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America, Rapidly Approaching A Point Of No Return

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At some point reality sets in and it becomes evident that no matter how much Americans might want to see dramatic, positive changes come to this country the chances of that happening are quickly disappearing; the die is cast. That's the reality of living in the America of today, a nation that many astute, respected observers firmly believe is in a protracted state of decline.

A point of no return is that time or stage when a series of actions or a process reaches a point beyond which it becomes impossible to reverse. America has now become a nation that gives every indication that it is rapidly approaching that point of no return -- or has already passed it. Dramatic changes have come to this country in recent times but far too many of them have proven to be negative and damaging.

This is not some kind of baseless conjecture, the facts speak for themselves. The changes that have taken place in this country are not subtle but, rather, have been very dramatic and not in a positive way. America is just not the country it once was and, while we can dispute that notion, it's just happens to reflect reality.

Here is just one more of the many articles on the internet that measures and ranks the quality of life in countries around the world. In these rankings America clearly lags behind a great many nations in a host of important categories, from inequality, education, poverty, quality of health care for all citizens, to job creation, infrastructure condition, ecosystem sustainability, personal safety and numerous others.

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What could be a better illustration of this decline in America than the following? The U.S., which was the creator and developer of the internet, now ranks, as this article states, "a disappointing 23rd in access to the Internet." That fact is supported by this statement from "The United States was one of the world leaders on broadband penetration in the 1990s, ranking fourth among other developed and developing nations.  But by 2006, the U.S.'s standing slipped drastically." And, further "a report of countries with the fastest internet speeds shows that the average speed in the U.S. is about 616 kbps (a dismal 26th ranking); drastically slower than in South Korea, which topped the list at an average of 2,202 kbps." 

The evidence suggests that many countries with far lower GDPs than the U.S. use their wealth and resources for the good of all their citizens not just for those who occupy the top rungs of the income spectrum. How in the world can America, with the largest GDP in the world, have the greatest inequality of wealth and income among the developed nations?

There is a three letter word, WAR, that best describes what has been happening to this nation. The U.S. government has been involved in three major wars since 1960 that have, collectively, totaled 36 years with costs in the trillions of taxpayer dollars. And even after those colossal failures we now find ourselves in the midst of another contrived War on Terror that shows no signs of letting up. By now it should be more than obvious that this obsession with war is what generates massive profits for those who fuel its engines.

Almost every problem facing this nation today can be attributed to the stranglehold that Corporate America holds on this government and this society. It is, unquestionably, the major reason for the massive inequality that exists in this country. As capitalism, American style, continues to contribute to this inequality we see more and more joblessness, homelessness, foreclosures, crime and violence, more Americans below the poverty line, on food stamps, and more misery, despair and hopelessness.

In America today, white collar criminals run rampant on Wall Street, use deceit and manipulative tactics to generate massive profits at the expense of the American people. There has not been the slightest effort, nor can we expect it, from this president, the Attorney General, or the Congress to investigate, prosecute and send the chief offenders to prison for their criminal actions.

We live in a country in which Corporate America has virtually destroyed this nation's manufacturing sector and its workforce; China and the Corporatists reap the profits, the American people take the hit; Congress and the White House could have alleviated this situation long ago but have clearly shown that they have no intention of doing anything to even slow the process down. Corporatists win and people lose.

This article shows the degree to which these corporations have gamed the system by avoiding paying U.S. corporate taxes to the tune of $2.1 trillion dollars by storing them in offshore accounts -- and the Congress continues to let them get away with this blatant tax evasion; but pity the average American who dares to avoid paying taxes.

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Decisions by the U.S. Supreme Court, a chief subsidiary of Corporate America, have opened the door to unlimited political contributions that have made a mockery of this nation's electoral system. This total misinterpretation of Article One of the Constitution goes largely unchallenged and further contaminates America's democracy.

Their conclusion, that corporations are the same as people and have the same right of free speech, that money is a part of free speech, is ludicrous; it's twisted thinking on the part of the five members of this court who march to the beat of the Corporatists.

America, the violent: the military empire continues on, war can erupt at any time; domestic violence has become a normal part of life in this society. It's not only children in the inner cities who are in great danger but any school in America can now become the scene of mass shootings. A gun mentality prevails in this country as evidenced by Stand Your Ground laws in 19 states and Concealed Carry Laws in all 50 states. How long before we in this country experience a societal nightmare of massive proportions?

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Michael Payne is an independent, progressive activist. His writings deal with social, economic, political and foreign policy issues. He is a featured writer on Opednews and Nation of Change and his articles have appeared on many other websites (more...)

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