Liberal Democrat

Liberal Democrat
Individual Freedom For Everyone

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Roosevelt Institute: Economy: Mike Konczal: How Would a Socialist Wall Street Work?: Why State Ownership Doesn't Work

Mike Konczal: How Would a Socialist Wall Street Work?

I feel the need to start this blog through imagination again as I did last night. But imagine an economy an economic system where the people wouldn't have to get educated, work hard, be productive. And spend and save well because the Federal Government every year would give you a check automatically. Or do it every week providing you with the money that they think you need in order to be able to pay your. Bills, well if you think we already have too many lazy nonproductive people in this country. Nationalize the economy because as the saying goes, you aint seen nothing yet. The way good economies are good and productive, is because they are productive because they have well managed companies. And governments and private non profits with a productive workforce, where the message is you need to be. Educated, work hard and be productive in life or you are not going to be successful. But if you have government running everything and collecting all the resources from the economy to distribute them in. What they see as an equable way, you eliminate all of the incentive to be productive and successful in life because the Federal Government is going to write you a check to pay your bills anyway.

If you want a more equable economic system in this country where wealth of the top of the ladder. Isn't so much greater then the bottom of the ladder. Then you need an economic system that encourages production and success over dependency and an education system that produces a better trained. Workforce and where government tells the people that yes we are a compassionate country and we are not going to force. Anyone to starve or be homeless or go without clothing or go without healthcare and be able to meet their basic needs. But that there isn't much money to be made in not being able take care of yourself. That we all as a country have to do everything that you can to make it on our own in life. And when you slip and fall, we'll help you back up so you can stand on your own feet but you are not going to make it rich. Or even make a middle class salary by collecting public assistance that you have to be able to do for yourself what you can.

As I said before its not that we have too many successful and wealthy people in this country. But that we don't have enough and imagine if we did have an education system that produced fifty percent. More well educated workers in this country, we could cut the poverty rate in half. Raise the standards of living across the board and even cut the debt and deficit. But you don't do that by encouraging people not to be successful in life but by doing the opposite.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

RT: Video: American Prisons Exploding With Inmates: How This Has Happened



Its fairly simple why we have as large of a prison population as we do based on our own population and compared with the rest of the developed world. The biggest reason has to do with the War on Drugs, where again we treat drug addicts and users as criminals. Instead as patients or addicts or just dealing with narcotics in this country through regulation and taxation. But the War on Drugs is just part of it even though around 25% depending on where you look of our. Inmates are in prison for drug related offenses. The other issues have to do with the fact we treat all felonies and felons the same way. We send these offenders to prison for committing a felony when in a lot of cases we would be better off across the board. Sending non violent offenders to county jail or on supervise probation, that would involve doing their time. At a halfway house, working, paying the house rent and cost of living and doing community service. And even being back in school if necessary where they can get better skills and not have to create crimes in order to support themselves.

And another reason why we have so many people in the criminal justice system in America roughly two million people. Is that most of our inmates get released from prison, which is a good thing but they are released. Without the skills that they need to stay out of prison and be able to support themselves legally by working and producing. Not by committing crimes and profiting from that and if anything end up becoming better criminals while in prison. Because they spend most of their time not rehabilitating or simply building themselves up. A lot of times people who become criminals were never ready from the start to become productive people. And what they do in prison instead of positioning themselves to become productive people once they are. Released from prison is becoming better criminals and the only work or education they get while in prison. Besides learning how to be better criminals, is getting their GED or learning how to read or write. Mopping floors, doing laundry that sorta thing.

We could do a lot to bring down our prison population by simply ending the War on Drugs and regulating and taxing narcotics in America. As well as stop sending non violent offenders who don't represent a major threat to the economy. To prison but we also need to develop a pathway for productive citizenship for the offenders that we need to have in prison. And that gets to things like mandatory work and education, high school and college for the inmates. That can succeed in general population and put these people to work in prison which would also bring. Down the costs of our prison systems in this country.

TruthDig: Economy: Jeff Madrick: The Anti-Economist: "Misleading American History": What Makes American Capitalism Works

The Anti-Economist: Misleading American History - Truthdig

Imagine how successful an adult would be in life if they were low or Unskilled. Were not an athlete or an entertainer, didn't have a trust fund they could live off of or parents who could afford to take care of them. Didn't finish high or barely finished high school.

