America, a nation drifting aimlessly, a government with no real vision for the future

If none of this happens, then America will be a nation that continues to drift aimlessly, having no vision of the country’s future directions, and continuing down a path leading to nowhere.


Have we ever heard of our government developing and following a plan for the future direction of this country, one that would include very specific objectives? Of course not, because that’s not what this government does. 

Could any major corporation, hospital, or an important non-profit organization, remain in business if it didn’t develop such a plan with clear-cut objectives?

This country, because of its government, follows no real plan, is drifting aimlessly around and about, not thinking about the course it should be following. It has been going in the wrong direction for many years, wasting its valuable resources on endless wars, and doing nothing to develop new and innovative ideas such as alternative energy sources. 

Talk about continuing to go in the wrong direction. How in the world can we the people tolerate this massive inequality of wealth and income between those at the very top and the rest of Americans?

While America was drifting, with no real planning being done, the combination of Corporate America and a do-nothing Congress gave away this nation’s world-class manufacturing sector to China. Corporate America took advantage of ultra-cheap labor in China and other foreign nations to generate greater and greater profits. As a result, the American worker has never recovered.

What has happened to the creativity and innovation that once drove America to greater and greater heights? We currently have so many opportunities to solve this country’s many pressing problems but they are not being seized, mostly because we continue to be plagued by a stagnant Congres, whose members appear to be in a deep, lasting sleep. 

Well, while this country has no plan of any kind, guess which major nation now is following its 13th consecutive 5-year plan covering the period 2016-2020. For each plan made there have been Focus areas. The following list was obtained from a Wikipedia article: 

Focus areas for China’s Thirteenth 5-Year plan 2016-2020 

  • Innovation: the value chain by abandoning old heavy industry and building up bases of modern information-intensive infrastructure
  • Achieve significant results in innovation-driven development
  • Balancing: Bridge the welfare gaps between countryside and cities by distributing and managing resources more efficiently
  • Greening: Develop the environmental technology industry, as well as ecological living and ecological culture.
  • Achieve an overall improvement in the quality of the environment and ecosystems
  • Opening up: Deeper participation in supranational power structures, more international co-operation
  • Sharing: Encourage people of China to share the fruits of economic growth, so to bridge the existing welfare gaps
  • Healthcare: Implement universal healthcare proposed in the 2020 Health Action Plan.
  • Create: A Finish building a moderately prosperous society in all respects

If I didn’t know which country had developed the above plan, with those particular areas of concentration, I would have thought it was an American plan developed by some progressive individuals as a proposal for the government. But, no, this is China’s plan. 

It’s hard to believe, but the Chinese plan calls for the creation of a universal healthcare system, including an “action” plan. China, a communist country is going to develop a healthcare plan for all its people, totalling1.4 billion? How can China possibly do that when here in America politicians and others say something like the following?

“Universal healthcare is not feasible in America because it would have to cover some 330 million Americans and the massive costs would make it prohibitive. Maybe those much smaller nations in Europe and Scandinavia can afford the costs because their populations are much smaller. We just can’t reach that high here.”

Why aren’t we planning how to put an end to these horrific mass shootings that are becoming an epidemic in our country? This government, and we’re talking about Republicans in particular, as well as many Americans who support them are, collectively, so very uncaring that they won’t even talk about banning all assault weapons no matter how many helpless little children are torn apart by these instruments of murder. We need someone to create a plan to somehow unlock their twisted and frozen brains. 

It seems that America has lapsed into a condition in which more thought is given to what we can’t do than what we can do. Well, we have to reverse that sad state of affairs and start to think much more positively. So let’s do this: let’s develop a 5-year plan for America with Focus areas like those China set down. 

Focus areas for America’s proposed 2020-2024 5-year plan

Innovation: government and business cooperation working together to create and seek new horizons, including a new and exciting manufacturing sector  based on new technology.

Green New Deal: develop and implement a step by step plan to combat climate change; work closely to coordinate with other nations

Infrastructure: make this a high priority, initiate a program to repair and rebuild our national infrastructure

New alternate energy: another high priority. Immediately begin a process to develop solar power, wind power, and other alternative sources of energy

The military: conduct a comprehensive study to determine how to scale back US military bases across the world, while still maintaining a powerful military. Transfer funding into key domestic needs 

Inequality: take measures to eliminate the massive inequality of wealth and income; the wealth of the nation must be far more equally distributed

Corporate America control over governmental: the vice grip that Corporate America holds over this government must be broken; ban all corporate dealings with Congress

Gun safety controls: Congress and the sitting president must immediately ban assault weapons and huge ammunition magazines, install effective background checks, and work to bring mass shootings under control

Healthcare: create a universal healthcare system to cover every American, one that is far more effective than the current one

Here’s the difference between China and the US relative to creating and following a 5-year plan. When the Chinese communist government produces its plan for the future there is no question but that it must be followed by all areas of the country, including the manufacturing sector. What the government decides to do will be done, there is no alternative.

In America, we supposedly have a democracy, “a government in which the supreme power is vested in the people and exercised by them directly or indirectly through a system of representation usually involving periodically held free elections.” Now that is a beautiful description of how a typical democracy should function, but in America, sad to say, it just doesn’t work that way, not anymore. 

The problem is that the elected politicians, Democrats and Republicans are so divided in conducting the work of the Congress, mainly through legislation, that they refuse to work together and, therefore, nothing of substance is accomplished. Like the Chinese, the American people say, “We want this done!” But it just falls on deaf ears. 

America should be the equal of China and have an equal to or better 5-plan. for advancing into the future. However, the US government, especially with Trump in charge, doesn’t even think of creating one. If China and America both continue on their current paths there is no question as to which of them will end up being the dominant country in the world.

Things must change, we have to figure a way to get out of this rut. What will it take for America to shift out of neutral and into high gear? Well, it has to reach much higher and set very ambitious goals. And, of the greatest importance will be to break the stranglehold that Corporate America has over this Congress and government by banning it and all lobbyists from any contact with Congress and its members. Cut off the dirty money to which these politicians are so thoroughly addicted. 

Sure, that’s easier said than done because the members of this Congress would have to pass legislation to remove Corporate America from control and it would take a monumental miracle for that to happen. So what will it take? Remember when Sen. Bernie Sanders said that what we need in America is a “Peoples’ Revolution?” 

That is exactly what it will take. In such a revolution the vast majority of the people would rise up and declare that this must be done and that any member of Congress that refuses to follow their directive would be singled out and targeted for removal and a ticket back home. The message would be, “follow and do the will of the people or get the hell out!” That’s the only way this can happen, by unleashing the massive power of the people. 

So, that is what must happen and only the people can do it. And, when such a movement gets fully underway, it will open the door to the creation of a 5-year plan to get America moving in the right direction.

But, if none of this happens, then America will be a nation that continues to drift aimlessly, having no vision of the country’s future directions, and continuing down a path leading to nowhere.


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Michael Payne is an independent progressive activist. His writings deal with social, economic, political and foreign policy issues; and especially with the great dangers involved with the proliferation of perpetual war, the associated defense industry, and the massive control that Corporate America holds over this government and our election process; all which are leading this nation down the road to eventual financial ruin if the conditions are not reversed. He is a graduate of Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois and a U.S. Army veteran.