The Suffering Of A Nations Poor

timwilliams By timwilliams, 14th Apr 2016 | Follow this author | RSS Feed | Short URL
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Why it is that it is always the nations poor and destitute don't have the lifespan equal to that of the wealthy.

The Suffering Of A Nations Poor

As the sun sets on the twilight of my years all that is left is loneliness and solitude. In those quiet times where the rest of life passes by visions of fleeting memories cascade through my conscious thoughts. As if it were yesterday but yet so far away I remember a world that would be so unrecognizable now. For those of us that are so fortunate to have reached the golf cart reality, something I thought I's never be I have come to realize just how fortunate and blessed so few really are. As I look around the world today a somber reality has come over me. No longer are many so fortunate. Bewildered and perplexed they all seem to be. What could have happened in the passage of time to only wake up and find so much misery, poverty and decay?

With today's news about life spans, where the presence of wealth dictates much of life's pleasantries. Where the horrors of poverty are kept at bay. It is quite understandable why the poor die so young. When we really look around the world through open eyes there continues to be so much inequality. The stench of poverty is always masked over by not much publicity. Yet, the powers that be really are to blind to see. It has always been through-out history the rich and powerful have often isolated themselves escaping the riggers of the poor. Today is no different. In every country there seems to be too much abject poverty that is plain to see. But, too often those faceless poor are characterized as just footnotes in the passage of time.

When the Berlin Wall came down back in the late 1980's signaling the end of Communist rule in Russia their life expectancy rates ever since have steadily declined. Both men and women's mortality rates rose sharply. Whether it was because of the instability of government, the economic turbulence that ensued, or the violence of ruthless gangs trying to get a foothold on the new emerging free markets that were just beginning to open up all took their toll on the lives and livelihoods of the Russian people. Since the turn of the 21st century though the Russian populace have been able to increase their overall life expectancy rates meanwhile in the United States life expectancy has only reversed. No longer are the majority of the American populace living longer and fuller lives. It is as though both the quality and quantity of our years have withered on those vines of lost opportunities.

One of the most startling statistics is that people ages 65 and over more than 50% are now living in poverty. With the medicare expenditures that come out of their Social Security has only exasperates the dire living conditions millions of our seniors are living under. Poverty is the by far the largest one factor that increases the mortality rates of not only our senior population but everyone else. In general, our whole population the majority of which like that 50% of our seniors are living near or at poverty levels. When we look at third world countries where so many people live in acute poverty their population's mortality rates are always very high. What we are seeing here in the United States are living conditions that mirror those in the poorer countries. Millions of Americans face acute food, water and lack of proper sanitation every day. This all attributes to shorter life spans for so many of United States citizens. This in the worlds wealthiest country is unconscionable.

For a nation that spends the most on health care signals that something is very wrong with the policies that have been enacted in the last 35 years that have put the American population "dead" last in life expectancy of all the industrialized nations. Questions arise now as to why is our population not living longer and yet spends billions of dollars every year on health care? To really answer this question we have to understand the demographics of our society today. The first tip in answering is to take a good close look at the food we have been eating for the last 40 years. Compare the food consumed now to that of our grandfathers and fathers before and you will see a marked difference in the lack of nutritional values that once were in every thing we ate. But, for the last 4 decades the nutrients that once were plentiful have now vanished replaced by chemicals and preservatives that only contribute to shorter life spans. We must also point out that the inflationary trends in consumables especially in nutritious food sources has only increased making it almost impossible for too many Americans being able to afford the luxury of buying and consuming healthy and nutritious food. This is so true when those that are still fortunate to have jobs those salaries don't even come close to off setting the price of many of the food sources that are healthy choices. Then again many of the nations poor aren't educated enough to choose healthy nutritious food with even their meager incomes or EBT cards.

Everywhere in the US men and women continue to fill their shopping carts with processed food from can goods to ready to eat meals. Convince foods are now the norm. And, in tom many cases they all these convince foods contain chemical additives that by their very nature don't add any nutritional value to the food. All we are doing is staving off hunger and not replacing the nutrients that are vital for healthy living. Compounded to this is the fact that most of today's children as well as too many adults don't exercise at all. With budget cuts at every turn in school budgets the first program to be gutted is physical education. For adults many of whom have to work two or three jobs just to put the non-nutritional food an the table and subsequently don't have the time to get regular exercise anyway. Then there are the others who are literally tied to their couch with head phones and computers attached updating their social networks that only continue to become what many term as official couch potatoes and grow more obese every day. Another disturbing trend is that for the most part the United States is a mobile one. But, that mobility is tied to the automobile and not regular walking or biking but rather sedentary movement. All of these are contributing factors as to why the American public has become one to the fattest populations on the planet.

With overweight populations comes a whole assortment of ailments and diseases that greatly affect the life spans of those affected and consequently the care givers who are taking care of individuals with those ailments and diseases attributed to being obese, malnourished and ill. Lessons to be learned when we take a close look at populations who manage to live gracefully into old age. Where life spans generally reach well into their 90's or longer. They all partake in regular exercise and eat for the most part if not entirely non processed organic food. In general these people live longer and fuller lives because of a simpler life style infused with a way of life that has not conformed or been influenced with the high tech gadgetry of our modern world. Granted some technological innovations will help people live longer fuller lives. But, we all have to remember that their is a delicate balance if we as a population and nation hope to regain life expectancy that rival those who have managed to live well into their 90's and beyond.

To achieve this education is paramount. The choices we make as children are greatly influenced by our parents, teachers and yes most certainly our peers. The more knowledge one has on the consequences of the choices we make along the way is by far the most determining factor of our life style, our ability to stave off obesity, and our ability to live longer and fuller lives. Our whole educational system needs to reinforce healthy food choices. Something that is underway but really needs a national push much like the Presidents Council on Health and Fitness was back in the early 1960's. Our governmental policies must revert back to the way farming was done in the past. This is where the small independent family farms were so successful in bringing to the dinner tables healthy nutritious locally grown food. Where crops were grown when the soil has had enough time to replenish itself with the nutrients that enable healthy crops to grow and provide the nutritional value for consumers. Sadly though, those days of the independent family farmer have for the most part disappeared being forced out of business by the industrial food giants, policymakers and regulators that are intent on boosting agribusinesses profits by eliminating any and all competition.

With this continuing trend in the growth, harvesting and producing of our food today these agribusinesses have only increased the amount of additives and preservatives in our food sources making any chance of consuming healthy nutritious food almost impossible now. When we add what these businesses are doing with Genetically Modifying so many food products again poses real health concerns. When locally grown food was harvested back 50 years ago our population was by far much healthier. But, for the past 35 years our population has seen dramatic increases in the cases of obesity, cancer, heart disease, and so many other illnesses all because of the industrialization of our food we consume. It is always the poor that are most vulnerable to the many health risks of todays' processed foods.

To have our society live longer fuller lives requires governmental policies that currently and repeatedly favor large factory farms and giant agribusinesses change to one that encourages more small locally owned and operated family farms. Government policies also have to allow more and more Americas to have the availability to have the resources to afford to make those healthy choices that will ensure longer, richer, healthier and fuller lives. Free from want has to be a realization for every American. To do that requires the implementation of National Economic Reform's Ten Articles of Confederation.


Financial Hardship, Poverty

Meet the author

author avatar timwilliams
I am a feature writer for The Tampa Bay Examiner and The American chronicle. Earned Ph.D in Economics

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