+4 votes
101 views
in Politics & Government ✌ by

I have trusted and loved this nation…but after 72 years, I am concerned it’s not working out. The government is a federal democratic constitutional republic…a great dream of humankind, one template being the Iroquois Confederacy…which now appears to be commandeered by a military industrial complex?

Perhaps even more, the economic system of capitalism; producing great wealth but then leaving huge numbers in poverty. So much that now, only Mexico, Chile and Turkey have a higher childhood poverty rate than the USA. Capitalism, at least here, it’s not working right! 

The countries with currently the highest “happiness index” include the social democracies of Northern Europe…a form of socialism? Or, is this somehow "the best of all possible worlds"...any thoughts, please?

* * *

Carl Sagan discussed the US situation (among other topics)…see 7:54 to 9:40 minutes.

Childhood poverty information from PBS: http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/frontline/article/by-the-numbers-childhood-poverty-in-the-u-s/

3 Answers

+3 votes
by

I have to agree that it's a mess and I highly doubt that anything will fix it in our lifetime but I sure hope something can be done for the next generation. I have one word to describe today's Government and economy..............FUBAR !

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I looked up FUBAR  Rooster...although I could almost figure it out...

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@Rooster

Lol - I had to check; after the first two letters, there were too many possibilities, and the A reminded of a certain word :blush: (blushing) :D, which has two (and even more) meanings - lol.


+3 votes
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The poverty rate in the US has remained virtually unchanged for over 50 years, and it has made no significant difference whether Democrats or Republicans were in office.

image

And this despite having spent $22 trillion during that time.

http://www.heritage.org/poverty-and-inequality/report/the-war-poverty-after-50-years

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The resolution truly does NOT seem to lie within the donnybrook of US politics, Other Tink...I wonder what happened 1960 and before, the drop in poverty? Were we still coming off the Great Depression then?

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@ Virginia:

Yes, we were still coming off the Great Depression, but also, a lot of our natural business competitors overseas were busy rebuilding their shattered economies and cities after WW2, giving American manufactured exports a much easier time making profits and hiring people.


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Hi Other Tink,

This afternoon with more time...I read the whole of the Heritage Foundation link. I learned a great deal, some valuable information. In the past, I have sometimes been burned by following a conservative direction (although liberal solutions have not been necessarily better)...so am taking this well-thought research as a part of the puzzle. And I would be concerned the solutions offered are simplistic (final paragraphs). 

A couple of points, as I child I do recall a favorable balance of trade - compatible with your observation about overseas competitors. Also, on Blurt I recall a conversation with an African-American sociologist who believed the welfare system had destroyed family structure among poor African Americans, who are (were?) disproportionately affected by the War On Poverty programs. She had even written a book.

Do you see a wholesome way forward? Does capitalism as we have it here in the US, do you feel it has the capacity to work for everyone? Have you studied the social democracies of Northern Europe, will something like that work here?

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@ Virginia:

I think it's too soon to declare the European social democracies a permanent economic success, as they depend disproportionately on us for their defense. If they had to spend what we do in that sector, their social programs would suffer. They have an additional advantage in that their health care providers (doctors, hospitals, drug companies) charge much less for their services than ours do.

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Good points, OtherTink. I cannot recall which country now, but one of them - one of the social democracies of Northern Europe - I recall reading they elected a hardline conservative...just long enough to take them through the financial crisis around 2008!

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Hi OtherTink, this is actually a response to Marianne's comment, but the reply buttons do not seem to work after you get to a certain level?

Anyway, I definitely appreciate the input from both of you...and I will tell you that I have begun to wonder; these distressing situations we see...maybe there is some kind of fatal flaw with capitalism also, that inevitably leads us into a non-sustainable situation? Certainly Communism has not worked (or maybe it has never truly been tried?(, and the social democracies seem rather precarious also...

idk, it also might just be that with our world situation, I am discouraged, here!

+3 votes
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Yes, sadly enough, poverty and violence are still omnipresent, and with the economic, migration and refugee crises, along with overexploitation, senseless wasting, hate propaganda, extremism, environmental destruction and unbridled "consumerism", the increasingly precarious and unstable conditions will get worse; the way towards sustainability and fairer living conditions implies raising awareness, rethinking, a change of attitudes, of "traditions" and habits, as well as responsible decisions and actions.

