By John M. Williams
America is in decline financially, politically and morally. Liberals, independents and conservatives believe America is in decline. Their reasons for the decline differ.
As a liberal, I see financial policies that trouble me. While Wall St. prospers, businesses ship jobs overseas. Banks continue to refuse to give small businesses loans. Corporations avoid paying domestic taxes through loopholes, but they pay taxes or bribes in other countries so they can operate there. Meanwhile, businesses here are fighting regulations that they say are job killers. The truth is businesses do not want to be regulated because they want to operate without strings. If they sell defective goods that is fine with them because they are making money. If they poison the environment so be it they are making money. If they fail to provide a safe work environment so be it, they are making money. If they want legislation passed granting themselves huge tax breaks, they have willing participants in the Republican party, and some Democrats, who will sell their mind, heart and soul to businesses. If the Republicans control one or both houses of Congress, businesses know they can write legislation and regulations that favor themselves. This is tantamount to having ravenous starving wolves guarding a herd of prime cattle.
It is said that businesses are sitting on more than 1.6 trillion dollars that they could invest, but they are waiting to see how much new banking, healthcare and other regulations will cost them. They know what the regulations are because they have inside contacts who are probably checking with them as the regulations are being written. They are not investing because they are not sure what their competitors will do. Will their competitors find ways to circumvent the implementation of legislation and regulations? If they do, businesses want to take that same route. Their motives are profit, more profit and even greater profits.
How many businesses truly care about improving the overall economic health, political strength and welfare of the country? It appears relatively few. How many businesses are willing to do their part in paying increased taxes so the U.S. federal deficit will decrease and we will balance our federal budget? Relatively few, if any. They want the benefits of living here but they are unwilling to pay the cost of guaranteeing the benefits. Why? I do not have an answer.
Politically, America is trying to determine if it is a country governed by the extreme right or left. The extreme right is the most vocal of the groups and the group willing to fight the hardest. Fortunately, many of its positions are minority positions. Such positions hold an unrealistic viewpoint of how America should be governed and who should govern and that businesses should rule. The extreme right does not acknowledge that the federal government grew because economic, social and other ills challenging the country were being ignored by local and state governments, and the majority of people demanded corrective action.
The extreme right is willing to lie often to achieve their goals. They lied about the healthcare legislation, having death panels.
The left want s a very active federal role in our lives in education, civil rights, environment, healthcare, housing, rebuilding our decaying infrastructure, and maintaining oversight over businesses and curtailing the abuse by the military industrial complex.
The biggest political battles today in Washington, DC are between extreme right philosophies and liberals. The extreme right does not want the government involved in any portion of our lives. However, they do not offer an alternative or solutions to the problems challenging the country.
The liberals are offering government intervention as a solution to the countryâ€™s challenges.
An ideal solution in settling the philosophical differences between the right and left is for businesses to develop a letâ€™s be honest policy and produce safe products, protect the environment, charge reasonable prices for healthcare, guarantee safer work environments, support the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, provide healthcare to every person in America, charge fair interest rates on credit cards, keep jobs in America, etc.
America is in decline. This decline can be reversed by putting the countryâ€™s needs and the peoplesâ€™ needs first and working toward a stronger economic and political America.