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Forum Post: part 3: one person's view from his 1% perch

Posted 2 years ago on Nov. 10, 2011, 5:40 p.m. EST by AZDesertRat (7)
This content is user submitted and not an official statement

In part one i described what i see as the symptoms of our problems.

In part two, i identified greed, failed government safeguards and modern propaganda as the causes of our problems.

SOLUTIONS

I could make this hard, or I could make it easy. Let’s do easy – if our problem is short-term attention and willingness to be led around by others, then the solution is to take charge of our lives, and plan from here to death and beyond accordingly. As a country we can debate the size and role of government in those plans, but we will surely continue to fall short of our expectations if we continue to make decisions based on what we get out of it now.

Given we are in a hole that took 3 decades to dig, it is unrealistic to assume that the problems we face can be solved in less than a generation. Yes, as a country we’ve lost a generation to progress we could have otherwise have had. Accept it and start planning based on the reality of our current situation. To wit:

  1. We really do have too much debt, although we’re in pretty good shape compared to the rest of the world. Reducing that debt to manageable levels is important so that we have government funds available for health, education and infrastructure. Fortunately, we can solve much of our debt problem by getting back on a normal growth curve for the country without devastating our social safety nets.

  2. Drive the major party behavior with coalitions with right leaning groups around common issues. If we on the left were to just stop and take a breath, we’d realize that some of the most strident voices on the right are saying very similar things to #OWS. Opposition to wall street and big Pharma might be just the ticket to open eyes to other progressive issues. We need to reach out and make new friends.

  3. We must fix education or all other efforts will fail. To succeed we’re probably going to need to kill sacred cows on both the right and the left. Teachers need to be trained more, paid more and fired more, and in that order. Parents need to be involved more. The community needs to be involved. If we on the left were to offer up our sacred cows on education, I really think there’s a deal here.

  4. Stop asking our leaders for immediate results. This more than anything will change their behavior.: • Invest in a company you’ve researched carefully because you think it’ll be good in 5 or ten years, not because some analyst rates it a buy based on forecasted quarterly earnings. Then believe in your decision and hold your investment. • Buy from the company that hires your neighbor at a fair wage. • Support the politician that will accept elective defeat to achieve legislative victories.

  5. Start an aggressive campaign to break up the real Axis of Evil consisting of Big Pharma, Big Defense and Big Banks. We need as aggressive a trust busting approach as was taken early in the 20th century to break up these bastions of a failed status quo. All three of these industries extract multi hundred-billion dollar monopoly rents while driving political decisions that fly in the face of consumer (voter) interests: • Big Military is the worst of a bad bunch. Our non-war defense spending has doubled since 9/11, so that now the US represents over half the world’s military spending and six times the spending of the next largest country. We could cut this 33% and still be the preeminent world military power. • Big Pharma bankrupts us with its prices, kills us with its side effects and stifles us by limiting competition from alternative solutions. • Big banks have been, well, big banks. We really don’t need them in their current structure and are foolish if we don’t force restructuring to reduce the systemic risk large diversified banks pose to the whole financial system.

I don’t in anyway think this will solve all of our problems, but I thought I’d take a shot at a start

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