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Who is Seriously Addressing the Issues that Face Us?

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Message Kevin Geary
I am watching the debates, following the campaigns, and I'm wondering if I'm like Alice in Wonderland, trying to believe six impossible things before breakfast!

We have the worst debt crisis in our nation's history. But nobody is seriously addressing it.

We have possibly the world's worst tax code, utterly impossible to understand, because of its complexity and myriad tax breaks for certain individuals and corporations. Our corporate tax rate is the highest in the world, except for Japan. Germany, France, the UK, Russia, Canada (yes, Canada) and Ireland (12.5%) all have much lower corporate taxes and we wonder why companies are leaving and incorporating overseas and outsourcing jobs? But nobody is seriously addressing it.

We actually give tax breaks to corporations who send jobs overseas! And we wonder why companies have outsourced, and we have no manufacturing jobs! But nobody is seriously addressing it.

We had one of the worst hurricane disasters in our history in New Orleans in 2005, and the rescue and evacuation of people there was a total disaster, worse than the original hurricane. All the Gulf coast, and New Orleans in particular, is still much of a disaster area. People with insurance on their homes have been deliberately denied their rightful claims by crooked insurance companies, and nobody in Congress has done anything about it. We spent hundreds of millions of dollars buying mobile homes for people made homeless and never delivered them to the people who needed them. Instead, they were left to deteriorate in muddy fields in Arkansas! The rest of the world looks on in disbelief, that more than two years after the disaster we have done nothing to re-house, re-build and plan for prevention of the next disaster. But nobody is seriously addressing it.

We had a huge criminal act perpetrated upon us on 9/11 by a small bunch of terrorist criminals. Instead of calling it a crime, and going after the criminals, we attack another country in the Middle East, who had nothing at all to do with the original crime, totally destroying it; kill hundreds of thousands of people, and help make the small band of criminals, who perpetrated mass murder on innocent New Yorkers, look like heroes to Muslims all over the world, and helped recruit hundreds, if not thousands of people to the cause of the bunch of criminals who perpetrated the original crime! But nobody is seriously addressing it.

We have a mortgage meltdown that threatens the very fabric of our whole society, and a huge personal debt crisis that is engulfing millions of people in America, just after Congress passed legislation making it virtually impossible for many people to actually go bankrupt! But nobody is seriously addressing it.

We have the largest discrepancy in income in this country between the CEOs of companies and the rest of us who work, since just before the Great Depression, or the time of the "Robber Barons" at the end of the 19th/early 20th centuries. But nobody is seriously addressing it.

The minimum wage is so pathetic, that people who work for it, have to work two jobs in order to barely survive on it. Compared to the time it was introduced, the minimum wage should now be $15 an hour, to have the same purchasing power, yet it is less than $6! But nobody is seriously addressing it.

Our manufacturing industry has been decimated by "outsourcing" to the detriment of most Americans who used to have jobs in manufacturing. Our fetish for "cheaper and cheaper" has lead us to increasingly become a nation of paupers who can barely afford to shop at Wal Mart! In 1960, the biggest employer in the country was General Motors. Today, the biggest employer is Wal Mart! In 1960, most workers at GM could buy the car that they built, and afford to buy a house as well. Those who work at Wal Mart today can barely afford a car, or even afford to buy the things at Wal Mart, let alone ever contemplate owning a house! But nobody is seriously addressing it.

A country that produces nothing (except arms and airplanes) and relies on a "service" economy, will not long survive as a nation without collapsing. In America the average hourly wage is $17.50 an hour; in Germany, it's $39 an hour! When was the last time you heard someone say, "I don't want to buy a BMW or Mercedes or Leica, because it costs too much?" We used to manufacture the equivalent of those great products; yet now we produce nothing that people want to buy. The Chinese and the Indians produce our manufactured goods, not Americans. When was the last time you bought clothes that lasted for several years because they were so well made (in America, by American workers)? Now you go and buy cheap crap made in China or Indonesia or the Philippines or Bangladesh, or Vietnam, and they are simply not well made (although they are priced cheaply). They fall apart and fray, and gape, and break, within less than a year! The Japanese make wonderful cars that we buy because they are far better designed, and are better value and longer lasting than our own cars. We have lost the great name of American manufacturing. The best we do (other than making bombs and planes) is import crap and stick an American company label on the front. We don't even make Levi's jeans here anymore! We make things that only the super rich, major corporations, and airlines or tinpot dictators can afford, or even want. We don't make our own DVD players, or TVs, or jeans anymore! But nobody is seriously addressing it.

