Race to the Bottom

OpEdWe are truly a nation to be reckoned with, if you are worried about your position at the bottom of the pile, the bottom of the world ranking in nearly all relevant areas; the United States is working hard to grab the title. We are international bullies, we stand up and are counted policing the world to do what we say not what we do. Our leaders condone torture; in fact, they are proud of their participation or at least their tactic approval of the torture of other human beings. Our nation enters wars, costing tens of thousands of lives, killing heads of state and civilians alike for no good reason but we want the natural resources of that nation, we want to destabilize that region, we want to break the world.

We spend billions, sometimes trillions of dollars in nations other than our own. Nations that do not need our money, that do not appreciate our interference, nations that do not align with our stated values. Meanwhile, here in our own country we have children going without food, shelter, education. We make some of the top lists, such as:

Homelessness, top fifteen cities the USA has the grace to steal six spots on the list, with an estimated total 212,579 homeless living on the streets of these cities alone.

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Once you let that lovely sink in, the idea we have so many on the streets consider this one, we haven’t had such a large income gap since 1928. In fact, the United States made another list; yes indeed, we made the list of nations with the largest income disparity, number 4 on the hit parade of 10. We should be wondering what the hell is wrong, only Chile, Turkey and Mexico are ahead of us on this list, the GOP isn’t doing their job if we haven’t made number 1.

Now while you are absorbing the thought of all your fellow citizens living rough; men, women and children living without shelter consider the findings of Transparency International, we aren’t doing so well on the issue of corruption. In fact, we are suck. Our perception of ourselves, as a nation isn’t great so how do we justify sending our military out to police others? Just asking mind you.

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Now let’s discuss the idiocy on the Hill, yes that hill Capital hill. While the nation falls down around our ears, the ijits on the Hill are busy writing twenty-four new anti-choice bills, well to be fair one of them is a full repeal of the Affordable Care Act. You know they do this because they are afraid of women, they are afraid of our power if we should ever figure out we actually have a majority in this nation and we band together, breaking down all the false lines they have drawn to keep us apart. If the vast majority of us reach across the walls of race, religion, classism and poverty we will find we have far more in common than not. When we do this, we might find most of these Bills are intended only to infantilize all of us, stripping of us of our rights to both body integrity and economic freedom.

We could talk about so many other things, the education system in this nation and our lack of commitment to excellence. Our race to the bottom of the heap, our fear of intellectualism, our on-IgnoranceMapgoing outsourcing of innovation. Despite our great wealth we don’t even come in at the top ten of the Pearson ranking. In our race to the bottom though, we have achieved one top score, we are the second most ignorant country in the world, on the Ipsos Mori social survey only Italy is more ignorant that the US.

We could discuss the bulging prisons, the one thing we are number one in the world. With over two million of our fellow citizens within the Industrial Prison Complex, this is not something to be proud of. The problem of course is, the prison system is another capitalist scam, with well over one billion a year in profits to be made, no one is going to start dismantling it in favor of better justice, not when the favored few can line their pockets on the backs of the disadvantaged.

We could discuss the horror of joblessness and ask the question, why in the world this administration the GOP, along with several Democrats wants so badly to continue to destroy our future opportunity to grow through trade agreements. Trade agreements the citizens of this country are kept in the dark about. Trade agreements that do not favor us, but instead favor multi-national business. The Trans-Pacific Trade Agreement is not about free trade, believe me.

As we continue our race to the bottom, I ask myself where does it end? I wish we would all ask the same question. I continue to love this clip from the Newsroom, it says it all; we sure use to be.


  1. barkway says:

    USA scores the lowest in national average IQ among the developed countries of the world – http://www.politicalforum.com/political-opinions-beliefs/276974-americans-stupidest-people-developed-world.html

    • Unfortunate the cited ‘studies’ don’t have links so they could be referenced and validated. More interesting are the comments, just goes to show the true level of ignorance.

