Americans are not living as long as we could be, are facing a possible recession, and now the growing militarization of our nation is reaching out to pull our children into the armed services to fuel the ongoing debacle in the middle east. It's time to raise a toast to the Republican rule that got us here!
One in 10 public high school students in Chicago wears a military uniform to school and takes classes -- including how to shoot a gun properly -- from retired veterans. That number is expected to rise as junior military reserve programs expand across the country now that a congressional cap of 3,500 units has been lifted from the nearly century-old scheme. [...]
"To call these young people child soldiers might be technically inaccurate, but it does reveal the truth of it," said Oscar Castro, a spokesman for the National Youth and Militarism Program, an advocacy group.
Mom and Dad haven't faired too well under Republican rule either.
Iceland has overtaken Norway as the world's most desirable country to live in, according to an annual U.N. table published on Tuesday that again puts AIDS-afflicted sub-Saharan African states at the bottom.
Rich free-market countries dominate the top places, with Iceland, Norway, Australia, Canada and Ireland the first five but the United States slipping to 12th place from eighth last year in the U.N. Human Development Index.
The Republican focus on a preference for corporate profits over the well-being of the human capital in our country shows as well.
The United States scores high on real per capita GDP, which at $41,890 is second only to that of Luxembourg ($60,228), but less well on life expectancy -- joint last in the top 26 countries, along with Denmark and South Korea, at 77.9 years.
Japanese have the longest life expectancy -- 82.3 years -- and Zambians the lowest, at 40.5.
Life expectancy five years below the leaders. Why wasn't this factor as important to Republicans as protecting the profit margins for Exxon and Haliburton?
But then, a shorter life expectancy means we every day Americans (aka the 'non-rich' not served by Republican rule) won't need to be as well off financially -- a key cornerstone in the Republican house of cards economy.
Prepared by forecasting and consulting firm Global Insight, the report said weak residential investment, lower spending and income in the construction industry and curtailed consumer spending because of falling home values will combine to hold back the nation's economic activity. [...]
The report estimates U.S. gross domestic product growth in 2008 will be 1.9 percent, coming in about $166 billion -- or one percentage point -- lower as a result of mortgage problems. GDP is the value of goods and services produced and is considered the best barometer of the country's economic fitness.
The report also projects property values will decline by $1.2 trillion in 2008, due in part to the foreclosure crisis, with drops in home prices across the U.S. averaging 7 percent. And it said the loss of property, sales and real estate transfer taxes will hurt local and state governments.
A toast! To our Republican pals, whose seven-year reign of terror in the White House has full demonstrated their disdain not only for the Constitution of the United States, but for the prosperity and well-being of every day people as well.
Praise conservatism and all that it's brought us. Salute!
Note: Wizbang Blue is now closed and our authors have moved on. Paul Hooson can now be found at Wizbang Pop!. Please come see him there!