American society requires overhaul

I have something to say. This country, once the greatest in the world, has hit the fan and exploded into oblivion. My grandparents did not survive the horrors of World War II to have their grandchildren and great-grandchildren live in a country where there is inequality in every financial sector and hospital bed.

The America my grandparents knew had streets paved with pure gold — a saying that has now been, unfortunately, squeezed and diluted to the point where the only Americans capable of succeeding are trust-fund babies. I don’t like this. Fortunately, I grew up in an affluent middle class family, with all of the opportunities necessary to live a happy and healthy life. I went to great schools, had excellent doctors and above all did not have to live with the daily stress of surviving paycheck to paycheck. It’s unfortunate that we elect leaders to Congress, when at the time of them serving out their “sentence,” they are rich beyond our wildest dreams. There’s no excuse at all. The laws, regulations and people need to change — not only do the people we keep up on Capitol Hill need to change, but the way they run business needs to change as well.

Justin Timberlake, one of my favorite actors and the overall funniest Saturday Night Live host of my generation, said it right in one of the greatest roles he will ever play — “This is our time!” The time of my parents is over. The “boomer” generation is no longer in the White House, but they still control all of the “old money” in this country, and this needs to change. In addition, our entire health care system needs to be revamped, and its functionality needs to be thoroughly looked at.

Undoubtedly, one would think that our current senior congressmen such as John Boehner, R-Ohio, and John McCain, R-Ariz., would want to reform health care, but one would be incredibly wrong to assume this. The truth is there is no personal reason for them to do so. Many senators and congressmen are wealthy enough to have a personal doctor come to their six homes in Connecticut to treat them. It’s a shame how selfish people can be.

In order to fix the system, you need to reboot. Back in the 1970’s, when the first Apple computer was developed, its functionality seemed vague and obviously sub-par. Currently, we know that if our iPhones or matchbooks or even our iPads freeze, it’s important to have them reconfigured so that we can still utilize the technology we have all become accustomed to.

Gone are the days of “back in my day…” It’s “no day but today,” as the great composers of the musical Rent so proudly proclaimed to us. It’s always time to react. There is never a moment when one should not react. There is no time to stop and smell the roses, simply because our generation was not taught to wait.

My parents, if they wanted to find out the capitol of Indonesia, needed to leave their Queens apartments, walk the seven blocks to the library and then ask the librarian where they might find such information. Then, the librarian would hand my parents a card containing all the information needed to find the book. Then, my parents would need to search. In texting terms, this is “LOL.”

My fears and rants are not crazy, they’re logic — basic logic. To learn from the mistakes of the past is exactly what my grandparents did in World War II. They adapted. The pogroms of Europe had ravaged the Jewish people for centuries, and the largest pogrom in human history, the Holocaust, enabled “The Greatest Generation” to react and survive. There is no more time to wait. It’s now and only now! In addition, as I mentioned before, I can take out my iPhone and find out the capitol of Indonesia in seconds.

To reform health care is not only important for the current generation, but more importantly, it’s vital that the “boomer” generation receive the proper care it needs in the future.

The facts are right out in front of us. In 2007, the first “boomer” became eligible for Medicare. By 2030, more than 80 million people will be over the age of 65, and our system needs to be able to accommodate them. However, the boomers are a special breed. The reason our country is in the toilet is because they felt privileged having had “The Greatest Generation” as parents. There is no other reason for their toxicity and greed.

All the tools are in place, and nothing is impossible. That’s why I feel the “boomers” dislike President Barack Obama, because he believes in change. That’s a change to a system to which they have become accustomed, but one that desperately needs to be completely over-hauled.

It’s our time. It’s our time to change the system. The Republican Party is finished in this country. In fact, all party lines should never be drawn in concrete, but in sand, because it is the sands of time that change the outcome of the future.

There are more than 300 million people in this country. What is the hold up? If any of us were ever in an argument or fight on the schoolyard, 1 percent against 99 percent would not stand a chance. We are the future of America.

Joshua Bickel is a School of Environmental and Biological Sciences alumnus, Class of 2011.

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