Diseases of the US Political System
“instability, injustice and confusion introduced into the public councils, have in truth been the mortal diseases under which popular governments have everywhere perished”
James Madison, Federalist 10
The James Madison Project
Cancer of the US Political System
Case report and discussion
Table of Content
History of Present Condition Pathogenesis (origins)
Data for Diagnosis and Monitoring
Immediate: Now to November 2020
Short term: November 2020- November 2021
Middle range: November 2021 – 2025
Long term: 2026- 2076
Monitoring the Cancer and Treatment
About the US Political System
The Cancers of the US Body Politic
Treatment Approaches to Cancer
Use of Cancer as a Metaphor in Politics
Complexity: Thinking about Cancer and Politics
The Immune System: Checks and balances
Immune Function and Information Technology
Citizen Digital Tools Box for Political engagement (Platform for Democracy)
Case example: The Opioid Epidemic
Case example: Healthcare
Articles and news items
The Case Presentation of Cancer of the US Political System uses cancer as a metaphor for the US political system. Cancer as a metaphor serves to highlight the symptoms of the pathology of the US political system, the process that is responsible for their occurrence and builds on an understanding of the biology of the cancer process and the current treatment approaches as a framework to address the political cancer that has developed in our body politic. By using the case presentation methodology to treat the symptoms and the underlying pathology of the Cancer of the US political system, we hope to create a deliberative, respectable solutions-oriented process inspired by hope.
Symptoms of the Cancer of the Political System
Distrust and alienation from the federal government and the toxic political process
A survey from the Pew Research Center finds the nation increasingly distrustful of the federal government. The findings show that about one-quarter of Americans trust government to do the right thing always or most of the time. A whopping 73 percent don't. And those surveyed blame members of Congress. Asked if the political system can work, 56 percent responded that lawmakers are the problem, and 32 percent disagreed.
Inequality of opportunity, income, wealth and employment
Over the past 40 years, economic inequality in the United States has returned to levels last seen in the 1920s. Today, the United States is in the top quarter of the world’s most unequal countries. Economic mobility—a child’s likelihood of occupying a different position on the income ladder than his or her parents did—has fallen well behind Canada, Great Britain, and other advanced economies. And inequality has worsened over the course of the current economic recovery.
An out of control legal system, police and prison system
The U.S. federal prison population has increased almost 790 percent since 1980 from about 25,000 inmates to 219,000 in 2012, according to a new Congressional Research report. Federal prisons make up the largest component of a U.S.prison system that dwarfs all others in the world. The agency tasked with providing policy analysis to Congress attributes the spike to a host of tough-on-crime reforms that include draconian mandatory minimum sentences, the elimination of parole for any federal crime committed after 1987, and increasing enforcement by federal officials.
Unfairness of the tax system: tax code of 64, 000 pages
As late as 1969, the U.S.tax code required "only" 16,500 pages. By 2007, the code grew to 67,506 pages. The current form 1040 instruction booklet is 155 pages long. Obviously none of this is necessary for the collection of taxes. The code has been shaped by the corruption of our government, which in turn was shaped by the corruption of our society. Putting the impact of these tax breaks on the national budget, budget experts Donald Marron and Eric Toder added up all the spending-like tax preferences and found that, in 2007, they amounted to $600 billion. If you had included those preferences as government spending, then the federal government would have actually been one-fifth larger than it appeared.
The fiscal health of the nation: The budget, debt and deficit
If the current laws that govern federal taxes and spending do not change, the budget deficit will shrink this year to $845 billion, or 5.3 percent of gross domestic product (GDP), its smallest size since 2008. In CBO’s baseline projections, deficits continue to shrink over the next few years, falling to 2.4 percent of GDP by 2015. Deficits are projected to increase later in the coming decade, however, because of the pressures of an aging population, rising healthcare costs, an expansion of federal subsidies for health insurance, and growing interest payments on federal debt.
An unjust, dysfunctional and expensive healthcare system
Here are a few of the symptoms of our sick health care system.
Millions of Americans are without healthcare insurance.
90 thousand Americans die and many more suffer injuries because of preventable medical errors in encounters with the medical system.
$2.7 Trillion spent provides the best medical care for some, yet, overall our outcomes are less than nations who spend half as much, and many cannot afford life saving care they need.
$750 Billion of the money spent in our healthcare system provide no objective improved health outcomes.
Surveillance & Privacy
The surveillance state: Privacy and dignity under assault by government and corporations.
Mass surveillance is the intricate surveillance of an entire or a substantial fraction of a population in order to monitor that group of citizens.
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Environment: Failure to respond to climate change
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A declining public educational system out of reach for many Americans
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