CORY WILLIAMS, 16
Cory Williams is from Ypsilanti, Michigan. Williams enjoys basketball, spending time with family and friends, and learning more about the world. He especially loves to travel to outside of the United States and learn about different cultures. He believes that having knowledge and understanding of others will allow for a more accepting and loving world. Williams finds so much joy in writing because he believes it can be a vessel for real change in the world. Williams currently beginning his first full novel.
Williams loves his country dearly and takes a lot of pride in being American, but at the same time, finds it unacceptable that the country he is so passionate about is no longer moving towards progress and is starting to regress into its darker past. The issues of racism, wealth distribution, and mental disorders unsettle him the most. He says these issues have plagued his family and community for generations, and he wants to end that cycle. Williams is very optimistic and has high hopes that through the power of common sense, knowledge, and empathy his vision of a fully inclusive and progressive United States will come to pass.
Williams has loose plans to to study political science and become an elected official, working for good in the United States political system.
Do Americans Have it Too Easy?
by Cory Williams
I believe that Americans do not have it easy. The United States is built on two main ideals: democracy and capitalism. Like a lot of governments, the U.S. has always struggled with the treatment of its citizens. For example, we’ve had to deal with a lack basic Civil rights for African Americans and multiple economic crashes. However, in this day and age a lot of our problems stem for those core values of democracy and capitalism. Capitalism in the U.S. is out of control. Everything in this country from jails, to health care, to college is a business. Things that are considered basic human rights in other first world countries, are inaccessible to the poor and working class because of capitalism. There is no perfect way of running a country, but our democracy has become more divided and corrupt than ever.
Education is the easiest way to gain wealth while enriching and bettering yourself. However, if you cannot afford an education in this country you may not get it. In most other first world countries, education is a priority. Colleges are a lot cheaper, for example. Tuition in countries that value education is $7,000 to $11,000, or even free. In the U.S., however, tuition is a staggering $50,000 to $100,000! If your parents are like most people and can’t afford to pay those ridiculous prices, you are stuck with this crippling amount of debt as soon as you’re out of college. In addition to the cost of college tuition, most students also struggle with unnecessarily expensive textbooks, residential lodging and costs of living.
The health and well being of a nation’s citizens should be an utmost concern. For example, many European countries have free health care. Due to health care being free in those countries, it takes longer to receive treatment on average. However, isn’t that better than not receiving care at all? I believe that the countless Americans without health care wouldn’t mind waiting a few minutes longer. Another concern about adopting universal free healthcare in our country is the cost, but the U.S. has more than enough money to pay for it. For reference, the U.S. military budget (which was already the largest in the world by a considerable margin) was increased by $80 billion dollars. While it would cost roughly $46 billion dollars for free top of the line health care for all. So obviously the problem isn’t the actual cost of implementation, the problem with free health care is that businesses will lose money. The pharmaceutical industry is a multi-billion dollar business, as is the insurance industry. Though the pharmaceutical industry would take some hits, the health insurance industry would be crippled. It’s just common sense, no one would pay thousands of dollars for health insurance that is just as good or a little better than a free system that is offered to all. The fact that the government is catering to the needs of big business instead of the needs of the people just shows, what they’re priorities are.
Another example of out of control capitalism is the privatization of prisons. Prison and jail facilities are partnered up with big business. They jail people unfairly to increase free labor to manufacture goods. This system is terrifyingly similar to slavery. It doesn’t help that the system targets young men of color. The “pipeline” works like this, police act as slave catchers and arrest innocent people of color or catch them on flimsy crimes. They either convince people to take a plea deal for a “reduced” sentence or they could wait in prison for years for a trial. While incarcerated, the arrested are making cheap goods or they are helping to meet some sort of quota. The Bureau of Prisons pay $638 million dollars to private prisons per year, that’s roughly 22 thousand dollars per prisoner. The private prisons are able to cut corners and be as cheap as possible, which leads to a $70 billion dollar a year industry. They use their political power and money to lobby and help create unfair laws that are meant to increase the number of prisoners. It is unethical and immoral to be able to profit from the imprisonment of human beings. The insane capitalistic mentality of the U.S. has allowed this to happen.
A democracy is a government that is supposed to represent all its citizens. It seems that the U.S. democracy only represents the rich and wealthy. This means that our country is no longer a democracy, it is a democratic oligarchy. An oligarchy is a style of government where the rich and powerful have control over the government. This is more prevalent today because we put representatives into office only for them to be corrupted by “donations.” These donations are really just favors and bribes. Our most recent president has also made questionable decisions about the members of his cabinet. Which has led to corrupt politicians and businessmen running all our country’s major organizations. Of course, not all politicians are like this, but they are beginning to become outnumbered. Another problem is the two political parties the Liberal Democrats and the more conservative Republicans have torn this country’s political climate in half. The original idea was a good one—the more ideas and opinions you have in office, the more accurately the people could be represented. Now they seem to have devolved into some sort of political gang war. It has gotten to the point where some Republicans are supporting racist groups, and the democratic party has been letting itself lose power at a ridiculous rate. The only way the country will move forward is, if each party puts their ego aside and works together for the betterment of the people.
Personally, I love this country. The idea that in a world full of prejudice that anyone no matter your race, religion, gender, etc., can come to this country and live a truly fulfilling life is one of the most beautiful and truly pure things in the world. However, these ideals of liberty and the pursuit of happiness have yet to be available for every citizen in the country. This is unacceptable. I do believe democracy is an amazing form of government, but the rules of our democracy need to change. First off, we need to limit the amount of times senators and representatives can run for office. We also need to abolish the ability for companies to donate to political campaigns permanently. These changes will help limit ad hopefully eliminate corruption. The U.S. has always been a catalyst for capitalism and economic process, but this shouldn’t affect the basic human rights of this country’s citizens. We need to find a way to stop capitalism from affecting our citizens negatively and sometimes ruining their lives permanently.