Its time to rebuild and restore our social network – the social services America has been so famous throughout the world
erhaps the biggest challenge laying ahead for Bernie Sanders presidential campaign is to explain that the word “socialism” is not a scary monster after all. There is nothing able to breed more fear and hatred in Americans. Ounce you say the “S” word you can almost see the images of Soviet style propaganda playing like a movie in people’s heads – Russian communism, oppression, centralized control, and mass brain washing.
Americans are afraid of a government controlling everything and managing their lives, taking away their options; but look no further. We are already there, and we might be in a deeper mess than we even think.
What most Americans are failing to see is that their fears are already here and they are living a deception. The kind of oppressive government they fear is already here, just with a different name and is something like – “the American freedom” (i.e. if you are rich and powerful you can do whatever you want).
We work increasingly longer hours and make increasingly less money; we pay increasingly higher taxes, yet see our services being diminished or terminated; we are at the mercy of institutions that increasingly cease to represent the people and instead favor special groups; we have less leisure time with our friends and family; we see our hard earned dollars being siphoned up to few individuals while the majority is left broke; we have no money to buy our own homes, or send our kids to school – yet we all boast proudly we live in a free country.
When the United States was more socialized we used to be better off. Even though we remain the beacon of a open free capitalist democracy; America have always offered a impressive number of socialized programs admired and envied throughout the world. America is the most successful social political experiment the planet has ever known. A society able to build safeguards and check points that supported and protected the health of the middle class.
However our social services are now so deteriorated we can barely be proud of it any more. Other countries are passing us by. Other countries with a more socialized approach are able to convert tax revenues into real benefits for all. In the United States today our great services are anemic or dying due to lack of revenues mostly from the richer small percent who don’t pay their fair share and at the same time utilizes the same public services to become richer. This has to stop or we can no longer call ourselves a great nation. This might be one of the few aspects of American society the world really admires, and is sad to see it going.
When I first came to this country I was deeply impressed with what I saw. I never forget the first images right out the plane. The buildings that were nicely kept, the roads and how everything just worked well and smoothly. Most of all I noticed that there was a large middle class and everyone talked to each other at the same level. All the nice things Americans have been enjoying for decades, the pride and joy of American living are socialized. These nice things were created by the collective wealth of our tax paying dollars. Here are a few examples:
- Our highway and roads
- The military and defense
- The police
- Public libraries
- Fire departments
- Postal services
- Garbage collection
- Social Security
- Public schools
- Public parks
- Sewer systems
- Court systems
- The Pentagon
- Food stamps
This is just a partial list. Click here for a complete list on all the socialized benefits in America and how they have been working for us.
We simply have to get over the “socialist” phobia, because it is simply that – a phobia. An irrational fear deeply rooted into the American psyche. We want the government to be out of our lives but who are we are trying to fool. There will always be a government. There is no business without a boss, no country without a president or a leader. The idea of less government is a utopia. There is no such thing. What we need is a government that works for us rather then one who have self interests at our expenses.
How come our tax dollars end up benefiting the ones who don’t pay any taxes, this is one of the most perverse trends and is unacceptable in America. How could we end up having a government of the rich, by the rich, for the rich? How come the United States, the richest nation in the planet end up having the worst wealth inequality in the world? These are questions you should consider if you are serious about finding out what socialism really means. Socialism after all might be way less scary if we just lose our prejudices.
What is the direction we want our country to go – remains the final question. Do we want to have an open society where all participate; or do we want to be like most less privileged developing nations where only a small elite get to get to do the fun things while all others are excluded?
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Image credit: Truthout.org