“Just one in six Americans in a poll last month was “proud” of the state of the country, and about two out of three were actually “fearful” about it. So let me introduce a new thought: “hope.”
Yes, our nation is a mess, but overlapping catastrophes have also created conditions that may finally let us extricate ourselves from the mire. The grim awareness of national failures — on the coronavirus, racism, health care and jobs — may be a necessary prelude to fixing our country.
The last time our economy was this troubled, Herbert Hoover’s failures led to Franklin D. Roosevelt’s election with a mandate to revitalize the nation. The result was the New Deal, Social Security, rural electrification, government jobs programs and a 35-year burst of inclusive growth that built the modern middle class and arguably made the United States the richest and most powerful country in the history of the world.”
David Lindsay Jr.
Hamden, CT | NYT comment
I am very critical of this piece by Nicholas Kristof, even though he is one of my favorite writers. It is rank with anthropocentricism. So much concern about poor humans. So little conccern about the fact that 7.6 billion of them are destroying the planet not only for humans, but especially for non humans, who are going extinct at 100 times more frequently now than is normal. We are losing species at a similar rate to when the dinosaurs died off, and we lost over 95% of the species of that era. That is why scientist have named this period we are living through, the sixth extinction. The die off that included the dinosaurs was the fifth extinction in the geological record. Kristof seems to be asleep on these grave matters. Too many hungry human babies is not the biggest problem in the world. Too many human babies is probably the biggiest problem facing the world, because of the carbon footprint of our current way of living in the developed world. The IPCC has reported that we have probably only 10 years left, to change our tragectory of pollution to one that will be sustainable.