By Shenali D Waduge
President Obama and his Government, in fact even the Republicans appear far more concerned about deaths of Syrians in Syria by rebels that the US and Allies are arming, training financing and even feeding than the disaster situation unfolding across Colorado where 1300 Americans remain missing, 1502 residential structures are destroyed, and over 18000 structures are damaged with 7000 evacuated with possibly no home to return to. How can the situation of these Americans be any worse than some country oceans away from America? That is not all why does chemicals bother President Obama or any American Government official? Did they not drop atomic bombs on Hiroshima on 6th August 1945 and having seen how 66,000 were instantly burnt to death did not have any remorse to drop another atomic bomb 3 days later on 9th August 1945 in Nagasaki?
As for chemical weapons, US is threatening Syria when US is violating the chemical weapons treaty keeping tons of chemicals in Kentuky and Colorado (where the floods have taken place) breaking its own promise to the international community (whoever that is). Colorado facility has 2611 tons of mustard gas, 524 tons of chemical weapons including nerve agent Sarin in Kentucky. US ratified the Chemical Weapons Convention treaty and agreed in 1997 to destroy its chemical weapons within 10 years with a 5year extension for which the deadline is now past but US officials now say they need til 2023 to honor its commitment. Lets also not forget that it was no other nation but the US that used Agent Orange during Vietnam War (1961-1971) which killed over 400,000 and maimed over 500,000 inclusive of children born with birth defects. US, UK and Israel have used depleted uranium (DU) as well as white phosphorus.
It’s not Syria or only Colorado that the US Government and President Obama needs to be concerned about – people of America are suffering for no fault of theirs and it is time the American leaders concentrate on looking after their own people first.
The US population is 315million.
Americans without Jobs and poor
§ there are 240 million working age people. Only about 140 million of them are working.
§ There are now 13 million unemployed Americans, which is three million more than when President Barack Obama was first elected.
§ around 100 million Americans are considered to be either “poor” or “near poor”.
§ 1.5 million American families live on less than two dollars a day
§ 23.117 million American households began to receive food stamps. Approximately one-fourth of all American children are enrolled in the food stamp program
§ 80% of US adults face near poverty and unemployment (4 out of 5 Americans have to rely on welfare)
§ 46.2 million, or 15 percent of the population are at the risk of being unemployed
§ 47 million Americans now live below the poverty line (this mean 47million Americans are POOR)
§ 22% of ALL children in the US live below the poverty line (60% of children in Detroit live in poverty)
§ The top 10% of Americans now earn around 50% of US national income
§ wealthiest 20 percent of all Americans now control 84 percent of all the wealth in America
§ 35 percent of American households live on $35,000 or less each year.
§ Pew Research Center has also found that 85 percent of middle class Americans say that it is harder to maintain a middle class standard of living today
§ 28 percent of all Americans do not have a single penny saved for emergencies.
§ US credit card debt stands at $793.1billion
§ An average credit card debt per household is $15,799
§ Average household debt $54,000
US obesity and health
§ Approximately 50 million Americans do not have any health insurance at all right now
§ more than 100 million Americans are enrolled in at least one welfare program run by the federal government at this point.
§ 2/3 of US adults are overweight or obese
§ 82.1 percent of Black women and 75.7 percent of Hispanic women are overweight or obese compared to 59.5 percent of White women (Flegal)
§ nearly 70 percent of Americans are on at least one prescription drug
§ 13% Americans take anti-depressants
§ Nearly one in four women ages 50-64 were found to be on an antidepressant
§ 22million Americans are on illegal drugs
§ There are more than 14500 specialized drug treatment facilities
§ There are 1.5million charity organizations in the US
§ Homelessness is essentially caused by the inability of households to pay for housing.
§ in January 2012, 633,782 people were experiencing homelessness
§ Veteran homeless population was 62,619 in 2012.
§ 38% of the homeless persons were unsheltered, living on the streets, or in cars, abandoned buildings, or other places not intended for human habitation
§ In 2011, more than 6.5 million households were spending more than 50% of their income for housing expenses, which was a 5.5% increase from 2010.
§ There are an estimated 5,000 people living in the dozens of tent camps that have sprung up across America.
§ 20.2 million Americans that spend more than half of their incomes on housing
§ 25 million American adults are living with their parents
§ There are 40.3million immigrants in the US (13% of the US population)
§ There are 11million immigrants living in the US Illegally plus 4.5 million US citizen children with undocumented parents.
