Tuesday, October 17, 2006

A Big US Welcome To The 300 Millionth Person (Monday's Second Hour)

We begin the second hour with the information that at 7:46 AM Tuesday morning the US will welcome its 300 millionth person. Feeling crowded yet? I find it hilarious how they pinpoint it to the exact minute. There's no possible way they could know that. I guess it doesn't sound as cool if they include the words "statistical estimation." Anyway, we begin our coverage with a Rick Sanchez piece set in Dalton, Georgia, where 40% of the town is now Hispanic. The old time residents are not happy (and come off a little racist if you ask me), while the business leaders are loving it because of the source of labor. I understand resisting change and I understand wanting to make money, but there has to be a happy medium in there somewhere.

Since we're talking about immigration we have, who else, Lou Dobbs in a taped interview. You know how only dogs can hear really high pitched noises? I think Lou has that same ability whenever anyone anywhere talks about immigration because he always just appears. Lou starts talking about how we're running out of resources on the planet and I agree, but I'm kind of wondering what he's getting at here. Are you hoping for the Avian Flu to come wipe down our numbers or what, Lou? Although I do have to give Lou props for talking about how water is a limited resource and in the future there will be greater competition for resources, causing a continued gap between the haves and havenots. I actually agree with a lot of what Lou says on most topics, but I have trouble watching his show because he's so biased. I don't just want to hear what I already agree with. Oh, and then there's his whole mad dog approach to immigration. Not pretty.

Following Lou, we have an informative Anderson piece involving demographics. With graphics! Snazzy. Has anybody seen the Morgan Spurlock show "30 Days"? Their graphics are reminding me of that. At the end of the piece we learn that while we were watching, six more immigrants came to the country. We then have a repeat of the Randi Kaye piece involving racial tension in Georgia and we're on to a Tom Foreman piece. With maps of course. The guy loves his maps. You know he has all his cars decked out with the latest in GPS. Anyway, Tom gives us a crash course in how this great country of ours got to be. Americans of course started out on the east coast and slowly made their way inward, grabbing for land. Teddy Roosevelt had to create National Parks to actually protect the land from all of our expanding. The Depression kept growth down (probably because of that whole no food thing) and then people got to booming after WWII. In the 70's the birth rate declined, but it has never stabilized. We are currently the third most populous country in the world behind China and India.

On now to a Jason Carroll piece on a tale of two 13 year olds in two separate towns in Texas. One boy is poor and the other well off and because of this their lives are drastically different. Jason makes the poor kid cry over all the stuff he doesn't have. Way to go, Jason. What's telling is when the kids are asked about their futures. The well off kid is full of hopes and dreams that he believes he can achieve. The poor kids also has hopes and dreams, but believing he'll ever live them out? Not so much. That's so sad. We live in the richest country in the world. It shouldn't be like this. People like to say that money isn't everything, but frankly, when you don't have it, it is everything. Being without money makes life incredibly hard. Trust me, I know. And yet our president's solution is to cut taxes for the rich.

Next we have a Sanjay Gupta piece on another of America's shames: our healthcare system. 46 million Americans have no health insurance and a good deal of them are middle class. This is because healthcare costs are skyrocketing while wages have remained stagnant and employers have been cutting back on benefits. Sanjay profiles a couple that actually had to take out a second mortgage on their home to pay out of pocket for the birth of their child because they had no insurance. Not right. Not right at all. Millions of Americans shouldn't have to live their lives in fear knowing that they are only one accident or illness away from complete financial ruin. And the piece didn't even mention that even if you can afford to buy insurance for yourself, if you have a pre-existing condition, they probably won't take you. I'm lucky that I have insurance right now. For about three to four years I didn't, although I did buy crappy temporary insurance every six months or so in case I were to get in an accident. And actually, I did get in an accident, so even crappy insurance is better than no insurance. Say it with me folks: Universal Healthcare now!

Moving on to a Delia Gallagher piece about the next generation of Muslims that have been born in this country. They are the changing face of Islam and sometimes struggle between the two cultures. Our last piece tonight is by Tom Foreman and involves our ever lengthening commute. Basically the houses are so expensive in the cities where the good jobs are that people are forced to live way out in the burbs and commute in. Public transportation works in New York, but not really anywhere else. I'm glad my commute is only medium length and I only have to make it twice a week. I did the whole hour plus commute each way every day when I was going to college. Of course I don't exactly have an awesome job, so...Anyway, of note is that people think they're making these sacrifices to obtain the American Dream, but really the American Dream is more than just stuff--it's your relationship to your family and community too--things major commuters don't have time for. Ironic. Well folks, this was definitely better than last hour. B


Anonymous Mathilde said...

Thre are a fair amount of hispanic people in my neighborhood and they are proud, hardworking people with strong families. I would WAY rather live around them than native born Americans of the Jerry Springer ilk. This is a generalization but my point is America could learn something from Hispanic culture, instead of acting like it's going to destroy us.

10:10 PM  
Blogger eliza said...

Yeah, I don't understand why people are freaking out. I mean I had two insurancesless Latinos total my car and send me to the ER and I'm not railing against immigration. Geez.

11:30 PM  
Anonymous Sharla said...

Yeah, Lou is a little rabid :)

I'll vote for Universal Healthcare! weren't we just talking about this?

11:22 AM  
Blogger eliza said...

Yes, we were. They're stalking us!!

11:32 AM  

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