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 Blooming Stars

Democracy in US

             Before broaching autocracy, a few observations on democracy are in order. Democracy with all its draw-backs is still the best form of government that there is, and that alone can help human spirit flourish. A human is programmed by one’s creator or nature to achieve one’s full potentials or whatever is possible in this world. As widely known, “Democracy is the government of the people by the people for the people” to actualize one’s potentials. That is the main reason that I live in and root for the oldest democracy, the USA, and the largest democracy, India. Both countries have their serious draw-backs. Both countries do not have an enlightened democracy that work for the largest common good, and that protect the interests of the vast majority.

            The United States indulge in unbridled capitalism at the expense of the poor and the middle class people. The gap between the rich and the poor is ever widening. There is a law pertaining to the minimum wage. But there is no maximum wage law that ought to be put in place. There needs to be a cap on the wealth that an individual can acquire as any wealth is accumulated on the back of hard-working people of a society that needs to protect everyone’s interests. Besides the wealth of rich persons are protected by the law enforcement system. The recent fund-raising dinner of the Republican candidate for the 2012 presidential election in November charged $50,000 (about 27 lakhs) per plate for food. During the dinner speech the candidate stated that 47% of Americans are in some form of government hand-out. Incidentally the candidate did not intend this information for public consumption. The information taped and got out caught the candidate unawares. What about transparency in a democracy? The 47% of Americans that he talks about, I would dare say, make more financial sacrifice for the country than the candidate himself. Even though the candidate made millions of dollars in investment, he paid proportionately less tax than myself in the past tax year. The society in which he and I live gives him a very large hand-out because of the unfair tax laws orchestrated by an earlier president of his own party. The very rich, I may be said to be incorporate welfare.

            Each person in the United States, the seventh richest country in the world with a population of 314.447 million (31.4447 crores) people has a GDP (Gross Domestic Product) per capita of $46860; that is, the purchasing parity for each person is $46860; the entire GDP of the USA is $314, 447,000 X 46860. The first six richest countries have only a population that ranges from 393,162 (Brunei) to 8,264,070 (United Arab Emirates) persons. We need to put the $50000 dinner per person in the context of each person worth $46860. Interestingly I was disappointed by an Indian American conservative political commentator, who discredits the current president through a movie entitled “2016: Obama’s America”. He, a product of the Jesuit-run St. Stanislaus High School, Bandra, (Mumbai, India), does no credit to Indian Americans like me.

            I do not think he had imbibed sufficiently the social justice values the Jesuits were known to die for. He may become very rich through his movie by catering to the Republican party at a very crucial election time. But he needs to remind himself that he and other Indians like myself got a chance in the USA through generous policies of Democrats who also historically provided the safety nets for the needy and the materially deprived. I am willing to grant that the entire government aid and welfare system need to be cleaned and revamped. Now that most Indians have become rich they seem to want to keep the wealth for themselves forgetting their own background. I am reminded of the days of long ago when I used to travel in India by trains. People who got in the train first bolted the doors of the coach from inside denying entry to passengers from stations further down so the coach will not be uncomfortably crowded. United States is a melting-pot of immigrants.

            All except the natives came from other countries looking for opportunities. While I do not by any means advocate overcrowding of the US, those who came earlier need not close the borders for others if they can be accommodated without undue inconvenience. In a pluralistic society voting on a one-issue basis could be self-destructive. While I am against abortion, no Democratic or Republican president is going to reverse the Supreme Court ruling on abortion until the country is ready for it. While I cannot fathom the depth of moral degradation the four US soldiers recently descended into by urinating on the dead bodies of Taliban fighters after they were shot, this incident would have come to light only in a free democratic society. I am sure they will be duly punished. The lobbyists and money bags are exerting undue influence in Washington destroying democratic principles. That an enormous amount of money needs to be raised to win an election also adversely affects US democracy.


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