Good Luck Joe

The leaves have already started falling and I asked the tree why.

The tree said he (she) and many other trees were so bone weary and sick and tired of the past months that they want to drop their leaves early and get a head start on their fall and winter breaks. The tree also told me that he expects things will be better when he and his arboreal friends awaken in the spring, ready for a new world.

I said to the tree, good luck and enjoy your rest because we will all need our energy next year.

I expect that Joe Biden will win in November and that President Bone Spur will not leave graciously. The hope is that he will leave before Jan. 20, after his spurious claims are rejected that the election was rigged, that millions of Trump votes went uncounted or that gremlins had bound and gagged thousands of Trumpsters to keep them from voting. The gremlins scenario is the most believable.

So it’s a question of when and not if President “Mexico is Paying for Wall” Trump will have to vacate 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. And you’re dreaming if you expect any quick fixes to the mess that Trump has wrought.

The easy low hanging fruit will include:

  • The nation will no longer be the laughingstock of much of the rest of the world and other nations will be able to trust U.S. policies are based on facts and not whims or Fox news.
  • An end to the presidential race baiting, anti-Semitic and xenophobic comments that often permeate Trump’s tweets.
  • Russia will no longer have favored nation status.
  • The U.S. will stop responding without question to anything the right wing in Israel wants.
  • Construction on the crazy border wall will end and children will no longer be separated from their parents.
  • The national policy will no longer be broadcast on Twitter nor will all those childish insults of individuals and nations be broadcast.
  • A carefully chosen and vetted presidential cabinet will basically stay in place, once appointed.
  • Planned Parenthood and the right to choose will no longer be in the presidential cross hairs.
  • Economic, educational and national security issues will be addressed by professionals and not hacks who were appointed because they gave a lot of money to Trump.

That would be the easy stuff. The problems of the country have been building for many years, 244 to be precise, through Democratic and Republican administrations. That calculation is made by deducting the year the nation was founded, 1776, to the current year; essentially for the nation’s total history.

  • Climate change is the worst problem the world has ever faced and there is no consensus on how to reverse or halt climate change and whether the battle already has been lost. Trump pulled out of the Paris climate accord but previous administrations haven’t made any significant progress.
  • A radical overhaul is needed in the way law enforcement does its job in enforcing laws particularly with African Americans. African Americans are proportionately much more likely to be the victim of police violence while the incarceration rate of the U.S. is 655 per 100,000 population; the rate in Canada is 114 per 100,000; England and Wales is 146 per 100,000; and Australia is 160 per 100,000. In 2017, blacks represented 12 percent of the U.S. adult population but 33 percent of the sentenced prison population.
  • Abject poverty continues to be the way of life for millions of Americans throughout the nation. The economic disparity has continued since slavery became a singular force for the American economy.
  • Health care is out of reach for millions of Americans and remains a colossal issue despite passage of the Affordable Care Act or Obamacare. The U.S. spends more on health care as a share of the economy — nearly twice as much as the average spending in Australia, Canada, France, Germany, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom, yet has the lowest life expectancy and highest suicide rates among the 11 nations.
  • The United States has some of the toughest criteria for disability benefits among advanced economies while benefit levels in both Disability Insurance (DI) and Supplemental Security Income are modest. The United States spends less on so-called incapacity benefits — relative to the size of its economy — than most other advanced nations. As an example, the United States spends much less on disability benefits than some countries, such as the Netherlands.
  • Gun control remains one of the worst problems with both sides so totally entrenched and the country so divided by region. Serious gun control laws have thwarted various administrations. According to a 2007 survey, the U.S. led the world in the number of civilian-owned firearms with 88.8 guns per 100 people, while second-place Yemen fell far behind at 54.8 guns per 100 people.
  • The nation’s infrastructure is in bad shape but past administrations have failed to provide the needed funding to fix the roads, highways, bridges, dams. The American Society of Civil Engineers estimates the U.S. needs to spend some $4.5 trillion by 2025 to fix the country’s roads, bridges, dams, and other infrastructure.
  • The cost of child care has become an even more serious problem for single parents and working families. In the U.S., couples spend 25.6 percent of their income on child care costs and that number soars to 52.7 percent for single parents. The average cost of full-time care for young children in care centers in the U.S. is about $9,589 a year, higher than the average cost of in-state college tuition, which runs about $9,410.
  • Despite educational spending, the most recent assessment by the Program for International Assessment in 2015, placed the U.S. 38th out of 71 countries in math and 24th in science. Among the 35 members of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, the U.S. ranked 30th in math and 19th in science.

Good luck Joe.

Journalist for 40 years and now a creative writer

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