What is happening to America?

The plight of our Poor and Homeless — Why are so many of us living in tents along the highways? Why are so many of us being tossed out of our jobs and left to find a tent in homeless “tent villages” along our highways?

Recently, I have begun reading Elizabeth Warren’s new book, “This Fight Is Our Fight” …. “The Battle to Save America’s Middle Class”, (first published in 2017), with a new “Afterward” this year.

I’ve never had a deep conviction that conservative economics is the prudent means to keep America safe and happy. I was raised by a conservative grandmother (she was a Republican all her life), but I didn’t like her “political stance”, so I became a Democrat in college. I came to believe that Republicans are overlooking the more obvious results of our historical indifference to the plight of our less successful, our least economically advantaged and our less educated American populace. In fact, they are the true Majority in our Land of the Free.

Some of us may feel that those who haven’t managed to achieve a comfortable middle class income (as demonstrated by ownership of a house and a yard with a picket fence) are simply not deserving of the basic luxuries. Perhaps some of us think those who fail to rise to the standard of living that every law-abiding, “comfortable” middle-class working American have somehow not followed the “rules” for achieving success in the common American social class.

However, as a college educated American citizen, I am also a mother of 3 children (my son is a successful business man, but without a college degree), and my oldest daughter married an attorney. They live in a lovely house (which they own) — but she, too, has no college degree. My second daughter is married, her husband is a fire fighter… but no college degrees there either, and they don’t yet own their home. I’ve learned that a college degree doesn’t guarantee “success”, or acceptance in the Middle Class in our society today — nor does it guarantee a happy life.

Entrepreneurial savvy and a commitment to succeed in common American terms is really all that is required to become comfortably successful. But it takes more than education and “savvy” now. The providence of Good Luck (or as the most conservative Christian church attendees would say “the blessings of God) — are increasingly necessary to get some of us a ‘Good Life’.

For the larger majority of us, however, {65% or more) suffer without the blessings of American providence all our lives, many of us ending up in homeless shelters or living with other family members, or leaning on the charity of a church, or a state Social Services (welfare) service. Personally, although I’ve achieved a Masters degree in Education, I’ve not been sufficiently successful to be able to buy my own home.

It takes more than “individual freedom and responsibility” to achieve prosperity for the great majority of us Americans. The charity of our public services, our social service organizations, and our community “nonprofit” services are increasingly important for our society to meet the needs of the growing number of us who lack the the ingenuity , or the accidental providence to acquire the resources that make it possible to become successful — to buy our own home!

I voted for Joe Biden last November, and I am SO thankful that I did! President Biden’s first speech to the Joint Houses of Congress this week was a wonderfully articulated and hope-inspiring presentation. He wants a larger role by our government in rectifying the problems in our society that have led to our increasing numbers of homeless citizens who cannot find jobs. Of course, that will result in an increase in taxation — , and our Republican Party is making a huge issue of this — because they haven’t been performing effectively or making a positive difference for our nation in quite some time (years). I recall Joe Biden mentioned the 240+ Billionaires who have benefited from all the tricks that “trickle-down” economic tactics have given them.

All the rest of us have had to crawl through the muck of modern American commercial opportunism and dishonest market tactics have imposed upon us to survive, and we’ve lost our jobs along the way, because Big Business has, of course, decided to maximize profits by automating everything that can be automated — encouraging us all to shop “online” using our computers, so they don’t have to maintain huge inventories or provide us with shopping marts where we can see what we’re buying first. Thus, “Big Business” is laying off store personnel, laying off maintenance staff, shutting down everything that we are accustomed to — and in the meantime, throwing us all out of our jobs.

What is the end result of this profit maximization and marketplace dismantlement? The end of our American commercial society as we know it, and the end of our jobs, the loss of our insurance benefits, the loss of our homes. And the rising number of “tent villages” along our highways — which has, in turn, led to the increase in the garbage littering our highway medians and increased the number of us who are sick and dying because we are forced to live in flimsy tents along the highways, where the rain and snow and the cold winds subject us to harsh living conditions that are probably increasing the number of us who are sick and dying — earlier than we used to.

All of this is reducing the status of America to that of an impoverished “Third World Country”!

Of course, our Republican contingents are becoming concerned about our growing appreciation for our compassionate president, and so they are beginning to pump out insulting propaganda — filled with social slurs where they are liberally sprinkling their commentary with that dirtiest of words in the vernacular of political propaganda — “Socialism”.

