Decisions Have Consequences

Today is one of the monumental days for the world. Voters in Great Britain have decided to leave the EU (European Union). I suspect this will be bad for GB in the long run. I’m fairly certain it will be bad for Europe and the rest of the world. Yet the risk of this happening was inevitable because decisions have consequences. And a lot of bad decisions paved the way to this spot in the road.

For quite some time now, the powers-that-be who run the EU, GB and Germany have chosen to cater to business (more precisely, to major shareholders and the wealthy finance and management classes who finance and run big business) and the entrenched elite while ignoring the concerns of the working and middle classes (solid folk as C.S. Lewis called them). Housing prices in London have put their very own capital city out of reach of the ordinary English. Uncontrolled immigration has driven down purchasing power and diminished opportunity for common folk. The sense of loss of sovereignty has not been off-set by widespread prosperity. The rich got richer. Finance dominated. Yet ordinary people were left to think government was not working for them. Life was not as good for ordinary Britons as the elite insisted it was.

Sound familiar? Continue reading

Bursting Our Bubbles

We live in bubbles. Perhaps not all of us. But certainly the vast majority of us.

I was reminded of this fact this past week when I read David Brooks’s column in the New York Times. Brooks, a preeminent columnist for one of the world’s preeminent newspapers, was seeking to understand the motivations beyond supporters of Donald Trump. Here is what he concluded:

[M]any in the media, especially me, did not understand how they would express their alienation. We expected Trump to fizzle because we were not socially intermingled with his supporters and did not listen carefully enough. For me, it’s a lesson that I have to change the way I do my job if I’m going to report accurately on this country.

That’s a startling admission. David Brooks, who presumably has to have his finger on the pulse of the country if he is to do his job well, admitted, “I have to change the way I do my job.”

Why? I think it’s because he forgot we all live in a bubble.

It’s easy to forget. And it’s easy to forget that we need to burst our bubble from time to time. Continue reading