The US is the greatest country the world has ever seen, proclaim our leaders.
It’s getting hard to take these kinds of statements seriously.
In Flint, Michigan we’ve decided that we really don’t give a fuck if the residents have clean water or that their children suffer from lead exposure, and now, Legionnaires disease.
As you might have heard, Michigan’s Republican governor, Rick Snyder, forced out the Flint mayor and installed a hand-picked emergency manager, who then “oversaw the poisoning of the town’s water source as a means to save money.”
This lack of concern about the most vulnerable is just par for the course in the USA. After all, in the aftermath of the Wall Street crash of 2007, we saved bankers rather than homeowners. Since then Americans have suffered a sharp drop in personal wealth. A story at Salon, entitled Myth of the middle class: Most Americans don’t even have $1,000 in savings 0.1% of Americans have as much wealth as the bottom 90%, suggests that the U.S. hardly even has a middle-class anymore.
“More than half of Americans — 56 percent, to be exact — have less than $1,000 combined in their checking and savings accounts, according to a recent survey, Forbes reported.
This is to say, most Americans are living paycheck-to-paycheck.
Furthermore, almost two-thirds of Americans — 63 percent — do not have enough in their savings for an emergency. A substantial majority of Americans would need to borrow money if faced with an unexpected expense.
U.S. politicians frequently rant about supposed “American exceptionalism,” but, compared to other industrialized nations, the U.S. has grossly disproportionate poverty rates.”
However that may be, our government has other priorities. “President Barack Obama’s plans to modernize the U.S. nuclear arsenal over the next 30 years could cost taxpayers nearly $1 trillion, according to a new study that suggests the project’s long-term price tag will far outpace available Pentagon estimates.”
These are the priorities of a deep state, made up of banks and corporations and a secret government that values war more than people. The deep state is comfortable with a decaying infrastructure here at home. After all, their kids don’t have to worry about filthy water coming out of the taps, and they’re not living paycheck to paycheck. In fact, they have all the money.
“Politicians constantly insist that the U.S. is the putative “leader of the world,” but why does this matter if it does not translate into positive gains for actual working-class citizens? The U.S. may be the most powerful country in the world, economically and militarily speaking, but if this does not bring with it a high standard of living or ensure well-being for citizens, it ultimately does not matter; it simply benefits the rich, and the rich alone.”
The priorities of the US deep state stand Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs on it’s head, where the basics like food and water and shelter are neglected so the deep state can become self-actualized.
In the homeland there’s the constant reminder that we’re in an endless war against evil terrorists. Yet the last time I checked ISIS, or Al-Qaeda, or whomever, didn’t have a nuclear arsenal.
I’ve said it before and I’m sure I’ll say it again–the war on terror is a hoax, and homeland security is just a cheap Orwellian slogan.
I believe that Orwell would feel perfectly comfortable in our present milieu of endless war.
“The essential act of war is destruction, not necessarily of human lives, but of the products of human labour. War is a way of shattering to pieces, or pouring into the stratosphere, or sinking in the depths of the sea, materials which might otherwise be used to make the masses too comfortable, and hence, in the long run, too intelligent.”
Endless war against Islamic terrorism is the bright shiny object that districts Americans from their banana-republic reality.
I don’t know about you, but I worry a lot more about neoliberal terrorism, where basic public utilities, like water, are seen as profit streams to be tapped into, public-health be damned.
Update: “In the midst of growing anger over the poisoning of residents of Flint, Michigan and the exposure of criminal actions by state and local authorities, Governor Rick Snyder gave a State of the State address Tuesday night in which he insisted that neither he nor any other top official should be held accountable.”