Hidden Reality in America
I saw a program on ABC 20/20 recently hosted by Diane Sawyer. It was called "My America - A Hidden Reality." It featured some Americans around the country struggling to make ends meet in 2016. It was a sad and disturbing story of real people and real families facing harsh times in America, the richest nation in the world. How is this possible?
- Jan. 2017
The stories are familier. A person working at a low wage job with no future and barely meeting the daily expenses. Some have government assistance such as food stamps and housing and yet they are still struggling. Meanwhile, on wall street and silicon valley, people are making absorbitent amount of money and bonuses and stock options that are insane. There ar two Americas.
My frustration with this program is this. They don't seem to want to ask the "right" questions to get at the underlying causes. The concept of income inequality is being presented as a fact of life and the wealthy are getting much more than their share and that low skilled workers are not being paid a living wage. If we only raise the minimum wage to $15 per hour, all will be fixed.
This is a false narrative. The main factors driving low wages are not being discussed.
Our current economic problems are due to many factors. Some have been brewing for a very long time. There are no magic fixes. The solutions will take time to reverse years of niglect and bad policies. Let me just list a few main drivers.
- failed public school system
- Failed welfare programs
- Illegal immigration in the est. of 12 million or more
- teenage pregnancy out of wedlock
- single mothers as head of household
- lack of job training programs
- housing policies in cities that discourage construction of affordable housing
- illegal drug use and gangs in inner cities
The elephant in the room is why are we in such a state in 2016? How did we get here? What behavior and policies lead us to this sad reality?
This state of affairs did not happen over night. It is years of progressive policies and government programs that created this mess. To blame this on income inequality is just disingenuous.
The solution is not so simple and it will take time. It will require a fundamental change in our government from federal to local. It will take some personal responsibility of the individual as well.
This program has opened my eyes. It is a snapshot of America and over 50% of our populace. What is wrong with America is captured on this screen. We as a society needs to reflect on our part in creating this mess. We can work towards fixing it or continue down the path of destruction. Destruction not only of our society but of the human spirit.