Finally! A PLAN to FIX AMERICA (That Doesn’t Suck): Part 1
American Misery at Every Street Corner
I was stopped at a red light the other day in Portland, Oregon and I saw a homeless woman dancing on the sidewalk, but there was no joy in her movements. She would dance a few steps and then become very frustrated and slap herself in her face. She repeated this behavior several times while I watched.
It was clear to me that this woman was suffering from mental illness. Judging by her dirty and disheveled appearance, she was one of the 6000+ homeless people scattered on the streets of Portland (portlandoregon.gov). I drive through Portland almost daily and tents and trash occupy virtually every median and city park area. And all around these homeless camps are people driving cars, wearing clean clothing, just going about their lives as if all those homeless people were totally invisible or lived on another planet.
Portland Oregon illustrates a fundamental problem with the United States. There are 550,000+ homeless people in the US suffering just like the woman in Portland (whitehouse.gov). Plus, there are an additional 34 MILLION Americans who are poor (making less than $25,750 per family of four), living in crappy housing in unsafe neighborhoods, not drinking clean water, or getting healthy food to eat (census.gov). There is also a racial disparity in those who are suffering: 18.8% of Blacks and 15.7% of Hispanics are poor while only 7.3% of white people are poor. (census.gov)
Unfortunately, our tired and huddled masses yearning to breathe free isn’t the only problem in our country. Our education, justice, and healthcare systems are a disgrace and embarrassment. The EPA is a joke. Elections are sullied by special interest PACs and gerrymandering. Fake news targeting and manipulating vulnerable Americans is rampant. Christianity has created a privileged class. Corporations are given the same rights as people and there’s SO MUCH MORE.
Our country is full of resources, more than enough for everyone to share and be happy, and yet misery, starvation, disease, anxiety, and depression are rampant!
All of this human suffering a product of a REALLY FUCKED UP SYSTEM. A rich ruling class, corporations, and governments have claimed our country’s resources and use them for their own profits and for some reason we’ve all decided that this is okay. We rationalize it has capitalism, or survival of the fittest, or some other fucked-up reasoning. But the truth is NOBODY should be driving past someone suffering on the streets.
The good news is I have a plan to fix these issues — ALL OF THEM. And it all starts with clearly redefining our rights as citizens in this country. Here is what I propose:
I believe that every person, by virtue of being born in this country, should be guaranteed a basic Human Bill of Rights:
1) Safe and Adequate Housing
2) Nutritious Food and Clean Water
3) Reliable Healthcare
I can already hear the grumblings so let me clarify immediately: THIS BOOK DOESN’T ADVOCATE CHANGING OUR SYSTEM TO SOCIALISM OR COMMUNISM. So, you can take those labels and shove them up your ass. Seriously. One of the favorite tactics of the far-right is to label and attack anything that threatens their money-making agenda. I’m on to you guys and I don’t care. As you read on I think everyone will realize that the days of far-right terror are numbered! There is simply no place for this level of hatred and manipulation in our society.
What this book is about is rediscovering the heart of America and eliminating the institutions that are heartless. I believe that most people, no matter what their politics, are good people trying to do the right thing. I don’t think anyone is comfortable with all the suffering. With this in mind, I believe change is possible. In the following chapters, I will present a 12-point plan to fix America so that no one has to suffer anymore.
The reality is we cannot allow all of this suffering and keep lying to ourselves that we live in a great country. I believe that we owe the self-hating homeless woman more than what she’s getting. And I believe there are individuals and businesses who are taking too much. Read on to find out how we can level it all out and improve the lives of every American.
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