America is a pretty awesome country, no doubt. It is rich, powerful and a veritable engine of innovation and creativity. But there is also a lot of hype and marketing that hides the truth like an Instagram filter.
Most people in the rest of the world only get to know America through mass media, movies and TV, which are all mostly controlled – directly or indirectly – by western elites. Even people who live in America don’t quite understand many of the problems, since they are equally deceived and distracted by the mass media.
Here are Top 5 myths about America and why they are wrong.
1. America is Rich
Well, it depends on the definition of “America.” If you are referring to the government, then America is broke and bankrupt. Seriously. It is drowning in debt, borrowing every year like a compulsive addict. Look at the chart below for a quick overview of the government’s finance:
The government now spends 15% of its revenue just to service the interest on the existing debt. This is completely unsustainable. To save this house of cards, they tried keeping the interest rate at zero for about 7 years … because, you know, a person in deep debt likes low interest rates. Now, as a clear sign of desperation, they are talking about negative interest rates, going into bizarre, voodoo economics. In another post, I will discuss NIRP (Negative Interest Rate Policy) and ban on cash, both of which are being seriously and openly discussed by the Federal Reserve Bank.
Looking at American corporations and households, the situation is no better. Corporations are in a massive hole of $30 trillion debt; households are in $12 trillion of debt. People have overloaded on student loans, credit cards and mortgage debt (hello, Housing Bubble 2.0) and this comes to over $46,000 per every adult American.
40% of American workers make less than $20,000 a year – which comes to about $10/hour – and half of all American workers make less than $30,000 a year. Note that this all before taxes.
And if you are from another country, don’t convert these salaries into your currency, since people here have to pay for things in dollar as well.
- That’s why most Americans are broke – 2/3rd of Americans don’t even have $1000 saved up.
- And why 46 million people – 1 in 7 Americans – are dependent on government food stamps to feed their family;
- and why 70 million Americans are dependent on government for healthcare.
2. Anybody Can Become Rich
The so-called American Dream is hard to attain for many people these days. The media keeps this fantasy alive by constantly touting examples of rags to riches – for example, African Americans from poor backgrounds becoming successful athletes or entertainers and living in amazing mansions. Or even talent shows such as the American Idol are intended to reinforce the instant fame and riches storyline.
In reality, the upward mobility has become harder to come by, thanks to globalization, automation and a rigged economic system where the real wealth flows to a small group of elites. Gone are the days when blue collar workers in America could have good wages, benefits and pensions. Even college education doesn’t guarantee a solid middle class life anymore. As for African Americans, in spite of a few popular and famous faces that fool the rest of the world, the system is completely rigged against them from birth. Currently, more than 700,000 blacks are in jails and prisons, which is more than twice the prison population of India. America is #1 in prison population in the world, both per capita as well as in raw numbers.
In a nutshell, the top 20% of Americans are doing pretty well and the top 0.1% are swimming in money. In fact, the top 0.1% of America own as much as the bottom 90% of Americans. This is the American Feudalism, hidden behind the façade of awesome capitalism.
3. America is a Land of Democracy
Nothing could be further from the truth. A Princeton study did an extensive research and found that the rich got most of their legislations passed, and more importantly, the rich blocked pretty much any legislation that they did not like. You can check out my blog post if you want to know who really controls America.
4. America Spreads Democracy and Freedom Around the World
If America doesn’t like democracy at home, why would they like democracy abroad? America is an Empire, albeit a little nicer than the previous empires of the world. With an influential and profitable military-industrial complex, America maintains military bases in more than 100 countries around the world and manages to create perpetual wars.
Like all empires, America wants a few things from other countries around the world: cheap raw materials, poor people to provide cheap labor, a middle class to buy American products, willingness to support America in small and major wars and, more importantly, lend money to America by buying American bonds (“treasuries”) which helps maintain the supremacy of the U.S. dollar.
America has overthrown numerous democratically elected leaders all over the world, including most of the countries in Central and South America, Africa, Asian countries such as Indonesia, and even western countries such as Greece, Australia and recently Ukraine.
America actually prefers dictators since they can guarantee natural resources, military support etc. Democracy is dangerous. Can you imagine having democracy in Saudi Arabia and the people vote for a new guy who wants to stop selling oil in U.S. dollars or wants to remove the U.S. military base?
Dictators are perfectly okay as long as they are obedient to Washington. However, when the dictators start thinking independently, democracy will be delivered, wrapped around a missile – as it happened to Saddam Hussein and Gaddafi.
But unlike the previous empires of the world, America does give opportunities to people from the lands it exploits … if they come to America. Within the borders of America, freedom of religion, tolerance of other cultures, right to political speech, and living life with very little discrimination are unlike any other country. The NSA may be monitoring everyone, but they don’t stop you. At least, so far.
5. Awesome Food and Great Healthcare
America’s biggest strength is marketing that gives it the soft power to make people around the world want to eat American food, listen to American music and buy American products.
The seduction of American marketing is that it makes things look easy.
Look, you don’t have to toil in the kitchen … we have processed, ready-to-eat food or fast food. 5 minutes in the microwave. Boom! Done!! You deserve it. Sit back and enjoy the TV.
Is your stomach upset from our processed food? Do you have heartburn from drinking our soda? Are you diabetic or Is your cholesterol skyrocketing because of our food? Don’t worry. Just pop this pill. All your problems solved! Life is easy!!
If you love Coca Cola and KFC and microwaveable food and snacks … well, you may find it hard to digest this message (pun intended). But rest assured that it took Americans 70 years to realize what kind of crap SAD is. Oh, SAD stands for Standard American Diet. All over America, there is a movement to go back to organic food, cooking and natural cures. Of course, most Americans are still clueless about food even though USA is now the fattest country in the world, with only 36% of the people are of normal weight. Obesity, diabetes, cancer, autism and all kinds of chronic diseases are exploding.
However, people are addicted to the garbage food and just spend more and more money on healthcare which doesn’t really cure diseases. The American medical system treats only the symptoms, without addressing the root cause. This is a very profitable model of business since it creates repeat customers.
The concept of holistic or natural cures is still not quite appreciated by the mainstream society. BTW, if you are interested in the roots of western medicine, read my article on how Rockefeller founded modern medicine and killed natural cures.
Similarly, the American Big Pharma has become nothing but a legal drug dealer. They bring opium from Afghanistan – a huge business since America’s invasion of Afghanistan – to make painkillers out of it and make billions selling to Americans. The U.S. is 5% of the world population and consumes 75% of the painkillers in the world. Similarly, 78 million Americans – about 25% of the population – are on psychiatric drugs.
In the 19th century, the evil British Empire forced farmers in India to grow opium, then used the opium to enslave a huge population of China and then attacked and conquered the weakened China through the Opium Wars. Queen Victoria of England earned her right to be the biggest drug dealer in the history of the world.
American capitalism is however ruthless and doesn’t mind enslaving its own people for profit. But just like GMO, soon all these wonderful addictive drugs will be flowing to the rest of the world.
Well, that’s truth beyond marketing for today. People in other countries need to think carefully before accepting America’s solution for their own country. As shown in this post, those solutions are often unsustainable and cause more problems in the long term. Sadly, most Americans are not even aware what is happening to their country. Many in the independent media in America are trying their best to raise the awareness. Only time will tell if America and the rest of the admiring world can wake up…
Related Blog Post: Why the CEOs of Google, Microsoft and Pepsi are Indians