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Left v. Right Pt 10

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October Sky, Good Harbor Beach MA
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Asking the 1% to make contributions to the society and governing system which provided them the means to attain their great wealth and success should not automatically be viewed from the tint of ideological frames as punishment, nor is it a blind handout to the lazy. We just need to recognize that conditions (including our own assessments and hopes for the future) have changed dramatically and in many cases have been diminished far beyond our worst fears. That's an unfortunate but understandable consequence of our great progress blended with the complexities of modern society.

Adhering to ideological traditions and/or avoiding any consideration of issues which suggest a greater public role in providing basic sustenance and support for the many not blessed with social and educational opportunities is convenient. It saves time; it avoids any possibility of recognizing the tremendous inequalities baked into our system; and it allows for the few to continue to take advantage of a political and financial system tilted heavily in their favor ... so there is that.

It might be viewed as Right, but is it right by any measure of basic decency and concern for the common good? Is it so wrong to consider as a worthwhile objective the late Sen. Paul Wellstone's observation that "We all do better when we all do better"? Is that really such a "risk" to the few?

When the American middle class defends a tax system in which the lion's share of benefits accrues to the richest, all in the name of job creation, all that happens is that the rich get richer.
And that's what has been happening in the U.S. for the last 30 years".
It is mathematically impossible to invest enough in our economy and our country to sustain the middle class (our customers) without taxing the top 1 percent at reasonable levels again. Shifting the burden from the 99 percent to the 1 percent is the surest and best way to get our consumer- based economy rolling again
Significant tax increases on the about $1.5 trillion in collective income of those of us in the top 1 percent could create hundreds of billions of dollars to invest in our economy, rather than letting it pile up in a few bank accounts like a huge clot in our nation's economic circulatory system.

By all means we should allow the "deserving" to continue on. But unless you are one of the 99% who just happens to believe that all is well as long as the 1% are cared for--regardless of the impact policies and practices have on you and your family--then asking the 1% to shoulder a bit more of the burden in an increasingly complex global society should not be viewed as the destruction of all that makes us exceptional.

What advantages accrue when inevitable conflict ensues from perpetuating a variety of inequalities?

Maximizing all of our best resources and those of every citizen capable and willing to offer a contribution is what will continue to define us as the pre-eminent nation in a world far different than the one of generations past. Denying benefits and opportunities out of callous, unthinking adherence to traditions past should not be the go-to option.

The apparent inclination of extremists on the Right to "take back America" and/or to return to the good 'ol days vividly imagined skips over an important observation: if the nation was to prosper and succeed by acting upon our founding principles, change, compromise, and adaptation would be vital components along the way. What was good for an America in 1790, they understood, was quite likely not so good in 1890, nor do the guiding notions from a century ago serve us now.

And in a world whose inter-connectedness and complexity were no doubt entirely beyond the visions of even the most imaginative among our Founding Fathers, insistence on narrowing our focus and policies in honor of the earliest interpretations of "limited government" is to disrespect the greater principles upon which our nation was formed. As others along the way have noted, we can either be part of the problem, or part of the solution.

If the abstract ideal of "limited government" is ever actually realized, What Happens Then?

Imagine what an engaged citizenry might accomplish if they had more facts and more truths to work with, and then found ways to cooperate rather than condemn....

[Adapted from a blog post of mine.]

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Looking Left and Right: Inspiring Different Ideas, Envisioning Better Tomorrows I remain a firm believer in late U.S. Senator Paul Wellstone's observation that "We all do better when we all do better." That objective might be worth pursuing (more...)

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Left v. Right Pt 9


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