More than a Recession

Citizens United. The inability for Congress to do anything about the climate crisis. The slashing of education budgets across the country. 10%+ of the population are long-term unemployed. Healthcare reform that gives for-profit corporations more power over our well-being than they already had.

Jobs go overseas while cuts to every level of our already-pathetic education system with an apparent disregard for the future. Pennsylvania’s doesn’t have a particularly rosy outlook compared to the rest of the nation, but it’s starting to look like paradise compared to our friends across the river. Hundreds of teachers have been laid off, as class sizes increase and districts merge. One of the poorest cities in the country, Camden, will lose its entire library system this year.

When taken by themselves, these scenarios may seem benign. When taken as a whole – in the context of globalization, a climate crisis, a government wholly owned by private corporations who can contribute unlimited amounts to politicians, overseen by a laughably small cadre of journalists (not to mention useless television news) – the future of our country becomes, as Glenn Greenwald recently coined it, a collapsing empire {salon}.