Challenges to representative democracy
This beautiful land, with its natural bounties, was transformed by hard-working men and women, into this most powerful and richest nation on Earth. But today, in this land of plenty, the poor go hungry, the sick stay suffering, and millions have gone homeless or worse. What happened to the American dream for all? How do our politicians pander for votes and before you know it, they're already wining and dining with the ultra-rich?
Get involved: Don't give up. It is our country and our land.
ISSUES FACING THE NATION
The Key to All: Education
Education is a human right and hence it is compulsory in the United States. It opens up the mind and raises the awareness of other God-given rights, enshrined in the constitution. However, education is a great equalizer and hence most rich people are quite wary of education in general but especially of the consequences of educating poor and disfranchised kids. From their perspective, there should be always poor people who should stay poor and there should be rich people who always need to stay rich. Hence the education and educators have been in the target by the privileged class as long as there has been an option of free and equal education as part of the American dream.
They have been trying (unfortunately quite successfully) to take the money away from Appalachian and inner city kids to breed a privileged class in charter schools. They don't hire good teachers for under-served populations and take the money out of school food programs.
True democracy can not breathe if a chokehold is placed on the pipeline of future citizens who need to be fully informed about their rights.
The Strength from Diversity
Diversity does not mean that we can eat out at Mexican restaurants or carry out Chinese food. Or listening to reggae or rap music Diversity without equality and justice is simply tolerance for others.
We all have the same aspirations and worries. Motherhood is same and innate desire to feed our children, play with our children and aspirations for their future are shared across all races, colors, religions, and cultures. Then why we believe that "other" people are not hurt the same way as we would be, if we were to be judged based on how we look.
Democracy does not simply mean the rule of the majority. It means protection of the rights of the minority. This concept has a universal endorsement in constitutional democracies. Article VI of the Czech constitution states that the “Political decisions shall stem from the will of the majority, expressed by means of a free vote. The majority's decisions must heed the protection of minorities.”.
Both majority rule and minority rights must be safeguarded to sustain justice in any constitutional democracy.
Disruptive Climate Change
It is naive on the part of the rich to believe that they can escape the devastating effects of climate change. It is the same air we breathe, the same water we drink and have the same food we share. We are all in the same boat. Short-term profiteering by using our resources negligently (and criminally), would ultimately doom, their children and children of their children. They don't realize that in the long run, climate change, has far worse economic consequences for them and society as a whole, then the short term monetary gains of unbridled greed.
This blue and green marble is the only habitable space that we know in the whole universe. Man-made plunder of the fragile environmental resources would doom us all. It would not be the survival of the fittest. For a nurturing democracy, we all need clean air and clean water.
A Sustainable, Living Wage
It may come as a surprising statement to corrupt politicians that workers are the backbone of our economy and not Wall Street.
The average American thinks that the pay ratio (the pay gap between the highest-paid executive and lowest paid worker) is 30:1 but average is actually closer to 300:1 ratio. CEO salaries have grown exponentially while wages and benefits for workers have been stagnant for decades. Guardian newspaper reported that the "CEO of Marathon Petroleum, Gary Heminger, took home an astonishing 935 times more pay than his typical employee in 2017. In other words, one of Marathon’s gas station workers would have to toil more than nine centuries to make as much as Heminger grabbed in just one year"
This is neither ethical or moral. Wages should satisfy not only the needs of the workers and their families but also help in the sustainable growth of small and diverse communities. Justice demands that workers should share the windfall from the earnings of the mega-corporations. We already have most billionaires in our nation compared to the rest of the world; we need more people with living wages so that our communities can flourish. History teaches us that democracy cannot be sustained if a toiling worker, does not share fruits of his or her labor. Oligarchy leads to unrest and anarchy if the rights of the underprivileged are not protected.
Our (Missing) Healthcare
Regardless of our social "class", gender or age, we all get sick but wellness should not be an entitlement of a few. Why do we think that pain is less hurtful to the poor and when they get sick, they are not privileged enough to reap the benefits of the most expansive healthcare system in the world? Why can't all of us have the same healthcare privileges as a congressman? Did we not elect him or her so they can enjoy the access to the best physicians and the hospitals that the nation can offer, while after elections, they have voted to limit or deny affordable healthcare to their voters. House of Representatives had voted more than 64 times to repeal or alter, the Affordable Care Act.
It is ironic that when an amendment was proposed that repeal should not take effect until a majority of the Senators and Representatives had opted out of their own Federal Employees Health Benefits Program but our self-centered congress voted down the measure. We pay for their medical insurance but they don't want us to have insurance. It does not matter if we were the ones that got them elected.
Universal healthcare is not a privilege but it is a right of every individual. Democracies don't stay vigorous for long if vast swaths of its population are discriminated against in healthcare.
There are existing models of age-based insurance such as Medicare, which should be applied equally to both young and old. If we want to have healthy old people, we'll have to invest in their health when they are younger. Healthcare needs a better foundation before we have droves of sick people entering into the pool of Medicare patients.
It is way cheaper to prevent sickness than to treat the disease. Healthcare for all should not be expansive at all if there are less sick to treat. It is fairly straightforward and more effective stragegy.