Thursday, July 31, 2014

Reevaluating Our Priorities

Gloom and doom abound if we listen to or read the news. We are so saturated with traumas like war, poverty, beheadings, inequality, greed, gun and drone violence, that we can’t think clearly. We can only react.

We need sweeping overhauls in our government and in our spending for America’s future health. But, changing our systems can be a highly complicated and difficult maneuver.

As part of the global community, the U.S. provides support and protection to other countries by giving away billions of dollars in aid, selling weapons to other countries, and spending much on defense. Then when other countries use those weapons and money to harm our allies, we are appalled, and we want to barge in and save the day. John Kerry calls it: “Defeating Terror…:”

Experts who discuss the evolution of our capitalistic society say that capitalism began partly to help increase the middle class.  However, our current style of capitalism has gone awry and now directly contributes to the widening gap between the poor and the rich, shrinking our middle class. How can we change this trend?

When greed takes over, companies move their industries overseas where they pay less for labor, harboring the income that could have been taxed here, prompting vast unemployment. When the top 1% takes in 1/4 of the nations’s income but also controls 40% of the country’s wealth, something has gone terribly wrong. 

When elections are bought by the richest and by huge corporations, they get their wishes fulfilled, but the rest of us don’t. When the Koch brothers pump money into our state to convince Tennesseans that judges should play politics instead of act as impartial jurists, we witness how power and money change the course of our lives.  Our country and state will be doomed if this kind of stratification increases, or continues as it is now.

The U.S. is headed for a major upheaval. Our political leaders are so divided that little work gets done. Our gun happy citizenry may end up fighting their own civil war in the name of the freedom to carry, and the freedom to protect themselves and stand their ground, believing their individual rights are more important that our communal rights.  When police brutalize unarmed black and brown boys and men, the community has now begun saying, “We have had enough!”

We need to analyze this complete mess, the whole picture, including the Middle East crises, border children issues, climate change, and where to bomb next. If we continue to only put out fires each day, we will never change our priorities, or flourish.

Although more discreet, covert and subtle than some other groups, perhaps the U.S. has become like some other terrorist organizations. Is that what we want for ourselves, our children and grandchildren?

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