DISCOVERING AMERICA AS IT IS, is a monumental study of the devastating effect
American-style capitalism was already having on the American people during the so-
called "boom" years of the Clinton era -- even before the systemic ravages that have
resulted from the policies of George W. Bush. It raises serious questions not only
concerning America’s role as a leading model for development, but even as to its
future capacity to compete due to the deterioration of its human capital resulting from
anti-social domestic policies.
Anelauskas, a Lithuanian patriot and former anti-Soviet dissident, paints an
extraordinary portrait of the America he discovered — the America as it exists for
most Americans. While it has been argued that capitalism in Russia failed because
the Russians "didn't know how to do it," in the United States, the veritable beacon of
world capitalism, capitalism does not appear to be working for most people, either.
America’s two-decades-long love affair with its free market gurus under Democrats
and Republicans alike, gutted the body politic, leaving the American Dream of
prosperity for the ordinary man little more than a charade the U.S. corporate, media
and government elite successfully fronts to a credulous world.
Twelve highly-documented chapters — on poverty, crime, health, education,
homelessness, the deterioration of the family, income inequities and the
replacement of welfare by workfare — detail the public disarray which results from an
unfettered system of great wealth where the rich determine the social priorities.
In thousands of citations, Anelauskas documents the precipitous plunge in living
standards of American citizens, measured not only against the standards enjoyed by
citizens in other capitalist countries in the industrialized world, but against their own
past levels. Among the many searing results: in all categories that measure
economic equity, citizens of all other industrialized countries generally fare better
than do Americans.
This blistering reality is culled from innumerable researches by international
organizations, domestic and international NGOs, independent U.S. think tanks,
journalists, scholars, and even from American government sources, documented in
over 80 pages of endnotes. While most critiques focus on one social sector or
another, this multidimensional study brings them all together, and the impact is
staggering. What this book enables us to grasp — intellectually and emotionally — is
the predatory and wasteful operation of unbridled capitalism in its systemic
dimensions, and the needless, preventable injury it wreaks upon millions. The
linkages between government, wealth, poverty and policy, the conflicts between elite
interest and collective well-being, clarify as we read.
Here are just a few of many mind-catching findings scattered liberally throughout the
book: An American child has one chance in 432 of becoming a doctor -- but one
chance in five of growing up illiterate. One in four Americans working full time does
not earn enough to stay above the official poverty line. "Food insecure households"
add up to over 34 million people. The notion that stock ownership is widespread in
America is absolutely false -- the bottom 90 percent of Americans own 15.6 percent
of stocks (including through mutual funds), while the bottom eighty percent only own
Anelauskas’ ominous thirteenth chapter, "The New World Order Takes Shape,"
elaborates the socio-military resources and paradigms which serve to entrench and
extend American hegemony, as it seeks to deflect global efforts to institute the rule of
international law, and to turn the world back to the rule of force. From the
expropriation of Indian lands, and the exploitation of African labor, to a taste for
empire which spread to the continental rim, then jumped across many waters in a
hundred-year history of invasions all around the globe, culminating at last in the
hegemonic military-economic grip on the world by what many in the Third World view
as a Rogue Superpower -- from domestic colonialism to imperial America -- this is
America as it is.