It is long overdue for American voters to demand that policy makers in Congress and the President focus on the needs of America. The current economic crisis has sent us a clear message that we have missed the point. We face difficult alternatives, but they need not be painful. They will require changes in our role in the world and our lifestyles here in the US.
Our continued focus on globalization has caught us in a bear trap and the very financial institutions that we have come to depend on have chewed their leg off to try and get out. Some people prefer to be cheery in the midst of disaster, others prefer to develop alternatives, and some jump off the bridge. I prefer a new administration that is willing to start where we are with a sound plan to go where we need to go for a better future.
Low interest rates, lack of oversight, bad credit practices, deficit spending, and corruption at the governmental and corporate levels are all aspects that led to the current economic crisis. Addressing it requires prioritizing new policies that will establish their credibility from the ground up. It also requires a stable economy and a federal Government not steep in debt.
The change in the short-term will be addressed by new private investments in renewable energies. T. Boone Pickens is already in on the debate with his own plan to do this. Others will join. We certainly need to keep dollars here in the U.S. to re-invigorate the economy. We also will benefit by recognizing the continuing impacts of climate change.
For the long-term we need to recognize that the public infrastructure has to be invested in for it to demonstrate significant positive paybacks for the future. Here, I am talking about mass transportation, public education, resource management, railroads, public health care, levees, urban housing, water delivery systems, wastewater treatment, localized energy production, local commodity markets and sustainable communities.
These things will require not just a military drawdown, but also an increase in revenues. We can get it from taxing stock market transactions, as Ralph Nader has proposed. We can get more by increasing capital gains taxes as things stabilize. We can get it through bloc water rates and impact fees. We can create incentives for green investments and move forward to a better and sounder future.
Come gather 'round people
Wherever you roam
And admit that the waters
Around you have grown
And accept it that soon
You'll be drenched to the bone.
If your time to you
Is worth savin'
Then you better start swimmin'
Or you'll sink like a stone
For the times they are a-changin'.