I'm not a doom and gloom type. I generally see the glass as half full. But I must confess, as I let my mind connect the dots of the economy, the ecology, the downward IQ of society as a whole, at least American society, I feel a dispair I have never experienced. Perhaps it's some sort of midlife crisis, but I don't think so. I see our leaders going back and forth with one another, each blaming the other, and NOBODY offering any real plan to get us on track for the future. America has rested on its collective laurels for too long.
Other countries are passing us by in terms of education, health care, and environmental issues. I just fear there is an economic apocalypse on the horizon, which will happen in my lifetime. It will devastate my "golden years". I think there are two things that could possibly prevent it and they go hand in hand. First, we must stop the way we elect our government officials. As long as our politicians are bought and paid for by the rich, only the rich will have representative government. Second, as soon as we allowed profits to be made from health care, particularly by the withholding of treatments to contain corporate losses, we doomed ourselves as a society.
Employers are handcuffed by having to provide plans for their employees, while insurance companies pick the pockets of their policy holders year after year as wages stagnate. Our choices of careers are often altered at a young age because we must find a full time job with health care benefits, which, often times, is unrewarding and unfulfilling. This leads to many creative people not taking chances on what could have been new and exciting job-creating fields.
Imagine what your life would be like if you didn't have to worry about where your health insurance was coming from. The USA is so far behind the rest of the industrialized world, it's criminal. Corporate Health Care profits are at record highs. Is your coverage at record levels of efficiency and satisfaction? Do you feel you get what you pay for every time your premiums go up? I don't.
I'm just beginning to understand the deficit and its effect on every aspect of society. The picture is dark indeed. I wish I had the answer that could just be plugged right in way to solve it all, but I fear the tipping point has been passed on all fronts and we'll all just have to hang on with both hands and try our best to ride it out.
As for American Exceptionalism, that's a bullshit term if I ever heard one. We had it once, but it's like being a Raider's fan. Just because we won the Super Bowl in '83, doesn't mean we still have a good football team. And "God Bless America"...don't get me started. Have there ever been three words strung together that better exemplified American narcissism and arrogance?
That's it for now. I have a glass of Knob Creek on the rocks that has melted the ice to the perfect blend of whiskey and water and it may just make me feel a bit better than when I started writing this.
Peace. What a concept?