Monday, October 13, 2014

The Greatest Country in the World Shows Again Why It Isn't

Of course the chart above tells the key story: Americans have forgotten what makes a country work and thrive. We put competent systems in place, that's what. Let's face it, this kind of breakdown results from the toxic misapprehension of the Ronald-Reagan type.

"Government is not the solution to our problem, government is the problem." --Saint Ronnie's first inaugural address.

No more dangerous words are ever spoken in a democracy. Government is the repository, the cauldron, of democracy. Declare it the enemy, and the enemies of democracy will thrive instead. There are some public goods that can only be achieved by government, i.e. the people working together.

The knee-jerk counterargument is that when government fails, it's the government's innate inability to do something well. The real counterargument to government-as-the-problem is fix the problem. Now, certain people -- those with access to and control of capital -- will want to frame the solution to a government failure as a private-sector response. Why? Because it's an attempt to move public moneys to private pockets. This is the nature of the capitalist beast, and it's rarely in the public interest.

But the failure here is that the wealthy behind their gated communities -- let's face it, the wealthy don't live with us in the general population -- and, thus, the wealthy aren't tuned in to the general welfare system that would stop an Ebola outbreak or a resurgence of polio. They feel safe and apart.

Which is why we have such a dysfunctional healthcare system, including our public health infrastructure: Simply, the moneyed class run their own operations. How many of you expect to run into Bill Gates, Warren Buffett, or George Clooney at your local public health clinic -- or the local Kaiser clinic, for that matter -- getting a TB test or the latest shingles booster? None of us do. The public health clinic is for the dispossessed. I should know: As a teacher, a TB test was required every few years, and we sat waiting our turns with the masses served by our public-health system.

Republicans, I'm afraid, are responsible for this mess, this eroding of public goods, because they serve their masters in the privatization scheme that takes public dollars and puts them in private pockets. What's left? Underfunded public health systems that can't cope with an Ebola outbreak in Dallas. Who's fault is that?

It's the government's!

What a facile, cheap shot. Assholes, otherwise rightfully known as the enemies of the people.

What is breaking down in Africa? The public sector. Private sector to the rescue? Not a chance.
Who is coming to the rescue? The U.S. government -- our armed forces -- and NGOs.

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