§ About six million of the 11 million are Mexicans. Sixty percent are men. A majority live in large states like California, Texas, Illinois, and New York. In Oklahoma, Hispanics outnumber native Americans
§ Legal immigrants from Asia outnumber legal immigrants from other regions
§ 429,599 people from Asian nations were granted permanent legal resident status in US
§ new report on the nation’s top 472 occupations finds that immigrants — legal or not — take some jobs from Americans, dispelling the accepted view that foreign workers only fill jobs Americans don’t want to do.
Americans gone Missing
§ Every day 2300 go missing in the US (children and adult)
§ from roughly 150,000 in 1980 to about 900,000 have gone missing in 2013
§ Every 40 seconds, a child goes missing in the U.S
§ Approximately 76.2% of abducted children who are murdered are dead within three hours of the abduction
§ Of the 692,944 people reported missing in 2010, 531,928 were under the age of 18
§ There are as many as 100,000 active missing persons cases in the U.S. at any given time
§ It is estimated that at least 8 million children worldwide go missing each year
American Marriages & Divorce
§ 50% of marriages end in divorce
§ 50 percent of all marriages in which the brides are 25 or older result in a failed marriage. ” National Center for Health Statistics
§ Research indicates that people who live together prior to getting married are more likely to have marriages that end in divorce. ” The Boston Herald
§ In America, there is one divorce every 13 seconds. That’s 6,646 divorces per day, and 46,523 divorce per week.
§ If your parents are happily married, your risk of divorce decreases by 14 percent (this questions how happy Americans really are)
§ There are more than 130,000 married, same-sex couples in the U.S
§ There are nearly 750,000 teen pregnancies every year
§ United States has one of the highest teen pregnancy rates in the western industrialized world.
§ In 2008, approximately 1.21 million abortions took place in the U.S
§ In 2009, 85% of all abortions were performed on unmarried women (CDC).
§ In 2009, the average cost of a nonhospital abortion with local anesthesia at 10 weeks of gestation was $451
§ There are estimated to be 2milion prostitutes in the US in a world which is said to have 42million of them. The death rate for prostitutes in the U.S. is 204 out of every 100,000. Every year in the U.S., between 70,000 and 80,000 people are busted for prostitution. (Which costs taxpayers $200 million)
§ there are more than 8 million adults in the US who are lesbian, gay, or bisexual, comprising 3.5% of the adult population
Domestic violence in the US
§ There are 1,500 shelters for battered women in the United States
§ Three to four million women in the United States are beaten in their homes each year by their husbands, ex-husbands, or male lovers.
§ On average more than three women a day are murdered by their husbands or boyfriends in the United States
§ There were 248,300 rapes/sexual assaults in the United States in 2007, more than 500 per day
§ United States Justice Department’s Bureau of Justice Statistics estimates that 3.4 million persons said they were victims of stalking
§ One in 6 women and 1 in 33 men have experienced an attempted or completed rape. (U.S. Department of Justice
Americans and Education
§ 3,030,000 Americans drop out from high school annually (every day 8300 drops out from high school)
§ Over 70 percent of America’s inmates cannot read above a 4th grade level
§ 1 in 4 children in America grow up without learning how to read
§ As of 2011, America was the only free-market OECD (Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development) country where the current generation was less well educated than the previous
Gun culture in US
§ FBI estimates that there are over 200 million privately-owned firearms in the US
§ If you add those owned by the military, law enforcement agencies and museums there would be more guns than the US population of 315million!
§ The Small Arms Survey in 2007 by the Graduate Institute of International Studies in Geneva estimated 270 million firearms in the US
§ There have been 156,577,620 gun registry applications submitted to the National Firearms Administration (NFA) from Nov 1998 to Nov 2012
§ On an average more than 80 people die due to guns daily.
§ Over 3000 crimes take place daily due to guns
§ Sixteen US Mass Shootings Happened in 2012, leaving at Least 88 Dead – it is the 16th mass shooting since Obama became President. We need to add 16 and possibly more following the naval yard shooting which occurred on 16 Sept 2013 and yes the suspect suffered PSTD.
§ 6 million – average number of car accidents every year. 3 million people are injured every year in car accidents in America. Around 2 million drivers experience permanent injuries every year from car accidents. 40,000 people lose their lives every year due to major accidents while driving. 40% of all deaths caused by car accidents involve alcohol. 30% of car accident fatalities are attributed to speeding. Reckless driving accounts for 33% of all deaths involving major car accidents.
§ Deaths in Police Custody
§ More than 2,000 criminal suspects died (out of 40million arrests) in police custody over a three-year period, half of them killed by officers as they scuffled or attempted to flee. 55% of the 2,002 arrest-related deaths from 2003 through 2005 were due to homicide by state and local law enforcement officers. New York now ranks sixth nationwide in the number of police killings, behind Arizona and Illinois,
§ In 2010, 38,364 suicides were reported, making suicide the 10th leading cause of death for Americans
§ The US population is just 5% of the world’s total population but it holds 25% of the world’s prison population!
