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Why Won't America Fix Itself?

An essay from the book:

What I Know About the Human Race

 Montreal Publishing Company, June 2024 


Yes, the question is rhetorical, the hope of America actually doing this, that thought having left the building of reasonable expectations some time ago. But the why holds up, at least from a speculation point of view. It's not as if the issues that plague and hold America back aren't well known.

And even more frustrating, that the answers to these issues are also widely known. There's any number of countries, right now, that are progressing in healthy, free market, democratic ways, devoid of high rates of poverty, economic policies fuelling unhealthy levels of income inequality that strangle the flow of capital, healthcare systems that work—and help, without bankrupting people, education systems, meant to just that—to educate, publicly, equally. And then, of course, there's the social side of things, politicians trying to legislate morality. The promotion of 'family values,’ the kind that prevents your straight white child from walking into a public washroom and coming upon a she/her trans person and having their fresh young DNA altered in unimaginable ways, forever. What books are appropriate to read, which aren't. The bible—not science. Abortion, a greater issue beyond who you are. Etc.

"The liberty of a democracy is not safe if the people tolerate the growth of private power to a point where it becomes stronger than their democratic state itself. That, in its essence, is fascism—ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power." Franklin D. Roosevelt, April 29, 1938. And that’s as good a definition of fascism as any, and important to understand, when viewing America today.

When a former President (Jimmy Carter) publicly states this (September 2017), you have to figure the cat is pretty much all the way out of the bag: “I would say that we’ve become kind of more of an oligarchy than we have a democracy, now. The rich people and the powerful people in our country decide a lot of who gets the nomination and therefore who is elected to office—not just presidents but senators and governors and Congress members.” And that was in 2017. And it just keeps getting worse, not better.


Not yet.


Without the working principal of the ‘will of the people,’ there can be no working democracy. There can be no American Dream. For what is the American Dream, if not the will of the people operating within the framework of a system that creates and promotes social mobility. And today, in America, social mobility is dead.

Back to the question, why won't America fix itself? In what other field of enterprise, be it medicine, accounting, law, business, does accountability not matter? Since 1980, where the road starts that has led us to where we are today, there have only been two parties in power. Two parties responsible for the current state of affairs. And we'll stop right there, and say this: save the red/blue finger pointing, it’s tired, and it’s boring. Not to mention, not accurate. And that is part of the answer, too, of why won't America fix itself. There has been no reversal of public policy that would have, at the very least, delayed, if not deterred America from this march toward fascism. For fascism is nothing more than an ultimate form of self-interest. It is, the entitlement of the entitled, protected and perpetuated. And like moths to the glass of a light at night that cuts to the bone, each day, more and more, in too many places, for too long, populism grows from under this: The asking of the right questions, and reaching, over and over again, to the wrong answers. Greed and perpetuated self-interest nurturing neglect that equals pain and suffering for more and more people, each day. It can’t hold. It won’t hold.

In 1980, America was the leading lender of money to other countries, with a debt-to-GDP ratio of 31 percent. Today, America borrows more money than any other country, and has a debt-to-GDP ratio of 127.5 percent. This is called, being upside down. It’s called, failure. And yet … but but—the Republicans. The Democrats. Yeah, yeah, okay, and please just stop that.

It’s true, however, republicans are fuel on the fire of this march with their supply-side economics. But so, too, are the democrats, with their 'third way'. Or, am I wrong? Did the democrats not hold a majority in both houses for Obama's first two years? And the best they could manage, with only having their own party in opposition to righting what needed to be righted, was—Obamacare? Universal healthcare, with a democratic majority, couldn’t even get a sniff of—maybe? Corporate reform? Such that we do not now have record levels of stock buybacks, unheard of CEO packages, when weighed against real wages that have remained stagnate since the late ‘70s. Record levels of income inequality, hand-in-hand with record levels of poverty—in May of 2016 (note the date), the IMF issued the USA a warning regarding its high levels of poverty, especially among the young. Massive tax breaks for corporations. Nope, nope, and nope. But we did get corporate bailouts, because—too big to fail. And here I thought, in America, socialism was a bad idea?

Accountability. Where is it? Because it matters. But no, what we get is—team politics: Young angry ‘Berniebro’ (someone please take the pen away from the person at the Atlantic that smeared these people) you had better vote for Hillary (if you love and care about America) or we’ll get Donald Trump, and then, how will you sleep at night? And ... just how well did that work out?

I don’t know, Boomer Person—when will you die? A little harsh? Perhaps, but also true. The divide is age. For when throughout this lovely experiment known as the human race has one generation not risen up, in ideals, against the older generation—their parents? And that’s what we have now. That’s the divide. One that’s also fueled by ... Yes, I know I was able to pick the low-hanging fruit of cheap tuition in terms of real dollars and a job market in an economy that wasn’t titled against me and although I know that’s not the case for you, I’m really good in life right now and I’d like to stay that way, please. How else can you explain the continued support of those that have been in power the last forty years that have brought us to where we are now? Accountability. Show it to me. Where is it, because I just don’t see it. Do you?

Here’s the scorecard: Healthcare: 37th best in the world, while spending a higher portion of its GDP on this than any other nation. Children’s survival, health, education, and nutrition: 39th best in the world. Wealth inequality: 71st. Life expectancy: 46th. Poverty: 13.4 percent, with only 25 other countries having substantially higher and more extreme rates of poverty. Human Freedom Index: 17th. Freedom of the Press: 42nd. Accountability? Where? I’m waiting ...

There are three pillars of any just society, and each one must be held up and protected by the will of the people—always. Education, healthcare, and welfare. No matter what. Why? Because these are the things that help promote the greatest participation in a society by the most people, in the healthiest, most productive way. And that equals growth and opportunity for the most people, which then equals prosperity, for a nation. In other words, Main Street is the engine that drives an economy, not Wall Street.

And so, yes, there’s only two parties, true—but not true. Democrats, listen to me carefully, republicans ARE NOT THE PROBLEM. And yes, we all know it is has become the party of the whacked-out write-offs. It is, however, you, that is the problem. And here, I do not mean the Boomers—the Establishment Democrat voter, for as we have seen, they have no apparent interest in looking at results—accountability, and are interested only in their own status quo. No, it is the progressives whose hands I hold to the fire. Bernie blinked, and here we are today. And by this, I mean, it was his achilleas heel, the need to be accepted by the establishment. One that clearly wanted nothing to do with him—or you. Except, of course, to co-op your vote. To hold a gun to your head and say, vote for our candidate, or you will be responsible for electing that big bad man over there wearing a red tie. And again, how did that work out? And so, now it is time for you, youth of America, to wake up and demand accountability. You are the single largest cohort in American history—it is yours for the demanding. It’s yours for the taking. Get your candidate through the democrat primaries, or, if the DNC obstacles are too great to allow this to happen—leave the party. One, or the other, for a divided Democratic Party is no longer of use to anyone. In fact, it’s keeping America broken. You are the last ones standing, and it is your time now to make a difference. It is you, who can fix America, and stop this madness; this march toward fascism. And to you, my beautiful Boomer brothers and sisters, I leave you this: “A society grows great when old men plant trees whose shade, they know they shall never sit under.” – Greek proverb.


Available June 1, 2024

Montreal Publishing Company

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