But what do Americans themselves think about the value of this “American-style democracy?” According to a poll carried out by Quinnipiac University, out of the total of 1,563 respondents, 71% were unhappy with the way things are going in the United States, while 41% stated that they were “extremely dissatisfied”, which is quite a sharp contrast with the 2% of those who were “quite satisfied”. Only 2% of respondents confessed that they had full trust in the government, while 53% – did not approve of President Obama.
Significant growth of negative attitudes across the US population towoard the country’s economy was confirmed by the regular Gallup index of economic confidence: almost 6 out of 10 Americans (or 58% of the population) believe that the national economy is getting worse, which is directly affecting the living conditions of local residents.
According to the international political website The World Socialist Web Site, the bitter poverty and social misery of the American population is only getting worse, as 40% of Americans are living below the poverty line. This number has doubled since 2000, starting from 7.2 million then to 13.8 million today, although this fact has not been reflected in the mainstream media. Poverty began to get more extreme in almost every major American city, especially in urban centers with a population above 250,000 people.
This assessment is confirmed by a poll held in July by Gallup, according to which four out of ten Americans consider themselves “the poor” on the basis of their own socioeconomic situation in society.
As evident in the report of the non-governmental research institute of The Foundation for Government Accountability, in the last decade there’s been a significant increase in the number of Americans receiving food aid. Despite countless promises to decrease the level of poverty in the country being made regularly by US leadership, since 2000 the number of issued food stamps increased threefold and the cost of food aid that is being provided to the population is growing ten times faster than federal revenues, rising from 462 million dollars in 2000 to 10 billion in 2014
According to the press-secretary of the organization Feeding America, Rosa Fraser, in 2014 a total of 46 million US residents were forced to at least once obtain food supplies from food banks, while the demand for such civil services is growing so heavily that some banks are closing on certain days and have even reduced the volume of food provided to a single family. Many Americans are standing in lines as early as 6:30 in the morning to make sure that they will get at least some food before it runs out. Against this background it’s at least surprising how many politicians are shamefully ignoring the pain of millions and millions of their fellow citizens by arguing that everything is just perfect in America!
According to the information released by economics professor Emmanuel Saez from the University of California at Berkeley, income inequality in the US is growing, while the very top of the American employees (1%) in the period of the so-called economic “recovery” between 2009 and 2014 increased their income by 58%, while the remaining 99% only got a 4.3% raise in the same time span. During the period 1993-2014 the top 1% of Americans saw their incomes rise by 80% by redistributing revenues to their own advantage.
Does the growing trend to demand secession from the US that can be witnessed in many American states look surprising in this situation? This separatism is particularly powerful in the South, namely in the states of Texas, South Carolina and Louisiana, as well as in Alaska, where a separatist party has been operating for a while – the “Alaskan Independence Party.” It seems that if “American-style democracy” was as great as Obama has been trying to persuade us, the growth of these revolutionary separatist sentiments would hardly be possible.
So let the reader decide for himself who to believe here: American politicians or the factual information published by the US media. Here’s the real face of “American-style democracy.”
Valery Kulikov, political analyst, exclusively for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook”.