“I found myself tearing up, gagging at times, as I turned the pages.”
This generally isn’t what you like to read to begin a review of your book. But I couldn’t be happier, more humbled, or more moved with the review of Kill Anything That Moves by wartime aid worker-turned-reporter Tom Fox in America magazine. The piece is personal and poignant and concludes: “Kill Anything That Moves should become mandatory reading in all U.S. history classes and in classrooms where warfare is taught. But can we face the dark side of our military policies? Can we, as a nation, learn from the past? I am not optimistic. Reading this book and then passing it along could possibly pave the way. We owe this much to the ghosts of wars past and those to come.”
Indira lives with her parents, brother, and sister near Kathmandu in Nepal. Her house has only one room, with one bed and one mattress. At bedtime, the children share the mattress on the floor. Indira is seven years old and has worked at the local granite quarry since she was three. Indira works five or six hours a day and then helps her mother with household chores. Her favorite food is noodles. She also attends school, which is 30 minutes’ walk away. She does not mind working at the quarry but would prefer to be playing.
From James Mollison’s Where Children Sleep, which collects his images from 18 countries.
For more see from the series check out Mother Jones.
In many societies, marriage is a celebrated institution signifying a union between two adults and the beginning of their future together. Unfortunately, millions of girls still suffer from a vastly different marriage experience every year. Worldwide, many brides are still children, not even teenagers. So young are some girls that they hold onto their toys during the wedding ceremony. Usually these girls become mothers in their early teens, while they are still children themselves. The practice can result in profound negative consequences for the girls, their families and their entire communities.
Too Young to Wed, a multimedia partnership between the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) and premier photo agency VII, seeks to raise awareness of the practice and ultimately, to end it.
While the global launch of the TOO YOUNG TO WED exhibition at the United Nations in New York was a heartfelt success, the project and the campaign supported by UNFPA and VII continues to raise awareness about child marriage and urge policymakers to enact and enforce laws that will end the practice forever. The work has only just begun.
Follow the stories and get involved at: www.TooYoungToWed.org
Here, instead, is the fable we’ve been offered: Sad as it might be for some workers, towns, cities, and regions, the end of industry is the unfortunate, yet necessary, prelude to a happier future pioneered by “financial engineers.” Equipped with the mathematical and technological know-how that can turn money into more money (while bypassing the messiness of producing anything), they are our new wizards of prosperity!
Unfortunately, this uplifting tale rests on a categorical misapprehension. The ascendancy of high finance didn’t just replace an industrial heartland in the process of being gutted; it initiated that gutting and then lived off it, particularly during its formative decades. The FIRE sector, that is, not only supplanted industry, but grew at its expense — and at the expense of the high wages it used to pay and the capital that used to flow into it.
Think back to the days of junk bonds, leveraged buy-outs, megamergers and acquisitions, and asset stripping in the 1980s and 1990s. (Think, in fact, of Bain Capital.) What was getting bought and stripped and closed up supported windfall profits in high-interest-paying junk bonds. The stupendous fees and commissions that went to those “engineering” such transactions were being picked from the carcass of a century and a half of American productive capacity. The hollowing out of the United States was well under way long before anyone dreamed up the “fiscal cliff.”
For some long time now, our political economy has been driven by investment banks, hedge funds, private equity firms, real estate developers, insurance goliaths, and a whole menagerie of ancillary enterprises that service them. But high times in FIRE land have depended on the downward mobility of working people and the poor, cut adrift from more secure industrial havens and increasingly from the lifelines of public support. They have been living instead in the “pit of austerity.” Soon many more of us will join them.
[F]or more than a quarter of a century the fastest growing part of the economy has been the finance, insurance, and real estate (FIRE) sector. Between 1980 and 2005, profits in the financial sector increased by 800%, more than three times the growth in non-financial sectors.
In those years, new creations of financial ingenuity, rare or never seen before, bred like rabbits. In the early 1990s, for example, there were a couple of hundred hedge funds; by 2007, 10,000 of them. A whole new species of mortgage broker roamed the land, supplanting old-style savings and loan or regional banks. Fifty thousand mortgage brokerages employed 400,000 brokers, more than the whole U.S. textile industry. A hedge fund manager put it bluntly, “The money that’s made from manufacturing stuff is a pittance in comparison to the amount of money made from shuffling money around.”
Based on the limited data that are comparable among nations, the U.S. income distribution appears to be among the most unequal of all major industrialized countries and the United States appears to be among the nations experiencing the greatest increases in measures of income dispersion
Comparisons,” a newly updated (November 29, 2012) report from the Congressional Research Service.