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As points of comparison, consider that the national bankruptcy filing rate over 2008 - 2011 was 3.54 per 1,000 population and that the national filing rate over the last twelve months (2012) has been 4.26 per 1,000 population. (Source: Where People File Chapter 13, by Bob Lawless)
Why does the U.S. have such huge ever-growing debt and high unemployment and high bankruptcy filing rate and lowering standard of living for the average citizen? One could write books on the details, but the overall answer is that the U.S. is doing so many things wrong that economic dysfunction is just about the only possible result. Here are a few sample errors:
- Allowing schools to degenerate to the level where they don't support the needs of U.S. businesses, which have to either spend a ton of cash training Americans or import workers from overseas.
- Allowing financial institutions to do whatever they want about such high-risk strategies as investing in derivatives and then when they get in trouble, taxpayers bail them out. We need regulations badly, and notice that when Obama bailed them out, he didn't make it conditional on the implementation of such regulations, as all of us who can think knew he should do. Who is he working for, them or us? (The question was rhetorical—anyone can see the answer and it ain't pretty!)
- We need an activist democracy, but have the most passive one imaginable, allowing the Corporatocracy to seize control, turn elections into shams, and create a de facto oligarchy rapidly pushing our nation toward feudalism. (See The US is an oligarchy, study concludes.)
- We have never needed community more, but never had it less.
- Allowing parenting to be done wrongly by the vast majority of parents when we've known exactly how to do it since the early 1970s. Authoritarian parenting produces win-lose citizens which creates in them the discipline context of punishments and rewards, and this creates more authoritarian parenting which produces more win-lose citizens, and the cycle goes on and on, and it's all wrong, dumb, foolish and the key to our national failures. You'd think all these millions of parenting failures and national failures and national symptoms would encourage us to give up this suicidal nonsense and instead try something new. A few million have done this (see Authoritative and Democratic Parenting Programs).
- Rather than—amazingly—continuing to make the same errors year after year and hoping that things will get better, we could try switching to Third Wave thinking, replacing the Second Wave thinking we've been doing. But this will require we get off our butts and start becoming part of the solution. Most people stubornly insist on remaining part of the problem, hoping things will somehow get better even though they plan on continuing to make the same mistakes forever. This is dumb. It's barely sane. Insanity is doing the same thing over and over but always expecting a different result. (If the shoe fits . . . )
To forstall our national slide into the crapper, people have to get off their butts
We're getting screwed royally by the politicians and corporations. How long will we allow this senseless disaster to go on?!
Unless American citizens start defecating money, the debt has put us all in deep doo-doo