Just a few examples:

https://www.hrw.org/world-report/2016

http://www.economist.com/node/18558041

https://www.poverties.org/blog/poverty-and-crime

http://blogs.lse.ac.uk/politicsandpolicy/unemployment-and-domestic-violence/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crime_and_violence_in_Latin_America




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The main problem is that humans probably have already exceeded the numbers the Earth can support.

image

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Marianne, among your links I especially appreciated POVERTIES.org...here is an interesting comment on Welfare from one of the articles.:

...welfare assistance has been disproportionately lower in the US than in other Western countries where welfare works much better. In many cases, poorly designed welfare policies has done damage to the very idea of welfare ... And yet, studies have shown that the connection between welfare and poverty reduction is indisputable in many cases.

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@ Virginia:

The same article to which you refer states:

"However, something radically new is happening right now in the US. With sky-high poverty levels and 1 in 4 children on food stamps, we're witnessing a remarkable statistical exception because crime has never been so low."

The authors of the article seem to overlook that the drop in crime in the US probably has nothing to do with  poverty or policing, but is likely (in my view) the result of the widespread use of video monitoring devices. It is no longer possible to rob a convenience store, for example, without being videorecorded. And if you wear a mask, you can't keep it on for long when you go back on the street, so another monitor will likely spot you when you take it off.

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 That is NOT a point to be overlooked, OtherTink...I am smiling, with surprise, that the "experts" have apparently not taken it into account...

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@Virginia

Yes, Virginia, in too many cases, welfare was more a questions of providing emergency, i.e. money, food, rescue and elementary means, but in many cases, there was no sufficient education, training and guidance after "first aid" actions to allow them to get away from their passive "state of dependence". Many great welfare organisations have switched to more sustainable, active initiatives and projects, according to the old saying: "Give a man a fish, and you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish, and you feed him for a lifetime." However, there are also "but's"; such programmes involve long-term support and involve expenses. Additionally, if the local resources and jobs are no longer available (or if certain groups, children and women are still deprived of their essential rights), additional programmes, the promotion of gradual changes of attitudes, of assuming responsibilities, of self-sustenance, and, if needed, taking initiatives and reorienting professional activities and services, require further efforts. Additionally, fighting crime organisations, fraud, violence, overexploiting, wasting and pollution is essential for all the societies.

http://www.rferl.org/a/1105293.html

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sustainability

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/International_human_rights_law

https://ec.europa.eu/home-affairs/what-we-do/policies/organized-crime-and-human-trafficking_en

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@T(h)ink

A good point! :)


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This is a fascinating and distressing possibility, OtherTink...the carrying capacity of the planet may now be exceeded. That would suggest we are in a kind of Malthusian situation...?

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@ Virginia:

Yes, I think the human population will drop sometime over the next two centuries, either catastrophically, or perhaps by a soft landing if world-wide birth rates can be managed.

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OtherTink, does the graph you posted still show on your device? I saw it earlier, several times, but now it is gone with only an error message...

And your comment is indeed alarming...

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@ Virginia:

No, it has disappeared. If you right-click on "image" and then left-click on "view image," you get a 403 message that this client does not have permission to access the URL of the image. I assume that means I've Solved?
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Yes, T(h)ink, they have.

image

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Marianne, I have been thinking about this post of yours...and one thing I do recall from those days, i.e. Johnson's War On Poverty, is that the aid was seen as temporary. 

So, the contentious marriage provision that has fragmented family life, i believe that was included because it was supposedly easier for a family with a father to work for income...they wanted to focus on single mothers. The actual anti-family consequence just never occurred to the rule-makers.

* * *

In other words, at a time poverty was on the decrease anyway (as O'Tink's graph shows), the contingencies that you listed so beautifully, those went much deeper than ever imagined.

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Oh yes, very deep - and the whole problem starts with women's and children's rights - still widely ignored and systematically violated.

https://www.hrw.org/legacy/wr2k2/women.html

which are, in the end, also hurting all the parties involved, also men:

http://www.webmd.com/mental-health/tc/domestic-violence-topic-overview#1


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Just to let you know I saw this, Marianne.

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Thank you, Virginia. :)<3

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