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Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Day 458: Failed Country, Failed World

http://amanpour.blogs.cnn.com/2013/10/01/is-america-a-failed-state/?hpt=hp_c2

NASA’s unmanned Voyager 2 spacecraft may have put it best when it “tweeted” from beyond the solar system: “Farewell, humans. Sort it out yourselves.”
Most employees at NASA are now among the million U.S. government employees on forced leave because congress has failed to pass a spending bill, forcing a shutdown.
The world is watching in seeming disbelief. So, is America a failed state?
Not quite, but the apparent failure of the American congress to govern certainly raises the question. If we were covering some of the far-flung failing states we often do, we’d know just how to put it.
“The capital’s rival clans find themselves at an impasse, unable to agree on a measure that will allow the American state to carry out its most basic functions. … The current crisis has raised questions in the international community about the regime’s ability to govern this complex nation of 300 million people.”
That, of course, was a satirical post; it appeared in the online magazine Slate, but it just about fits.
A small cabal of representatives in the House have blocked passage of a government spending bill, and are threatening to default on America’s debts, because they disagree with a bill, Obamacare, passed by congress three years ago.
At stake, unlike a “Banana Republic” is the world’s largest economy and the currency of global trade.
Not to mention those out of work, medical projects halted, and the lost revenue from tourists – Yosemite National Park, now shuttered, draws in $350 million a year to the local economy.
“I think the rest of the world thinks it’s so incredible they don’t believe it,” British broadcaster and publisher Andrew Neil told CNN’s Christiane Amanpour on Tuesday. “We’re used to dysfunctional governments in Italy or Greece or some banana republic. But a basic function of government to set tax and spend and agree on a budget.”
The current crisis, the failure to pass a budget that forced a shutdown, is nothing next to the possibility that America would default on its debts.
“The U.S. bonds are by far the most important in the world – they’re the benchmark for the rest of our borrowing in the world,” Neil said. “If the America, of all countries, can’t service it, we are potentially into a financial crisis much bigger than the one sparked off by Lehman Brothers.”
It is a scary potential, but some House republicans seem all too willing to flirt with disaster – all in the name of defunding Obamacare and reducing spending. - CNN

What a surprise. What a fitting example of the absolute lunacy of this world.

An economy based on the dangerous relationship between (what should be) limited debt and (what should be) limitless growth.
Politicians elected for their smiles and ability to raise vast amounts of funds instead of their common sense.
Education systems that dull the natural curiosity and creativity of our children.
Universities that preach free thinking but reject anything outside the norm.
Healthcare systems that care more about money than they care about anyone's health.
Governments sworn to protect the interests of the people are the most corrupt institutions of all.

Some people say that the situation is more complicated than it appears to be. When it comes to doing what is best there is no complication - it is cut and dry. When you are doing what is best for the most people then there are no opinions involved - there is no debating - there is only the objective investigation into what solution will benefit the most people.

That is too much to ask for our "leaders". They would prefer, it seems, to tear apart the meager scraps that we desperately cling to for our survival and sanity. Why should they do good for people when there are so many different kinds of people, some of whom they simply don't like. Why should they stop bickering over technicalities when it makes them feel so good to believe in something, even if it is utterly illogical and downright abusive. Why should they ensure the equal rights to all when their friends with all the money pay them well for their privileges?

This is the extent of the moral compass of our leaders: piss off some powerful (and rich) people to make some real changes, or keep quite and allow those powerful people to dictate what the fate of millions will be. What is a non-toxic food supply in the face of pure, unadulterated greed?

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