Why I do not want my son to grow up in America.

August31

This is a hard thing to write. 

I love the USA. We have such an amazing story that attracts and inspires people from around the world. We have a can-do culture that I adore. But, we have failed to turn our potential and American bravado into positive results for our citizens. 

I do not expect miracles and I do not expect us to be perfect. But over the last 20 years, it feels like half the country has been convinced to join a death cult. And, that death cult stands for nothing except telling Americans how exceptional they are with their freedom and big penises. As a nation we are drunk, covered in our own tears and vomit, and singing tiny dancer on the floor of a gas station bathroom. We are sitting in a puddle of our own exceptionalism. It is cold.

I do not want my son to grow up in the USA.
I do not want my son to be an adult in the USA.
I do not want him to be a parent in the USA

I view the USA a lot like I do a war zone. I am the type of person who wants to do a few tours in a war zone. I will flourish in that environment. And, I know plenty of people who are like me. But, I also know that if I spend 15+ years in that environment the war zone will change me and I will start to think it is normal to wear a necklace of ears and drink from a human skull (if THIS is your answer to what is “best in life” it might be time to take a vacation :)).  

Would I want to raise a family or children in that war zone with a war zone mentality? 

No. It creates people who only think about “I” and not enough about “we”. We overdosed on individualism a long time ago and instead of rehab and moderation, we thought it would be smarter to just add it to the water supply and up the dosage by 100x. I do not want the USA to be Europe/UK/Australia with their tall poppy syndrome but we have got to find a balance before we destroy our citizens. 

Do I want people who do not want to be in a war zone to be stuck in a war zone? 

Fuck no. I think maybe 20% of Americans want to be in the war zone and 80% are stuck there. The 80% that are stuck are hard-working and super-smart people that are just not as broken as that 20%. The 80% do not want to work 3 jobs with no paid sick days or time off just to survive in the USA. The 80% do not want to work 60+ hour weeks for so-called “career success”. The 80% do not want to sacrifice being a parent and being part of their children’s lives for their career. The 80% do not want to spend every day at work apart from a two-week vacation until they die. And, so on. 

Do I want people who are like me in that war zone? 

Yes! We need the 20% to do what they do. With the caveat that I want them to have a Geneva Convention so they don’t turn the entire world into a war zone and break everything. The USA is in a weird place where it has created rules that overly-regulate the wrong things. We’ve allowed private interest to create licensing and regulations to create monopolies while removing regulations around EVERYTHING else. Capitalism doesn’t work if you don’t have equal power for the common good and labor. It is like we looked at homebuilding and said we don’t care if you build the houses out of asbestos and napalm as long as the person who installs the doors pays $45,000 to go to these four-door installer schools and pays $3,000 a year to be part of a door installer guild. 

So… why do I not want my son to grow up, be an adult, and be a parent in the USA?

#1 – Health Care

I want my son to be able to focus on just getting better if he gets sick. I do not want him or any other American skipping medical visits because of money. And, I do not want him to declare bankruptcy because of the huge bills. And, I want my son to be able to get affordable health insurance no matter the job he is doing. If he is a cashier at Walmart and gets cancer he should only have to think about treatment and getting better. There are so MANY countries doing healthcare better than us. Go steal their system and implement it. And, stop paying for expensive treatments that extend life by only 6 months – we have to have some honest conversations about the inevitability of death. 

#2 – Paternity/Maternity Leave

I want my son to be able to spend time with his kids when they are born. And, I want his partner to be able to do the same thing. For all the bullshit right-wing politicians say about family values they don’t do a damn thing when it comes to actually help families be families. 

#3 – Daycare

If my son and his partner want to go back to work I don’t want the cost of daycare to crush them financially. For a family of two, this can cost as much as $1,500 to $2,000 USD a month and that is insane. If the government wants future taxpayers it needs to incentivize families to have kids and provide subsidized child care nationally. Make it easier to be a family in the USA. 

