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OpEdNews Op Eds    H3'ed 5/19/17

The 21st Century presented America with exciting new opportunities; what in the world happened?

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Well, not much at all has happened in these past 16 plus years. The opportunities weren't seized, the new directions weren't taken and America lapsed into a state of stagnation. Its economy has been very lifeless, its middle class dying, and it's once unique creative and innovative capabilities have been minimal at best.

It's incomprehensible how a country that once possessed such an intense drive for excellence has regressed in recent decades. Yes, the 21st Century did provide tremendous new opportunities for America but they were not taken when we had presidents such as G.W. Bush, followed by Barack Obama. And now with Trump as president we can just forget about new opportunities and new horizons.

And when we are bemoaning this country's inability to move forward to achieve great things let's not forget the U.S Congress which is clearly an anchor dragging America down, an albatross around its neck.

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The U.S. is supposedly the wealthiest nation in the world and many politicians continue to mistakenly proclaim it to be exceptional. So if America is so wealthy and exceptional why is it that we have so many unaddressed problems and so many new opportunities there for the taking with no leaders to take them to fruition.

For those who disagree with the above premise about this condition of stagnation and regression and think that this country is doing just fine and proceeding down the right path, then they need to do this: please identify those outstanding achievements or advancements that have been made in this country since the turn of the century.

Now let's examine just a few of these meaningful new opportunities to strengthen this country that should have been seized years ago, that should have become top priorities for aggressive development to make America truly exceptional.

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Healthcare: what is more important for a nation and its people to have than a really effective, affordable healthcare system that covers all of its citizens, one that is the key to long and healthy lives?

America doesn't have one healthcare system it actually has five. There is private medical coverage, Medicare, Medicaid, Obamacare and the VA, the Veterans Administration system. While there are some connections between them they mainly run independently and all of them are loaded down with massive paperwork that is a giant burden on the doctors, hospitals, the government and insurance companies.

Attempting to maintain five different systems makes for a great deal of ineffectiveness, together with a very large cost per capita, nearly twice as much as is the case for the universal health systems commonly found in Europe and Scandinavia.

What is the answer for creating a far better, much less costly system that covers all Americans? That should be a no-brainer. Senator Bernie Sanders talked about it time and time again. It's what's called Medicare for all Americans and, with the right people doing the transition; it would be the best and most effective way of providing healthcare for everyone. Sure Medicare has problems but they can easily be fixed.

Doing this would solve many problems that adversely affect many millions of Americans. This could be done, it should be done but we just don't have the leaders to make this happen.

Our national infrastructure: we keep hearing that we must initiate an aggressive program to repair and rebuild our national infrastructure; our highways, the Interstate, bridges, waterways, the electrical grid and other areas. There are millions of new jobs that could be created. It would take about $1 trillion to bring this system up to normal, acceptable standards and, even then, it would still lag far behind many of those world class systems in Europe.

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Solar power: making the development of solar power and other forms of alternative energy should have been a top priority of this government many decades ago but this government has completely failed to understand the tremendous impact that it would have on America going into the future.

Control over the supply and distribution routes of oil has caused a great many wars over time. The question should not be about how many wars this obsession with oil has started but, rather, how many wars were not started because of oil.

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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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