Monday, January 13, 2014
2014 State of the United States of America
Barry, My Liege :
It appears a good time to examine the state of our country from an unbiased perspective. That is the goal of this exercise.
I have the distinct advantage of freedom from external pressure in any direction from any source in choosing what topics to discuss and which attitude to assume. I imagine that is an advantage you might wish for yourself, My Liege.
Of course, with that particular advantage comes the disadvantage of possessing absolutely zero ability to implement any action, however small.
There is some positive news, My Liege. Below is a personal list of a small fraction of the positive changes you have brought or have occurred under your watch.
** The American people remain generous, helpful, fair-minded and optimistic. Sadly, our political system has failed our people and has been captured by selfish and short sighted moneyed interests.
** There is a political move to the left among Americans. It is apparent to this observer that the American people have understood exactly what has happened to the political process and want to fix it. Americans want to change the political process so that the results of that process will be more fair.
Mostly we do not have a laundry list of specific items to change, we just know that it is not OK now. But, My Liege, we do know that the road ahead is hard and long. We hope that the coming elections will give you some added political influence so that you can address some of the major issues.
For full disclosure, the writer has proposed just such a list which can be read here : http://www.mkeever.com/owsplaneleven.doc
** Many states are legalizing same sex marriage and gifting happiness to millions of people in love.
** ACA has brought medical insurance and with it actual healthcare to millions of Americans. That is good news. It is a good first step, but is it only a first step.
In our country people with no insurance have little or no access to medical care. I think we are the only industrialized country where that is true. In the long run, a better solution is to remove the profit motive from healthcare and adopt a single payer system similar to other countries.
It is an amazement that some people actually work diligently to take health care away from people. I was taught not to hit a man when he's down.
** Job Creation has increased under your watch and that has benefitted many Americans. We are all grateful for that, even the Republicans. Additionally, our economy is becoming more stable as a result of the additional jobs.
Much remains to be done for the unemployed, My Liege.
** Lastly, it is possible that the United States of America has not passed the point of no return down the path of oligarchy and injustice. We hope that is correct, My Liege. And, we know we will need hard work to make that so.
Here is a somewhat longer list of the serious issues we face.
**** Wealth concentrations have increased to the point that moneyed interests have assumed control of the political process.
**** Most of the people in charge of our political process have no interest in the state of their fellow Americans or in the future effects of their actions. They appear to focus on short term selfish material gain at the expense of our country and their own grandchildren.
This level of barbarism has not been seen for a very long time, My Liege. It is unacceptable.
**** Continuing attacks on women’s rights and voting rights demonstrates additional barbarism toward American citizens. Both are unacceptable.
**** The people in charge choose to gridlock our government when they cannot get their way. This government gridlock has caused and will continue to cause injustice, injury and death to American citizens.
**** As a species we choose to ignore global warming. Our failure to address it adequately will cause serious and unpleasant life-style changes by mid century.
Owners of the carbon based fortunes in our country reinforce our government gridlock to thwart meaningful energy reform in order to secure additional short term profits.
**** Long term unemployed people can expect to remain jobless and without unemployment insurance. Many of them will fall through the cracks and will become homeless.
**** In addition to the income losses for long term unemployed workers, average real wages for most Americans with jobs have remained unchanged since the 1970's. During that time incomes to the fortunate have skyrocketed.
**** Cumulatively, these trends remove purchasing power from most Americans. That means they cannot afford to buy anything besides the basics of food, clothing and shelter. This diminishing of middle class purchasing power assures that our economy will stall and show little or no growth in spite of all the fiscal and monetary policy actions we may take.
**** Any economic growth we can manage is now at the point that it will cause more degradation of the environment through pollution and using up of natural resources. Continuing to use the oceans as our collective dump will damage the oceans' abilities to generate half our oxygen and absorb carbon dioxide.
We pray you address these real problems, My Liege, but, in the event that you are unable or unwilling to do so, then we will consider other places to live. Countries which appear to merit investigation include Canada, Australia, Norway, Sweden, Denmark and New Zealand
Your faithful servant,