  2. But wait, didn’t you hear waterboarding isn’t torture? We’ve even apologized to some of the Vietnamese who waterboarded POW’s for calling them torturers.

    That being said, you’ll see a lot worse in most other countries, except maybe a few who rely on our defense shield.

    • Name one, truly. Name one industrialized nation with worse healthcare outcomes, worse education options and outcomes, worse infrastructure. Name one nation with greater wealth and greater weath disparity.

      There actually isn’t one.

  3. frigginloon says:

    I can only manage a heavy sigh

  4. I don’t have quite such a negative view of our country. I think there is much to be admired here, although there is still much work to be done.

    The article on homelessness that you linked to is very interesting and sobering. It is clearly a problem the world over. I don’t know that I buy the statistics given, though. If Nigeria has 24.4 MILLION homeless in one country, it’s hard to believe that 6 American cities with approx 10,000 each made the top 15 list ahead of it.

  5. We’re in some very different times now. I was offended by the Race to the Top incentive. Every single day, there’s a shooting. It’s crazy and I stay home as much as possible. We’re simply living in a hostile world. There is more talk of bringing jobs back to the U.S., so I’m sure that’s gonna be on every presidential hopeful’s agenda. But seems like that was on the agenda during the last two races. The jobs that did come aren’t equitable to the meet the demands of the economy.

    • I think it will be on the lips, that bringing back jobs, but not on the actual agenda. Every president since Reagan has continued the horrifying process of opening trade at the expense of American workers, the latest incarnation of a trade agreement will not just do this but will undermine US sovereignty.

      I wish I could stay home.

    • Also keep in mind that “bringing back JOBS” is not the same thing as full, meaningful CAREERS. It is easy to create low wage, go nowhere jobs. Just keep wages low to compete with the Chinese. The slaves all had “jobs”. Full employment. We need to create meaningful, well-paid careers.

  6. I do believe that much of the money we spend “overseas” is actually military aid. In the form of money given to various nations, some of which are dictatorships, And that taxpayer money gets spent buying military equipment from US arms dealers. Just a case of welfare for the arms industry. “Foreign aid”, in many cases, is just a front for funneling tax dollars to US corporations.

    • Yes, it is indeed. We all could spend days, weeks tracing this grey money. It is a terrible circle, feeding a terrible and insatiable monster.

  7. The sad truth is, we used to be a great country as well, but I feel similar tremors beneath my feet.
    As always, Val, your presentation of the fact is always eye-opening. ❤ ❤

  8. Reblogged this on Rcooley123's Blog and commented:
    Some things we need urgently to change.

  9. Yup.

  10. Reblogged this on matthewsimonalexander and commented:
    Reblogged primarily because it raises awareness about homelessness in the U.S. In recent years, homelessness is becoming ever more visible as a problem for many people, and not only in the U.S., but in the U.K. also. Those in politics, ‘power,’ and those living on anything above $150,000 (£100,000) should be ashamed.

  11. It is mind-boggling to think of what all that money we spend overseas on wars could do to improve our own nation: education, infrastructure, healthcare, nutrition. Sadly, our population growth outburdens our ability to fix our core problems. We have such a long, long road ahead.

  12. A very sobering post, Valentine, but full of truth. Sorry to say. People, VOTE! Let’s get rid of the scum that we have “governing” our once great country.

  13. Truth from your heart.

  14. A wonderful speech by You Val. and an amazingly truthful insight of your country.. The UK is no different in many ways.. And I just loved the video, watched on YouTube… 🙂 thank you for always speaking true to your heart..
    I wish the rest of the world could do just that.. ❤

  15. This was a post that made me ashamed to be an American, and yet proud to know that someone out there is watching and listening. Thank you.

  16. Reblogged this on It Is What It Is and commented:
    “The greatest country in the world” …… Maybe it once was. I wonder when …. but surely not anymore!! There’s not a thing to be proud of.

  17. Mr. Militant Negro says:

    Reblogged this on The Militant Negro™.

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