Tuesday, May 09, 2006

What's Wrong with America?

If we were to take a poll today, my 4 loyal readers, and ask people, "What is the greatest challenge facing the United States today?", what do you think the answer would be? Would it be terrorism? The war in Iraq? The ignored war in Afghanistan? The 'homosexual agenda'? Godlessness? Racism so deeply ingrained, we may never be free from its ugly grasp? Maybe infrastructure, or how Americans are working harder than ever and losing ground in so many areas? I'm gonna go out on a limb here, and say, Poverty. Poverty is the root of SO many problems in our country, that if we, the richest country in the world, could solve that, we would indeed be the greatest country in the world. LBJ famously declared a 'War On Poverty' back in the '60s, but I think we're losing that war (among others...).

What got me started thinking about poverty is how almost every day I read some headline like, U.S. Newborn Survival Rate Ranks Low, or Unplanned Pregnancy Rate Rises Among Poor, and my thought is, this is ridiculous. How is it possible that we, the RICHEST NATION ON EARTH do not CARE about our own population enough to ensure that every pregnant woman gets the health care that she needs? How is it that we talk about wanting to prevent abortion, but poor women do not have access to the birth control that they need? This is insane. Add to that the stories of a family member who has needed surgery for-fucking-EVER, and cannot get it, because she's not "dying" for lack of it.... Education opportunities among the poor are slim. Gas prices hit the poor much more harshly than the rest of us, we who take a deep breath and maybe don't go out to dinner quite as often. It's enough to drive a person crazy. When did we become so callous? So absorbed in our own petty desires that we allowed this to happen? I'm not personally saying that we all are more interested in new shoes than helping a brother out, or that we're all rich and therefore to blame...but we seriously need to rethink the direction our country is headin', you know? We have elections coming up, and we need to think about how to solve these problems, and try to figure out if there is ANYONE out there, running for office, who is dedicated to the issue.

Will our taxes go up in order to solve the problem of poverty. Almost guaranteed. Should we be willing to pay higher taxes if the problem were effectively, TRULY addressed, not ignored and pushed aside. Surely, the answer has to be yes. And, I believe that the most boot-strapping among us are willing to help...the problem is that we so often feel like our taxes go up, but no one benefits. Except the rich, the big corporations, and the people that run them. I don't want to contribute to THAT welfare fund. But really, there has to be a way to solve this issue. And the first step is to get our politicians to at least DISCUSS it, to acknowledge that this is an issue, of far, far greater import than whether gays can marry or if we say "under God" when we pledge allegiance to our flag.

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