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How Safe is America by Jo Stewart

Summer, 2008

There’s a price to be paid for squandering the resources of a rich nation. Unfortunately that price is usually paid by the very poor and the near poor, a.k.a. the middle class. Are we safer today than before Sadam Hussain was removed from Iraq? You be the judge. If a terrorist attacked Chicago, L.A. or any other major city with a devastating blow would governmental responses via its various infra structures be able to deliver the help we so dearly pay government to deliver? Perhaps, yes but the responses in Louisiana and Mississippi leave much to be desired. There is so much to be considered: what’s happened with past decisions regarding safety, how we budget and what our priorities are.

Forgetting Red States, Blue States, Republicans and Democrats, conservatives and liberals: We are an enormous country, diverse, and complex. Our philosophy of government needs to accommodate everyone, rich and poor, urban and rural, white, black and brown, and young and old, otherwise what will ensue is chaos, civil disorder and devastating loses. The miracle will be if riots do not break out all over the country. The people are disheartened with death and destruction, public misinformation, poor care for our troops, the lack of resources for civil defense such as the national guard, gouging at the pumps and many other gaps which make us vulnerable.

In the year, 2000, it would have taken 14 billion to address the engineering upgrades needed in New Orleans. Instead, at a time when we had a budget surplus, the priority of our government was to roll back taxes. Insanity! Granted we don’t want a welfare state but we do want government to have the vision, the moxie and the sense of humane governance to realize that eventually all politics is local and personal! To be a real politician is a very high calling. It is not a license to get rich quick, help your friends and screw your enemies. Oh I know, that’s how politics is often view and practiced but then let’s not be surprised when a tragedy such as the aftermath of this natural disaster is so badly mishandled. It does no good to wring our hands and say. “how terrible, how could this have gotten so bad?”

We need a spiritual revival in this country and that doesn’t mean that religion should be taught in the public schools! It means that we need to examine what it means to have a government by the people and for the people and that perhaps, just perhaps, the exact same principles that govern business cannot apply to government policies. After all, the end of business in addition to providing a service is to make a profit. The end of government is to provide those services that facilitates civil society and promotes the COMMON good. We might also need some good old fashion civics lessons.

The price that the poor and near poor pay is in great disproportion to the rest of society because they give up their very lives on both foreign and native soil. We cannot allow this country’s resources to be squandered any further by the privileged, the greedy and the incompetent.

Originally Posted by: Josephine on Saturday, September 03, 2005 - 12:00 PM (258 Reads before migration)


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