Another Set of Futile Facts

Death rates for all ages and both sexes per 100,000 population in 1993:
from motor vehicle accidents: 38.2
from firearms: 15.6
from HIV: 14.5
from suicide: 12.1
from homicide: 10.1
from alcohol-induced causes: 6.7.
from all drug-induced causes: 4.8

Increase in juvenile arrests for all drug offenses 1980-1994: 69%
Increase in all state funds for correctional facilities 1980 - 1994: 520%

Percent of all arms sales worldwide sold by U.S.: 41%

Percentage of population over 65 years old living below poverty line in 1995: 11.7%
Percentage of American Indian population living below poverty line: 31.2%

Hospital out patient surgeries - 1980: 16.4% 1994: 56.9%
Percentage of Californians without health insurance in 1994: 21.1% In US: 15.2%

1994 per capita consumption (in gallons) of milk: 24.7 beer: 32.0

1995 percent of Americans who trust Congress "a great deal" or "quite a lot": 15.2%
1995 percent who have "very little" trust in Congress: 41.3%

U.S. voting-age population in 1994: 190,267,000

Percent registered in 1994: 62% or 117,965,540 people.
Percent registered who voted in 1994: 44.6% or 52,612,631 people or 36% of total eligible voters.
Percent voting for House of Representatives who voted Republican in 1994: 53% or 27,884,694 or 15% of total voting-age population.

Number of multinational corporations in 1976: 10,373. in 1990: 35,000.

Change since 1976 in value of minimum wage: -$1.70.
Number of times federal debt has doubled since 1976: 2.

Number of Political Action Committees in 1976: 608. in 1995: 3,954.
Number of evening newspapers in 1976: 1,436. in 1994: 947.

Increase in suicides among 10-14 year olds between 1980 - 1992: 120%
Increase of women in the work place since 1976: 59%
Increase in children living below the poverty level from 1976 - 1992: 42%.
Increase in children living in one parent families 1970 - 1992: 118%.

Well, this may seem like simply an assemblage of data to most of you. To the rest of us, though, these facts represent a small example of what is wrong with America today. It isn't a Republican or Democratic problem but rather an American problem. When firearms kill more than three times as many people as drugs but guns are still available nearly anywhere, there's a problem. When teen suicides are increasing and the number of children living in poverty multiplies but the main topics our so-called leaders find important is cutting the capital gain tax or flag burning or their imagined family values, life stinks. Dear people, not only are we going to Hell with all haste, we can't even get our leaders to agree that anything is wrong except the other party.

I don't know about you folks but I am quickly becoming depressed not because things are so bad, which they are, but rather because no one seems to care. The voters go into a coma before their TVs between elections then proceed to stupidly elect the same nimrods over and over. Maybe I'm sounding a bit cynical these days but I find myself awe inspired by the childish arguements people give to defend their indifference.

If you have any ideas on how to get America talking and thinking, not just inanely spouting "dittos", please let me know. If it seems an even handed suggestion, I'll include it in a future column and cite the originator, as well.

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