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The liberal institutions dreamed of in the last century by such diverse individuals as President Theodore Roosevelt and Socialist Party Presidential candidate Eugene V. Debs; enunciated by Norman Thomas in the 1932 Socialist Party political platform; inaugurated by Franklin Roosevelt and the New Deal; carried forth by Presidents Harry Truman and John F. Kennedy together with Earl Warren's Supreme Court; capped by Lyndon Johnson's Great Society; are dying; hollowed out shells undermined by the twin evils of corporate greed and reactionary misdirection. As Ariana Huffington pointed out a few years back, we have become a nation of socialism for the rich and powerful, and the worst sort of dog-eat-dog social Darwinism for everyone else. If you need an example, look at the rush to bail out the banks, while nothing is done about the sickening wave of foreclosures around the country.

So, what are we to do?

One of the things we must do is to quit accepting the lie that our best days as a nation are behind us, and we will have to be satisfied with less from this day forward.

I believe that our best days lie ahead of us, if we change the rules from those who came into being beginning with the rise of Ronald Reagan and his minions' "trickle-down" theory of economics; returning once again to the ones who were more favorable to the American people generally, and to its working and middle classes in particular, while adding those additional rules that are required to meet the changing conditions of the last 30 years. These include, but are not limited to:

  • a truly progressive tax system that makes the wealthiest Americans pay the highest taxes, in order to prevent aristocracies of capital; a tax system that rewards those selfsame Americans for their reinvestment of profits in American enterprises that provide jobs for American workers;

  • an economic system that rewards the worker for higher productivity with something more than simply keeping his job;

  • a justice system that punishes those who would exploit the poor and working classes with outrageous interest rates, no matter who they are;

  • a legal system that differentiates between profit and profiteering, and punishes those guilty of the later;

  • a system of fair trade, not free trade, and the awarding of "most favored nation" trading status based on merit, not greed;

  • a system of active checks and balances against the excesses of Wall Street and the giant banking concerns;

  • the repeal of the Taft-Hartley Act so that unions will once again be free to organize without the interference of owners;

  • active enforcement of the Sherman Antitrust Act and all subsequent Federal antitrust laws;

  • A corporate system that takes the long view on profits earned, rather than our current myopic quarterly view;

  • reducing our military commitment abroad from over 700 bases to roughly half that, as part of an overall reduction in defense spending;

  • breaking the CIA into two pieces, the National Intelligence Analysis Agency, working directly under the control of the DNI, and a new CIA whose sole purpose is the gathering of foreign human intelligence (HUMINT), closely watched so that the U.S. is no longer in the business of regime change by assassination;

  • a health-care system that provides adequate health care for every American, including preventive services, so that the 50-million-plus Americans without health insurance no longer have to rely solely on medical care of last resort, the Emergency Room;

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Richard Girard is an increasingly radical representative of the disabled and disenfranchised members of America's downtrodden, who suffers from bipolar disorder (type II or type III, the professionals do not agree). He has put together a team to (more...)

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