#4 – Paid Vacation

I want my son to have a life outside of work. I have family members with high paying jobs who get ZERO vacation days for their first year. WTF! Even if you are lucky to get two weeks off a year, that is just enough time to de-stress from work but not enough to remember who you are outside of your job. And, I want him to get time off even if he doesn’t work for a high paying tech company. If he ends up working as a cashier for Walmart I want him to get at least 4 to 5 weeks of paid vacation. It is like our society forgot that there is more to life than work and that people are more than cogs in a machine. In Europe, the minimum amount of paid vacation is four-weeks plus 10 holidays. In Mexico and Brazil, you get six weeks of paid vacation. Why are we so far behind the rest of the world? 

#5 – Paid Sick Days

If my son gets sick I want him focused on getting better, not having to choose between getting well and food/rent. Plus it is good for society as the current pandemic is showing. 

#6 – College + Debt

If my son has the desire, drive, and ability to go to university I do not want him to go into life-ending debt to afford that education. Education shouldn’t only be for the rich. I want any American who has the drive to be able to go to a university or technical school (and, at any age). It doesn’t have to be free, it doesn’t have to be fancy, but it should be tied to the cost of a part-time minimum wage job (like when Boomers were in college). 

#7 – Guns

I do not want my son to be killed in a school shooting and I don’t want him to grow up doing active shooter drills. The USA has a problem with guns and it continues to take no action. When 20 children between six and seven years old are gunned down and your country does nothing you know you are broken. We need better gun control policies and they have to affect current gun owners and models. 

#8 – The American Dream Is Dead + No Safty Net

America has been rebuilt for the upper-middle class and rich and Americans have an increasingly small chance of upward mobility. You have a better chance of upward mobility in Canada and these 31 countries (mostly in Europe). I want my son and his friends and other Americans to have the chance of a better life. There is no reason we can’t deliver that. Instead, we’ve built a country that is built on the backs of the poor and lower-middle-class. 

The American safety-net is almost non-existent. I do not want to eliminate risk, but I think we can help more people get on their feet, create jobs, and do better. Right now our safety net is like playing Russia roulette with 6 bullets in a 6 bullet gun. You are going to lose. I’d like to get it down to 1 bullet. And, I don’t necessarily want us to be Scandinavia. But, I feel at some point the USA looked at the huge pit we force people to climb out of and said you know what? We should add lasers and guns and bears because it should be harder so only 1 in 100,000 people can “make it” in this country. Plus that is good business because the ones that do will be so de-humanized and broken it will create great jobs for therapists.

#9 – America’s Kids = My Kids

I want to live in an America where we strive to give every child the chance to succeed no matter the amount of money their parents have, the color of their skin, or equally silly divisions. Right now it feels like we are building a country where we think the only way for our kid to win is at the cost of all the other kids. That mentality utterly disgusts me.

For many reasons, my son is going to have incredible opportunities and experiences. Some of which his classmates could only dream of and that is ok, that is part of the inequality life. But, everyone should have access to things like a great education, free/cheap university or technical schools, great healthcare, paternity/maternity leave, paid vacation and sick days, safe housing and neighborhoods, equal justice and treatment before the law, equal legal access, equal treatment by businesses, and so on and so forth. I do not think the USA is headed this way. The last 20 years have been horrendous.

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This is bwb’s personal blog so he can share his thoughts with the world, however scary or silly they might be. Plus family and friends can track what I am up too, and where I am in the world.

I am pretty simple. I love Mangos. I love the ocean, although mostly at sunset as I’m a ginger. I love to travel, eat exotic food, read, and use my imagination. I love creating and developing ideas into businesses, understanding how all businesses work, and building cool stuff. I am a globalist and see the entire world as my responsibility and playground. And, I am married to an amazing woman who makes life even more fun :)! And, we are now the proud parents of Calico Jack :).


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