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Spotlight on US Democracy

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The U.S. has a global reputation for democracy and freedom, but recent findings and experts’ views showed that the reality is quite different.

According to American scholar David Schoenbrod, U.S. politicians tend to act irresponsibly when serving the public, while being quite responsible when reciprocating favors to their donors. This has become a defining feature of American democracy.

In the United States, private enterprises and the public sector often collaborate and mutually benefit from each other. These exchanges have become institutionalized and are legally protected.

The alliance between power and capital has led to an unbalanced system of representation in American democracy. While checks and balances may function among the elite, there is an imbalance between the elite and the general public. This disparity is concealed by the widespread participation in voting and the deceptive rhetoric of “equal opportunities.”


Affordable healthcare?

The debate for affordable healthcare is far raging and has often become a campaign issue during elections in the United States. People voted for affordable healthcare. But laws keep U.S. drug prices the highest in the world. Healthcare has become a game of corporate profits, with pharmaceutical giants compensating “cooperative” doctors for overprescribing their products. Insurance companies encourage doctors and rehab centers to prescribe medications and provide examinations and treatments not covered by insurance, thereby transferring more costs to patients.



People voted for good Internet service. But only 57 percent of Americans making less than $30,000 per year having Internet access, compared to 92 percent of households earning $75,000 or more, according to a survey conducted by the Pew Research Center in 2021. In terms of race and ethnicity, 80 percent of White Americans enjoy reliable high-speed Internet access, compared with 71 percent of Black Americans and only 65 percent of Hispanic Americans.

Urban and suburban areas are much better off than rural areas, such as those in Mississippi, Arkansas, and Alabama, where there are many minorities and low-income levels. Poor neighborhoods across the South and the Rust Belt also experience difficulties in Internet access.


People have voted for equality, but American minorities have been suffering. In 1955, Emmett Till, a 14-year-old Black boy, was tortured, dismembered, shot, and then thrown into the Tallahatchie River because he was believed to have whistled at a White lady. Even in the 21st century, random killings against Blacks have not stopped. Eric Garner, a Black man, was choked to death in 2014. Ahmaud Arbery, an innocent Black man, was shot dead by Whites while jogging in 2020.


People have voted for equality. But modern slavery persists within the U.S. prison system. The American Civil Liberties Union reports that 800,000 prisoners are working in prisons, with the state profiting billions of dollars annually from their cheap labor. In some prisons in Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Mississippi, Oklahoma, South Carolina and Texas, inmates do not even get a penny for their work.

The public votes every two years in the United States. But the decisions that touch their lives and wallets are made at private backroom meetings. People can vote, but lobbyists and big business literally write all the rules.

As George Galloway, leader of the Workers Party of Britain, asks, “If democracy is government of the people, for the people, by the people, who can say in Western countries that they have genuinely a democracy?”



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