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The United States is one of the richest, most technologically advanced nations in the history of humanity. And yet it accepts — proudly defends, even — a degree of social dysfunction that would be intolerable in any other rich society.
As Republicans in the government have passed another whopping tax cut to the upper economic level, our United states of America is looking at the highest level of poverty in many years. Lack of affordable health care puts our infant mortaity rate higher than most countries; Americans born into poverty have lower rates of life expectancy than other developed nations, and children born into poverty are not only deprived of needed resources that other developed nations provide, but are also likely to get poorer educations, leaving them with less than a helpful environment if they try to crawl up OUT of that poverty.
The result is that as a country, we are failing our people and we are falling behind.
. . .inequality hasn’t abated much. . . [since] 2015, the richest 1 percent of American taxpayers drew more than 20 percent of the nation’s income, including capital gains, according to the tabulations by the French scholar Thomas Piketty and his colleague Emmanuel Saez.
You can bet it has gone higher, given the bull run in the stock market since then. And Republicans just passed another round of tax cuts to offer a helping hand to the upper crust.
Most interestingly, Americans still don’t care that much. Sure, two-thirds say they are dissatisfied with the way income and wealth are distributed, according to Gallup. Still, more than three out of five — compared with just over half six years ago — are satisfied with “the opportunity for a person in this nation to get ahead by working hard.”
Republican orthodoxy is that inequality is not necessarily a problem. And if rising tides substantially lifted everybody’s boat, it might matter less that the yachts parked at the North Cove Marina, a stone’s throw from Goldman Sachs, rode a bigger swell. Tides in America don’t work like that anymore, though.
...too many Americans are, well, sinking. Seventeen percent of Americans are poor by international standards — living on less than half the nationwide median income. That’s more than twice the share of poor people in France, Iceland or the Netherlands.
A mural designed by Milwaukee children who were asked what their neighborhood looked like and how they would like to see it change.
While most Americans say they are unhappy with the distribution of wealth and income, most feel that hard luck will still allow for opportunity.CreditRuddy Roye for The New York Times about income, though. It’s hard to square Americans’ belief in their society’s greatness with the life expectancy of its newborn girls and boys. It is shorter than in Australia, Austria, Belgium, Britain, Canada, Chile, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Iceland, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, Slovenia, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and probably a few other countries I missed.
Or let’s measure our progress in terms of infant deaths. Scientists in the United States invented many of the technologies used around the world to keep vulnerable babies alive. So how come our infant mortality rate is higher than that of every nation in the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development with the exceptions of Mexico, Chile and Turkey?
Our dismal rank, by the way, is not driven by the babies of white, affluent Americans. The impact of the nation’s fundamental paradox mostly failsthe nonwhite and the poor. Black males born in the United States today will probably live shorter lives than boys born in Mexico, China or Turkey.
This set of facts seems to me problematic. Your heart doesn’t even have to bleed to care. The United States risks its prosperity by leaving so many Americans behind.
I have provided the above excerpts from a well written column by Eduardo Porter. To read the entire column just click on the link: