I have many good friends in the US, people I have known online for up to 8 years. People I've stayed with and visited on my trips to that country. I've taught US literature courses, and wrote my masters thesis on a US novelist. But I also hate and resent the power that the US displays in the world, and the dumbass attitude that many US citizens display toward the world outside their door. We see this so often on email fibre lists - "If it ain't in the US it don't exist, and if it does exist I don't want to know about it." I suppose I have a classic love-hate relationship with the US.
Today one of my friends who lives in Brooklyn and works in a professional capacity for New York Cty sent me this. She wrote it, and I have her permission to put it here. Please don't copy it on without asking; I can send you her eddress if you'd like to ask her to republish it.
Reasons I'm for Change (no more Bush):
1. Health insurance. My out of pocket costs for my premium
have increased from $20/month for 2 people to $130/month for
2 people. My copayments have increased from $5 to $15 per
office visit. Many doctors are refusing to accept any form of
HMO insurance (what I have.) My partner had to change
doctors twice; I cannot see the rheumatologist that I'd prefer.
2. Prescription drugs. My copayments used to be $3/$5/$7
(generic/non-generic preferred/non-generic non-preferred.)
Asthma, chemotherapy, injectables, psychotropic (Paxil etc.)
meds were free. I could fill my scrips at my neighborhood
pharmacy. Now I have to order any maintenance meds by mail
in a 3-month supply, and the copays are $300 a refill for all the
drugs I take. The PICA meds are no longer free. The drug
plan is in bad shape and the union is talking about limiting what a
person can get - only the drugs on the plan's formulary.
3. Salary. Our most recent contract had tiny raises - year one,
$1000, year 2 3%, year 3 2% (with a possible additional 1%
"for productivity). We haven't had a decent raise from the city in
10 years. My partner took a pay cut to keep the small internet
company going where she works. There are still fears about it
4. Social Security. We already have to wait to retire far too
long. Social Security (I know) wasn't meant to cover all of the
costs of retirement. But privatizing it? NEVER.
5. Gasoline. About $2.15 a gallon now; was about $1.25 a
6. Stupid security - hours in line at airports checking
passengers, though a knife and explosives still make it on the
plane. Cargo goes practically unchecked.
7. Fear. Every time someone speaks out about bad domestic
policy, terrorism is brought up again.
8. Education - education is being funded more and more poorly
and the public library is being made to pick up the slack - more
material to support school needs, less for general reading.
9. Cheating the Cities - New York City was promised far more
relief after 9/11 than it ever got. We're still limping along and
Bloomberg just asked for more cuts.
10. Global Warming/Pollution - Bush just doesn't seem to care.
He has questionable science backing him up.
11. Sex Education - funding only for abstinence-only education.
12. Religious Freedom - abridged. God Bless America, prayer
breakfasts, etc. moving into politics too much.
13. False Economic Hope - a plethora of minimum wage jobs
at Walmart, Target, etc. (all selling goods from China and other
countries, not the US). So yes, more jobs - but not good jobs.
And more people shopping here because it's what they can