Bella, you bring up some good points. However, I would say without an income tax the other things you point out as a problem would be much worse, no?
All of the things you pointed out are problems, I have particular issues with the inequity of healthcare. But you see I'm not the only one in that boat, there are people who make noise over all this. People do have a voice in gov't. It's called voting. Sure tell me how many people don't vote, and I'll tell you that they haven't found a reason to vote yet. How do you get people to want to vote? You become politically active and make people see how things affect them directly.
Social Security was not intended to be what it is now either, it was supposed to be only for widows and children to begin with, we all know that is not the case currently. Does that mean that we should go back to the original way social security was distributed? Not a likely occurance, anymore than having people refuse to pay income tax, or state taxes for that matter. Because while our taxes go to stupid things, it also goes to good and worthwhile things.
It is my belief that no matter where you live in the world, people tend to not care about certain things until a problem is one that impacts themselves, or someone in their family. The way to get things done is to make those problems something that people can relate to.
People come to this country to get an education. Tell an immigrant from a society that has no public education that our system is laughable, and that immigrant is likely to laugh at you. My oldest child is in college now and is amazed at the number of foreign nationals that are enrolled in his university. It does not amaze me. Many other countries do not even attempt to educate the general public.
To me anyway, what you are talking about is problems people are actively seeking solutions to. It is not likely to ever be perfect, but there are many who are seeking to address them. It is not as if no one gives a damn at all.
Plus to me, there is a world of difference between bad schools, poorly instituted welfare etc... and taking away basic civil liberties. Schools tend to be a local issue, they are not run nationally and therefore no national solution will found unless schools quit being run from the local populations. Again welfare is distributed by the state, within guidelines from the federal gov't, but much latitude is given to states. It is easy to say the federal gov't has been walking all over us for decades, harder to see what happens on a local level. But we must also consider that without the federal gov't women would not have been given the vote, child labor would not have became something of the past, civil rights would not have happened and so on. Each and every one of these things happened because they became issues that someone with enough guts and gumption made them problems for all. It is up to the American people to make corrections, but first it has to be percieved by the American public there is a problem to begin with. I believe the same thing applies to basic freedoms. At first people didn't question what the gov't was doing after 9-11, we all lined up with our gov't and said go for it. But even less than a year later we had some who started to question things, and as time goes on there will be more people who question things. YOUR personal freedoms are easier to understand and fight for than worrying about how you neighbors school systems function.
What you have pointed out in your post are social problems. The guy who doesn't give a hoot about whether the other school district has problems, whether a woman on welfare has to work and who pays his taxes because they should be paid, is not going to ignore his basic liberties being taken away. When big brother affects enough American's there will be an outcry. Already there are libraries that are refusing to cooperate in telling the FBI what their patrons are taking out. There are hospitals refusing to do smallpox vaccines. Just Tuesday I found out that instead of going forward with voluntary vaccines like we were going to our corporate has said they will not participate. Why? Because the homeland security bill has a clause that will not hold pharmacetical companies liable for problems, so that falls on the hospital. Not to mention there are no clear guidelines as to what happens if someone misses work for illness from it and well as other issues. That is not being sheep, that is making an informed decision not to do what the gov't wants us to do.
I just hate the idea of people running around yelling the sky is falling, when in fact there are many people out there already questioning what the gov't is doing and why. The vast majority of American's did not demonstrate against Vietnam or for civil rights, but enough did so to make an impact, and enough to make other American's think. I have difficulty believing that American's won't eventually question what the hell the gov't is doing in terms of civil liberties in the long run. Oh, and healthcare? It's time will be coming too. If nothing else the coming demographics will demand it. I feel we are only on the cusp of some huge life changing events in this country, but I believe that the American people will be up for the challange.