Divided We Are

A lot of people are worried about where we are as a nation right now. We are a divided nation, but I haven’t lost hope yet that we can find common ground. This is not a unique situation in our history. In my lifetime alone we were a nation divided over civil rights for African-Americans and the war in Viet Nam. It was pretty bitter back then, and the rhetoric was just as heated. I guess having a sense of history helps keep me hopeful, but there are some differences that might be critical in America of 2012 compared to America 1967.

For one thing, in the 60s there was a healthy middle class – the direct result of the ascendance of organized labor and the availability of a college education. This meant that people had a lot to lose and even more to gain by solving problems instead of arguing politics. It was possible then for a parent to expect their child to be better off. In years since the “Reagan Revolution” there has been a “trickle” of sorts – a trickle of wealth flowing to the wealthiest that has now become a flood of wealth becoming concentrated in to very few people. The U.S. now has the most wealth concentrated into the fewest people of any Industrialized Democracy, and one of the least economically mobile economies of any industrialized country in the world.

You would have a better chance of bettering your family in places like India, Denmark, Finland, Canada, China (that’s right folks, Communist China provides a greater opportunity for intergenerational upward mobility).

In fact, 80% of all Americans are earning less today on an inflation-adjusted basis than they did in 1980. Is it a coincidence that countries with “socialist” government structures (such as all of the Scandinavian countries) are doing better by their people than we are? Talking about an historical perspective… what happen to other political systems when wealth was so unevenly and unjustly concentrated and there is little hope for upward mobility?        

3 Responses to Divided We Are

  1. InYourFaceNewYorker says:

    I was told that in Finland people studying to become teachers are expected to work like medical students. And they are given the same amount of respect. When tax cuts are necessary, education is the LAST thing to get cut (if at all), not the first. I was told that Finland (and presumably other Scandinavian countries too) are just appalled at the little value the US places on education.

  2. serenitynpeace says:

    In this country we have been divided for so long that is all we know. The government likes it this way! The government we work for, they do not work for us as it was intended. The terms like “democrats”, “republicans”, “independents”, are all ways of keeping us divided. Why do we fight and argue among each other? There is no politician out there that is not crooked. They start out good, then as they move up the ladder and grow to get further in the political races they change. The presidential seat is the highest … no one on this earth can tell me they are not “crooked”. Any promises made are not kept …. we all know this!
    I would go further into what I have written, but then you would have a book.
    The government wants us divided …. the poor, the elderly, and the disabled are kicked to the curb. If you don’t have money in this country, your nothing.

  3. Linda Burke-Williams says:

    Mr. Fieger;
    I have never been so passionate (you seem to like that word) about writing you regarding your inane commercials on TV. Last week you were calling people racist. Today you slur Mitt Romney by calling him a liar and/or sociopath. How dare you presume that all people fit into your small minded quotes!

    We the people have our rights. In all of my life, I have never written to someone like yourself. Let’s get some things straight. Why do you not talk about how the current President did drugs (it is in his book)? Now, that is against the law.

    Also, I can say to you I do not have a racist/bigoted bone in my body. You made it sound like anyone not for the current President was a bad guy. How wrong you are! My vote is precious and he did not get my vote because he did not deserve it. My vote is important and it will go to the individual that best fits the title and what is best for this country. LLBW

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