Ebola looms in current headlines, Enterovirus 68 is reported in smaller print paralyzing kids and among the various evils attributed to Central American migrants are various, some quite nasty, diseases. We are going to die, our kids will be paralyzed and the end is near …
Well, as usual, the media needs our attention to justify its sponsors and our politicians need crises for them to ‘solve’ for us. Whatever we actually need for ourselves, ends as our problem. Nothing new in that!
But also as usual, there are voices of reason if we but look for them. Disease Globalization is a link that will take you to a reasonable analysis and a short phrase for a new reality with which we must learn to live. We’ve already noticed it but we need to give it a bit more thought than we have to date. In a single phrase, our world has shrunk; just about everywhere is now, next door. And add to that, nearly everyone almost anywhere now sees by Internet and TV the realities of life in the “rich world” compared to what they live in at home.
That combination of cheap, mass transport with universal communication is driving increasing numbers of relatively poor, frustrated people from poor places toward rich ones; such migrations are historically destabilizing when they become large.
That destabilization is not only the obvious fact that people start to impose their will upon government when there are enough of them. European diseases wiped out major segments of American Indian populations as a natural biological pattern; it will be the same again when ebola arrives in U.S. and European cities. We may however, hope for vaccine development, something the Indians never had.
We have made the technology that is displacing poor folk into rich places; human nature being as it is, we should expect those poor to do what they can to better their opportunities. That, after all, is what drove our ancestors from their homes to migrate to America in the first place. We are seeing a replay of what gave us what we have, and should not be surprised. We are in a way, (though much better off), the new Indians …
We can build walls, but fundamental patterns such as these are not prevented by walls, only delayed. Ask the Chinese, who in antiquity, built the greatest wall on the planet . The only cure for economic disparities so great as we see today, is to reduce the gap between the rich and poor enough to render massive migration uneconomic.
Our leaders are using two policies to deal with this economic attractive nuisance that we have created. They are keeping the gates open, letting as many migrants in as possible, to relieve the pressure at the sending end. This has a double effect; the migrants are gone from home, relieving pressure and the remittances they send back help the people who remain. These are stabilizing for the home countries. However, this is potentially destabilizing for the U.S. as the invading numbers grow and make economic and political demands in competition with the locals who are paying.
The second and longer term factor is present government economic policy that is steadily reducing the fabled American (and European) middle class from wealth to proletarian status. American median household income is declining and as that continues while places like China and India and others rise, the hope is that at some point, a more equalized world will be stable. (Rotsa ruck with that.) Some on the Left actually believe that; others see opportunity in it. You may decide for yourself.
The world is globalizing, like it or not. We aren’t paying enough attention, but poor migrants are paying attention; so are pathogens and undoubtedly, other things we’ve not thought of at all. Maybe we should do some thinking …