Reply
Trusted Social Butterfly

The America We Need

Here is one of the best and forward looking editorials I have ever read. This coronavirus pandemic will result in many changes in our country. Some of them will be very positive while others will affect how we live. This is rather lengthy, but it should be read. Read on:

 

From some of its darkest hours, the United States has emerged stronger and more resilient.

 

Between May and July 1862, even as Confederate victories in Virginia raised doubts about the future of the Union, Congress and President Abraham Lincoln kept their eyes on the horizon, enacting three landmark laws that shaped the nation’s next chapter: The Homestead Act allowed Western settlers to claim 160 acres of public land apiece; the Morrill Act provided land grants for states to fund universities; and the Pacific Railway Act underwrote the transcontinental railroad.

 

Nearly 75 years later, in the depths of the Great Depression, with jobs in short supply and many Americans reduced to waiting in bread lines, President Franklin Roosevelt proved similarly farsighted. He concluded the best way to revive and sustain prosperity was not merely to pump money into the economy but to rewrite the rules of the marketplace. “Liberty,” Roosevelt said at the Democratic Party’s convention in 1936, “requires opportunity to make a living — a living decent according to the standard of the time, a living which gives man not only enough to live by, but something to live for.” His administration, working with Congress, enshrined the right of workers to bargain collectively, imposed strict rules and regulators on the financial industry, and created Social Security to provide pensions for the elderly and disabled.

 

The coronavirus pandemic has laid bare once again the incomplete nature of the American project — the great distance between the realities of life and death in the United States and the values enunciated in its founding documents.

 

Over the past half century, the fabric of American democracy has been stretched thin. The nation has countenanced debilitating decay in its public institutions and a concentration of economic power not seen since the 1920s. While many Americans live without financial security or opportunity, a relative handful of families holds much of the nation’s wealth. Over the past decade, the wealth of the top 1 percent of households has surpassed the combined wealth of the bottom 80 percent.

 

The present crisis has revealed the United States as a nation in which professional basketball players could be rapidly tested for the coronavirus but health care workers were turned away; in which the affluent could retreat to the safety of second homes, relying on workers who can’t take paid sick leave to deliver food; in which children in lower-income households struggle to connect to the digital classrooms where their school lessons are now supposed to be delivered.

 

It is a nation in which local officials issuing stay-at-home orders must reckon with the cruel irony that hundreds of thousands of Americans do not have homes. Lacking private places, they must sleep in public spaces. Las Vegas painted rectangles on an asphalt parking lot to remind homeless residents to sleep six feet apart — an act that might as well have been a grim piece of performance art titled “The Least We Can Do.”

 

It is a nation in which enduring racial inequalities, in wealth and in health, are reflected in the pandemic’s death toll. In Michigan, where the coronavirus hit early and hard, African-Americans make up just 14 percent of the state’s population but 40 percent of the dead. Jason Hargrove, who kept driving a Detroit city bus as the virus spread, posted a Facebook video on March 21 complaining about a female passenger who coughed without covering her mouth. He said he had to keep working, to care for his family. In the video, he told his wife he’d take off his clothes in the front hall when he got home and get right in the shower, so that she stayed safe. Less than two weeks later, he was dead.

 

The federal government is providing temporary aid to less fortunate Americans, and few have objected to those emergency measures. But already some politicians are asserting that the extraordinary nature of the crisis does not warrant permanent changes in the social contract.

 

This misapprehends both the nature of crises in general and the particulars of the present emergency. The magnitude of a crisis is determined not just by the impact of the precipitating events but also by the fragility of the system it attacks. Our society was especially vulnerable to this pandemic because so many Americans lack the essential liberty to protect their own lives and the lives of their families.

 

This nation was ailing long before the coronavirus reached its shores.

 

Read the entire editorial at this link: 

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/04/09/opinion/coronavirus-inequality-america.html?campaign_id=0&campaig... 

 

 

Honored Social Butterfly

We have a corrupt political system where bribery is legal. We have a dyfunctional healthcare system, growing income inequality, never ending wars, trillions of dollars in national debt (and growing) - all brought to us by the Boomer Generation. It will be up to the younger generation to fix these problems. I hope they will be feisty enough to take on these problems and solve them. 

