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OpEdNews Op Eds    H2'ed 7/16/15

The American State of Mind; Two Contrasting Perspectives

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Message Michael Payne

These wealthy Americans have a large problem with our government. They feel it is maintaining a giant welfare state in which millions of other Americans willingly accept welfare instead of making it on their own through honest work. But then they totally disregard the fact that Corporate America has eliminated millions of jobs and has thrown struggling Americans onto the rolls of Food Stamps, Medicaid and other social net programs.

If there is some fear and apprehension present in those at the top it would have to be from a recurring nightmare in which they have lost everything they possess and have to try to live like the rest of their fellow Americans, attempting to adapt to significantly lower lifestyles. They wake up in a sweat and then realize it was just a bad dream.

Now, in stark contrast to those at the top, here are words that best describe the state of mind of the vast majority of those who live in the "other" lower portions of the American society; many of which have seen their jobs disappear and their quality of life rapidly deteriorate: fear, apprehension, uncertainty, anger, frustration, a sense of foreboding, and hopelessness. These Americans no longer see great opportunities before them and it seems like life in this country has become the "survival of the fittest."

A great many Americans who currently have jobs worry about whether they will be able to keep them; those unemployed or underemployed and forced to work for the minimum wage have no choice but to accept various forms of government aid. They fear that they will lose their homes and be unable to meet their mounting credit card bills. In the back of their minds they have this dread of becoming homeless. If I were to think of one word to describe the greatest concern that these Americans share it would be -- survival.

Will they ever be able to retire and, if they do, how can they do it on a fixed income relying solely on Social Security because they have no savings? They think about the future and have no confidence that things will get any better and are, quite likely, to get a lot worse. They are watching their part of the American dream go down the tubes.

They see this government engaged in perpetual war; they see a Congress and its robotic politicians continue to appropriate hundreds of billions of dollars for the U.S. military empire but refuse to provide funding for the creation of badly needed new jobs; to repair our rotting national infrastructure and to raise the level of our declining system of education. They see politicians that no longer connect with the American people who they were elected to serve.

In this regard let's talk about caste systems. India's caste system has four main classes; in descending order: on the top rung are the religious community and its leaders, followed by all forms of government and public service, then those engaged in commercial activity, i.e., the business sector, then semi-skilled and unskilled laborers and, lastly, those who are referred to as "Pariah Harijans" or the outcasts, the untouchables.

India's government, in years past, became well aware of the dangers involved with this rapidly growing inequity that was part of its caste system and it felt that if this situation were not dealt with that there was a great potential for a massive societal upheaval. And so it spent billions to turn it around; and though it is still a serious problem it is vastly improved, and the anger and frustration of the people has been significantly alleviated.

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