Friday, April 24, 2015

America a Land of Milk and Honey? No Longer

 Most people all over the world feel that the best place to live in the world is America. Even when I have gone abroad, most of the people I have interacted have a desire to go to the USA. In my own backyard, Punjab thousands of Sikhs and Punjabis are making a bee line for America. People feel that there is minimal poverty in America and it is mostly a land of milk and honey.

 But now, I have during my last visit observed a subtle change. Perhaps the analogy with milk and honey is of the past. I have observed and this is corroborated by my American friends that things have changed dramatically since the turn of this century. How is that? Figures and statistics do not lie Not many may be aware that fully 25 percent of Americans, since tax policies favoring the very rich have been put in place and the economy has tanked, live at or below the poverty line. Of course the poverty line is not like in India where Montek Singh that ludicrous economist and government tout has come up with a figure if Rs 28 per day. But American poverty is real as far as America is concerned and over 75 million people are affected

  In addition over fifty million Americans are without health insurance. This is a colossal figure and America must be the only developed country in the world without free, single-payer (government paid) health insurance.

 Twenty-one percent of all children in America are on food stamps, with the number climbing daily. American civil liberties have been severely stripped with the passage of the Patriot Act and now the National Security Defense Act. For all intents and purposes the Fourth Amendment of the United States Constitution, which protects American citizens from unreasonable search and seizure, has been repealed.

 We will have to think twice about America being a land of Milk and Honey The honey seems to have gone and I wonder whether the downslide has begun .