 

 

corona stock market.jpg

 

 

 

 

 

Honored Social Butterfly

I am hoping that this Coronavirus will bring this nation and it's people together. If it doesn't it could possibly remain divided indefinitely.


Man learns from history that man learns nothing from history.
Trusted Social Butterfly

chasky; I would like to hope that you are correct. At least this seems to be uniting Democrats and many independents to dump Trump in November. But I believe that Republicans have become a cult around Trump. 

 

Yesterday I had a talk with a long time friend of mine that I have known since my college days more than fifty years ago. She and her husband have always been Republicans through the years, but when we talked about anything political, we always found common ground. They used to live in northern Ohio, but moved to western Colorado several years ago. 

 

But yesterday she asked me about the coronavirus thing and she commented that people in their smaller town in western Colorado were ignoring any directoves to stay indoors and keep their distance. I guess it is that western feeling of rugged individualism. Then she commented that she believed that Trump was doing a great job of dealing with the pandemic and all the liberals could do was criticize and complain. 

 

I had mentioned that Trump missed many warnings and downplayed the seriousness of the pandemic for two months. She said that he banned flights from China. But when I said that the coronavirus cases in New York city came from Europe and there were no bans on flights from Europe. Then she didn't want to hear any more. So I changed the topic to other things. 

 

Her arguments were striaght from the Fox News playbook heaping all kinds of praise on Donald Trump while ignoring his lies and statements about it "miraculously going away". There was no common ground. 

 

Republicans will believe anything coming from Trump and refuse to accept the truth that is is all about himself. "Never Trumper" Republicans such as former Ohio Governor John Kasich and George W Bush have become pariahs in the Republican party. Conservative columnists like George Will, who was an early "never Trumper" officially left the Republican party. Same as Joe Scarbrough, the host of MSNBC's "Morning Joe", who was once a Republican congressman from Floriday. He left the Republican party in disgust over Trump three years ago. 

 

IMHO Joe Biden should make overtures to disaffected Republicans such as George Will and Joe Scarbrough and let them know that they can "have a seat at his table" should be become President. If he can convince enough "never Trumper" Republicans that it is safe to cross over in November, he could win in a landslide. 

 

What I just cannot understand is that Barack Obama became President during the worst economic crisis since the great depression. He received no cooperation from the Republican party, despite his overtures for cooperation. The massive stimulus bill (dwarfed by the one recently passed and praised by Trump) passed with no Republican votes in congress. Yet economists credit that with turning the corner on the recession. 

 

President Obama was able to get the first health care reform bill since Medicare and Medicaid passed with no Republican votes of support. Then as soon as the Republicans took control of the House, they tried to repeal it more than fifty times. 

 

Yet despite all of the oposition to President Obama during the eight years he was President, he bequethed to his successor a strong and growing economy. Yet it took only a few weeks for Trump to crash that economy and send it into a severe recession. Sure the economy will recover quickly as soon as the country reopens, but a full recovery might take a year or longer. Then if Trump gets his way and reopens the country too soon, the corronavirus could make a resurgence and there we go again. 

 

Donald Trump is clearly unfit to be President and that is becoming obvious each day. No doubt that historians will be studying his presidency for years and that he will go down in history as the worst President ever. Move over James Buchanan, there is a new "worst President" now. But Republicans still believe that Trump is doing a great job. 

 

 

Honored Social Butterfly

@lk152

Like many of Us, You have been termed a "trump hater" because of speaking the truth! By the way, another nice post. 
Looks like another post was edited, or dialed back?

Please add to your list of real Republicans or former real Republicans:

Charlie Sykes, Bill Krystol, David Jolly,

and the good folks and knowlegable conservatives at the Lincoln Project...all willing to speak out against the destruction that trump is causing to our Country...I'm sure that they are termed trump haters also, so, we're in good company!

 

And just for the record, Obama handed off to trump a secure, growing economy...and We are now witnessing the destructive trump in action... remember anything that trump touches, dies...and now, literally!

Honored Social Butterfly

lk152 FYI....

