Bob Herbert’s last column for the NY Times

Losing Our Way:

The U.S. has not just misplaced its priorities. When the most powerful country ever to inhabit the earth finds it so easy to plunge into the horror of warfare but almost impossible to find adequate work for its people or to properly educate its young, it has lost its way entirely.



  1. Ian

    I was never a fan of this type of reasoning, as it tries to set up this false choice between one thing and another. It implies that by choosing to go to Libya, we can’t have jobs. Ultimately it reveals more about the speaker and their beliefs than it does about the government. I’m not sure why a government can’t do both of these things (take action in Libya and create jobs). Also, economic recovery can’t occur overnight. It takes time, and the recent job and unemployment numbers seem to imply it might be shifting back in the right direction.

  2. Chris

    The point is that our government is wired for war. Spending lives and money on war is a foregone conclusion. No debate, no controversy. Contrast that with the fight over extending unemployment benefits in December.

  3. Ian

    How does extending unemployment help unemployment numbers go down?

  4. Chris

    As a general rule, the unemployment rate is most importantly a measure of human misery. Lowering the unemployment rate is the best way to ameliorate that misery, but barring a decline, we ought to lend a helping hand.

    It also gives people a chance to find a job they’ll really thrive in, rather than quickly accepting the first available opportunity.