|Boat at Honolulu Bay|
This year on July 4th the United States celebrated its 235th birthday. While this democracy has been held up as a shining model by many around the world, it is endangered as never before. Consider:
- The growing gap between the "haves" and "have nots"
- Strident politicians who are more concerned about their votes and satisfying lobbyist and special interests than compromising for the common good
- Limited awareness and slow response to global climate change (think droughts, floods, etc.)
- Outsourcing of jobs to other countries, resulting in a dearth of entry level and well paying lower skilled positions (A growing number of homeless in America are also the working poor)
- Vast numbers of Americans living well beyond their means and not saving for the future
- Enormous national debt, beyond 14 trillion dollars, raising a possibility of downgrading the country's longstanding Aaa bond rating
- Politicians spending greater energy and hours seeking campaign dollars than attending to the interests of their constituents; hence not willing to raise taxes and decrease spending
- Military spending of $680 billion that far surpasses any other nation.
- Distracted voters who have diminishing trust and participation in the democratic process
- Growing intolerance of immigrants