Since the financial crisis, the U.S. has really needed politicians willing to
- put in regulations to prevent similar meltdowns of the financial systems in the future,
- to get rid of the corrupt individuals that caused the crisis instead of delivering them more big bonuses on the taxpayer dime, and
- to stabilize the debt, not by cutting important services, but by raising taxes (especially on the rich) back to 1990s levels, and by quickly reducing war spending.
I think the U.S. really needs serious reforms, but I have a sense that the citizens are too complacent, and the megacorporations and superrich are too powerful, to allow major reforms of any kind at this point.
Perhaps a big part of the problem, as evidenced by the internal squabbles inside Occupy Wall Street, is that people can't agree on what, exactly, the problem is. Clearly something is seriously wrong in U.S. politics, but what's the problem? Where does the gridlock come from, and what is the nature of the corruption? How can politicians lie more than ever before, stall congress more than ever before, and care less than ever before about the future of the nation? Why does the U.S. media seem to focus on more superficial issues than in other nations? Are Americans not concerned about their absolutely monstrous debt? If they are concerned, how can so many of them be convinced to oppose simple and easy changes like restoring taxes on the rich to 1990s levels? Perhaps most importantly, we can't agree on how to fix these problems. And I'm not sure, but it feels like some substantial percentage of the population ignores the corruption and can't be convinced to give a damn.
I don't have the answers. But if nothing changes, perhaps the only wakeup call to America will come when the economy collapses.
P.S. you know, it still seems like a lot of people are still buying this "rich people are job creators" nonsense. More on that in my next post.