..Jon Simonds..

A Great Nation
The Basically Brooklyn Series

Ours is a unique nation; a Great Nation conceived and designed with honor by honorable men who fought a revolution and bestowed upon us the freedom that is our beacon of light burning brightly for the entire world to see.

We have designed a free market society governed by rules of order to ensure we thrive as an honorable, civil society. Yet, throughout our history, there have been times when we as a nation were without honor.

It took us 100 years to break the chains of slavery and nearly 100 more before we realized all men are indeed created equal. We are an honorable nation, though lately we seem a nation without honor.

Recently, former Labor Secretary Robert Reich pointed out the nations largest employer pays an average of $8.80 an hour. Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont calls this "starvation wages." Reich compared Wal-Mart's hourly rate to that of General Motors, offering an average hourly wage of $28 dollars an hour. Both companies are concerned with sales of product, stock gains and dividends returned to investors. There was a time when GM was the nation's largest employer and while that may no longer be true, General Motors continues to build strong American families, often a major ingredient in a civil society. Corporations ill concerned with the American family are a large reason why so many are stuck in poverty, and poverty breeds crime. Most of the crime poverty breeds are petty ones, at best.

All across America large groups of people have taken to the streets to protest unjust, racist killings of black men by white police officers. We have seen the riots spawned by the death of Michael Brown for what appears to be the commission of a petty theft.

In Staten Island, Eric Garner died for selling loose untaxed cigarettes, a misdemeanor crime. These are not capital crimes punishable by death. The outcome of both events, however are a monumental tragedy. They are the end result of a series of events triggered by the commission of a crime.

Our police force is designed to serve and protect the civility of a society. The poverty rate of both blacks and hispanics greatly exceeds the poverty rate of all other races in our nation. Are we to believe white police officers are inherently racist toward African Americans and Hispanics? Aristotle once wrote, "Poverty is the parent of crime," and while that may not be true, statistics do show the more impoverished a neighborhood, or area, the higher the rate of crime.

Should protesters tie up traffic and face off against Police officers all across the nation, thus widening the divide between public and public servant in an angry outcry over something we cannot go back and undo? Or, should we put our heads together and attack the real crime? Poverty.

What would happen if an honorable nation stopped forking money over to dishonorable companies and sought out those places of business illustrating their desire for the construction of strong American families? Do you think we could turn around the growing cycle of poverty, the driving force behind petty crime? Or is it too much trouble for us to be the honorable nation we believe we truly are?

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