- Politics and Social Issues
The American Caste System - How America Mistreats Its Citizens
How America Refuses to Help Its Citizens
Many people are familiar with the caste system as found in such religions as Hinduism. It basically embraces reincarnation, a system in which you try to reach a certain spiritual level in this lifetime. If you have improved over your previous lifetime, you come back as a better person the next time until you reach this magical level and don't have to be reincarnated again. If you kill someone or have a history of being bad in this life, you come back as a lower form of life, someone who lives a life of poverty - or you could come back as an animal. Consequently, those who follow this set of beliefs are not inclined to help the less fortunate because those of the lower order deserve their state in life and to improve them would be doing a disservice.
Although in most minds this is a horrific way of looking at life, I'm of the opinion that it is alive and well in the American culture - in fact, it's ingrained in the American system!
How? When people and governments refuse to help those who are less fortunate. The less fortunate include those who are unemployed or retired and those without health insurance.
First of all, I must make it clear that there are plenty of exceptions. Many states have programs to help people survive while unemployed and also programs to help pay for medicine for those who need it. There are also individuals who take it upon themselves to help those who can't help themselves.
Capitalism, it is said, rewards those who work hard - a statement that is not necessarily so. Many who work hard never make a lot of money, and many who don't work hard can use and cheat others to make it to the top of the ladder. Professional athletes, actors, singers, don't work any harder than others, but get ridiculous amounts of money because the American people are willing to pay them ridiculous amounts of money.
The United States government has a long history of placing other projects higher than helping their own people. The most notable example is all the wars they've been involved in during the last 200+ years and the money spent. That isn't to say that there have been no wars worth getting involved in, but a timeline of America's wars listed on Wikipedia is startling. Any reasonable person would conclude that America LOVES fighting, under the guise, of course, of protecting freedom! In reality, all direct attacks on the United States in recent decades were retaliation for America's countless attacks on other countries.
President Obama's military budget for 2010 was $663.8 billion dollars, but when it was passed into law he actually got $16 billion more than that! Just since 2001 the United States has spent over $1.2 trillion dollars on wars!
NASA's budget for the space program since 1958 has averaged $9 billion a year.
How much good could have been done with that kind of money? Think of the jobs that could have been created.
Think of the health care that could have been provided! The United States is the ONLY industrialized country that doesn't provide basic health care for its own citizens! This is where the caste system comes in - people deserve their lot in life in the minds of many and so there is little inclination to put priorities on helping others. Untold thousands of Americans die every year because they won't take care of health issues due to the massive bills that would be racked up. One person I know needs a heart transplant and will die eventually because the hospitals want at least $100,000 up front before even considering a transplant. What free health services there are, such as for mental health, have suffered by cutbacks recently. Would that have been necessary without the billions, even trillions, spent on the military over the years? I don't think so!
As for Social Security, to even contemplate cutting it off is immoral! Many people rely entirely on that to live on. You might reply, "Well why didn't they save over the years they worked? Then they'd have money to live on!" That could be. On the other hand, some who have faced unemployment in later years have gone through ALL of their savings and retirement savings just to survive until they got Social Security.
Personally, I don't believe cutting off Social Security will ever happen because it would result in open rebellion and rioting in this country. But even thinking about it is unconscionable.
Speaking of which, in many countries, if that countries equivalent of Social Security doesn't meet basic livable standards for some people, they provide a supplemental income to bring those people up to a livable standard of living.
Why give people charity, you say??? Aren't we encouraging people not to work? Remember those services would be paid for by tax dollars - dollars most of those needing the services have already contributed over the years, just as they paid into Social Security. Yes, there will be those who are lazy and will take advantage of the system, but by and large people want to feel useful and are not like that.
Shouldn't a country put its citizens first before getting involved in the business of other countries. Unfortunately, as I've said above, the American Caste system appears to be alive and well in the mind of not just the government, but in the minds of many Americans as well. "You're down and out? You can't find work? Well, it's your own fault. Live with it!" It's time to change that attitude!