§ US has 2.2million prisoners
§ US law enforcement estimates over 1million criminal gang members in US who commit 80% of crimes in the US
§ There are over 100,000 rapes in the United States annually.
Suicides and Psychological disorders in Americans and US soldiers
§ Over 110,000 American service personnel took prescribed medications in 2011 to battle through everyday military routine
§ nearly 8 per cent of active-duty American servicemen and women take sedatives and over 6 per cent are on antidepressants
§ An appalling 80 per cent increase in suicides among US service personnel has been registered between 2004 and 2008.
§ A 2008 Rand Corporation study found under 20 percent of soldiers reported psychological distress in some form
§ In 2010, the Pentagon spent $280 million on psychiatric drugs. That number has since risen.
§ To date, the Pentagon has spent more than a billion dollars on psychiatric drugs, making it one of the largest customers of Big Pharma.
§ There are now over 8,000 suicides each year by U.S. soldiers and veterans; that’s over 22 a day. 33% of those suicides are attributed to medication side effects. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta calls military suicides an “epidemic”. Yet, One-third of military suicides are committed by soldiers who have never seen combat.
US Foreign Military Bases and influence
§ The US has established its control over 191 governments which are members of the United Nations.
§ U.S. has over 255,000 military personnel in 148 nations and 1000 overseas bases even in nations of Mongolia, Nepal, Gabon, Togo and Suriname.
§ More than 1000 US military personnel serve in Belgium, Germany, Italy, Spain, Turkey, the United Kingdom, Japan, Bahrain, Djibouti, South Korea, Iraq, Afghanistan and Kuwait.
§ U.S. has 662 overseas bases in 38 foreign countries
§ “There are less than 10 NATO bases in Afghanistan,” he wrote in an October 2010 email. “There are over 250 U.S. bases in Afghanistan.”
§ US Government deploys well over half a million soldiers, spies, technicians, teachers, dependents, and civilian contractors in other nations.
US arms sales
§ 75% of arms sales worth around $45-60 billion are to developing countries.
§ The 5 permanent members of the UN Security Council (US, Russia, France, United Kingdom and China), together with Germany and Italy account for around 85% of the arms sold between 2004 and 2011.
§ the School of the Americas (A US military training school), has trained many of the worst human rights violators and dictators in various Latin American countries.
§ Of the 100 arms manufacturers 44 are US. These US companies account for more than 60% of revenue of the 100 arms manufacturers.
§ 7 of the 10 top arms manufacturers are American – these 10 companies are those that profit from wars.
Americans paying taxes
State income tax, social security tax and medicare taxes are taken from people’s paychecks in addition there are 40 other taxes that an American has to pay annually and possibly more.
Other than the federal, state and local income taxes an average American ends up paying 44 or more tax types : building permits, capital gains, cigarette, court fines, dog license, driving license, food license, gas, gift taxes, hunting license, inheritance tax, inventory, IRS interest, IRS penalties, liquor, luxury taxes, marriage license, medicare, medicare tax surcharge on high earning Americans under Obamacare, Obamacare individual mandate excise tax, Obamacare surtax on investment income, property tax, recreational vehicle, toll booth, sales tax, self-employment tax, school tax, septic permit, service charge, social security, state unemployment, tanning tax, telephone federal excise, telephone federal universal service, telephone minimum usage surcharge, telephone – state and local, tire taxes, tolls, traffic fines, utility, vehicle registration, workers compensation. …. And ‘tax avoidance’ has become a multibillion dollar industry.
US tax code is now 3.8million words long! According to National Taxpayers Union, US taxpayers spend more than 7.6billion hours complying with federal tax requirements annually. In the 1930s Form 1040 was only 2 pages today it is 89pages with 4428 changes.
According to the IMF, the global elite are holding a total of 18 trillion dollars in offshore banking havens such as the Cayman Islands where 1.4 trillion dollars is being held in offshore banks. Switzerland, in the city of Zug with a population of 26,000 it is the headquarters for 30,000 US companies. The Guardian reported estimated that a third of all the wealth on the entire planet is being kept in offshore banks. One of the primary reasons for this is tax avoidance. The big corporations and the ultra-wealthy have mastered the art of moving money offshore and using loopholes to make their tax burdens as low as possible. So our politicians just keep finding more ways to squeeze more money out of the middle class and small businesses in order to make up the difference.
Could it have come to a stage where US the land of dreams is now a land of debt?
Could things in Syria be far worse…. And Sri Lanka remains still the paradise isle whatever anyone says…