15 January 2009

First in class

Periodically the media will again trot out yet another list which shows Louisiana dead last or near last in some vital quality of life factor - obesity, number of pregnant teens, you name it. The effect, of course, is to bum everyone out here and make us appear and feel like a bunch of backward morons who can't get anything right.

Is this really necessary?

These so called lists are created by East Coast latte sipping dickheads with their entrenched worldview of what makes for good quality of life. Measured by their upscale standards, of course we arrive dead last. Because by god, we're just a bunch of unreconstituted simpletons! We permit smoking in public, and let oil companies drill wherever they please! We don't even embrace gay marriage!

Measured by standards such as these, who wants to strive to be first on any list?

It is true that this state faces many problems and challenges, particularly with regard to crime, public corruption, coastal erosion, and assimilating a massive subsidy class into its larger economy (which is the root of many of the other problems). Not to mention its inconvenient location and geography which is linked with sticky summer weather, frequent flooding, and the occassional tropical-borne natural disaster.

But in many ways, Louisiana is one of the most sane and stable places in America.

This nation is a wreck. Bad loans and spendthrift ways have doomed most Amerikans to a future of pauperism and despair. Major corporations demonstrate their fealty to their "valued" workers daily. Bailouts and Keynesian shenanigans are the order of the day. The economy is dominated by a tower of paper pushing makework, of which its recent exposure for what it is - unproductive bullshit - threatens to collapse the entire house of cards and plunge these united states into perpetual blackness.

But in Louisiana, life rolls on placidly. Layoffs and bailouts are a distant bother of the day's news, stuff that happens elsewhere, mainly reflected in the disappearance and exit of national chains from the scene upon their bankruptcy. Foreclosures are fortunately a rare event. The ample natural resources of this state remain to be exploited and utilized by man for productive purposes.

The underclass mob slaughter each other like sheep as they do everywhere, but for those with jobs and stability, crime is mainly a pestering annoyance mostly glimpsed on the evening news.

The main topic of the day remains "how can we make the community a better place" instead of "dude, where's my job?". Even dickheads (or so they claim) largely hold an open minded and civic approach to public affairs. And though they wax malignant, thankfully there are fewer of them per capita here than most other places.

Our economy churns out needed goods consumed by society: petrol, other petro-chemicals, plastics, rubber, sugar, rice, cotton, seafood, timber and wood products, Tabasco sauce (it's a necessity!), Zapps potato chips (ditto), and other important items. Our transportation system distributes these goods, as well as the millions of tons from foreign parts distributed here through our various ports, via rail, truck, pipeline, and waterway to all corners of the nation.

The miasma of unionization is by and large only a minor factor here. The state's people are by and large reasonable folks who harbor a healthy suspicion of big government and bureaucracy run wild.

And the terrain of this state is some of the most remarkable and hauntingly beautiful country on earth.

We may be last in polio immunizations or number of mothers who receive prenatal care or whatever. But Louisiana is first in class.

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