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The Meaning of 'Independence'
"One of the things that most baffles me about America (and I have lived in the middle of it my whole life) is how the word 'independence' is so narrowly defined.
People's economic well-being can be held hostage by oil companies, pharmaceutical companies, insurance companies, HMOs, and other powerful multinational corporations, yet in political debates independence generally mean just one thing: the absence of government regulation, or any kind of joint citizen effort.
I was reminded of this by a headline in the New York Times citing the 'independent streak' of Houston residents for the city's miserably low recycling rate: 2.6 percent, worst in the country, four times less than some others at the bottom of the list like Dallas and Detroit."