Wednesday, August 12, 2009
Where Are We As A Nation?
The United States exists in the northern hemisphere of planet Earth, in the middle of a great land mass that has the nation of Canada to our north, and the nation of Mexico to our south. The Atlantic ocean girds the U.S. on its east coast, and The Pacific on its west. End of Geography lesson. Now, where are we with respect to our functioning as a nation?
Here are a few ideas (where they are not facts, they are opinions) in no particular order of importance:
1.) America isn't # 1 anymore in anything, except raw military might, per capita gun ownership, and incarceration.
a.) Our once vaunted healthcare system works well.... for the well to do, but then that is the case in many nations.
b.) Our educational system, taken in the aggregate-from public K-12 through University- is by no means the envy of the world, though there are still plenty of foreigners who aspire to send their children to the United State's most prestigious private universities.
2.) The United State's Federal Government is captured by the banking industry. Even without such capture, the U.S. has not, for some time, functioned as a Democracy, but rather a simulacrum of one.
The right to vote does not equate to authentic democracy, and the nation's only two fully functioning political parties, heretofore known as The Republicrats, do not offer anything like genuine choice each election cycle. What they unfailingly offer is merely the illusion of genuine choice. The ruling precepts of the two parties are effectively the same, and so, as a result of that fact, and the fact that the Republicrats are funded by many, if not mostly the same sources, this translates into, except for issues of style, identical modes of governance.
3.) The standard of living of the vast majority of U.S. citizens has been falling for decades, masked only by the extension of enormous sums of credit to anyone over eighteen that could fog a mirror.
And speaking of debt:
4.) The Federal government, along with a number of states, most prominently, California, U.S. corporations, and private citizens are, where they are not effectively bankrupt, choking on debt.
5.) Fortunately, environmentally speaking, the U.S. does not appear to be, as China does, a catastrophe in the making. However, until the U.S. cures its over dependence on imported fossil fuels, and curbs its (truly) mad levels of consumption, which entail frightening amounts of pollution and waste, it will have very little to be proud of.