Truth be told this nation is in decline—decline in its once visionary goals, perhaps present only briefly, imperfectly rendered, but THERE among men in power. For it took only a Presidency or two before capitalism replaced democracy. Since Hamilton America’s path is measured by the gross national product (GDP). America’s physical body, the great continent of wilderness and abundance, has declined in direct relationship to the GDP as unhindered greed unravels the vast web of life that was once our greatest promise.
Deregulate! From the mouths of Republicans this call resounds across the land fueled by a growing national appetite for development starved by the recession. Jobs, jobs, jobs yell the politic…jobs at any cost. Perhaps our starved brains forget what is before us: specifically because of regulation the Gulf coast states are now receiving millions of dollars to repair ecosystems, food webs, and economies damaged by the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill in one of the nation’s most productive oceans.
The Clean Water Act imposed penalties upon British Petroleum Oil for damage to watersheds, marshes, bays and oceans along states from Texas to Florida. The Restore Act, just passed by Congress, will bring from $500m (lowest estimate) to $2.3 billion (highest estimate) to Florida alone through application of the CWA. Our Republican Governor Rick Scott and republican leaders in the state legislature are only too happy to receive this money. So why then do these same leaders and their national counterparts in Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan espouse deregulation, even dismantling the Environmental Protection Agency? Isn’t this “throwing out the baby with the bath water?”
The Clean Water Act (CWA) is a legal structure for regulating discharges of pollutants into the waters of the United States and regulating quality standards for surface waters. It was first called the Federal Water Pollution Control Act (1948) but it was reorganized in 1972 when the public became concerned about widespread point source pollution. It came to be called the “Clean Water Act” with use.
Signs of America’s decline include the following:’
- Participation in wars that were originally to seek revenge;
- Documented descent into use of torture with war prisoners;
- Decline in tradition of open-mindedness and inclusion:
- Mean immigration policies
- Hatred of gays
- Roll back of women’s right to control over their body
- Religious intolerance.
- No serious response, leadership in regard to climate change;
- Deterioration in public education:
- Federal dollars to charter and religious-run schools
- Teaching to arbitrary tests set by politicians
- Relegation of education to workforce objectives
- Loss of the space program and underfunding science and technology in general except for workforce innovation and economic development;
- Citizen’s United Supreme Court ruling that gives corporations the same right to political speech as individuals (rise of super PACs).