If America Is So Free…

Author: siggy

If America is so free, why do we have the biggest population of prisoners in the world?  That is a good question.  A disproportionate number of prisoners are black and poor.  I guess if you have a good lawyer, you usually do not end up in jail.  Many of the prisoners are in for non-violent crimes–mostly drugs.

Another travesty is there are more mentally ill in our prisons than in hospitals.  And many are not getting proper care.  Also, corporate profits are at a sixty year high.  And their taxes are at a sixty year low.

I just read if you factor inflation in, the minimum wage would be over twenty dollars.  It is not, so where are the profits coming from?  I thought I read that in the US one in five collect food stamps.  All that is not right.  Are we really our brother’s keeper?  Our leaders have a vested interest in keeping our population poor.  Our politicians may be elected by the people but most of them do not answer to the general population.  It is big money that they answer to.

In the words of Fidel Castro’s brother (during a Sean Penn interview), the politicians in America are the ‘ruling class.’  And now the government wants to run the medical profession.  As more and more details come in, instead of the price of medical insurance going down it might double or triple for some people in 2014.  It is enough to really get discouraged with our country.  Our land of the free.

Are we our brothers’ keeper?  There is a struggle in Washington DC:  the President wants to raise the ceiling of the National debt we are allowed legally to have.  Our country may default on our interest payments for the first time.  And who knows what international effect that would have on our economy if that happens.

Our economy is really on shaky grounds.  Many people are suffering in this country, have lost their homes, are unemployed and struggling just to put food on the table for their families.  And the rich seem to get richer.

One party wants the President to cut programs like Medicare and others.  The struggles between the major parties are very acrimonious.  The Republicans have not forgotten how the President “rammed” through his bill to provide health coverage to millions of other Americans when he had control of both houses.  I am not going to debate the merits of that bill.

One little fact came to the ”surface”:  the US is near the bottom of developed countries as far as the tax rate its citizens pay.  Taxes need to go up and services to the most unfortunate, the ill, the handicapped need to be maintained.  Again, I have to ask:  Are we our brothers’ keeper?

I was amazed how high the percentage is of Americans who do not pay any federal income tax.  It is very high but the rich ought to pay more–a greater percentage than they do.  Those companies with “deep pockets” do not want that to happen and also want to erase laws that prevent them from polluting the water, air, etc.

Raising taxes now in this economic climate is not very popular.  And frankly there is much I do not understand when it comes to the economy but I have to ask again:  Are we our brothers’ keeper?  I do not like the Republicans’ stance.  I am not sure I like the Democrats much better.  Too much of government is run by big business.

Each of us are commanded to help the less fortunate.  I don’t care what your circumstances are.  There is someone around you that needs your help.

You don’t need big government necessarily to help fellow men but one function of government is to protect you and taking money away (and support) from the poorest and making sure the rich get richer does not seem right.  Again I ask the question:  Are we our brothers’ keeper?