America is rotting.
Not through neglect, but through design and timidity. The 1Percenters designed the rot, and the Party that historically represented us 99Percenters encourage it through timidity. This rot has been slow and steady for Forty years, and now, in the last decade, the rot has moved into high octane overdrive.
A steady mix of a juvenile, scandal-obsessed, substance-obtuse media, a political enterprise only too capable and willing to feed said idiot-media falsehoods and jingoism, and an exhausted middle class has driven our politics off the cliff of sanity.
The national discourse over birth certificates, death-panels, government takeovers, debt-ceilings, and underwear is only the latest iteration of a planned distraction of the populace.
What's the antidote?
Let us take the idiotic debt ceiling debate as an example of how boldness could repel the planned distraction of a craven 1Percenter class.
Instead of playing the hostage game that the GOP has laid out, Democrats should turn the tables and up-end not just the terms of the debate but the whole substance of the debate itself. How? What should Democrats be doing and saying?
Not only do we want to raise the debt ceiling, we want to double how high it will go, and we intend to spend every dime of it.
Interest rates have never been lower. It has never been cheaper for the government to acquire investment funds (see what I did there?).
ACQUIRE THE DAMN FUNDS.
Then spend them. Spend them on roads, bridges, schools, hospitals, levys, trains, buses, education grants, renewable energy infrastructure. Our nation is literally rotting, and these projects are desperately needed to prevent physical and economic death. The longer we wait, the more costly it will be. Now is the time to act, to reinvigorate the economy, to prevent infrastructure calamity, and to create the kind of nation that could once again be an example of American innovation and drive.
Raising the debt ceiling is not enough, we must raise taxes, and spend those taxes
Yes. I want Democrats to boldly, loudly, and proudly walk the walk of TAXING AND SPENDING. The last ten years of "slashing and gutting," the Koch brothers GOP alternative policy, has left the nation rotting and in ruins. Democrats need to make the bold argument that taxing the rich, taxing corporations making historic profits, is not only reasonable it's responsible.
If America's finances are to be akin to a household's (they aren't, it's an asinine argument, but the frame is deeply embedded), then tell me what household can buy food, clothes and shelter without earning a salary? Taxes are our national household's salary. And just like we expect the doctor in the family to go out and earn more than the 15 year old kid, we expect the 1Percenters and corporations of our American family to go out and earn more than those hovering at or below the median.
Unions and government employment are the best solution for long term stability
We are not communists. Capital will always be held and controlled by private individuals. As an individual acquires more capital, they will acquire a more disproportionate influence over what is supposed to be an egalitarian political process. To counteract this, individuals must be given the freedom to associate together (nice Constitutional phrase there, huh?), and those associations must be empowered to provide effective balance against 1Percenter power.
We'll not rid ourselves of 1Percenters, but we must constrain their currently outsized influence. Unions are the best economic mechanism to do that. Effective government regulation is a close second. More of that, too please.
Government employment, too, provides an antidote to the cruel whimsy of corporate profit obsession. Democrats should argue that Government jobs not only provide useful services to the nation, they provide employment stability to the citizenry. We have a lot of stuff that needs doing, and government jobs are the mechanism to do them.
We need more government regulation of private capital and enterprise
Have the forces of the private market stopped reckless drilling that destroyed an ecosystem? Have they prevented outbreak after outbreak of e-coli in our food supply? Have they kept our miners alive? Have they kept our water drinkable in fracking regions?
If we want to stop the rot, we must stop the adolescent tendencies of private enterprise that only look to the next quarterly gain with no regard for the next quarter century. That is and has always been the role of government regulation. Democrats should boldly argue that regulation doesn't constrain private enterprise, it sustains it.
1)Raise and spend the debt ceiling
2)Tax the 1Percenters at a fair level
3)Embrace, encourage and empower unions
4)Increase the government's payroll
5)Increase government regulation
If Democrats present a bold counter-vision to the nasty, brutish and shortsighted 1Percenter agenda of the GOP, they will win in a landslide. And we will all win, because we will finally be talking about a plan for the nation that looks to move us all forward instead of a vision that seeks to merely entrench the 1Percenters ad infinitum.
BE BOLD DEMOCRATS Fly in the face of the stagnent opinion pages' water-carrying corporatist world view. Realize, Democrats, that there are a lot more 99Percenters than 1Percenters, Citizens United be damned. Realize, Democrats, that the current debates are not only framed on the GOP's masters' terms, but they have nothing to do substantively with the problems that face us 99Percenters.