February 11, 2014

The American Pessimist

"No, a big factor here is a loss in self-confidence. It takes faith to move. You are putting yourself through temporary expense and hardship because you have faith that over the long run you will slingshot forward. Many highly educated people, who are still moving in high numbers, have that long-term faith. Less-educated people often do not." The American Precariat, New York Times, February 10, 2013
It is not an accident that this pessimism has occurred as inequality has grown. As wealth and power becomes concentrated and nothing is done it is not surprising the 99% become disenchanted.
How do you remain optimistic when you see the 1% continue to accumulate a disproportionate amount of power and wealth? How do you remain optimistic when you watch your elected officials view their job as an advocation, where they gain power and wealth, instead of viewing it as an advocation where they do societal good. The country needs a root canal to get at the problem and here is what must be done. Obama needs to make Teddy Roosevelt, the President who took on oil and railroad cartels at the beginning of the 20th century, one of his role models. Today our industries are not free. They are controlled by oligopolies, monopolies and huge multinational companies. These same companies and their leaders control our government through huge campaign contributions which are really legalized bribes. Obama not only did nothing about these bribes, he took part in them. The President still has the opportunity to be labeled great but he must do five things and he is running out of time.

1. Reverse Citizens United with an amendment to the constitution.
2. Allow a President to only be in office for one six year term.
3. Prohibit a department head in the federal government from working for anyone in the industry which he/she is regulating for seven years after leaving government.
4. Create a tax payer based method to finance election campaigns.
5. Prohibit politicians from spending any tax-payer funded campaign dollars prior to six moths before the upcoming election. This is like giving them a paid leave of absence to find another job.  (We are not only spending too much money on campaigns, we are granting too much time to our elected officials on their re-election efforts.)

    Our democracy is in the balance.

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