David and Lili's World Tour

USA

January 2011 - Visiting Friends and Family

We visit the USA because we love so many of the people. It's too bad they have such a dysfunctional government. We sensed widespread frustration as the economic crisis settles into normality, with people blaming Obama for weak reforms. But Obama doesn't make the laws.

We blame greed, especially the kind of greed that publishes quarterly reports (human greed is different because humans love). America's founders did not anticipate media empires nor the military-industrial complex. With great wealth, these abominations can persuade the people to vote for purchased politicians, or to blame Obama and stay home, frustrated, on election day.

We blame complexity. America's founders designed a system with 2 houses of parliament, a president, a supreme court, and states; but isn't good design about functionality and simplicity? In contrast, the world's least corrupt government, New Zealand, has a single house of parliament. In America, a majority is not enough to solve problems. Senate Republicans have filibustered all of Obama's reform efforts to date, forcing negotiations that weaken the laws. We blame the Republican Party for preventing real reform.

Last year, the Supreme Court ruled that corporations can give unlimited money to political campaigns, and they funded a Republican takeover of the House of Representatives. This marks the end of Obama's legislative agenda. Meanwhile, other countries are investing heavily in education, infrastructure, and emerging technologies. We are witnessing the fall of the American Empire in slow motion. History is not over.

But life is good and Earth is small. We are glad that we moved to New Zealand.

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