America at the tipping point

America Is Far from #1,  AlterNet by Eric Zuesse, February 7, 2013 – “The Global Competitiveness Report 2012–2013,”  by the World Economic Forum, is the latest annual ranking of 144 countries, on a wide range of factors related to global economic competitiveness…Gross Domestic Product is the only factor where the U.S. ranks as #1…Health Care has the U.S. ranking #34 on “Life Expectancy,” and #41 on “Infant Mortality.” Education in the U.S. is also mediocre…The U.S, overall, is very far from being #1 – not really in contention, at all, for the top spot. The rankings suggest instead that this nation is sinking toward the Third World…

A Profound and Jarring Disconnect by Dave Lindorff, ThisCan’tBeHappening.net, January 5, 2011 - Democracy: de-moc-ra-cy, government by the people; the common people of a community, as distinguished from any privileged class – According to the latest poll conducted by CBS “60 Minutes” and the magazine Vanity Fair, 61 percent of Americans want to raise taxes on the wealthy as the primary way to cut the budget. The same poll finds that the second most popular first choice for cutting the nation’s budget deficit, at 20 percent, is cutting the military budget. That is, 81 percent of us–four out of five–would cut the deficit by taxing the rich and/or slashing military spending…The writing on the wall appears to be that the White House, and Democrats and Republicans in Congress, are looking to raise the retirement age, currently 66, to 68 or 69, to reduce or at least limit the inflation adjustment in Social Security benefits, and perhaps also to increase the payroll tax on current workers. What they [White House and Congress] want to do is balance the budget by screwing with our retirement. What they do not want to do is raise taxes on the rich and on investment income, two steps which, if taken, could fully fund Social Security indefinitely into the future…What’s wrong with this picture? On every key issue of public concern–protecting Social Security, reforming and universalizing health care, re-regulating the banking industry, ending America’s endless wars, cutting the military budget, and taking serious steps to combat global climate change, the government in this supposed democracy has gone against the wishes of the majority of the public. Clearly, whatever it is, this is no democracy we are living in today…

The Rise of the Regressive Right and the Reawakening of America by Robert Reich, robertreich.org, October 16, 2011  - A fundamental war has been waged in this nation since its founding, between progressive forces pushing us forward and regressive forces pulling us backward. We are going to battle once again. Progressives believe in openness, equal opportunity, and tolerance. Progressives assume we’re all in it together…Regressives take the opposite positions.…today’s Republican right aren’t really conservatives. Their goal isn’t to conserve what we have. It’s to take us backwards…Yet the great arc of American history reveals an unmistakable pattern. Whenever privilege and power conspire to pull us backward, the nation eventually rallies and moves forward….regressive forces reignited the progressive ideals on which America is built. The result was fundamental reform. Perhaps this is what’s beginning to happen again across America.  http://robertreich.org/post/11511074902

How Obama’s Election Drove the American Right Insane by John Amato and David Neiwert, PoliPoint Press, Posted on AlterNet.org, May 26, 2010 
On the day Barack Obama was elected president of the United States… those who opposed Obama precisely because he sought to become the nation’s first black president — it went well beyond the usual despair. For them, November 5, 2008, was the end of the world. Or at least, the end of America as they knew it.
So maybe it wasn’t really a surprise that they responded that day with the special venom and violence peculiar to the American Right…
I think that there are political leaders out there who are saying incredibly irresponsible things that could have the effect of undamming a real flood of hate. That includes media figures. On immigration, they have been some of the worst. There’s a lot going on, and it’s very likely to lead to scapegoating. And in the end, scapegoating leaves corpses in the street…

America Faces Three Serious “Cliffs,” None of Them Fiscal

Why the Republican Party as We Know It Must Die By John H. Richardson, Esquire, February 17, 2009

Where Did ‘We’ Go? By Thomas Friedman, New York Times, September 29, 2009

Big Change Whether We Like It or Not, Only Washington Is Clueless by Andrew Bacevich, Tomgram, November 13, 2011

The Big Disconnect by David Brooks, New York Times, April 25, 2011

 

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