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OpEdNews Op Eds    H3'ed 9/27/15

Comprehensive Progressive Agenda & Wishlist Report

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''In a country well governed, poverty is something to be ashamed of. In a country badly governed, wealth is something to be ashamed of.'' - Confucius
''In a country well governed, poverty is something to be ashamed of. In a country badly governed, wealth is something to be ashamed of.'' - Confucius
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prehensive Progressive Agenda & Wishlist Report
"In a country well governed, poverty is something to be ashamed of. In a country badly governed, wealth is something to be ashamed of." -Confucius


In New York City's Financial District, hundreds of activists joined on Lower Manhattan in September 2011, challenging as a feature of the rise of the "Occupy Wall Street" movement, representing an important stage in the political reawakening of the new generation in the US and worldwide. The demonstrations, which later spread throughout the country, were to a great extent rallies against the impact of corporate cash in governmental issues, however members additionally were disturbed in regards to what they see as corporate greed, and, monetary and social disparity.

The Occupy Wall Street of 2011 in Zuccotti Park in New York and the rest of the country, but with its weak points: with its alleged 'spontaneity', and therefore naivety, in confronting corporate capitalism, however, failed to turn public mobilizations into mechanisms in delivering concrete political changes partly because the protesters became spectators of their own protests that led into failing to build a hybrid between a social movement and a political party that does not have leaders, but has spokespeople and an organizational structure that lasts more than few years.

In spite of the fact that the Occupy Wall Street developed in the fall of 2011, it had more profound roots in the amassing protests against the monstrous inequities of wealth and influence generated by neoliberal capitalism. Occurring along side of a worldwide crisis against dictatorships in the Arab Spring and and anti-austerity in the Spanish Summer, through the indignados, the Occupy characterized its motivation as standing up to the 1% that had benefited from 40 years of income and riches disparities helped by the ruling class. Understood in the Occupy's critique of the role of cash in governmental issues was a more profound disquiet with the disappointments of representative democracy and a swing to efforts of making direct popular government, for example, the individuals' assemblies.

The strategies of Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warner are plainly informed by an interpretation of the more radical edge of Occupy politics into populist movement. Their populist message which includes calls for breaking up too-big-to-fail big banks, a free public college tuition in light of trillion dollar student debt, calls for overturning Citizens United, reducing economic inequality, challenging oligarchs on Wall Street and advocating for working class workers and their refusal to take corporate donations are echoes of the Occupy movement demands.

Now together, the candidacies and policies of real progressives like Sen. Bernie Sanders, Sen. Elizabeth Warren, Congresswoman Donna F. Edwards (Maryland), the election of Mayor Bill de Blasio in New York, the election of https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kshama_Sawant">Kshama Sawant as a socialist in Seattle in 2014, the https://www.opendemocracy.net/ourkingdom/anthony-barnett/corbyns-golden-opportunity-0">Jeremy Corbyn phenomenon in UK, and the 72 members of the http://cpc.grijalva.house.gov/caucus-members/">Congressional Progressive Caucus would give the best hope to build long-lasting political structures that establish the foundations of a progressive state

My wishlist then includes: Such state would, inter alia,

Term limits

1. Enact https://www.termlimits.org/">Term limits for all elected politicians. It's unfortunate that this issue divides people more than any other on this list. Should people value more integrity, fresh ideas or expertise and stability? Along with publicly funded campaigns, term limits could help clean up politics of corruption and prevent life-time office holding, such as the cases of Congressman John Dingle, Sen Robert Byrd, Sen Strom Thurmond, Sen Ted Kennedy, Sen Jesse Helms, Jr. and many https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_members_of_the_United_States_Congress_by_longevity_of_service">others.

This issue can cut both ways and that is the reason why it's generally controversial. It could impact institutional memory that builds expertise and stability. This may be undermined by some lobbyists and staff members by gaining so as to profit from it more influence or power from a higher turnover of elected politicians, whether executive or legislators. Lobbyists and numerous staff members are in many regards indistinguishable in that a considerable lot of them are plants serving special interests or, fundamentally, that in numerous congressional and different agencies, the majority of the staff are controlled from outside. The surest thing term limits could do is to prevent life-long careers like those listed above, and additionally some way or another upset staff-lobbyist long-term relations. A substantially more viable solution for all that institutional corruption and infiltration is a public and local campaign financing combined with some term limits.

Citizens United

2.Overturn https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Citizens_United_v._FEC">Citizens United v. FEC that stripped out government rules constraining free political campaign financing by non-profit groups. The decision is in view of a fantasy -- that enormous gifts won't impact or degenerate the candidates and authorities who benefit from them. Under this light, it gave non-profits and unions, now called SuperPacs, the green light to spend limitless amounts on political promotions and other political instruments, promoting or thrashing of individual candidates.

Conservative tycoons, hedge funds and Wall Street titans, are spending incredible measures of dark cash to purchase races. The http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2015/01/26/koch-brothers-network-announces-889-million-budget-for-next-two-years/22363809/">Koch Brothers (David and Charles) alone have arrangements to burn through $889 million on 2016 election cycle. Enormous cash in legislative issues is the most concerning issue we confront as a nation.

Corporations in the U.S. exercise an unreasonable measure of impact over the administration. The measure of corporate cash in decisions makes it for all intents and purposes unthinkable for individuals need to serve the general population's interests to be suitable competitors. Bringing down the voter's maximum gift to $100 guarantees that the rich won't just purchase elections.

For starters, implement the https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DISCLOSE_Act">Disclose Act proposal of 2010 ( H.R. 5175 (S.3628-Senate), bill introduced in the U.S. House by Chris Van Hollen (D-Maryland) and in the U.S. Senate by Charles Schumer (D-New York)). At a minimum, it would have enforced a mandatory disclosure of the sources of campaign spending. Also, progressive candidates for Democratic nomination should pledge to their voters to appoint Supreme Court justices who oppose Citizens United. "If there was one decision I would overrule, it would be Citizens United.I think the notion that we have all the democracy that money can buy strays so far from what our democracy is supposed to be", said Ruth Bader Ginsburg, an associate Justice of the Supreme Court in September 28, 2014.

Empowering developments are mounting because of the defilement of our political system. As such, 70 previous individuals from Congress have met up to frame the bipartisan https://www.issueone.org/get-one-campaign/">ReFormers Caucus press for campaign finance reform. Also, another group, http://www.99rise.org/">99Rise, has pushed for a battle to reveal and dispose of secret cash from Washington's campaign system.

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I am an accounting instructor in Iowa. As a progressive, my mentor was the late Sen Paul Wellstone of Minnesota. I worked for him in all his campaigns since 1992 until his death in a plane crash in 2002. In all regards, he was a constant (more...)

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