Posted by: Ali Davis | June 13, 2011

Name That Country

Think about the archetypical impoverished third-world country. What images come to mind?

Child labor may be one of the first. Kids being pulled out of woefully inadequate schools (assuming there are public schools at all) to work in dangerous conditions for tiny amounts of money. They have to work to help their families because their parents have trouble finding work – often because of the competition from cheap child labor.

It’s a hard cycle to break because huge international conglomerates rule. They suck up the country’s resources for pennies and only give political kickbacks in return. They poison the air and water with impunity. These corporations use any methods to break up labor unions, including intimidation, smear campaigns, and paying off government officials to make such unions illegal.

What money there is is concentrated in the hands of a small population of wealthy elites – and the system is only set up to funnel them more. They use their power and riches to influence elections and pass political offices from crony to political crony. Government work is seen as a boondoggle, a way to enrich yourself and smooth the way for your corporate pals. The idea that a government should help its citizens is laughable.

And they can get away with it because no one believes the government will be ever held accountable. One political party controls enough of the media to lie with impunity. The poorer classes are intimidated out of voting or shut out of the process by countless legal hoops.  Political coalitions that try to organize and enfranchise the poor are broken up through trumped-up criminal charges.

Population and poverty explode because women have no control over their own fertility. Birth control is difficult or impossible to get, even for married couples. Women are propelled into or can’t pull out of poverty because of multiple pregnancies. Abortion is forbidden, so many women die from illegal procedures performed in unsanitary conditions. Even more die in childbirth or because of risky pregnancies.

Disease is everywhere. People routinely die of easily treatable or preventable conditions because they have no access to basic care.

One state religion runs roughshod. It is acceptable to insult, harass, and discriminate against the most feared religious minorities. Suggestions that members of minority religions should be prevented from traveling freely, building houses of worship, or holding government jobs are met with wide approval. Science, reason, and basic facts take a back seat to one rigid form of blind faith. Harsh, benighted ancient religious standards rule, and so people who have different sexual orientations and gender identifications are routinely, publicly condemned. They too are harassed and blocked from countless legal rights.

Now look at the current Republican legislative agendas, national and state.

Thanks for the staycation offer, assholes.

I think I’ll pass.



  1. Love your blog and your tweets are priceless!

  2. Why, thank you!

  3. How true. I love it.

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