By Jack Perry

The truth about life in the United States

March 6, 2018

People in other countries sometimes wonder what it's like to live in the United States. And you can't really get the truth of daily life here from what you see on television and movies made by the United States.

I'm just an average guy living here who did everything I was told would pay off in prosperity and good fortune. Yet, I remain poor. So let me fill you in on what the real life is here in America for those of us you don't see with the glamorous houses, cars, and lifestyles.

First off, we struggle to make ends meet. We're constantly behind on bills and always in debt. We borrow from one to pay off another and just transfer debt from one place to another. We often have to pay our last dollar for rent and go to the food bank just to eat because we don't qualify for government assistance. Not that it matters because the United States government is in the process of cutting assistance programs for the poor in order to free up money to spend on more weapons and to pay for the tax cuts the rich just got. If it wasn't for church food banks and charity food banks, people in the United States would literally starve to death. Don't ever let the United States fool you into thinking people don't go hungry here.

Because even food banks can't keep up with demand and provide enough food to do more than just keep people alive until next time.

Second, we haven't got health care. We can't just go see a doctor when we are ill. We can't afford it and we haven't got the money. We can't afford the overpriced medications here and you have to go to a doctor to be allowed to obtain it in the first place. America says "But we passed ObamaCare!" Yes, but at least 29 million people remain without health care because they can't afford ObamaCare. The government calls ObamaCare the "Affordable Care Act" but when this is the United States government telling you it's "affordable", it certainly isn't. Just like everything else the American government tells you, such as "working for peace" while bombing cities in Syria like it was World War Two all over again.

Third, you will never be in more peril from being shot and killed in the United States than when stopped by a police officer here. One wrong move, one failure to do exactly what you are told (and even many cases doing exactly what you are told but not in the way they wanted it done) and you can be instantly riddled with police bullets. You are unarmed, of course, but these heavily-armed police wearing body armor will claim they "feared for their lives". Even when the person they shot was a pregnant woman or a child. This will go on and on unchallenged as the United States government accuses other countries of being police states where governments kill their citizens with impunity.

Fourth, the United States sits and whines about "Sharia law" and the law books here are about 10 to 20 centimeters thick and the paper is thin onionskin. Therefore, there are literally thousands of laws you are expected to know and better not be in violation of. You are not allowed to claim in court you didn't know the law. Thus, the opportunities to go to prison here are enormous. The United States has one of the largest per capita number of people in prison in the world, yet accuses other countries of running forced labor camps and jailing large numbers of people. Many prisons in the United States are privately owned and run, thus, jailing people is very profitable and the emphasis is on jailing people for every minor offense. The inmates are often required to work and, ergo, this is de facto slave labor despite the United States accusing everyone else in the world of doing what it does itself.

Fifth, the rich basically run the government which is how they can influence government to pass laws that jail large numbers of people in the aforementioned privately owned prisons. It is bribery, but the United States government calls this "lobbying" or "campaign contributions" and so on. The rich influence foreign policy decisions and if missile manufacturers need a boost in profits, you can be certain the United States will find a country offending some minutiae of an arcane law from the 1800s and launch missiles against that country. This way, profits at defense contractors will soar.

Sixth, since the rich own the government, the wages of people working get lower as prices go higher. This is why more people are falling into poverty yearly here than are rising out of it. But thanks to television, people are kept distracted. Or kept numb thanks to the cheap alcoholic beverages flooding the market and for sale in every gas station, drug store, market, and convenience store. Everywhere you walk in a city, empty liquor bottles are strewn on the ground; a silent indictment that the people of the United States are drowning in a sea of despair and escape into a bottle.

Seventh, no one knows how many people are homeless in the United States because the government prefers not to know. But in every city, big and small, you will find homeless people camping in city parks, under bridges, and along the riverbanks. Sleeping on sidewalks. There are beggars on every street corner. Go to Tucson, Arizona. You will see beggars on most street corners at major intersections, holding cardboard signs that say "Hungry, Please Help, God Bless". People from teenagers to the elderly. People in wheelchairs. Veterans. The mentally ill. All cast out and cut off. So prevalent that people are used to seeing them and no longer moved with compassion and shaken by the horror of what this country has become. It has become a nightmare where those without money are forgotten and cut off from the society that values no one for just being a human being. Unless you have money, you are without value here.

The United States cannot sit there and tell you that it values human life because if it did, it would not allow human beings to freeze to death in their homes because they were poor and their heating oil was cut off when they could not pay. This has happened. If the United States valued human life, it would have acted immediately to save its own children from gunmen with access to completely legal military weapons sold in United States gun shops. If the United States valued human life, it would not be building prisons faster than it builds schools. Indeed, in many cities, new schools have not been built for 40 years but there will be three or four new prisons there and close by. The government will argue and wrangle over the cost of new books for schools, but will build a new prison without so much as a look to see why it is so many new prisons are needed in a country allegedly so "great".

This is the truth. This is the reality. America tells you we have "freedom" here. Yes, we have the freedom to live in poverty, to be evicted from our homes, and to lose that freedom in the blink of an eye, jailed over some minutiae in a law book thick as an elephant’s leg. No one can tell me this country is great. No one can tell me I should be proud of this place. I cannot be proud of a place that looks the other way to so much human suffering (when it's not busy actually creating human suffering itself) just because there's no profit to be made in helping human beings. We are truly valueless in this country when we are poor. We have no voice heard by our government. We are disposable. And we exist by the grace of God alone.

*Jack Perry is a writer who lives with his wife in the Sonoran Desert of Arizona. When talking about the ambitions and goals of the United States government, Jack warns: “Always Assume It’s A Scam.” Jack writes, bakes bread, and is a Path pilgrim and wayfarer of this world.

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