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A Severely Conflicted Nation, Rapidly Becoming Dysfunctional

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What is happening to America? We seem to be living in the midst of the second coming of the Civil War. The divisions in America, within the political, social and economic realms, are deeper than I have ever seen them. This society and its many opposing factions seem to be totally incapable of communicating and interacting with any degree of civility and respect. It's "My way is the only way" or "Save your breath, I don't want to hear it." 

Some might say that the term dysfunctional is too strong, that it doesn't describe America fairly; in fact, it seems to fit this nation and our society quite well based on this definition of dysfunctional; "Abnormal or impaired functioning, especially of a bodily system or social group." Across our government and our society, opposition and obstruction between factions are making it impossible to address and find solutions to the myriad of problems that currently plague our nation. 

There was a time when Americans had far greater respect for one another, a time when they pulled together for the common good; when civility and respect were still the norm. That was America at the end of World War II when this country, largely because of its leadership in winning that war, had become the most admired and respected nation in the world. That was a time when the American people were united and stood together during one of the darkest times in our history. 

This euphoria lasted until the 1980's when things began to change quite dramatically. The Vietnam War that had ended in 1975 left some very deep scars on America's national psyche. While in this bruised psychological state, America began to experience the beginning stages of significant, debilitating changes to its vaunted industrial base as corporations discovered that the utilization of cheap foreign labor could dramatically increase their profits. This caused a rift and a division between corporations and U.S. workers that appears to be irreparable. 

Then as we entered the 21st century, the cerebral G.W. Bush became president, the tragedy of 9/11 occurred, the U.S. invaded Afghanistan in 2001 and then Iraq in 2003. These events produced more shocks to the America's system that seemed to create yet more divisions within our society. 

Disagreements and opposing viewpoints are nothing new to America; they've been with us since the birth of the nation but we have now managed to taken them to heights never before seen. In the America of today it's Republican versus Democrat, red states versus blue, the wealthy versus the middle class, corporations versus the American worker, Wall Street versus the American people, bloodthirsty war hawks versus antiwar activists, states versus union workers; Gone are the days of diplomacy and compromise, replaced by the use of every conceivable devious tactic and trick to destroy the positions of the opposition. 

Here are the three primary areas where this dysfunction is clearly visible: 

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Political Dysfunction

Our Political system is broken, our government has been taken over by Corporate America through the power of its immense wealth and influence. Our elected representatives are, effectively, tearing down the foundations of our democracy as they shamelessly advance the interests of the Washington Establishment rather than those of the people.

When the vast majority of the members of Congress sold their souls to Corporate America and the almighty dollar, they sold out the American people. Our system of government is now so corrupted that is has become dysfunctional; it just doesn't work.

What will end this government's obsession with war? Do this president and the Congress comprehend that, by waging these insane foreign wars, they are waging war against this nation and the American people? The answer is that they know exactly what they are doing and they do not intend to change their misguided agenda. 

Washington D.C. is, in effect, the world's largest corporate entity; let's call it War, Inc. All the officers of this corporation, whose sole product is the proliferation of war, have been following a master strategy that has used the War on Terror as a clever deception to maximize the profits of its main subsidiary, the defense industry. So, we taxpayers continue to pour money into War, Inc., which enriches the war machine but returns nothing to the people. 

Economic Dysfunction

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There is nothing wrong with capitalism, in theory, but the American form of capitalism that has evolved over decades has become rotten to its core as it is now totally controlled by financial schemers and manipulators; by those who operate within a system from which necessary rules and regulations to curb abusive practices have been removed by the U.S. Congress. America's system of capitalism is beyond repair or reform, its days are numbered. 

Those in charge of our government seem to be oblivious to this absolute fact: in our current world, no nation, including America, can successfully compete in the system of globalization if has lost its manufacturing industry. Without strong manufacturing and associated jobs, and without substantial exports, this economy cannot and will not recover. 

The Fed continues to print Fiat money and use band aids to stop the hemorrhaging, a wrongheaded solution to our economic dilemma. Worst of all, there are strong warnings coming from respected economists that America is about to be shocked with a second recession, one that will be far more devastating than that which erupted in 2008. If that comes to pass then this economy will become almost completely dysfunctional.

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Michael Payne is an independent progressive activist. His writings deal with social, economic, political and foreign policy issues; and especially with the great dangers involved with the proliferation of perpetual war, the associated defense (more...)

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What is happening in and to America is getting out... by michael payne on Friday, May 6, 2011 at 9:35:55 AM
Personally, I think things went wrong at the found... by eaglewarrior on Friday, May 6, 2011 at 2:18:55 PM
Women could not vote until 1920, blacks were slave... by Debbie S on Sunday, May 8, 2011 at 12:16:39 AM
as you have touched upon, that this problem is not... by John Sanchez Jr. on Friday, May 6, 2011 at 2:22:20 PM
What is most troubling is that democracy in Americ... by michael payne on Friday, May 6, 2011 at 4:54:55 PM
We the people can determine how to reverse this si... by E. J. N. on Saturday, May 7, 2011 at 4:10:32 PM
that might be possible, theoretically, but in prac... by michael payne on Saturday, May 7, 2011 at 7:11:43 PM
"Article 5 of the Constitution of the United State... by E. J. N. on Sunday, May 8, 2011 at 10:04:49 PM
Just sayin... by Jeff Poster on Saturday, May 7, 2011 at 9:43:36 PM
The American partisan political process has caused... by E. J. N. on Sunday, May 8, 2011 at 10:07:55 PM
Lincoln was quoting Jesus when he said that a hous... by E. J. N. on Friday, May 6, 2011 at 8:39:10 PM
There have been many times that Americans have vio... by John Reed on Sunday, May 8, 2011 at 10:22:42 AM
John:your comments are very excellent and insightf... by michael payne on Sunday, May 8, 2011 at 12:30:06 PM
Michael, I agree with much that you and John have ... by E. J. N. on Sunday, May 8, 2011 at 4:32:06 PM
Very good points and well said. Also, today's cons... by Jack Shneidman on Monday, May 9, 2011 at 4:18:37 PM
This is a very sober but also a very incompl... by Herbert Calhoun on Sunday, May 8, 2011 at 2:56:18 PM
And I will return to comment upon the moral degene... by John Reed on Sunday, May 8, 2011 at 4:50:33 PM
To: HerbertFirst of all I won't bother to respond... by michael payne on Sunday, May 8, 2011 at 9:54:23 PM
There is surely no doubt that America has drastica... by Michael Dewey on Sunday, May 8, 2011 at 9:45:37 PM
We should heed the words of Benjamin Franklin to... by Michael Dewey on Sunday, May 8, 2011 at 9:48:48 PM
And as Lincoln said, echoing the true words of Yes... by E. J. N. on Sunday, May 8, 2011 at 10:13:52 PM
First, my apologies, Mr. Payne, for my choice of l... by John Reed on Monday, May 9, 2011 at 10:35:02 AM