Wednesday, July 15, 2009

An American education?

Today I met Chuukese man who had been a community worker back on his home island. He taught everything from breastfeeding and preventive healthcare to what he called "consumer education."

Specifically, he talked about how in Chuukese people make kon, a foodstuff made of boiled-pounded-oiled/dried breadfruit, and fishing. Those activities, in his words, are "custom and values"--which seemed to imply that he considered them the soul of Chuukese being. However, since Chuukese people have adopted elements of a cash economy, he said that he needs to "go with them to the store, show them how to buy."

Whatever he teaches in consumer education, I certainly hope it includes a lesson in how to NOT blow up their economy by securitization, deregulated markets, and cheap credit. Although to be fair, if a Wall Street trader has yet to figure out to tranche up coconut futures, I can have high hopes for Chuuk after all. Here's hoping.

No comments: