What is America today?
America is a political system that ensures a government driven solely by self interest. The self interest of politicians is power and money. Power means political positioning into a role that either begets more power or more money and usually they go hand in hand.
America is being ridden by investors both foreign and domestic whose sole objective is to extract wealth from the nation. They do whatever it takes to extract wealth. They have used the politicians to create systems that ensure they produce higher returns much quicker than the old fashioned way of earning them. They purchase regulators by funding them (for instance the FDA’s budget for testing new drugs is funded by the industry being regulated and the Fed has regulatory oversight of banks and yet many of its directors are bankers from the banks being regulated) to ensure policies are created to rig the game. It means policies that skew probabilities in favour of profits for particular players. What that means essentially is that these investors will win more often than they lose. That’s everything in the game of investing. It doesn’t have to be such that you win every time just more often than not.
America has, over time, had a significant amount of wealth been extracted in the form of personal and corporate profits. There are over $1T in profits being held offshore. Companies like Pfizer and Walgreens are acquiring foreign companies to move headquarters to the acquisition target’s lower foreign tax zone. These acts by corporations are logical in that they don’t want to pay the higher US corporate tax rates on those profits. And I get that, who does? But we also have a government that hasn’t balanced a budget in 15 years which means we are borrowing money while rigged profits sit offshore and it is not the investors but the American middle class that ends up carrying the burden. For the middle class cannot simply acquire a foreigner to pay a lower tax rate. And yet middle class Americans do nothing to change the system that is destroying them. Why is it we simply accept these systematically designed irregularities of society. Many of these irregularities are illegal, unconstitutional and certainly not within the spirit of the American dream. There is something that can be done if, as a collective group, the middle class decides to do the only right thing it can do. Fix this problem before it destroys any chance for our children and their children to have a life as good as the one left for us.
America is a media machine with shared control by the aforementioned wealth manipulators and political players. Note political players are not only legislators but those who have made a living maneuvering around DC in an effort to skew probabilities in some direction or the other. Control of the media is essential and incredibly effective in America. Americans rely heavily on major media for the majority of their information. The powers that be, absolutely understand how important it is to create the right message and how to get that to the people. The fact that the candidate who raises the most money wins the election is not a coincidence. More money means more of your message which results in, with almost 100% certainty, victory.
But the problem goes far beyond the political elites and their puppet masters. America is a nation for which entitlement has replaced responsibility for ones own life. In low socioeconomic areas education is not a priority because there is a system in place to fund the needs of entire communities. There is little incentive to break outside that system when the system has become a cultural norm. In the more affluent areas kids are being taught that not education but grades are important. As such parents are not so much concerned with the child’s actual performance but their recorded performance. This means both gearing the system to facilitate grades not education and placing blame squarely on everyone but the child itself when performance misses expectations. The schools, the teachers and the administrators or even the curriculums are to blame if a child disappoints. I’ve seen the kind of pressure parents and school boards put on the system to accommodate students’ performance without regard to merit. The education system can be faulty but generations before this generation had less than perfect schools and yet they managed to still lead the world in math and science and engineering. Today the US does not break into the top 25 ranking in any academic subject when compared to the rest of world. Today’s kids are being coddled to prevent disheartenment, disappointment and god forbid a child today know what it’s like to lose at anything. We are creating a generation of children in the lower socioeconomic areas to rely on the state for their survival, in effect, communities of adult children. In the more affluent areas we are creating a generation devoid of principles where merit is a cute but unnecessary ideal. We are creating a generation that will necessarily destroy the fundamental axioms that built this once admired nation. Fifty-five percent of Americans are money takers, ten percent are self promoting law makers and that leaves the remaining thirty-five percent to carry the moral weight of the nation. Despite being a minority, if the thirty-five percent were very proactive and vocal about the corruptive transformation of this nation it may be a large enough constituency to reverse the ship.
However, it appears that even those moral minority fail to have the strength of character or perhaps simply the energy to protect what should have been a nation stronger than the one their parent’s left them. The sad reality and what makes this destruction somewhat cannibalistic and grotesque is that we are stealing, not only from each other, but from our future generations, our children. Today’s America is literally dismantling a great nation that was entrusted to us by previous generations. This is the epitome of our modern American culture. That is, immediate gratification at all costs. We have completely lost the integrity and discipline to see beyond our most primitive instincts. In a sense we are losing the characteristics that separate us from the rest of the animal kingdom. The problem is that our instincts are not sharp. Squirrels recognize they cannot eat all the nuts in the fall but must store some for when foraging is not so fruitful. We cannot claim to have such discipline today as Americans. When times are good and money is a plenty we double down. And so when times are not so frothy we are forced to pillage our children’s future comforts. This is who we are. Accept it or do something about it. But do not deny the facts. Savings in America were negative during the boom of the mid 2000’s. Government spending was well beyond our means forcing monetization of debt to cover the deficit. Since the economic breakdown in ’08 we have chosen to double our debt levels rather than making disciplined choices. That is, rather than sacrificing our own comforts to make up for our mistakes we have chosen to pillage from future generations. Please understand this is not a qualitative or anecdotal statement that we can dismiss as trite opinion it is quantitative fact, mathematically and economically speaking (if you do not, but want to understand the math read the previous two part post “Money Woes”). And so this is who we are. We have become a society that is willing to sacrifice our children’s children to sustain our own current comforts. And we need to admit this is who we are. Denying it only perpetuates the behaviour. If we cannot bear this admission then we should do something about it. Mistakes are just that but mistakes that are recognized and perpetuated are no longer mistakes, they are character.