Synergy is the interaction of multiple elements in a system to produce an effect different from or greater than the sum of their individual effects. The term synergy means “working together” for the greater good and it can be distilled down to the concept that “the whole is greater than the sum of its parts;” in America that concept is proving to be increasingly false. It is true that as a whole America is still barely a first world nation, but it is in no way thanks to Republican-controlled states primarily in the South. In fact, about the only thing exceptional about America is the preponderance of wealth limited to a few very rich families and its military might; other than those two aspects, this country is slowly being dragged into mediocrity at best due to the waste of resources being spent on truly ignorant people at the expense of the nation as a whole.
For all of America’s wealth and technological advancements, it ranks below most developed first world nations due to a significant number of low-achieving, backward thinking, and unenlightened human beings residing primarily in Republican-led states in the Southern United States. About three weeks ago a Huffington Post article displayed maps showing the dire situation of residents living in the South titled “These 9 Maps Should Absolutely Outrage Southerners,” but a more apt title would have been “these maps should absolutely enrage America” because the rest of the nation is in decline because the South is taking valuable resources in the form of tax dollars and preventing reinvestment in America. Most Americans do not resent sending taxes collected in Democratic-controlled states to feed, house, and provide healthcare for the destitute in the South, but they do resent giving their hard-earned tax dollars to people unwilling and unable to help themselves due to religious intransigence, resistance to education, and opposition to policies that would improve their lot in life and benefit the entire nation.
Although the Southern mindset is not quite setting the agenda for the entire nation, there are just enough Republican representatives in Congress elected by gun zealots, bible fanatics, and low intellect racists that they are hampering progress and damaging the rest of the nation with their rejection of policies that would lift their standard of living to a point they could be self-sufficient and help invest in America to put the nation back on track to becoming an exceptional country. Last year a Forbes pundit commented that, “the common media view of the South is as a regressive region, full of overweight, prejudiced, exploited, and undereducated numbskulls,” and according to empirical measurements it is a fair representation of America’s third-world.
One of the great contributors to the South’s recession into third world status is their adherence to a mindset that encourages more guns, religious extremism, less education, willful ignorance, and low pay leading to no economic mobility that Republicans convince their constituents defines the vaunted “real America.” This “real America,” in great part, is the price the entire nation is paying for a region that has distorted education as a liberal plot to drive the nation into Socialism founded on liberal values, and why Republicans so easily convince Southerners that voting against their own best interests is waging war against Obama “liberalism” that keeps the former Confederacy the nation’s most impoverished region.
The South boasts lower than minimum wages, the least economic mobility, least affordable medical coverage, lower percentages of high school and college graduates, lowest housing values, lower life expectancy, and lower household incomes. The South’s low wages, less union representation, less education, and lower incomes all contribute to the high cost to the rest of the nation to prop up and support ignorant people living in the South who cannot fend for themselves and are not contributing to the nation as a whole.
Republicans are successful at marketing so-called takers living off the government to ignorant Southerners with dog whistles portraying people of color as draining resources from the government, but when Republicans use dog whistles belittling “takers,” they mean the Southern United States most dependent on government assistance. It is ironic that Republicans’ greatest support comes from the South that takes more from the federal government than it contributes, and if not for Democratic states contributing more in tax revenue to the government due to higher wages, a better educated populace, and higher household income, the ignorant “real America” would be in deep distress indeed.
If people in the South, and Republican-controlled states in the Midwest, would elect representatives at the state and federal level who would fight for better economic opportunities for their constituents like more education funding, well-paying jobs, and affordable healthcare instead of tax breaks for the rich and corporations, then not only would they eliminate the need for taxpayer-funded government assistance, they could begin contributing to reinvesting in America. This once world-leading nation has fallen so far over the past thirty years since Republicans convinced morons that instead of investing in America, it was economic Utopia to invest in the wealthy who fund Republicans responsible for perpetuating the deplorable conditions in the South and GOP-controlled states in the Midwest. It is a vicious cycle that has starved the government of revenue to rebuild, reinvest, and modernize America because what little revenue taxpayers in Democratic-controlled states contribute is needed to sustain Southerners barely surviving the Republicans they continue electing.
America needs about $3.6 trillion in infrastructure improvements in the next five years to bring the country up to first-world standards to compete with every developed nation on Earth. Last month a very well-respected conservative economist suggested that President Obama should propose, and Congress should immediately approve, a minimum of $1.2 trillion in infrastructure funding to create good jobs and strengthen the economy. Republicans, primarily Southern Republicans, responded with more tax cuts for corporations and the rich and more spending cuts to domestic programs that are sustaining their constituents that drew great support from voters in the South.
Americans are generous people and do not hesitate helping those in need, especially other Americans in Southern states with Republicans keeping their constituents in dire economic conditions. However, at some point those in need have to help themselves and abandon their idea of “real America” founded on religion, low wages, guns, illiteracy, poor health, and racial animus. Because not only have they made the South a veritable third world nation, they are dragging the entire country into something less than mediocrity. Besides, those guns, bibles, ignorance, and racism have not provided one iota of food, housing, and healthcare assistance that has come courtesy of Democratic-controlled states that would rather spend their hard-earned tax dollars investing in all of America and not just the third world former Confederacy.
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.