Our American Democracy is for sale. But It is still not too bad. We are not the worst. We’ve got weapons and the world’s greatest military machine. Our education is falling behind but it is not the worst. We’ve got a lot of sick people but we are managing, we are not the worst in the world. It’s OK…still. Yes…if you are a frog.
The premise is that if a frog is placed in boiling water, it will jump out, but if it is placed in cold water that is slowly heated, it will not perceive the danger and will be cooked to death. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boiling_frog 10 years before the fall of the Soviet Union, my wife and I came to the conclusion that we didn't have a future in this country and we then decided to emigrate to America. Anna was 24, I was 30. We came to America in 1979 as a young couple with a one-year-old daughter to build a better life for ourselves and our children. It was not easy - we started from scratch...but we did it. Our two younger kids were born here in America. Only here in our new country we were able live without a heavy weight on our shoulders – Soviet government-sponsored Antisemitism, constant propaganda and heavy censorship. But we are happy here, our three children are successful and the USA is their country. We are Americans – first, second and now third generation - our grandchildren. We all love this country, this great Democracy. And that is the reason I decided to write this letter. I am worried. Worried and scared. And concerned about the future of America. It pains me to see our democracy disintegrating and becoming a Plutocracy. There are many worrisome trends that are endangering the future of America as a democratic nation.Redistribution of wealth. The rich are getting much richer. The middle class is disappearing, being destroyed. The poor are getting poorer.http://www.blue-point-trading.com/bluepoint-daily-market-view-%E2%80%93-february-25-2011 The money flows to the few on the top. And considering that, thanks to the Supreme court, all regulations are removed. If you're rich and want to give money to a lot of political campaigns, the Supreme Court ruled Wednesday that you can. The 5-4 ruling eliminated limits on how much money people can donate in total in one election season. http://www.cnn.com/2014/04/02/politics/scotus-political-donor-limits/Do as I say not as I do – that is what we tell the world. America lost its moral standing in the world in part thanks to the Bush W. administration's reckless, illegal and disastrous war in Iraq.Poverty. The U.S. poverty rate, about 17 percent, is third worst among the advanced nations tracked by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. In that sample, only Turkey and Mexico are worse.Education. American 15-year-old score below the average for advanced nations in math and science literacy. But don't worry, our nation's future leaders are still ahead of their peers in Mexico, Turkey, Greece and a few other places.Health. United States ranks 27th in the healthcare of its citizens. Life expectancy in America is below the average for 30 advanced countries measured by the OECD, and the obesity rate in America is the worst among those 30 countries, by far. Even with Obamacare there will be millions without health insurance because 24 states are refusing to expand Medicaid.
Well-being. In the United Nations' Human Development Index, which attempts to measure the overall well-being of citizens throughout the world, the United States ranks 13th.Happiness. The United States ranks 11th in the OECD's measure of "life satisfaction" - behind Denmark, Finland, the Netherlands and the other usual suspects. That's not bad, but the United States is one of only five countries where life satisfaction is going down, not up. http://money.usnews.com/money/blogs/flowchart/2009/10/26/9-signs-of-america-in-declineBut it is not just numbers and statistics. I can see it every day. I can feel it every day.The rise of mindless conservatism and the rejection of science. America is falling behind in space exploration, in basic scienceMilitant ultra-conservative religious movements attempting to limit the rights of anybody who does not conform to their views.Attempts by the conservative movement to cut funds for public education. In a country founded by immigrants and built by immigrants, the Republican party touts anti-immigration policies. Hate and bigotry is encouraged by the Tea Party. Also American universities are still world class, the best and the brightest foreign students are not encouraged to remain in the US after graduation and go back to their countries to compete with us.
And above all - Big Money. An enormous concentration of wealth by the few. The idiotic Supreme Court removing all restrictions on elections influenced by Big Money. Our American Democracy is for sale. But It is still not too bad. We are not the worst. We've got weapons and the world's greatest military machine. Our education is falling behind but it is not the worst. We've got a lot of sick people but we are managing, we are not the worst in the world. It's OK...still. Yes...if you are a frog.