One Question :: What are the fringe benefits of being a United State Citizen?

What does the United States of America give its citizens? What benefits are there?

Here are six [6] perks that should part of the fringe benefit package of being a United State Citizen.

1. National Transportation Service

The United States of American used to have a national Railway system, but because profit is the most important part of offering a service the railroad systems either has been dug up, sold to Canada or worst … left to rust.

There isn’t one country that has a National Railroad or National Transportation Service that makes a profit off their service. NOT ONE. Yet those countries believe that it is an essential service to offer it’s citizens. So why is the USA so caught up in making decisions based solely on the failing dollar? With gas prices constantly getting higher and unemployment in the “richest country in the world” unacceptable … it would be smart to rebuilt our railroad service.

Railroads of the United States in 1918. All had at least one passenger car.

Today, as the result of mergers, bankruptcies, and major changes in the regulatory definition of “Class I,” there are only seven railroads operating in the United States that meet the criteria for Class I. This Image is Amtrak transportation route.

 

2. National Broadband Service

With governments around the globe taking paper-less initiatives the internet is one of the most active places for taxes, paperwork and other government work (including intranet/extranets and portals).

Australia will complete their National Broadband Service June 2021.  Everyone will be connected and those “hard to reach places” will have access via wifi or via satellite.

Yet the country that invented the internet … people still are either living on dial-up or without internet access in the US. About 19 million Americans still have no access to high-speed Internet, according to a new report by the Federal Communications Commission. About 14.5 million of those without access – or about 5 percent of the total population — live in rural areas, where Internet providers do not offer service because “there is no business case to offer broadband,” according to FCC report release Tuesday.

3. National Health Care Service

All around the world those countries with equivalent or lower economic status liken to the United States offer their citizens a National Health Care Service.

Universal health care in most countries has been achieved by a mixed model of funding. General taxation revenue is the primary source of funding, but in many countries it is supplemented by specific levies (which may be charged to the individual and/or an employer) or with the option of private payments (either direct or via optional insurance) for services beyond those covered by the public system.

Almost all European systems are financed through a mix of public and private contributions.The majority of universal health care systems are funded primarily by tax revenue (e.g. Portugal, Spain, Denmark and Sweden). Some nations, such as Germany, France and Japan employ a multi-payer system in which health care is funded by private and public contributions. However, much of the non-government funding is by contributions by employers and employees to regulated non-profit sickness funds. These contributions are compulsory and defined according to law.

Yet the United States wants to make sure insurance companies are more important that citizens. Profit before people.

4. Justice and Protection for US Citizens

The US Patriot Act is best summarized by the US Supreme Court:

“Does the Constitution permit Executive officials to detain an American citizen indefinitely in military custody in the United States, hold him essentially incommunicado and deny him access to counsel, with no opportunity to question the factual basis for his detention before any impartial tribunal…”

Unfortunately, the Supreme Court delivered a mixed verdict relative to this case (03-6696 Hamdi v. Rumsfeld) in that it was ruled that the U.S. government has the power to hold American citizens and foreign nationals without charges or trial, but that detainees can challenge their treatment in U.S. courts.

The United States has stomped on the Monroe Doctrine and now the US, in this decade alone, has been in several extreme wars simultaneously. The price of these wars aren’t just the tax dollars spent, the lives of those who have been killed, — it has a cost to our own freedoms.

5. Education is Expensive

Outstanding student debt in America has hit $1 trillion.  How much do students actually pay around the world? Using data from THE World Rankings 2011-2012 and the report “Global Higher Education Rankings“, from Higher Education Strategy Associates, here are the costs of education (largely tuition, but also books and other fees) in 15 countries:

  • Mexico : $5,077 (average) Private education in Mexico has average tuition costs of $11,777, while public costs $527.
  • Japan: $11,865
  • USA : $13,856 (average) Private education in the USA has average tuition costs of $24,700, while public costs $7,173.
  • Australia: $7,692
  • Latvia : $3,299
  • Canada : $5,974
  • England and Wales : $5,288
  • New Zealand : $3,118
  • Netherlands : $3,125
  • Finland : $1,243
  • Germany : $933
  • Sweden : $600
  • France : $585
  • Norway : $596

Three Part Solution

  1. End all financial aid for foreign born students. If they want an education, they will have to save and pay for it out of pocket.
  2. All United State Private Colleges and Universities will no longer receive federal funds. Private colleges don’t receive funds from state legislatures but students do receive federal grants.  Removing all funds from Private Colleges and Universities will free up billions of dollars. Which comes to #3 …
  3. All United States public higher educational institutions will be FREE to all qualified citizens.

Imagine that … simple.

6. Professional Sports Restructured

The major issue with professional sports is that each and every team depend on the local and state tax breaks. Professional sports are 100% dependent on the Local and State Tax.

The only two ways someone could watch professional sports team was listening on the radio or get ticket to watch it live.  It used to be a local benefit to have a  professional team nearby. But that was before living room televisions, internet streaming and radio dependent society.  Now with professional team establishments (NFL, NBA, MLB and so on) exclusively in large cities on the backs of the entire state seems unfair.

For example: NFL league receives more than $2 billion a year from its television contracts alone and rakes in billions more from sales of tickets, advertising, and merchandise. A hard salary cap on player contracts, which fixes spending on players’ salaries at 59.5% of gross revenues, all but guarantees profitability for even the worst NFL teams while allowing the players to enjoy an average salary of more than $1.4 million a year. Most NFL teams play in palatial stadiums whose ever-increasing construction costs have been paid for, in whole or in part, by the taxpayers of the localities the teams represent. Pro football is not only America’s most popular sport; it is a veritable cash machine.

In 1927 the NFL made a decided to weed out its financial weaklings, restricting league membership to just twelve relatively prosperous teams. Over the next few years, the league’s center of gravity shifted from small mid-west towns to large eastern cities and forced Akron, Canton, and Muncie teams to close while open teams in major metropolises like New York, Boston, and Philadelphia. Leaving only Wisconsin’s Green Bay Packers remained to remind the NFL of its small-town origins … why?

The Green Bay Packers’ would not exist in the profit hungry NFL if it wasn’t for the franchise’s unique ownership structure; since 1923, the Packers have been organized as a non-profit corporation and 100% financially dependent on the fans.

All professional sports team must be restructured and organized into non-profit corporations OR pay back profits into the state to which they have the privilege to play.

Final Thought

I believe that there somewhere in the generations of politics something got mixed up … we are paying taxes for nothing in return.  We stopped getting infrastructure and instead we have over-paid congress.  We stopped getting better education for “war on drugs”.  We killed our Main Street and in return we have Walmart, Target and Malls.  We stopped having local grocers and now we have lettuce from China.  We stopped making the electric cars and now we import cars.  We stopped making anything and now we import.  We are a nation of buyers and we need to be a nation of makers.

We need education, protection, health care and an infrastructure to the envy of the world.

Why not?

We are citizens of the United States of America.