?
It was the confluence of two different but somehow related stories that really caught my attention. On A2 the headline reads: Panel urges all U.S. adults be screened for depression. Then, on B1 the headline reads: Mayor Ed Murray defends actions on homelessness.
There is something about that A2 headline that kinda makes me laugh. If you've been paying attention at all to how people feel these days about the prospects for their lives, do you really think screening them for depression is going to unearth anything valuable? If it is not obvious by now what would drive the average person to be depressed, confirming the fact won't change a damn thing.
It is a newspaper article after all so they're required to get quickly to the bottom line: lost productivity cost an additional $23 billion in 2011. Lost? I don't think so. You may have picked up on the fact that the productivity of an American worker is not reflected in his wages but in the profits sent much further up the food chain. Nothing is lost. We're just bumping up against the limits of corporate greed by seeing the toll it takes on people whose only ambition is to work for a living.
Perhaps the strangest statement came at the very end. The task force gave the recommendations a grade of B based on how much clinical evidence there is to support their findings, a rating that should provide coverage for the screenings under the Affordable Care Act.
So let me get this straight: If theses folks all agree that the depression situation is bad enough, well, gosh, then if we rate it as above average in severity and importance then at least the govmint will pay for us to tell folks, uh, yup, you're depressed all right.
...But dang! Please don't start abusing stuff or gettin' in trouble cuz darn it, you just won't be productive enough.
Please take this pill instead. NEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEXT!
It turns out even the mayor of our fair city has reason to be depressed these days. The Times tells us: Seattle will spend about $50 million in 2016 to combat homelessness, but Murray said the city can't solve it unless it receives more help.
I'm not always a fan of Ed Murray, but I will say he appears to know what he's talking about when he says:
It's about the fact that we don't fund mental health. It's about the fact that we're in a national heroin epidemic, he said. It's about the fact that income inequality has made it hard for some people who work to sleep anywhere except in a tent in an illegal spot.
Both of these articles make it abundantly clear that we have plenty of experts who know exactly how to identify the causes of problems. Unfortunately, even when these problems are at the peak of crisis the main cry is always that somehow there isn't enough money to deal with them. As long as we believe this we will suffer the consequences. There is enough money in the world, its just managed by people who control way too much of it. You do know the difference between a billion and a million, right?
At times like this I am often reminded of the adage that in this world there is always enough for human need but not enough for human greed.
My human need is to step back from time spent online so that I can better attend to the matters of real life. I've allowed myself to get so caught up in the things that bring us all down. It takes time away from what I might be doing to bring my loved ones and I back up. Redirecting the only energy I've got is pretty important business.
I've loved blogging, but I'm just one more voice in all the noise that we're drowning in. I'd like to see what I can do besides "pushing electrons" as my darling husband puts it.
So it is with a sense of relief and fairly drawn conclusion that I bid a very fond farewell to The Twenty-First Century Citizen. I appreciate any and all who have read my meandering thoughts and chimed in or even just smiled.
Hang in there. Be well. Love your peeps.