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Good Reads: Globalization and the glass half full

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Eeyore Rules

If you have felt a sudden rush of hope this week, a sense of the incredible possibilities we all have to make a difference in this increasingly connected world of instant communications and idea-sharing, well, then clearly you haven’t been reading the newspapers recently.

Because the newspapers are all full of dread. It’s as if Eeyore, A.A. Milne’s dour donkey, had quietly taken over the world, slipped something into all of our morning coffees and convinced us that the glass was, indeed, half full. If the 1990s were the decade of "Me," then the 2010s are the decade of "Meh."

In the United States, the economy is growing and jobs are being created, but alas, not fast enough to keep the unemployment rate down. That, apparently, spells doom for the current occupant of the White House. Young people are so disillusioned in the man they voted for in 2008 that they are unlikely to vote at all in the upcoming elections, according to this article by Andrew Baumann and Anna Greenberg in The Atlantic magazine.

Last days of Pompeii

But for sheer existential angst, you can’t beat the Greeks. There, life which used to be care-free – especially after Greece joined the eurozone and foresaw a forever supply of tourists and European business travelers – but now, according to this excellent story by Rachel Donadio in the New York Times, the mood in Greece is so downbeat that one Greek filmmaker described it as “the last days of Pompeii.”

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