While the “safety net” prevents personal, family or community disasters, “rights of citizenship” provide the foundation for society itself
My husband (dec.) entered into old-time "safety net" via California Vet's Home. I wonder if Finland is doing any (totally reasonable) inspections. He was gradually deteriorating in dementia, which involved hoarding and failure to get to medical appointments. I continued to assist with organizing his room for fire inspections and announced room inspections to keep a path clear for a gurney, and helped him get to appointments until they finally took him into "confined" dementia care. So govt. was family assisted. Just a roof over the head is not a magical solution. He was with the Marines in Korea, and paid his dues to America all the way. Yet he would be the first to say, "He ain't heavy, he's my brother." and "earning" life and liberty and all that is irrelevant.
Thom’s rant provides a critically important distinction between welfare for our citizens and investment in our citizens that I have never seen in the MSM or social media.
My dream is that someday if people read this rant they would respond with “Well, Duh, of course our government is supposed to do exactly what Thom has described.” Or, to paraphrase (and contemporize a bit) Hamilton and Madison’s observations-our government is supposed to use best practice-based solutions to promote the general welfare of our citizens, and protect us from those who do things adverse to our rights and our communities’ interests.
There are no good reasons why our elected and appointed decision-makers don’t properly invest in our general welfare and use the best solutions available, just a lot of bad ones. Can you think of any good reasons why America doesn’t have a role model public education system, or healthcare system, or physical infrastructures, or information movement and management infrastructures? Of course not, there are only specious rationalizations grounded in the Seven Deadly Sins. And, as always, it comes down to exactly what Thom has identified countless times, the oligarchs and morbidly rich sociopaths don’t want America to make the necessary investments because they got theirs and really don’t care about the rest of us. Sometimes it’s just because they don’t want to pay their fair share of taxes or, more insidiously, they want to build a critical mass of poorly educated cult members to maintain their status quos, and manipulate them to elect the kakistocrats that we have in Congress. And we all know that that takes a boatload of propaganda targeted at those of us who have learned to be bad at learning. Regardless, as long as the powers of corporate personhood are considered settled law, the masters of the oligarch factions will continue to find incompetent and corrupt toadies to do their bidding (like all of the republicans and over half of the democrats that have been elected to Congress). Without a transition plan and funding to create a role model public education system, we will never have the kind of democracy we deserve, because poorly educated citizens are significantly more likely to make more stupid choices that are crushing our nation.
Yes, I think we already got a taste of our diminishing status in the world during the Trump administration. Americans traveling claimed they were Canadian.
We are experiencing a very intriguing set of circumstances. The stark differences between the Trump years and now the Biden agenda are providing the younger adults quite a political education. These folks are plugged into the world, and they can observe life overseas without going there. Another factor is that the pandemic and loss of the clubs for well over a year has perhaps interrupted their social scene long enough for them to take a long look at values. Add the climate crisis to this mix, and you have many of them thinking about whether they should bring children into this world.
Challenges and disasters can be opportunities. I hope these young Americans can be proud, prosper, and their children can thrive.
I live in West Virginia and work at a minimum wage paying job. I witness the damage that has been done by our country's failure to provide guarenteed access to medical services. The thing I find hardest to understand is how so many West Virginians, while living in poverty, still believe it is the republican party that will provide what our country needs. I am always telling those who think like this how they need to support government representatives who are going to support what they need but it falls on deaf ears. They accept the idea that they simply have not worked hard enough yet to get where they need to be. If they work just a little bit harder, some day, they will succeed. So many have lived their whole life accepting their situation for the way is should be.