July the Fourth


Next Wednesday Americans, well at least some Americans, will celebrate Independence Day. There will be the mandatory fireworks, (though not as many as in years gone by because of budget cuts and other considerations,) and various parades with all the attending hoopla. In the capitol of the Republic there will be a media event of proportions to rival the Circus Maximus in ancient Rome with all the gaudiness that only Americans can produce or enjoy. In addition every business that can will “celebrate” independence with furniture sales, grocery specials, and automobile promotions that would do any greedy robber baron proud!
But for many millions of Americans the day will be no different than any other day. The working poor will be forced to work on this national holiday along with the lower middle class, for wages that are still well below the poverty index, while the privileged and “professionals” will be paid for Not working. The elderly, in particular the elderly poor, will still have to make choices between their medications and food or rent, since their so called Social Security benefits continue to diminish with the rising cost of everything. For Millions of Americans who have no access to even the most basic health or dental care despite the recent Supreme Court ruling, Independence Day will simply be a Wednesday. John McCain and many Republicans who are rich of course brag about how the United States has the “greatest health care system in the world” when in fact we are ranked 38th in the world in terms of quality. Easy to accept such a myth if like him and the rest of the Congress you had access to the best hospitals and doctors in the country at no cost to you or your family!
For the millions of homeless the Fourth of July will be another day of” independence” from the basic necessities of life and the dignity of person hood. They will find no programme, no government commissions, no “faith based incentives”, to assist them toward the day they can proclaim a declaration or realize a bill of rights. Many will spend the day looking for food or some cheap wine to dull the pain of their “independence”!
Universities and colleges of course will be closed to celebrate this Feast Day of American Myth and Lore. Here again for millions of young (and sometimes old) Americans the dream of a degree or certificate will be only that, a dream. Even in state supported institutions of higher learning the cost for four years of university or college education is beyond their capacity to meet even with the meager assistance of government loans. If they are “fortunate” enough to obtain loans from private lenders the cost is so protracted and severe that they are in debt for most of their adult lives. Thanks to Republican law makers the cost loaning you money is set to double soon! These predatory lenders enjoy the full support and protection of law and government unlike the victims they prey upon. Independence! Cod-swallow!
For many of us we will not wave a flag or light a firecracker or march in a parade. We will not participate in the myth that is America. That day will only come when this country is honest about its history, rectifies the injustices past and present, and makes certain that every citizen is served by the government not made serfs of the state and the market place. Then the myth will be well on its way to being a reality.
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