Friday, July 03, 2009

Land O Crooks

As you know, my dear readers, I come from a country that wrote the book on corruption. Every country on Earth is corrupt, but Mexicans are one of the most ingenious people when it comes to making sure corruption works as well as possible. We can be proud of that.
However, as I near almost 20 years living in the United States, I have had an epiphany recently. This country had always represented to me a place where corruption did not thrive easily. There is rule of law. There are safeguards. There is a strong civic culture, a reputation for decency and fairness, supposedly. But the more time I spend here, and the worse the economy gets, I realize that this is a land of crooks and hypocrites and snake oil salesmen and robber barons with a "your money or your life" mentality. It's a place where PT Barnum's dictum about suckers being born every minute seems to apply to the entire citizenship.
This here is the biggest, most entrenched and institutionalized instance of greasing the palm in the known universe. I say this as an American citizen, because it dawns on me that the entire system of government really functions by corruption. Our vote doesn't really count. As long as companies and lobbyists give money to our elected officials, nothing fundamental is ever going to change. There will be no satisfactory comprehensive universal health care, no matter what Obama says (who probably got oodles from big pharma and insurers). There may not be real transportation reform, there will be no real regulation of the banking system, etc, etc.
I'm sure you are all aware that government here does not work for us, the taxpayers. It works for the corporations. That's why we're all screwed.
For the life of me I don't understand why this entire country is not up in arms and storming the barricades over our lack of a health care system.
Maybe when the shit hits the fan and the fat cows start getting way too lean (or in our pathetically particular case, even fatter because healthy food is too expensive), people are going to get their asses off their couches, turn the idiot box off and scream bloody murder.
Just don't hold your breath.

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