Wisdom of the Ages

Politics and policy as unusual - tested by time and maturity

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Location: Iona, Southwest Florida, United States

I am an unapologetic conservative. My opinions have been formed by decades of observation of human myopia.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Weird Gas Attitudes

Today's newspaper had two front page articles that appeared to contradict each other, or at least, paint an interesting dichotomy about life in America.

On the one hand, an entire article was devoted to whingers about why they will not be able to take their traditional Memorial Weekend getaway to DisneyWorld because of the cost of gas. Some simple calculations suggest that the increase in cost is somewhere between $20 and $50. Less than taking the family to lunch at one of those B-grade Magic Kingdom restaurants. Still, plenty enough to complain about, especially when baited by the media.

On the same page was an article about BurgerKing consenting to pay an additional 1.5 cents to tomato growers who employ migrant labor in Immokalee, Florida. Good for them. I have nothing against paying pickers more. The workers were happy too. So happy that observers at the signing of the agreement in Washington DC, "including vanloads of workers who drove all night from Immokalee (FL) many with their families" applauded.

Yes, you read that right. Vanloads of workers drove from Immokalee to Washington. I've seen the conditions of the vans that carry migrant workers. I don't believe they are paragons of fuel efficiency. Plus, if they are filled with family members, it must affect fuel consumption to get to Washington and, one presumes, back to Immokalee.

So people who have enough to take holidays are complaining because gas costs too much. And people who need a penny a pound more to survive will drive hundreds of miles to witness an event that had no bearing on the final outcome of their cause.

America is becoming bi-polar. Half-selfish and half-silly.

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