hard heads soft hearts

a scratch pad for half-formed thoughts by a liberal political junkie who's nobody special. ''Hard Heads, Soft Hearts'' is the title of a book by Princeton economist Alan Blinder, and tends to be a favorite motto of neoliberals, especially liberal economists.

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?
Tuesday, June 18, 2002
Things that average First World citizens have, and average Third World citizens don’t (or alternatively, things that Third World countries need to develop)

staples (cheap)
proteins (expensive)
fats (expensive)
fruits & vegetables (ranging)
vitamins and supplements (ranging, expensive)
luxury foods (expensive)

drinking water
clean drinking water
home water purifying system (cheap)
municipal water purifying system (ranging, expensive)

clothing / shoes (ranging, cheap)

toilets/septic tank (cheap)
plumbing (expensive)
municipal sewers / sewage treatment plants (very expensive)

civil infrastructure:
irrigation networks, reservoirs, dams, water pipelines, oil pipelines, power grids, energy plants, fuel extraction & refining facilities, materials extraction & refining facilties
(very expensive)

machinery (ranging, expensive)
fertilizers, (ranging, expensive)
scientific/technical knowledge & engineering (ranging)
irrigation (expensive)

books / periodicals / newspapers (cheap)
phone/telegraph (expensive)
internet/ fax (expensive)
radio (cheap)
television (expensive)
movie theatres (ranging)

running water (expensive)
sinks/drains (ranging)
artificial light: candles, kerosene lamps, electric light (ranging)
home energy/electricity/fuel
air conditioning/ heating (ranging, very expensive)
electric light (expensive)
refrigerators / freezers (very expensive)
stereos (expensive)
washing machines / dryers / dishwashers (very expensive)
stoves/ ovens/ microwaves (ranging, expensive)
hot water (expensive)

transportation infrastructure: roads/highways, rail, airports, ports, fuel/energy (very expensive)
private transport:
foot, bicycle, bullock cart/ rickshaw, (cheap)
motor vehicles: bikes, cars, trucks, vans, RV’s, boats, houseboats, yachts, small planes, helicopters (ranging, expensive)
public transport: buses/rigs, trains, planes, metro, subways, ships, streetcars, ferries. postal service/ parcel delivery (ranging)

protection from crime (ranging, expensive)
protection from war, invasion, conquest and expropriation. (very expensive)
protection from natural disasters and emergencies: fire, floods, earthquakes, landslides, hurricanes, tornados, bus/plane/train/ship crashes, etc. (ranging, expensive)

health care:
drugs / antibiotics/ vaccines (ranging, cheap)
nurses/doctors (ranging, expensive)
surgeons + their equipment / high-tech tools for diagnosis & treatment (very expensive)
eyeglasses / contact lenses/ laser eye surgery (ranging, cheap)
dentistry (ranging, expensive)
mental health counseling & treatment (expensive)

adult literacy (cheap)
vocational education (ranging, cheap)
preschool / primary (ranging, expensive)
secondary (expensive)
undergraduate (expensive)
graduate/professional (very expensive)

swimming pools / lakes / beaches (ranging)
parks / wildlife refuges (ranging)
libraries / books (cheap)
fitness / sports equipment & clubs (ranging)
movie theatres (ranging)

Opportunity to become Prosperous, Rich, Famous, and Powerful, where:
Prosperous means having the income necessary to obtain almost everything you need/want, without any real sense of deprivation
Rich means being wealthy enough to live a prosperous life without needing to work
Famous means being well-known and respected in relation to any given social circle.
Powerful means being able to order other people around (power is often granted conditionally, subject to its being used wisely, or at least effectively)

Guilt , regret and unhappiness over not achieving prosperity, riches, fame or power, despite having the opportunity to do so. (expensive)

Access to Psychoanalysis / Therapy / Clinical Psychology to relieve said guilt, regret & unhappiness. (very expensive)

Vacations to “get away from it all” and “rough it” at simpler, more exotic locales (priceless)