In 2013, the 113th US Congress passed 13 new laws. They enacted 86. They passed 397 resolutions. This was less than 1/3 the number of the 112th Congress. It was 1/4 the number of the 111th Congress. This should not be acceptable.
From 2009 through 2012, the US GDP (Gross Domestic Product) went from $14.4 trillion to $16.2 trillion, remaining the highest GPD worldwide. During this time, as a country, we saw rampant poverty and unemployment, massive wage inequality, and layoffs across the nation. Corporate profits are at an all time high, and expected to grow.
In his 1986 book, What Uncle Sam Really Wants (The Real Story Series), Noam Chomsky explains this as an “economic miracle.” This is where the country does exceedingly well, while it’s people stay impoverished. This is a tactic the US was inflicted on other countries for generations, in order to keep their economy export based, asserting the control of our and our allies buying power over those nations. What does this say about us?
Today, we can’t go a day without hearing of more Congressional infighting. The major media outlets have portrayed these battles as some grand polarization over ideological grounds. They’re lying, of course, because it makes good TV. The media today, instead of actual journalism, relies on entertaining speculation without reporting actual news.
In reality, there is no real polarization over ideological grounds. Things like LGBT rights, marijuana legalization, even healthcare, have already been decided by the electorate. The elected officials are simply playing to the smallest portion of their base.
Looking at the two major parties today, it’s hard to imagine that they COULD be polarized. You see, the Republican Party has moved as far to the extreme right as possible. Those who we would term moderate Republicans, or more Regan era republicans, can be described accurately today as Democrats. There’s no one on left.
Historically, some of the most effective policies in America have come from across the aisle compromises, when people put aside party ideologies and decided to work for the American people. Today, no one is working for the American people.
That said, it’s time that we did something about it. I urge everyone to start contacting their representatives to tell them that enough is enough. It doesn’t matter what party they are or you are. What matters is that they’ve forgotten to do a thing we call “govern.” They need to be reminded of what that is.
Find your representative here. http://www.contactingthecongress.org/
Contributor: Robert Sacerich
Robert is a Philosophy of Science and Bioethics student, as well as blogger and science advocate/activist. He has worked extensively within the secular community for various secular nonprofit organizations and public communication causes.
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