America, A Third World Country?

By Richard Thayer

Is it possible?

Could the United States of America one day be a third world nation, a nation like Iran, Iraq, Pakistan, Libya; like some of the poorer countries in Africa and South America?

Is it possible that our nation could one day become like one of those poor, pitiful countries where the majority of the people live in squalor and poverty?

I see the pictures of those countries: the kinds of homes the people live in (the ones who aren’t homeless), the kinds of food they eat (those who have food), the kinds of conditions under which they must work for the small amount of money they receive (for those who have jobs), and I wonder: Could that possibly be us one day?

Is it possible that this great nation of ours could one day be a third world country?

Not only is it possible, in all likelihood it is quite probable.

As a matter of fact, we’re on the fast-track to third world status right now. And we’re gaining speed with each passing day.

In most of your third world countries a very small minority possess the majority of that country’s wealth. In addition, that small minority controls its news media, its military and its politicians. That small minority calls all the shots. They run things. They enjoy the good life while the country’s people suffer.

Many of these so-called third world countries would be in much better shape financially if the wealth were better distributed. They would be better off if the money was spent on improving education, on creating good-paying jobs, on investing in the people of those countries. But, instead, the wealthy elite in those countries hoard it all to themselves. They live the lifestyle of the rich and famous while the majority of the people struggle to just stay alive.

If you make contributions of any kind to those countries in an effort to help the poor, most of that money, food, and other resources go into the treasuries of the wealthy.

Today, here in America, the land of the free, the home of the brave, two percent of our citizens possess the majority of the country’s wealth. Two percent. And 400 of our country’s wealthiest citizens have a net worth equal to that of 155 million of America’s men, women and children. Four-hundred.

These are enterprising men and women who run the big corporations, the big banks, and Wall Street. These are the same people who caused the financial meltdown of 2008, the ones who we bailed out with our hard-earned money, the ones who are now receiving bonuses for jobs well done, the ones who are now in the process of creating another financial meltdown that will be even bigger and better than the one in 2008.

Although they caused the mess we’re currently experiencing, they aren’t required to share in the sacrifice that’s being made by millions of our less wealthy citizens. They’re tax exempt. Remember last year when a bill was introduced to make the wealthiest two percent in the country pay taxes? The bill was defeated.

As you may have noticed the focus of our attention has been taken off of the wealthy and directed toward the middle class. We are the ones who must give up our pensions, must relinquish our health care, must take a cut in wages and surrender our collective bargaining rights in order to “balance the budget.”

There’s an extremely important battle being waged in America today. Although the media, in large part, have tried to redirect much of our attention to the crisis in Libya and the one taking place in Charlie Sheen’s head, the big news for us — the middle class — is being waged in places like Madison, Wisconsin.

For us as members of the American middle class, those demonstrations taking place in cities where the governors are attempting to take away the bargaining rights of its public employees, and are taking funds away from educators and police departments, these demonstrations are not only critical for the future of those states, they’re critical for all of us.

If the governors of those states are successful in stripping these employees of their bargaining rights, we all lose.

If these politicians win, corporations win, Wall Street wins.

And we are one step closer to becoming a third world country.


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