Liberal Democrat

Liberal Democrat
Individual Freedom For Everyone

Thursday, September 20, 2012

The Nation: Laura Flanders Interviews Pam Brown on Occupy Student Debt: How Progressives Should Move Forward with an Economic Agenda

There's not a lot I respect about Occupy Wall Street currently, they started off as a legitimate movement of Socialists seeking Progressive Change. That was going to take on Wall Street because of the bailouts that they got in 2008-09 after their bad behavior that led to the "Great Recession". While the rest of the country got austerity for their hard work as Progressives see it and early on they were pushing issues as what I would call their Alternative Agenda to what we see from. The Tea Party today that was about Universal Higher Education and forgive the debt of students and homeowners who were drowning in debt, to today they look like a bunch of Anarchists who. Send their a lot of their members to jail when they get together and people like that don't tend to get taken seriously by Americans as a whole and tend to get written off as troublemakers. But going forward if OWS wants to be taken seriously as a Progressive movement, they are going to have to find a way to communicate to people who aren't as far to the left of them politically. And I'm not talking about running to the middle or even left of center but an agenda that represents their agenda. That they can show the rest of the country that they can get behind it, because it makes sense and is not crazy.

Ever since really the mid and late 1960s, American Progressives, whether they view themselves as Progressive or Democratic Socialist. Have been struggling to build on the New Deal and Great Society and even though we've had three Democratic Presidents since LBJ, including President Obama. They haven't had a President which is really what you need to pass an agenda like this, just like you need a Conservative as President to pass a Conservative Agenda. Progressives haven't had that one President whose behind what they want to do, who believes in Economic Progressivism. Who has a philosophy thats built around what can government do for the people, instead the Democrats who are Liberals who believe in Private Enterprise, Fiscal Responsibility. That there's a limit to the positive good that government can do for its people. And Progressives have had a hard time staying relevant in this period as well.

Progressives have been pushing Single Payer Medicare For All, Government Health Insurance for the whole country. But haven't had any success at the Federal Level with limited success at the State Level, not a lot of Americans crazy about losing the Health Insurance they already have and like. To be forced to take Medicare as a replacement, Vermont and California might go the other way though. But Higher Education, something that most of the country can't afford on their own, you are talking about paying off a small house in the country or a condo in four years. Which is what it costs to pay for Higher Education but roughly 85% of the country has Health Insurance and are able to pay for it in someway. But Higher Education is an issue that effects the whole country and anybody who has kids or is thinking about having kids this is an issue they have to deal with.

What I believe Progressives should be doing going forward, is to offer an Economic Agenda that a lot of the country can get behind. Because it makes sense and doesn't sound crazy, it doesn't sound like some government takeover or something but instead designed to empower people. To solve their own problems, these are some of the issue that Jill Stein the Green Party Presidential Nominee. Has been pushing, things like a Living Wage that empowers workers without hurting employers. Expanding Job Training for Unemployed Workers, empowering them to go back to school, eliminating Tax Incentives that send jobs oversees and encouraging companies to keep jobs at home. And yes Universal Higher Education a system that funds college for everyone that can't afford it on their own. Where all qualified students in America could go to college, whether they can afford it on their own or not and not be drowning in debt before or after they finish college.

This is how Progressives could have more clout in America, I'm not saying they should abandoned their agenda. Thats more Socialist and speaks to a much smaller faction of the country but a Living Wage, Universal Higher Education, Student and Homeowner Debt Forgiveness, Job Training, Infrastructure Investment. Is an agenda that would reach a much larger percentage of the country and make Progressives real players in American Politics again.
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