by Arlen Grossman
“Too Big to Fail” Wall Street firms caused a worldwide financial crash, the government bailed them out and didn’t break them up, and yet these companies continue risky investments and reward their executives with outrageously large salaries and bonuses…….Who could have known?
The United States is the only advanced country without universal health insurance, instead relying on for-profit insurance companies. Americans end up paying more for medical care than any other country, and yet we rank lower than most countries on health care standards, and about fifty million Americans lack health insurance…… Who could have known?
We continue giving tax breaks and subsidies to the wealthy, and yet the government doesn’t have the money to fund programs for the majority of Americans.…Who could have known?
Free trade resulted in millions of American jobs going overseas, and we make it easy and profitable for corporations to continue this practice, and yet factories are closing and jobs are disappearing in this country ……. Who could have known?
Big financial companies made irresponsible investments that crashed our economy and ruined millions of lives. None of the perpetrators has been held accountable nor sent to prison, and yet many Americans believe our justice system is unfair….. Who could have known?
The United States has hundreds of military bases in over a hundred countries. We attack, invade and impose our will on nations all over the world, and yet many of the people in these countries hate us and try to kill our soldiers……. Who could have known?
Defying international law, we invaded Iraq even though it was not a threat to us, killed hundreds of thousands of its citizens and decimated much of their country, and yet most Iraqis don’t appreciate our efforts and are glad our soldiers are leaving…… Who could have known?
The middle class and working people did well when American labor unions were strong. For many years now, union membership has declined significantly, and yet the middle class and workers are faring worse than ever….. Who could have known?
97 percent of scientists believe global warming is a danger to the planet, and human activity is causing it to worsen. But many conservatives believe global warming to be a hoax, so our government does next to nothing to prevent it, and yet the earth’s temperature rises every year, species disappear, polar ice caps melt, and strange weather patterns wreak havoc…… Who could have known?
We cut taxes on the rich because conservatives consider them “job creators,” and believe lower taxes will help the economy, and yet jobs have been disappearing and the economy barely growing….. Who could have known?
Conservatives claim that excess regulation stifles our economy, and convinced Congress to deregulate the financial industry and yet Wall Street took advantage by making risky investments, and ended up crashing the world economy…..Who could have known?
The Supreme Court overturned decades of precedent and gave permission for corporations to spend unlimited amounts of money to influence elections, and yet corporate interests are spending record amounts of money to elect candidates of both parties to do their bidding, and Americans are losing faith in our political system ……Who could have known?
Republicans claim they are the party of family values, and emphasize the importance of a monogamous marriage, and yet many of the most sanctimonious get caught in sordid sex scandals…. Who could have known?
Our political leaders have been saying for decades that we need to decrease our dependence on oil. Not much is done and we don’t promote alternative sources of energy, and yet we are more dependent on foreign oil than ever before… Who could have known?
Our planet is more crowded than ever and billions are starving and lacking basic resources. We give tax breaks to large families and discourage family planning overseas, and yet the population continues to grow to record levels…. Who could have known?
Everyone agrees on the importance of education, but we cut school funding, raise class sizes, criticize, underpay and lay off teachers, and yet American students fare poorly in comparison to other countries….. Who could have known?
We used to have much higher tax rates for the wealthy and the economy did well, but taxes on the highest brackets are down to their lowest levels since the 1920s, and yet most Americans are struggling financially, and the gap between the rich and poor is wider than ever…… Who could have known?