I wasn’t satisfied with the previous post, Simplicity. I felt it lacked a clarity and substance. I want to try again to address the topic of how we all, meaning every body can be taken care of.
In most countries in the world, as different cultures and diverse peoples, we have given over control of our health care, security, food supply, and general well-being to our governments. Whether politically to the right or left, as people, we depend upon government for many pillars of our survival. The governments of the world are complicit with the financial corporations in the current economic crisis due to deregulation and the lack of oversight of these monetary monsters.
We are now witnessing the response of governments to the global financial meltdown. It is a threat that is felt around the world. Without some action, the crisis could devolved into a collapse. There is still no certainty that the situation will improve. The gover
In our journey to Guatemala thus far we have driven through 7 states of the US of A. In the larger cities we have seen the same multinational corporations represented – gas stations, hotels, restaurants, building supply, banks, insurance companies, real estate, etc. We were bombarded by the same names and logos everywhere we went. I began thinking about this consumer culture.
Western culture is not a culture of taking care of each other and it seems more apparent everyday that government, at best, is half-heartedly and inefficiently caring for it’s people. In Canada, we are fortunate to have socialized medicine. It the US, people pay for very expensive private insurance, and everyone else either pays the full cost or goes without health care. 46 million people in the US do not have health insurance. This does not bode well for a healthy and long life.
Governments have been unable or unwilling to deal with the high percentage of their populations living in poverty. In the US and Canada, the minimum wage allows their citizens to live a bleak existence as the working poor. The welfare rates are so low that it creates a culture of poverty, with children being malnourished under the state guise of a social net.
The educational systems have been under-funded for decades and the performance of North American public school students have continued to decline. Parents lineup for kindergarten placement, and a university education can now cost over $100,000.
How about our security/insecurity? A big slice of the national revenue in the US goes to the military. Not so in Canada, but it is increasing. While police helicopters buzz overhead, many people live in gated communities, have alarm systems or private security companies to ensure their personal safety. Domestic crime is a serious issue and many have resorted to buying their own weapons for protection.
Our food chain has become so suspect of contamination that organic foods have become main-stream and appear everywhere. But, you have to pay double for organics and the privilege of chemical free food. Shouldn’t our government protect us from a contaminated food supply?
The most apparent lapse in governments taking care of its people is the water we drink. Why do so many people buy bottled water and why are there not strict health regulations to ensure the citizens well-being? Billions of dollars are being spent on bottled water by citizens to protect their health. It is not just good marketing by water companies, but public potable water is being privatized for profit.
To conclude, we have been converted from citizens to consumers. Our national rights have devolved into privileges we now pay for. As citizens, we have expected government to provide:
adequate and inexpensive health care
a decent place to live
a livable minimum wage
a social net in case of emergency
a comprehensive and inexpensive education
personal security while in our homes
Unfortunately, we have lost our citizenship to consumerism and we now pay BIG money for:
health insurance or medical care
a safe place to live
a decent secondary and university education
a safe neighborhood to live in
Honestly, I am so disgusted with the normalized disregard of governments for their citizens that cannot be voracious consumers and afford to pay for everything that the government should be providing at low or no cost. If you judge a civilization by the way it cares for its children, sick ,and elderly, we are not doing so well and perhaps we should revisit our paradigm of cultural values and make some changes.