Imagine a country where we couldn't get around. Or could barely get around, unless we owned a boat or a helicopter or jet, imagine that in a country thats. Three thousand miles wide and about three thousand miles along which is what the East Coast of the United States is. An imagine and economy where the tax system would punish people for being successful and independent. Encourage people to be dependent and also encourages employers to be unsuccessful and send jobs oversees. And rewards companies for when they fail for being irresponsible. Now imagine and economy where we encourage foreign countries and companies to give us their energy and we pay them to. And we punish American companies when they produce energy in this country. Now the last one I promise, imagine an economy were students are forced to go to school based on where they live. Rather then what's the best school for them and where educators are paid based on how long they've been. Teaching instead of how good of a job they do teaching and schools are funded based on where they are located instead of what they need.

The economy I just imagined there is actually real and its located in the United States. Except for the infrastructure system, where by in large Americans are able to get around. But we behind our competitors including merging superpowers like China and Brazil. But the rest is completely true, you could have the best and most effective and generous public assistance system in the World. Without an infrastructure or education or energy system or tax system that promotes economic and jobs growth. As well as success, you are going to be a poor country if not third world country. Because you are not going to be able to create the jobs needed and even if you did, you won't have enough skilled workers to do. Those jobs, something that I'm afraid Progressive/Social Democrats who put so much faith in the state and centralize planning. Don't understand that there's a limit government can do for its people with our money. That the rest has to be done by the people with the resources to make it happen for us.

The economy I want for America is the opposite that I laid out in the second paragraph. A true Liberal economic system based on education, work, independence, infrastructure, energy. And a tax system that promotes all of those things and thats simply not what we have in this country. Which is why we are losing ground to the emerging economic powers when we simply don't have to. Because we are Americans surrounded by resources to do much better.

Joe Jetson: Ted Kennedy and The Chappaquiddick Tragedy- 7/18/1969

This piece was originally posted at FRS Daily Journal: Joe Jetson: Ted Kennedy and The Chappaquiddick Tragedy- 7/18/1969

Despite this horrible tragedy, Ted Kennedy made a very successful and productive life for himself afterwords. Ted Kennedy, was basically still a frat boy in 1969 even at 37. He was married and already had kids, but wasn’t very serious about his marriage and liked other women. He was still dealing with the assassination of his brother Bobby and perhaps Jack as well. He simply wasn’t ready for the national spotlight and people to be looking at him as the future leader of the country. Because he was still trying to grow up, something that he didn’t really accomplish at all until the mid or late 1990s when he was already in his sixties with grandchildren. Up till then he was still trying to balance his personal life which could be chaotic and his professional life as a U.S. Senator.

If you watched the 2009 HBO documentary about Ted Kennedy which really was Senator Kennedy in his own words I really think you see how responsible and hurt he was from his own childish and immature actions that cost the life of a young women Mary Joe Kopechne. First of all, he’s driving this women home instead of his wife from this party. Which I believe is a big clue there. And driving her home when he’s had too much to drink. Ted, was still dealing with alcoholism in his early sixties. He drives the car into a lake and the first thing that comes to his mind is his personal survival. And the second thing his is professional survival. Not the women who was in the car with him. That came after it looked like he might be held personally responsible for her life.

Of the three Kennedy brothers that served in Congress and had successful careers in politics, Ted Kennedy had the best and longest career. Even though he was never president. But compare his Congressional record with his brothers and most people who have ever served in Congress in either the Senate or House and Senator Kennedy is in the first class, whatever you think of his politics. And all of this despite his lack of maturity and personal responsibility. He was never built to be President of the United States. By the time he was personally ready for that and to even make a strong run at that, he was in his early sixties. And Bill Clinton was already president and the Democratic Party was moving away from Senator Kennedy’s more social democratic politics. But Senator Kennedy, once he finally grew up became a great man and a great senator.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

ForaTV: Video: Debate: Are The Rich Taxed Enough in The United States?: Depends on How You Ask: What a Fair Tax Policy Looks Like



