Not Accidental Tourists

March 19, 2014 in From the Director, Homepage by Rick Sloan
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Dear UCubed Leader:

In the last 28 days, Facebook reports that UCubed reached 11 million people in the United States, 896,000 in Canada, 455,000 in Australia and 405,000 in India. We also reached over 50,000 Facebook users in eight more nations: Ireland, Italy, Netherlands, Sweden, Brazil, New Zealand, Germany and South Africa.

Who knew?

All told UCubed is reaching folks in 45 countries… even in nations like Iceland and Nepal.

We used to brag about how many people saw our posts in Chicago, New York and Los Angeles. Last month, we reached 345,000 in those three cities. But now, our top 45 cities include London; Toronto, Montreal, Calgary and Edmonton in Canada; Chennai and Bangalore in India; and Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth and Adelaide in Australia.

UCubed reached as many folks in London as it did in Los Angeles (100,000) last month. At the lower end, we reached as many users in Adelaide as in Charlotte, NC (31,000).

Unfortunately, Facebook metrics limits us to the top 45 countries and cities. But it also shows us the 45 languages spoken. So we know that UCubed posts are being seen by 1,600 folks who list their primary language as Catalan, Persian and Estonian. All the way up to the 14.3 million English speakers and everything in between, including three versions of Chinese.

Again, who knew?

Last year, the International Labour Organization (ILO) estimated that 197 million people were unemployed worldwide and another 38 million had dropped out of the labor market. The ILO also tracks the rate of unemployment across the globe. From Mauritania at 30.9 percent in 2013 to Cambodia at .03 percent – yeah, right – their data depends on “published national sources.” And we know how accurate those national sources can be.

And yet, the simple fact is that a global jobs crisis exists.

That jobs crisis depresses local and national economic growth because those quarter billion people consume fewer goods and services. It depresses the individual because they become stigmatized by right-wing politicians and ignored by center- and left-wing ones. As their unemployment lingers indefinitely, they become more and more isolated from workplace colleagues, neighbors, friends and neighbors. They become chained to their fates.

Or, as President Franklin Roosevelt once said, “We have come to a clear realization of the fact that true individual freedom cannot exist without economic security and independence. Necessitous men are not free men. People who are hungry and out of a job are the stuff of which dictatorships are made.”

Perhaps, it is time to realize that “necessitous men” led the Arab Spring, drove the politics of India, Ireland and Italy, marched in Greece, Portugal and Spain, and seethed in Iran, Jordan, Turkey and Macedonia. And foremost among those “necessitous men” were the jobless women who stood up for themselves and their families.

But nowhere, not here in the United States nor in the Russian Federation, are the unemployed to be taken for granted. They are not accidental tourists. They are survivors whose scars run long and deep. And, like their grandparents and great grandparents from the Great Depression, their memories of being jobless will dictate their politics for decades to come.

So let’s hope that UCubed continues to reach across the globe. And that our message – Let’s make Democracy work for us – resonates on every continent.

In Unity — Strength,


Rick Sloan
UCubed President


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