America Is Morally Bankrupt

As the discussion is still raging on in Washington concerning the deficit and the US debt ceiling, it is becoming rather obvious that a backroom deal will eventually be made by the GOP controlled House of Representatives and the Obama administration. Ordinary Americans will pickup the tab by getting critical social programs standing between them and dire poverty drastically cut. The US social safety net is already one of the worst in the industrial world and what could be left of it will put the United States on par with developing countries and banana republics.

If America is quickly rising again as the main global financial liability, the rot at the core of this  is a lot more a moral issue than an economic one. What the United States ruling class is telling the huge majority of the population louder and clearer is a simple message: “If you are poor, sick or old-unless you are rich- you are on your own”. It is the old and simplistic American “philosophy” of “picking yourself up by your own bootstraps”. But how can you do this when you don’t have any shoes? How can you do this in a system where incarceration costs outspend public education budget by 6 to 1? How can you do this in a society which spend more than a third of its taxpayers money in funding the military and still do not have universal healthcare?

The looming US financial bankruptcy is just a mere reflection of a deep moral and ethic crisis decades in the making. When a society become so corrupt and amoral that it stops caring and protecting the weak, the sick, and the poor it should and will eventually collapse. Lasting social structures are based on very few key principles. The main one is that any progress  and benefits must be shared by the majority of the people as opposed to just a few. Otherwise, if a system is build primarily on inequality it will eventually implode. The United States of America is almost at this systemic breaking point where the exploited and oppressed are finally seeing the myth of the “American Dream” as the ultimate charade to keep them slaving away for the sole benefit of about 2 percent of the population.

Of course Washington’s political class belongs and does the bidding for this 2 percent of Americans for whom the concept of the American Dream is real. But from time to time some politicians strike a populist tone, and pretend to be on the side of  the “little guy”. Today, it was the case for Nancy Pelosi. House Minority leader Pelosi spoke to a crowd of union workers on Capitol Hills.

“The budget deficit is an excuse for the Republicans to undermine government plain and simple. They don’t just want to make cuts, they want to destroy. They want to destroy food safety, clean air, clean water, the department of education. They want to destroy your rights.” said Nancy Pelosi. She concluded that the GOP and the President have quite a different vision of America: “Quite different….We get the sacrifice, they get the wealth.”

The conclusion of Nancy Pelosi, which sounded almost like a revolutionary call to the barricades, was quite disingenuous. To be perfectly honest, the House Minority leader should have said: “You get the sacrifice, we get the wealth”. Regardless, her call to the barricades is fully justify, and we might be at a boiling point when a real American revolution will just explode to change, by force if necessary, a system that is morally bankrupt and doesn’t have the intelligence or the ability to reform itself.

Editor’s Note: All photographs by Gilbert Mercier.


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