Since 1985, America has fallen from one of the nations with the most equitable distribution of wealth and earning power to one of the least. According to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, a group of 30 mostly developed nations, the "American Dream" has largely disappeared. Excepting Mexico and Turkey, we have the highest inequality and poverty in the OECD, and the gap has increased rapidly since 2000. The top 10% of Americans hold 71% of all wealth, while the top 1% alone holds up to 33% of the nation's wealth.
On September 11, 2001, the whole world was in our fighting mad corner ready to root out a small band of terrorists and their seeds. Instead, our government snookered us into sending our middle class blood and wealth into a WMD-less quagmire, alienating the world and sprouting more terrorists. Now we're the largest debtor nation. We're broke. And the military is almost broken. Bush redesigned Camelot into a Hummer parking lot. Terror strategists loved it. And we lost another war.
On the new international math & science test series, the Associated Press reported "American 12th graders scored near the bottom of all nations," out performing only Cyprus and South Africa. A comparison of the high-school elite--those who took physics and advanced math==showed American tied for the bottom. The OECD concluded: "The effectiveness of (US) primary and secondary education system can broadly be characterized as mediocre at best."
On one day in October 2008, the Dow Jones Wilshire 5000, the broadest measure of the stock market, lost another $1.1 trillion. A lot of college educations, retirements, and small businesses disappeared, because our government bought the simplistic notion that less regulation is more. They missed the need to "trust and verify" bankers, wheeler-dealers, and the well-connected.
Once strong and respected America is falling off an economic precipice. To stand tall again, more than a new set of talking heads is needed. New Orleans still needs rebuilding, poverty is spreading, the dollar will soon be replaced as the reserve currency, food lines are growing... [[IMG5]]
We need a new 21st century army to address needs, stem climate change, spread appropriate technology--and to engrain service and community building into America's character--so that tomorrow we'll be too smart to follow simplistic and costly public policies. Had tens of millions of Americans served peacefully over the past several decades, we would not have become a dumbed-down society where greed, jingoism, and war win over community building, peaceful service, and thoughtfulness.
Obama-Biden have a nice national service plan. However, it is not big enough to deal with the tsunami of problems on our horizon. People's Lobby's American World Service Corps Congressional Proposals (AWSC) offers a more robust program that appeals to the right and left. It also has six nontraditional funding mechanisms that could fund the AWSC with little or no reliance on the proposals' six more traditional taxing streams. To fix today and avoid tomorrow's messes, we need a generation of 21 million problem-solvers at home and abroad. Americans love playing on winning teams.
The small AWSC umbrella organization builds stars on already winning teams such as the Peace Corps, AmeriCorps, Habitat, Red Cross, International Rescue Committee, Doctors Without Borders, Head Start, Oxfam, Mercy Corps, and State Conservation Corps... [[IMG6]] We don't need to invent a big new organization to fix the world. We just need more Americans and world citizens serving in existing governmental and nongovernmental organizations. Learn more at www.WorldServiceCorps.US . Sign the petition and lobby your representatives. Corporations without heartbeats lobby for bottom lines. Real people with hearts should lobby for loved ones.[[vid1]]