The reason we as Americans can do anything is that we have the benefit; of the experience and knowledge; of the most diverse ethnic mix in the world. America is an experiment in race and culture mixing on a grand scale. What is happening today is not in opposition to the “American Experiment”; it is the “American Experiment”………..
……………………………The founders of our nation foresaw that adjustments would be needed to accommodate changes in our nation and the world. Thus Congress is empowered to make needed laws but those laws are supposed to support the Constitution; protect the rights of the people; never deny or take away those rights. That is the truly experimental part. The maintainence of the government and the rights of the people over time; through difficulties.
They never considered that anyone would try to run an efficient twentieth century or twenty-first century government in the same way that they were running their eighteenth century government. True; many were in favor of keeping the Federal Government as small as possible but I don’t believe they meant at the expense of the well-being of the people.
The “American Experiment” was a new thing when it began. Allowing the people to have a say in how they are governed; however limited; was a new concept; predicted to fail by many. Government by the will of the people. If we fail to abide by that will; as expressed by the majority of the people; we are in fact, destroying the very system we have pledged our allegiance to. We are admitting that the experiment has failed.
But the experiment is going on; alive and well. it’s just that we tried your way and found it wanting. It only felt good to the wealthy; (I know; who else matters; right?) To the vast multitude of the rest of us; it sucked and while that might be ok with you; it really isn’t ok for us; the majority; the 99%.
America was not begun with the understanding that if the wealthy didn’t like the way the vote was taking us; they could do away with it and return to an autocratic government.
Nobody guaranteed that we would stay a conservative country; willing to believe whatever we are told. Advancement in technology (something much supported by you when you wanted to sell us devices and software) have opened up the world to us. We can see what is really happening.
It has opened us up to the world as well. They can see what we are doing. They speak to us and we to them. In almost all nations; some form of democratic rule is in place. Some better. Some worse.
But the time has come to open our eyes and see what is happening. We are no longer the cutting edge of democracy. Other nations have passed us by while we were staying in one place socially and economically.
While our country has been embroiled in race wars and social class warfare; many other nations have come to accept a more diverse set of political possibilities and have willed to try new ideas. They have looked at the first modern democracy; America; and they have seen the decay and decline of our nation. They see the internal battles that have ripped us apart and forced us to hate each other. They have seen the effects of rampant Capitalism. They have seen what happens to a Democracy that is not tended and protected. They have looked at America and the Americans and they have found us wanting.
Not because we are any less than they but because we have failed to see the future in time to make the needed adjustments to protect our people from a threat inherent in our system. The threat of the Corporation to the individual’s rights and the threat of a wealthy class allowed to accumulate too much of the wealth.
Because we have failed to note the approaching threat; we are no longer a nation: Of the people; By the people; and For the people. We have become a nation more and more every day: Of the wealthy; By the wealthy; and For the wealthy. I don’t believe that was the intent of the Founding Fathers nor the Constitution. Do You?
I am not saying that just because a guy doesn’t want to work; he should be supported in style.
I am saying that if a guy CAN NOT work; he should not have to live a life of squalor and poverty.
I am saying that when a guy works every day 40 hours a week; he deserves to be paid enough money to feed, house, and clothe his family. And he needs to be able; without killing himself; to be able to make enough to allow himself and his family to enjoy life. Have hobbies; take a decent vacation every year; drive a vehicle that isn’t nickel and diming him to death; etc.
That is a life with dignity. Not a life of wealth. That is what every man who works deserves for his effort. No matter how menial or unskilled his job. Else why work at all?
As a matter of fact; why not just take what we need. It would be a bit messy and it would destroy us all in the end but; what the hell; we’re dying out here now. Does that make more sense? No it doesn’t but that is what ultimately happens when the wealthy refuse to share the money a little by paying a decent wage. When they live in splendour while the masses aren’t paid enough to live at all.
So we agree that most people can and should work; it’s just a matter of negotiating the right wage.
But because we are humans and have empathy; we also believe that those who truly are not able to work should have the same decent life.
Now I understand that you believe that anyone who isn’t succeeding is just lazy and shiftless but that just isn’t true. There are those who are but here are many who are not; who are legitimately unable for one reason or another to function socially or perform productive labor.
Deciding which is which and who is deserving, is and has been since the inception of the “Social Safety Net” the job of a group of civil servants; doctors; medical technicians; and administrative judges.
You can’t just walk in; say you can’t work; and get a check. Unless you are Terminal; it takes about two years and three appeals to get a Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) check. It takes some months to get an Suplimental Security Insurance (SSI) check. (the Social Security program for those who are unable to work but who never were able to work long enough to pay in enough to qualify for normal disability benefits).
Welfare or Temporary Cash assistance; Food Stamps; and Medical Assistance are available to everyone else if they meet certain criteria. TCA is for single parents with children who have no other means of support and for families who have no way of supporting themselves. This is temporary help requiring you to volunteer and/or find work.
Single men; Black; White; or Purple cannot receive TCA. They may receive temporary Food Stamps and Medical Assistance if their income remains low enough but; not cash.
If you are homeless; it’s worse. You can’t get Food Stamps “because you have no place to cook food” If you have no income; you can’t get into Government Subsidized Housing. And God forbid you be caught smoking a joint. You can lose it all and be back on the streets. You can lose your children; your home; and everything you have if you are living on the Government dime.
So don’t tell me that I’m just lazy or that my neighbor who can’t keep his own rent paid and bills paid without help from a friend; who isn’t able to explain what the problem is if he has to return something to a store; is just lazy and needs to get a job.
I worked every day for over thirty-five years and I paid my “dues” as well as my taxes. My neighbor? He has never held a job for more than a week or two. Usually takes about a day or two. Should we let him starve or live outdoors?
Those other nations you claim are so poorly led and politically scary? They don’t let this happen to their people. Do you know that we are the only developed nation that does not have a Universal Healthcare Program? Is it possible that they are all wrong and we; the only ones who are right? Hmmm. Sounds highly unlikely to me.
Everywhere else; if you are sick; you get the best treatment they have to offer. Here? Not so much; unless you are wealthy.
Is this really fair? Are you really so unwilling to give up a bit so that everyone can live decently and all can prosper together?
If you built that; you did so with the help of many others. Don’t all those people deserve to get a fair amount of the profit in the form of decent wages. If you hitch up an Ox to grind your
grain for you to eat; then you refuse to feed the Ox; both the Ox and you will die of starvation.
If you feed the Ox well; it will become ever stronger and be
able to grind more grain for you to get fat from. Tit for Tat and everyone is happy.
Otherwise you wind up where you are now; Cowering in a subterranean fortress; paranoid and isolated; believing that everyone wants to take your wealth. Living in as much misery as those you refuse to pay for their work. Telling yourself that there is no need for you to help because anyone can succeed in America and all who don’t are just lazy.
Wake up man and smell the Rich Columbian Roast. The world has changed and it has become a real bitch. The days of rugged individualism; if they ever existed; are gone.
Now; if we don’t stand together; we will all fall alone. Most can succeed; but not everyone can excel. You shouldn’t have to excel; to live.