By Eliza A. Webb, Truthout | News Analysis
|(Photo: US Currency via Shutterstock; Edited: LW / TO)|
In the United States, children go hungry.
Human beings endure poverty so deep "many people don't believe [it] exists here." US residents pay far more for health care than the people of any other wealthy country, yet their bodies are sicker and more broken. The public school system is unfairly funded and racist. Workers go abused and underpaid. The government throws more people behind bars than any other nation in the world. More than one in four Black and Brown Americans are living in poverty, further undermined by institutional racism and murderous police forces. Hispanic and Latina women are making 54 cents on the dollar compared to white men. More people are buried here because of gun violence than in any other industrialized country.
The American people are suffering.
Yet this is not a poor country. While kids' stomachs rumble and Native families struggle to survive, the top 0.1 percent of Americans are sitting on as much wealth as the bottom 90 percent combined.
The workers of this country see scraps from the tables they set and serve.
Oppression is a highly profitable business.
So why is it that the government of such a fabulously wealthy country does not provide for its people, in fairness or equality? Why are the individuals who make the laws and rule the land allowing this oppression and abuse to persist? Why do they not voice the needs of the people, as is their sole responsibility?
Follow. The. Money.
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How the United States Could Be
Taken altogether, these billions of dollars, lost on tax breaks and subsidies for wealthy corporations, could be used to fund the impoverished schools serving the United States' impoverished children, job programs to employ the jobless youth, universal health care for the country's sick and dying people, reformation of a racistcriminal legal system, higher education for broke young people, nutrition programs for hungry children - the possibilities of using these resources to create a thriving, blooming society and nation are limitless.
Only a corrupt Congress and the lucrative, symbiotic relationship between Democrats, Republicans and rich, corporate individuals stand in the way.
So the next time you hear a politician say change is too hard, or that the real world doesn't include transforming this oligarchy into a democracy, take a closer look at who is padding his or her pockets. If the person benefiting from the status quo is trying to convince you it should stay the same, doubt to high heaven and beyond what he or she is telling you.
After all, a shark won't smile and shake your hand before biting you in the back.
But a politician will.
Eliza A. Webb is a published writer on politics in The Hill, Salon and The Michigan Journal of International Affairs.