What, really, is “Socialism” — it’s a term that is used in political science studies …. a political and economic theory of social organization which advocates that the means of production, distribution, and exchange should be owned or regulated by the community as a whole. But an older definition of “socialism” is (in Marxist theory) a transitional social state between the overthrow of capitalism and the realization of Communism.

Some of us like to point out that Joe Biden’s goals to increase fair treatment for the larger majority of us will reduce our freedom. But, frankly, that is a meaningless assertion in our present social situation, where everyday more and more of us are being forced to live in tents beside the roadways of America — where we cannot keep warm at night, where we cannot get enough food to eat, where we can’t go to doctors to heal ourselves from the punishing effects of our homelessness and our poverty.

Joe Biden has in mind improving the lives of Americans in the fairest way he can manage. If he is allowed to succeed in his efforts (because more of us WANT to stop living in tents along the freeways than those of us who live in mansions in the gated communities where our wealthiest citizens now live). That will reduce our suffering and increase our chances to achieve equitable participation in our economy and our society.

It it past time that we all begin to deal with the truth of the horrendous degradations that have come to be part of the daily living situations of our increasingly disadvantaged majority. The official poverty rate is 10.5 percent, based on the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2019 estimates. That year, an estimated 34.0 million Americans lived in poverty according to the official measure, 4.2 million fewer people than in 2018. According to a supplemental poverty measure, the poverty rate was 11.7 percent. According to the Census Bureau, 17.3 million people reported deep poverty in 2018, which means a household income below 50 percent of the 2018 poverty threshold. These individuals represented an estimated 5.3 percent of all Americans and 45.4 percent of those in poverty.

Americans are also dying because more of us are falling into homelessness. Our government is responsible for this colossal of our government’s social failure. Joe Biden is correct in his assessment of the need for us to deal with it effectively, and not by making excuses for our government failures to respond.

Joe Biden is, I am sure, well aware of these statistics. And he wants to do something about it. It’s been a long while since we’ve had a president who truly cares about what is happening to our peoples.

You might find Elizabeth Warren’s newly published book, “This Fight Is Our Fight””The Battle to Save America’s Middle Class” informative. She has put her thumb on the truth of our failing American social/government systems.

The Republican pundits are throwing around an old “bugaboo” of modern political speculation this week — Socialism is a word they like to apply to our President’s efforts to make a difference in our lives right now. I think the term needs explanation and clarification. “Socialism” has become a “dirty word” in our common vernacular — Elizabeth Warren is not afraid to “call a spade a “spade”. Socialism … every time a Republican use the term, he/she turns the comment into a sneer — as if taking care of the well being of our less fortunate millions is akin to throwing 3-day old, moldy bread at the poor in the streets. With this tactic, pundits and social commenters denigrate our inclinations to help one another by labeling our charitable activities as a “social sin”!

A nation that does not take care of the basic human needs of it’s peoples will eventually crumble into the status of a Third World Country . Overcome by the poverty of our growing numbers of unemployed and impoverished, where everyone who is not a member of the Political Elite becomes a member of the poverty-stricken “Untouchable” class, if we cannot all rise to the level of our employed and “more worthy” citizen class, then we will all slide down into the misery of our “Appalachian Poor” — those of us who are forced to live in the slums of our inner cities, where we could be homeless on the street, or living in rundown tenements without electricity and broken windows.

You may be familiar with that because such places appear in the news— the poverty-stricken nations of the Middle East have a large (perhaps dominant) segment of their population classified as “Untouchables”.

The end result of all of this is revolution and civil war. It may be that the Covid Pandemic we are enduring is more than a simple natural event — it may be a harbinger of what is to come if we fail to deal with our growing number of impoverished and homeless citizens here. If we fail to change the way our commercial leaders treat us in the workplace — if we fail to change the rules by which employers decide who may work and how many may be hired, and how we are treated by our employers.

Some of us may think our President’s goals are too optimistic, or that what he proposes to accomplish is unrealistic. I think Joe Biden’s goals are achievable, and more than that, they are much needed. Our democracy is in danger, and it is not beyond the realm of possibility that our nation could fail if we do not do what is right and necessary to renew our nation’s laws and our government’s commitment to provide adequately for the welfare of We the People!

We must not allow our commercial interests to overrule our Constitution and our Rules of Law. A nation that does not stand together for the survival and well-being of all our citizens will fall together in the tumult of rising national anger and revolution.

Member of the Medium Forum, varied interests, particularly preservation of American social equality and environmental preservation.

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