Wednesday, March 10, 2010

The Price Paid for Public Apathy is Enormous

The current economic crisis, the abysmal state of our health care system, the alarming condition of our national infrastructure, the failure of the educational system, our burgeoning prison population and system of justice that incarcerates the poor and the powerless and the other social issues that currently haunt the nation are a direct result of the fact that the general population has allowed the power, wealth and influence of this nation to fall into the hands of an affluent class that represents less than one percent of the general population and yet controls a disproportionate share of the nation’s resources.

It is the haunting silence in the face of the enormous scale of social injustice and the economic inequality that has allowed the power that is supposed to reside in the people to be usurped by the few. The public has no reliable access to appropriate health care, for we have allowed the health of our nation to be managed by those whose only goal is profit. Our roads, bridges, school buildings, energy production facilities, resource management and other manifestations of the national infrastructure are in such pathetic condition; because, we have been cajoled into thinking that taxes are offensive and that government regulation runs counter to progress. Our educational system is in disarray; because, we have collectively refused to place the resources where they are needed. As a result, funds for schools are weighted towards those communities who need them the least. Many of the nation’s poor are imprisoned; many are homeless; many go hungry; because, our priorities are distorted and we have allowed public money to finance private profit.

This collective apathy comes at an unfortunate price. If the current trend continues and the public is once again lulled into believing that everything will improve without social action and an insistence that the government serves its people, the future state of the nation is not difficult to predict.

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