Friday, October 5th, 2018
Tonight, for the first time I can remember, I feel out of place in the country I was born into and the citizenship I’ve loved my whole life. For weeks I’ve watched with sadness as our civil servants have failed us, turning toward bigotry, mean-spiritedness, and mockery as the now-normal tools of the trade.
“How can we expect the next generation to step up and serve, to be interested in public life, and to aspire to get involved when all we show them is how to spar, attack, and destroy each other?
“It’s hard to blame young people for calling us out, and pointing to our conflicts between the values we declare, and those we stand behind only when it’s convenient to partisanship. Many people are rightly calling it a damn mess.
“But I want to encourage you to dig deep for hope and civility right now—to try to make connections with people you disagree with, to be better than our politicians.
“We don’t have to share the same motivations to want the same outcomes. Let’s focus on each other, and strengthening our communities, and reflecting on what’s happening. “Let’s live in justice and respect and let others fight it out now to the bitter ends.
This is our country too. Every woman, man, and child in it, our American future.
“We’ve got work to do.”
Sometime in the last month or two, Kevin Costner was on the View when I was riding my stationary bike to nowhere. He comment that he no longer recognized this country. This morning I caught reference to a statement that Robert Redford published (see above): https://www.sundance.org/blogs/news/robert-redford-a-brief-statement-about-big-things It would seem that Mr. Redford has said it most succinctly and non-threateningly in 226 words! The only question is how do we begin to start with the current three ring circus that passes for the three central branches of government today? History shows that the big name bank robbers and mafia chiefs of the 1930s were heroes to a segment of the population too? How do we get through to today’s worshipers of false heroes?
There is a sense in which a segment of the population view tax supported programs to give the poor a leg up as taking money from them through taxes and giving it to the poor. Unfortunately, they do not similarly view the tax loopholes, subsidies and outright payments to big money interests as giving the rich money. An analysis of the amounts transferred to the poor would pale in comparison to the amounts transferred to the rich. But the segment of the population that feels their money has been taken and given to the poor does not seem to see the vastly greater amounts their tax dollars have gone to programs to aid the rich. Then too that same segment of the population feels they have been discriminated against with Affirmative Action and Equality Opportunity programs designed to bring minority members of our communities into the mainstream with “equal treatment.” A segment of our white middle class and working class population saw Affirmative Action and Equal Opportunity was opportunity and action for minorities only.
Rather than try to debunk these perceptions. Le me take a completely different track. Aside from individuals biased against minorities, a big reason minorities, or any one needs a leg up in our economic system is lack of money to get the education, skills, experience or the like to get ahead. Lack of money is the reason families can not provide the secure home for raising children ang moving them into productive adulthood. So, rather than taxing people to get money to give to those who need money, we can merely change the way we create new money by giving new money to all citizens in equal amounts. (See earlier posts in this bog or check out the book form on Kindle for 99 cents below for more than you ever wanted to know about new money and how to democratize it.) Then, the segment that is truculently being taxed to provide benefits to others, will not be taxed to do that any longer.
I estimate that we can give every adult citizen $20,000 a year without creating inflation (there are some hoops the Fed will have to jump through, but it can be done). Then the only argument against this, aside from the very rich who will not longer get all the newly created money as they currently do, will be from those who do not want others to get what they are getting.
I have to find a way to get the word out.
“We’ve got work to do.”