“We Can’t Make It Here” — James McMurtry

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Should I hate a people for the shade of their skin?

Or the shape of their eyes? Or the shape I’m in?

Should I hate them for having our jobs today?

No, I hate the men who sent the jobs away.


This is a modern protest song from James McMurtry (on the album Childish Things) from a year or two back. It’s raw and angry and brilliant. I like this particular snippet because it really sums up the challenge of a globalized economy: How do we prevent hatred from poisoning our relations with the rest of the world, especially in an economy that’s going to send jobs overseas? It also obliquely indicts the very tip-top of our economic pyramid: We could pay Americans decent wages to manufacture things, if we accepted that the ultra-rich would be a little less ultra-rich. There does come a time when a profit is obscene; we are long past it.

It’s not so much starting a class war, as it is recognizing that a state of class war already exists.

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