Up To Your Eyeballs In Student Loans? Stuck In a Minimum Wage Job? Afraid to Get Sick?

Welcome to Life in Exceptional America

American Exceptionalism

Birth to death in the American imperium. If it were a play, most of us would be done for by the second act. Behold in act one the risky and expensive business of giving birth and the budget-busting costs of daycare. Act two features a generation of education moguls getting rich while U.S. children get a second-class education. Act three spotlights even more massive debt, helped along by spiraling education costs, sky-high student debt and a job market of mainly part-time, minimum wage, contingent jobs with zero pensions. The epilogue completes the rout: the “golden” years tarnished by bipartisan support for entitlement reform, which turns out to be a naked attempt to screw the vast majority of Americans out of the benefits they worked their entire lives to earn. Life in exceptional America has a long tail of discouragement, debt, and despair. Why then do we stand in reverent silence, head gear removed, hand over heart as the Star-Spangled Banner is sung? One place you won’t find a comforting answer is in: "Up to Your Eyeballs In Student Loans? Stuck In a Minimum Wage Job? Afraid to Get Sick? Welcome to Life in Exceptional America."

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Joe Biden: The kind of Leader the U.S. Doesn’t Need

Joe Biden

“Is this a dagger which I see before me… a false creation, proceeding from the heat-oppressed brain…” it’s not really Macbeth’s preternatural visions that keep us awake at night, is it? It’s the real-life vision of the leadership crisis in the U.S. As the 2020 presidential sweepstakes begin in earnest on November 7, and democratic hopefuls dash to the microphones to parse bad behavior with excuses, defenses, and lies, Joe Biden, fresh off his vice-presidential labors, resurfaces for yet another presidential run (he hasn’t made it to the finish line two times before). In the tradition of the last few crappy presidents, his inauguration would guarantee four more years of “same old, same old. The oligarchs would have another friend in high places. What has Joe been doing since his first election 46-years ago? Let’s see —for openers, screwing tens of millions of indebted young Americans out of millions of dollars in order to land a cushy job for his son with a grateful bank, insuring that an unqualified, right wing nominee got a seat on the Supreme Court, using his political muscle to further enrich his already fabulously wealthy major donors, the big banks — that’s the real Joe Biden. Not the charlatan who rewrote history: “there are some things worth losing over” while he did his best to ban busing as a federal remedy for segregated public schools. His home boys, the likes of Strom Thurmond and Jesse Helms, couldn’t have found themselves in better company. The clay feet of this “leader” are easy to spot. If you want to know why people like Joe Biden (and there are numerous Biden clones roaming the halls of Congress) should not apply for the job of president of the exceptional nation, don’t wait too long to read “Joe Biden: The Kind of Leader the U.S. Doesn’t Need.”

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Bezos Sticks It to Amazon Workers: Minimum Wage Up, Earnings Down

Make Amazon Pay

Here’s a headline grabber: “Richest varmit in the world breaks arm patting himself on the back for raising wages of his workers.” Fake news? Consider the facts: the reigning king of U.S. oligarchs, Amazon’s Jeff Bezos, announces what purports to be a historic income boost for workers. Operating on the principle that perception is the only reality that counts, he makes sure to get lots of media coverage. It works like a charm. Eager to change the subject from economic inequality to keeping their jobs, a bi-partisan group of politicians aren’t about to second guess a prospective campaign donor even one as soulless as Amazon’s boss. When will our “see no evil, hear no evil” elected leaders hear the voices of outraged workers at the mercy of corporate moguls who promise the moon but deliver “smoke and mirrors?” Seems like the only cure for the lopsided U.S. economic system is to reduce the incentives for bad behavior on the part of the captains of industry. Congress and the president have the power to make workers’ lives so much better. Care to make a bet on how likely they are to do it? Read “Bezos Sticks It to Amazon Workers: Minimum Wage Up, Earnings
Down
” before betting the ranch.

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A Country Afraid of its 3-Year-Olds is Approaching Insanity

PRESCHOOL TO PRISON

Holy cow, is it criminal insanity or just business as usual in the exceptional nation? Judge for yourself. What benighted theory of child development directs the U.S. education bureaucracy to wage war on 3 and 4-year-old preschoolers? For what heinous crimes? A gun hidden in their onesies? Not quite. Just a bunch of little kids suspended or even expelled for doing what little kids do best: annoying the hell out of their caregivers. Rambunctious behavior, temper tantrums, defiance —used to be a case of kids being kids. Not any more if you live in the empire. The screws are tightening, the vise-like grip of repression holds our smallest, most vulnerable, predominantly children of color, to the zero tolerance policies of a fearful nation. Easy as one, two, three. Discipline them for infractions they are too young to comprehend, label them as “troublemakers,” punish them with suspensions or expulsions when they fail to “reform.” Frontier justice—tried, convicted and sentenced. Due process need not apply. Problem solved. It’s not really about education, is it? Running out of countries to devastate, the U.S. turns inward to find easier targets. At last, a war the greatest military on earth can win. To read the shocking details, don’t miss “A Country Afraid of its 3-Year-Olds is Approaching Insanity.

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She Spoke, He Bellowed… The Democrats Have Only Themselves to Blame for This Mess

Jumpin’ Jehoshaphat what hath the past wrought? Dial back a few years to November 4, 2008. Obama was elected president that day. His base —union workers who needed to kick start organizing drives, middle and working class Americans who needed a fix to growing inequality, poor, disabled and elderly Americans trying to hold onto their meager benefits, and all Americans hungering for universal healthcare (like most of the unexceptional world)— thought they had won the lottery. “

Yes we can,” he promised in campaign mode. The bloom came off the rose when the tune in the White House changed to “I’d better not.” Democrats have long memories. Eight years later when Obama tried to hand the baton of leadership to Clinton, his base responded “No, we won’t” vote for four more years of an Obama clone. Deciding that Donald J. Trump was the lesser evil, they voted with their feet (didn’t vote) and with their choice (not-Clinton). The downside —Trump won with all the attendant misery that caused. Last week’s spectacle, a side-effect of victory, —eleven Republican men bent on reshaping the Supreme Court in their misshapen image —didn’t come out of the blue. Echoes of Democratic failure are all over that looming catastrophe. Read “She Spoke, He Bellowed…The Democrats Have Only Themselves to Blame For This Mess” to find out the true extent of their culpability.

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