"What I just cannot understand is that Barack Obama became President during the worst economic crisis since the great depression."




That is true and the economy had no were to go than up. It did that in spite of Obama and his anti business policies.

=================================================================

"Donald Trump is clearly unfit to be President and that is becoming obvious each day."

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Typical comment from a person that shows their dislike of Trump. 

0 Kudos
1,368 Views
1
Report
Honored Social Butterfly


@KidBoy2 wrote:

lk152 FYI....

"What I just cannot understand is that Barack Obama became President during the worst economic crisis since the great depression."
And courageously led us out of it!



That is true and the economy had no were to go than up.

Wrong .... the economy was headed down to a full depression.

President Obama stopped that further fall into a depression!

 

It did that in spite of Obama and his anti business policies.

Wrong again KidBoy2!

President Obama saved numerous businesses by bailing them out ...... including most all of Wallstreet!

=================================================================

"Donald Trump is clearly unfit to be President and that is becoming obvious each day."

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Typical comment from a person that shows their dislike of Trump. 

And wrong yet again KidBoy2!

That's a typical comment from ALL people and organizations who know that Trump's presidency will destroy America.

You'll also find that same comment in the home page information of several Republican conservative organizations ..... like the Lincoln Project whose goal is to remove Trump from office.

 


 

DUMP TRUMP AND DITCH MITCH TO MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN!!!
0 Kudos
1,298 Views
0
Report
Trusted Social Butterfly

 

As a nation, we have a once in a generation chance to build a truly better nation. Policies that have been ignored are now becoming popular. Sad to say that it took a pandemic of catastrophic proportions to awaken the nation as to the serious deficiencies in our society.

 

Things like mandated paid sick leave for all workers, whether provided by the employers or financed through the government is now a popular program. The United States is the only developed nation without mandated paid sick leave.

 

Universal health insurance and care is now on the agenda. While Bernie Sanders idea of his single payer plan may be dead; we can fix the problems in the ACA to make it work better for all Americans. That is very doable and popular. Just let the Republicans try to kill it now.

 

Also, it is about time that the United States addresses the issues of homelessness and mental illness. These two issues are intertwined since most homeless have some type of mental illness. It is time to make sure that those with mental illness receive the continuing treatment and care that they need.

 

Then there is the matter of a living wage. No one who works a full time schedule should have to depend on government welfare. There is nobility in all labor. So let's pay our workers a living wage. The person who cleans the office bathrooms is just as important as the CEO of that company. If you don't agree with that, then watch what happens when there is no one to clean the bathrooms.

 

Also, there is no reason why college graduates should still be paying for their student loans twenty years after graduation. Let's institute student loan forgiveness programs.

 

President Obama proposed that there should be no cost a two year community college education for anyone who qualified. Let's make that reality and not a dream.

 

At the same time, how about a national service requirement for young adults? Require every young adult between the ages of 18 to 26 to put in two years of national service. Men and women, civilian or military service. It can be worked around a college degree program. It can be used to "work off" or earn money for college costs.

 

An example might be someone studying to be a teacher working as an aide in an underprivileged community school or perhaps after graduation, taking a job teaching in an impoverished part of the country.

 

Let's revive the Civilian Conservation Corps from the great depression. Take unemployed young adults and put them to work planting trees, building picnic shelters or campgrounds and trails.

 

Perhaps a student in business works for a non profit organization dealing with the poor or homeless. Maybe a student in finance and accounting works an internship at a non profit organization learning how to balance their finances and manage fund raising.

 

There are lots of opportunities where young people can make a difference in a constructive manner. They can apply what they are learning in college. But, perhaps the best thing is that those young people, most who grew up in pampered suburbs, can get a look at the other side of life and actually do something constructive that benefits the country and not just themselves.

 

There is a lot that needs to be done. There is the power and the energy in the United States to accomplish all of it. Just by harnessing the resources of our country, we truly can make a much better world for all of us.

Trusted Social Butterfly

This country has rallied before when faced with a threat. It was before my time, but Americans far and wide put aside their individual differences and rallied after the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor. We were one truly United nation, united for a common purpose. But should it take a war to unite this country?

