Happy New Year – The World Welcomes 2011!

By Padmini Arhant

New Year Greetings to all!

Amid great many challenges ahead the world welcomes the year 2011 with hope and joy.

Human beings have consistently proved that they have the ability to overcome hardships and achieve their goals.

Reflection on the 2010 domestic and global events leads to specific issues that require public attention.

The 2010 legislative actions would clarify the impact on the economy and the ordinary citizens struggling to make ends meet in the difficult situation.

In the economic front, the job market recovery is much anticipated among the long term unemployed and underemployed citizens forced to survive on jobless benefits gained after a huge compromise on the tax cuts for the wealthiest – offering the average Americans temporary relief in exchange for a permanent tax burden.

Winning the Bush tax cuts extension to billionaires is motivating the legislators to risk baby boomers and seniors’ lifeline – Social Security.

The strong initiative to privatize Social security and increase retirement age to relieve the super-rich from tax payments is no surprise given the precedence in France pension bill incorporating the agenda.

Financial institutions on their part ensured that business is conducted as usual with little or no regard for the regulations introduced in 2010 Financial Reform due to their victory from the $19 billion tax exemption in legislation despite their major role in the global economic recession.

Their commitment to revive the economy through lending was expected to meltdown the liquidity freeze in the credit market which is yet to be fulfilled based on the prevalent facts.

Health care law passed last year mandated that the health insurance industry provide coverage to patients with pre-existing conditions.

However, the absence of premium caps on the coverage enables industry set arbitrary pricing currently hurting the subscribers in the health care for minors, since the adults will not be eligible until the health care law is effective in 2014.

Moreover the mandatory insurance subscription in the health care rule leaves the vulnerable patients i.e. the individuals with pre-existing illnesses no choice but comply with the health insurance industry policy facilitating industry dominance likely to be worsened upon becoming the law with substantial subscribers joining the insurance pool per legislative requirement.

The people are confronted with three vital issues – employment, credit needed for job creation subsequently stimulating consumer spending along with health care costs – quintessential for economic rebound in the year 2011 and beyond.

As bizarre it might be those responsible for the burgeoning crises are the beneficiaries in the deals with enormous tax liability transferred to the victims.

Defense spending on wars in Afghanistan, Pakistan and Iraq is prolonged until 2014 with greater ambivalence on exit strategy alongside mounting casualties and the exhausted armed personnel spread thin across the combat zones.

The Senate ratification of U.S. and Russia START treaty is a preliminary step towards non-proliferation,

Juxtaposed to the White House nuclear agreement with Vietnam and offer to Iran offset the efforts in strategic arms control.

With respect to climate change – The energy sector pressure reportedly prompted the White House decision on Environment Protection Agency postponement of rigorous emission standards to curtail smog and toxic pollution in the atmosphere.

Furthermore, the federal agency plan to permit Shell Oil offshore drilling in the Arctic makes the U.S consent disingenuous at the climate summit.

The intriguing factors in all of the above mentioned issues are – net gain for Wall Street and military industrial complex is phenomenal in the White House negotiated legislation considering the democrats controlled Congress until 2010.

Again as for the political party representation – The Democratic White House had Democrat majority in the House and the Senate until December 2010.

Industries prevailing in all legislation confirm the special interests influence in Washington – notably in the lucrative health care, finance reform and Bush tax cuts for wealthy.

The democratic Congressional leaderships and the progressive members were dedicated to the American electorate and national interests.

Their hard work and determination made legislation on certain social issues such as Repealing Don’t Ask Don’t Tell and Health care for 911 rescue workers possible surviving the routine gridlock in Capitol Hill.

Similarly the moderate Republican members like Senators Susan Collins, Olympia Snowe, Lisa Murkowski and few others cooperation helped in avoiding impasse on these crucial legislation.

The 112th Congress with Republican majority in the House and Senate expansion is pledged to deficit reduction by slashing life dependent services to the population at the bottom after contributing to the problem through extravagant tax exemptions to Wall Street and billionaires.

Global economic review bear semblance to Washington setbacks emanating from fiscal mismanagement.

European austerity to address respective national debt was overwhelmingly opposed by the main street as seen in France, United Kingdom, Greece, Spain, Portugal and Ireland.

Nonetheless the legislation passed against public protest is suggestive of the minority will exerted on the world population.

The U.S. State department and National Security under the incumbent administration handling of political quagmire in Afghanistan and Iraq shared identical solutions with the power entrusted to unpopular leaderships against electoral mandate.

Likewise the U.S State department’s behind the scenes preparation to reinstate deposed leadership in Pakistan revealed during the cable leaks poses the questions on legitimacy behind extended military operation and Osama Bin Laden whereabouts since he is claimed to be alive?

The failed coup d’état in Ecuador last year is a compelling evidence for national vigilance against foreign power intervention undermining democracy. The reports cited the CIA and U.S. State department’s involvement in the attempt.

Mid-East peace talks stalled with the U.S stance on letting settlements growth in Palestinian territories.

It is clear from the synopsis that the concentrated power among the nexus group successfully depriving the significant rest of political, social and economic prospects.

The republic voice in a democracy – press, news media and the elected officials’ complacency with the exception of selective honorable figures has exacerbated the status quo.

Those executing these fundamentally destructive policies for pure self-interest are not even subject to due explanation or accountability.

Instead they are granted impunity to abuse power and exercise authority in advancing the conglomerate scheme with ulterior motives.

Hence it is obligatory on the people from all walks of life across the globe to rise to the occasion and decline the oligarchy supremacy devastating lives to the point of no return.

History is testimony to the fact that change has been brought upon by the ordinary people standing up against those with extraordinary power.

It is often forgotten that the ultimate power lies with the people as the workers, employees, consumers, taxpayers and potently the electorate.

Any damages to the source inevitably affects the top of the hierarchy. When the foundation in the society is weakened the structure crumbles as a result.

It is never too late to reverse course and deliver the people’s right to individual freedom with equal access to political, social and economic opportunities.

Politics espousing democratic principles exemplified in public service produce desirable outcome benefitting all rather than the privileged few.

People power is best utilized in major transformation desperately needed at the present time.

Happy New year to all for a productive and peaceful beginning!

Thank you.

Padmini Arhant