We are now officially have the worst health care in the industrialized world. Out of 19 countries, we are dead last in preventable deaths. Why? because we have no universal health insurance for everyone in America, unlike every other major industrialized country. We spend more than 50% more than any other country on healthcare and yet don't insure everyone! We have the highest drug prices of any country in the entire world, yet we can import toys with lead from China, but old people cannot legally get their drugs cheaper from Canada or Mexico! Our health care is in complete crisis (ask any doctor or patient); it is collapsing under a myriad of problems and prohibitive insurance costs, all of which are fixable, if we would only have a National health insurance and negotiate bulk buy discounts with drug companies. Because so few people (even really wealthy ones), have personal doctors they can see or talk to, we have illnesses diagnosed too late. And people die because of it! And if there were to be a "pandemic" outbreak of something here, because of our system, it would spread like wildfire, because it couldn't be contained early, because people are often frightened of going to a doctor (if they even have one) because of the cost. We are the only place in the industrialized world where people have to go bankrupt because of medical bills (often, even when they are insured!). But nobody is seriously addressing it.

Our education system is fast becoming a very sad joke. By almost any yardstick, we fail to teach our children what they need in order to be successful in the world. Every industrialized country beats us in education. It wasn't always thus. But nobody is seriously addressing it.

We have gone from being one of the most admired and "looked-up to" nations in the world some eight years ago, to become the most reviled, mistrusted, hated, and "laughed-at" nation in the world. But nobody is seriously addressing it.

Our voting system is in an utter shambles. The machines, at best, are prone to error, and at worst can easily be manipulated by the corrupt. We have given up paper ballots, counted by hand, by citizen volunteers, for machines without any paper trails, controlled by dubious corporations, who deny auditing access to their machines because they are "proprietary". As a result, we are the only democracy in the whole world where exit polls (which are extremely accurate), are in huge discrepancy with the final "vote tallies" (a certain sign of fraud in the counting in any other country!). We could move to hand counted paper ballots, which could always be recounted, and would ensure accuracy and recounts when there was a close election, very easily. But nobody is seriously addressing it.

I hear the politicians. I hear the questions. I hear the politicians fail to answer the questions.

Oh sure, I hear Obama give a rousing speech and talk of "hope," but I hear no hope of any actual plans to address our problems. I hear Hillary talk of her experience, and certainly she knows how Washington and the White House works, but I hear no actual plans to solve our many problems. I hear Romney, who twists and turns more often in the wind that a scarecrow in a hurricane, but I hear no plans to solve our problems. I hear Giuliani, who opens his mouth and says a noun, a verb, and 9/11 and I'll be tougher than Bush on 'terrorists," but I hear no actual plans to solve our problems. I hear McCain and think "it's deja-vu all over again!" but I hear no plans to solve our problems. And if he refers to us as his "friends" again one more time, I think I'll throw up! I hear Huckerbee, and he's a really likeable and regular guy. I'd like to have him over for dinner sometime. But I hear no actual plans to solve our problems (except at least he advocates a plan to change the tax code, and change the tax system. It might not be the right plan, but at least it is a real serious plan that has been put up by some serious economists.) But could I really see him as our president? I don't think so. I see Ron Paul, and he makes a lot of sense. He says things that no-one else is saying, but again, I hear no plans to solve our problems. And he won't be elected, anyway.

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Kevin Geary is an artist and writer. He currently resides in Sedona, AZ.
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