Let’s get this country working again!

The US, my beloved country, has so much positive, so much to hope for, so much to give.

In a sense, I am glad we are loosing it now. Glad, because this can wake us up. It can remind us that greatness cannot be taken for granted, but must be continually earned. We need another FDR.

Elliot Gerson, The American Secretary for the Rhodes Trust

A summary of Elliot Gerson’s article in the Atlantic.

When Americans travel abroad, they are often surprised at how well other countries do the things we used to think America does best…

When it comes to student performance in mathematics, we are now 25th among the 34 advanced economies, and behind many developing countries as well. In college attendance, we are now 12th in college graduation rate. In health, we are 37th in infant mortality and equally low in life expectancy. In environmental performance, we are 61st. In the percentage of people below the poverty line, we are 21st. Even when it comes to the “pursuit of happiness,” enshrined in our Declaration of Independence as one of the noble goals of government, our citizens are only the 15th most satisfied with their lives.

According to a recent Rasmussen poll, only 17 percent of Americans believe our national government possesses the consent of the governed.

One of the strongest indications of American democratic dysfunction is pervasive and expanding poverty. It is not just its existence in the richest country on earth that is shameful, but its utter absence from political discourse… America is moving toward the kind of bifurcated society we used to deride in banana republics–rich getting richer in gated communities, while the poor grow poorer, barely seen in segregated urban ghettos and hidden rural decay.

Over 20 million Americans live in extreme poverty. One in 50 Americans’ only income is food stamps. Add the poor and the near-poor–that is under $44K for a family of four–and you have more than 100 million people.


Posted on July 12, 2012, in US. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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