Even though conservatives and right-wing extremists tout America as an exceptional nation, it is fairly common knowledge there is nothing about this country that is exceptional except it has more guns and gun deaths, highest incarceration rate, food insecurity on par with Indonesia, highest first day infant mortality rate, infrastructure behind every developed country in the world, 33rd in life expectancy, highest percentage of adult-onset diabetes, 2nd highest child poverty rate, and the highest proportion of low-wage workers in the developed world. It is true America is the richest nation on Earth, but by every other measure America is a third-world nation.
One of the reasons America has become a third-world nation is three decades of Republican trickle-down economics, the monopolization, privatization and deregulation of industry, and decimation of labor protection has sent 50 million Americans into wretched poverty while all the wealth has risen to the top 1% of income earners instead of investing in America. In fact, the destruction of labor has gotten so bad that real first-world nations offshore their jobs to the American South making this country the new Indonesia because foreign corporations look at America as having one of the world’s cheapest labor forces on the planet; solely because of the non-unionized, right to work for less Southern states.
The author of “Better Off Without Em,” Chuck Thompson, says “Like Mexico, the South has spent the past few decades systematically siphoning auto jobs from Michigan and the Midwest by keeping worker’s salaries low and inhibiting their right to organize by rendering their unions toothless.” In fact, the average wage for an auto worker in the South is over 30% lower than a state like Michigan. Republicans claim liberal policies killed off Detroit’s once venerated automobile industry and bankrupted the city, but the truth is that Detroit is bankrupt due to the Republican business model that transformed the entire Southern United States into a declining third-world nation on par with Indonesia.
The GOP business model they want to privatize the federal government with forces every company in America to compete with poverty wages, low or not corporate taxes, no property taxes, no environmental protections, no labor protections, and no revenue for improving individual states; all to enrich foreign corporations and suck jobs and industry from the rest of the country. It is a business model that has already transformed America from an exceptional nation that was the envy of the industrialized world with a vibrant middle class into a decrepit nation behind developing third-world nations like Barbados, Haiti, and Tunisia.
For example, a very typical European nation such as Sweden pays a minimum wage of $19 per hour, workers enjoy at least five weeks paid vacation, limitless paid sick leave, and safe working conditions. But because America’s minimum wage is $7.25 per hour and workers get no paid vacation, sick leave, or safe workplaces, the Swedish company IKEA set up a factory in Virginia. In fact, across the South Volkswagen set up a factory in Tennessee, and other foreign automakers such as Honda, BMW, KIA, Hyundai, and Toyota all built factories in the South to take advantage of the third world’s cheapest labor force. To add salt to the wound, because there is little to no corporate or property taxes, the state’s do not benefit from the factories and as workers earn poverty wages, Americans subsidize their low pay with food stamps, healthcare, and housing assistance while those foreign companies’ profits go directly to stimulate their economies instead of America’s.
This is the nation Republicans built with money from the Koch brothers’ and Americans for Prosperity, American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), Heritage Foundation, Cato Institute, Club for Growth, and Wall Street that have spent the better part of two decades achieving the Koch brothers’ “vision of a transformed America.” The result of their transformation is increasing millions of Americans either wallowing in poverty or stuck in a downward spiral with no expectation of ever achieving anything more than “working poor” status with no more hope than not dying homeless. Sadly, a segment of the population, those most likely drowning in poverty and living in the Southern United States expedited the conservative’s plan by voting for Republicans because they promise to fight for religious freedom, guns, and preserving their European ancestors’ dream of a Christian wonderland.
The real tragedy is that as stupid Southern voters do the Kochs, Wall Street, and corporations’ bidding by keeping Republicans in power, at least in their states, they are dragging the rest of the nation down to their level and conservatives depend on them playing an integral part in transforming the entire nation into their vision for America. However, the rest of America is sick and tired of the old Confederate mentality sucking the life out of the rest of the country and facilitating Republican and their money machine’s effort turning this once exceptional country into a third world laughingstock of the developed world for its rapid decline due to an incredibly stupid voting bloc.
Decent Americans have a message for so-called “real Americans” down South and across the country the Kochs and Republicans manipulated into transforming a once-great nation into a third world backwater. Wrap yourself in that Chinese-made flag, clutch that bible to your bosom, and sling that assault rifle across your back, because the only thing you accomplished by supporting Republicans is helped the Kochs and their ilk transform America into a statistical third world nation. That may be your definition of Southern pride and real Americans, but just remember you work for poverty wages, depend on Americans’ charity to feed you, use our charity tax dollars for religious indoctrination, and boast you will fight and die for your religion like every extremist in every third world country.
Audio engineer and instructor for SAE. Writes op/ed commentary supporting Secular Humanist causes, and exposing suppression of women, the poor, and minorities. An advocate for freedom of religion and particularly, freedom of NO religion.
Born in the South, raised in the Mid-West and California for a well-rounded view of America; it doesn’t look good.
Former minister, lifelong musician, Mahayana Zen-Buddhist.