 

There was a sense of purpose in the country in my time during the 1960s. JFK rallied the country to do something constructive. Many young people joined the Peace Corps and others felt that they had to do something constructive. The nation was united in the exploration of space. Perhaps it was that we had to land a man on the moon before the Soviet Union, otherwise there would be the hammer and sickle flag planted on the moon. 

 

One of the best books I have read was Thomas Brokaw's book The Greatest Generation. It was a collection of short stories of individuals from my parent's generation that grew up during the great depression and then had to endure the Second World War. Brokaw interviewed many people from that generation; from housewives, nurses, carpenters, blacks, whites, movie stars, a future Senator and a future President. Each told their own stories of what it meant to live through that period in our history. 

 

What was the most interesting was from George H W Bush who was a Navy pilot during the war and was shot down over the Pacific. He was born of privilege. His father was a Senator and his family was wealthy. He attended an exclusive New England boarding school before he went to Yale. He said that fighting in the war in the Navy exposed him to men that he would never have met otherwise and that his life depended on them just as their lives depended on him. He said that gave him an appreciation of what those men did in civilian life and where they came from. 

 

I believe that experience growing up during the great depression and enduring the Second World War also gave that generation a sense of purpose as well as a belief in the "common good" rather than rugged individualism. Public service was looked upon as a "noble calling"; not a means of enriching one's self at the public's expense or to pad a resume for a lucrative job in the private sector. 

 

I believe that things in the United States went haywire with the war in Vietnam. That war exposed the inequities in our society and exacerbated them. The military draft during the Vietnam era was little changed from what it was safter the Second World War. College students were deferred from the draft until they finished their studies. I was fortunate enough to be able to go off to college right out of high school. But many in my high school class were not so furtunate or had no desire to attend college. 

 

However, for them, they were exposed to the military draft unless they enlisted first. During the Vietnam War, draftees stood a much greater chance of winding up in Vietnam. This was especially true after 1965. It was an unfair system where many young men whose family could afford to send them to college were able to avoid getitng drafted into the military and be sent to Vietnam while those whose families were not so fortunate or who had no desire to go to college ended up fighting a war that our country shouldn't have fought. 

 

But I didn't write the rules. I just had to live by them. But for many families, those rules made all the difference. 

 

However, through a series of laws and bad policy decisions, this has made inequality much worse. The son of a banker is very likely to grow up and be prosperous and live in a nice house in the suburbs. But the son of a poor inner city black family is 10 times more likely to go to prison then to college according to statistics. The idea of "equal opportunity" has become a mockery. 

 

Our social safety net is seriously frayed right now. For far too many Americans their incomes have either stagnated or declined in real dollars over the past forty years. But for those of the 1%, their wealth and income has increased exponentially.

 

Even young college graduates with degrees are now saddled with oppresive student loan debt that hinders their ability to start families and become homeowners. There is no reason why young adults should be paying off loans for their college education twenty years after graduation or when they are in their 40s and often should be saving for their own children's education. But the sons and daughters of the wealthy whose family could afford to send them to the ost expensive private college usually finish college debt free. 

 

I believe that the upcoming decade of the 2020's will perhaps see the most changes in our country since the 1960s or even since the days of FDR. 

Honored Social Butterfly

@lk152 

Per your posts, the America that we need, is not the America that we have. 
Reality differentiates what we need and what we have. What we have is trump, what we need is honesty and truth...therein lies the difference! Thanks for your informative posts. 

cancel
Showing results for 
Show  only  | Search instead for 
Did you mean: 
Users
Announcements

Does AARP donate to political parties or endorse candidates?

AARP is strictly non-partisan and always has been. We never endorse or donate to candidates, political parties or political action committees.

Learn more.

AARP Members Only Games

Play members only games, like FIll Ins, Lumeno, 2048 and a collaborative, multiplayer Let's Crossword.

Play Now
AARP Members Only Games Logos
AARP Rewards

Solve Crosswords. Earn Rewards. Activate AARP Rewards to earn points for games, quizzes and videos. Redeem for deals and discounts.

Get started with AARP Rewards now!
/html/assets/Rewards-program-badge-355x224.png