As searchers seem to close in on missing jet, my heart goes out to foreign workers and all families of those apparently perished…

I was waiting to get a CT scan and reading a National Geographic article about foreign workers, most notably the ones who come from the Philippines and work in the Middle East, and the hardships they face what with separations from their wives, husbands, children, family in general, and then when I got home I read the story that it is now believed with some certainty that the Malaysian jet liner (Flight 370) that has been missing for two weeks now, with its 227 passengers and three crew members, went down in a location in the southern Indian Ocean, way off course, and still no one seems to know why.

But since I had just read the article about foreign workers, it made me feel the anguish of those who have to live such lives. And I think many of the passengers on that jet were foreign workers going to or from home. In this case some or many were Chinese going back to China, I believe. Now some foreign workers are well paid, but I am not thinking about them (but of course the tragedy in this case is the same), but those poor people who work for low wages and are forced by world economics to be separated from their loved ones.

Of course for some it may well be a welcome opportunity, but overall I think there is something wrong with an economic system that forces so many to traverse the globe in search of relatively low-wage work doing things others don’t want to do. I can’t speak for what is best for other countries or I don’t care to mess in their business, but as for our own, I say make sure there is opportunity for our own citizens first before we draw in foreign workers. And that is not meant to be a slam against foreign workers, not even undocumented ones. I say if someone is willing to work, more power to them. Our problem may well be that we are too picky about what kinds of work we will do or maybe our economic system — the tax structure, minimum wage requirements, social services, cost of housing, and so on — is such that it creates a situation in which many low-paying jobs may well not make economic sense for potential workers, that is it would cost more to do the job and in the process lose benefits than it would pay.

I don’t have a quick answer for all of that. But my heart goes out to all of those who have apparently lost loved ones on that ill-fated flight, no matter whether the loved one was a high-paid executive or an extremely low-paid service worker, or just a tourist.

And what with all the consternation about our loss of privacy with modern technology and the fact that satellites and drones can seemingly spot our every move and identify an ant walking across the desert, it seems inconceivable that we can’t find a missing jumbo jet or even get an easy trace on its path in an instant.


Meanwhile, right-wing talk radio hosts have contended that the jet was actually flown to a U.S. base on the Indian Ocean atoll of Diego Garcia or that it landed in Pakistan or Iran. Well no one really knows yet, I have to admit, but really????


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