Billy Jack post needs to wait another week. After I perused my latest copy of Newsweek and the local paper, I felt compelled to write about the state of the United States.
46.2 million Americans now live in poverty. (15.1%, same as 1993, which I find fascinating. Was that a bad time then? Don’t think so.)
59 million do not have health insurance.
7.2 million are in prison, on parole or probation. (The highest in the world.) We spend $200 billion a year on incarceration, many for drug convictions. Isn’t alcohol a drug?
$14,694,624, 120, 933.06 trillion in debt.
671,859 people homeless each night. (More and more former members of the middle class.)
$4,000,000,000,000 trillion and counting for the 2-3 wars going on.
How did this happen? Yes, we can blame the politicians. Frankly, though, I believe this happened because we’ve all been sleepwalking through our lives, not paying attention to the choices our leaders made, not being involved in our local governments, not participating and not dissenting. Not sure we even have a functioning democracy at this point. Without the people providing checks and balances it cannot be a democracy.
Democracies are fragile. Yet, how often do any of us talk about what it takes? How often do you question or speak up about what even goes on in your own town? I can tell you that there’s very little participation on the local level, that very few get up and question the budgets or the items being passed.
Folks have told me, “We can’t do anything about it, so I’m just going to manage my little corner of the world.” But what does that mean?
It’s very easy for democracies to migrate into something else when folks are looking at something else. It seems that we care more about who wins Dancing With The Stars than what goes on in our government/country.
I’ve formed a group in my town called The Off Center For Wild & Disobedient Creativity. I’m convinced that the economy cannot take off again if all it involves is buying more stuff that does not feed our souls. Every day I read, “We need folks to buy more stuff.” Yet, we all have more stuff that we will ever need. Even if we had money, would most of us keep buying more? At some point, there’s no room in your home for it or you. I’ve been hauling stuff out for over 9 years and still I could fill a small department store.
If Americans can wake up from sleepwalking and a chronic state of dependency then I believe we can turn this around. So many problems exist that need solving. Yet we focus on consumer spending in the traditional sense.
O.k., I’d love your ideas for creating jobs whatever country you live in because it all trickles around. It’s time for the regular folks, not being hounded by lobbyists or re-election jitters to come up with businesses that we need. Businesses that may not exist at this moment. Please no political flamethrowers. That just creates more upheaval.
I’d like to see companies spring up that
a) get folks back connected to their own power, their own critical thinking abilities.
b) stop sex trafficking. ( we can buy shares)
c) encourage folks to help others, especially teens
d) healthy eating clinics associated with farms
e) alternatives to prescription meds
f) democracy takes attention programs
g) kindness classes
h) allow us to give our stuff directly to other families – stuff donors
g) get children back into the woods to learn about science and math in action
h) musician performance company that gives afternoon performances at corporations, often members of that company.
i) wisdom talks by senior citizens
j) undersea holiday spots
k) cave homes that don’t need heat or air conditoning
How about some of you? What ideas do you have for job creation and please don’t be limited by what you think it possible. That’s where we all falter. If we can put a man on the moon way back in 1969, we can come up with some creative jobs. Who would have thought we could do that?
Many thanks, G.
p.s. my own attempts to get folks back connected to their own power. my writing adventure open to women at story circle. Shh! Secrets to Writing Powerful, Provocative, and Publishable Personal Essays