There's a legitimate argument from the right that there should be a limit to what government from all levels should tax the rich and people in general. So people not only have the money to meet their basic needs and pay their bills but also so they can enjoy life. Both things that are necessary to have strong economic and job growth and that we have to keep taxes down also. To encourage people to work hard and be productive and the right especially supply siders. Generally cut that rate off at around 33% or 1/3 of peoples income and thats a fair point but I don't. Agree with all of that and then Progressives further left of me argue that government not only needs. To be big enough to meet the basic needs of society and perform the services that they don't trust. The private sector to provide and that government also needs enough revenue to insure that some. People don't make a lot more money and others even if they worked hard and earned it. And if you get an honest answer from Progressives and I'm not suggesting they are dishonest but their ideal. Tax system would be to scrap most of the current tax loopholes in the Federal tax code and raise taxes on everyone. Going back to the Eisenhower tax rates ranging from 25-90%.

Of course you ask classical Libertarians what they believe is the ideal tax system. They would say of course not to have a tax system at all and that most of the things that government. Does is Unconstitutional anyway and I can pretty much leave that argument there. Now if you are going to ask me as a Liberal who does believe in the importance of economic freedom and. Fiscal responsibility, otherwise I wouldn't be much of a Liberal because nobody would trust me with. Their money, is that we want a tax system that promotes economic and job growth, another words people working hard and being productive. And taxes us based on what we consume from society, not what we take out of society and if you are a. Conservative, Liberal, Progressive or even Libertarian, you should prefer this tax system at least over the current tax system. Or at least it has aspects in it that you like. Because it gives Americans the ability to decide for themselves what they should pay in taxes, because it taxes them based on what they consume and. Not what they produce.

Why should Progressives like my tax system, because the rich would end up paying more then they do today. The middle class would end up paying less, so maybe they wouldn't like that and consider those people selfish. Even though they are trying to take more money from people working hard just to pay their bills. And this system would also eliminate most of the junk, the waste in the tax code, corporate welfare. Or being able to deduct state and local sales taxes from your income taxes. My tax code is very simple and productive because everyone would pay it as soon as they buy something. And at the end of the year we could still have tax deductions for things like charitable giving but the junk in the code would finally be. Thrown out into the garbage where it belongs and no longer would people have to pay income taxes. For making, creating jobs and so fourth because the income tax would be gone.

This is not an ideological argument because the fact is we need people in America to be productive and to work hard. Or at least be very productive, whether they are tired when they go home every night I guess is a different story. And because of this we need to stop penalizing people for being successful in America. And instead charge them when they consume something in this country instead.

Monday, January 28, 2013

RT: Video: The Big Picture: Why Does the Pro-Life Movement Align With The Pro-Death Penalty Movement



I've asked this question and have thought about it myself, why do people who claim to be pro-life are also pro-death penalty. The contradiction there seems to be obvious but the flip side to that for people to the left of me lets say. Other Leftists who are left of me who are pro-choice when it comes to abortion but also against the death penalty. Believe that women have the right to terminate fetus's but have a big problem with killing serial murderers to us as an example. And not all people who claim to be pro-life have this contradiction, Catholics come to mind as. People who are pro-life when it comes to abortion, death penalty as well as when it comes to war. And there are people who are pro-choice when it comes to abortion but support the death penalty. When it comes to certain types of murderers, serial murderers to us as an example and people who. Represent a threat to murder again but a lot of people on both the right left aren't as consistent. Which is why these labels at times are almost pointless and the debate should really be about are you pro or against the death penalty and explain your position. Same thing when it comes to reproductive rights, do you believe in them or not.

Seems to me that anyone whose pro-life and wants to have that label, should be pro-life and not just call them self that. That government has no business in taking the lives of people who aren't in an immediate threat to kill or harm someone. And that government should not sanction these activities as well even as they relate to abortion. And that we care about the lives of everyone from the time that they are a fetus to when they've been born and about their quality of life. After they've been born and how well they live and then you would truly be a person whose pro-life . Otherwise your pro-life position only relates to abortion.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

The Real News: Video: Economy: "Breaking Up The Big Banks is Not a Solution"



Once again there's a problem with the banking system, what is the Socialist solution. Not break up big banks but nationalize them, take the power from the corporations and give it to the. Government and the people are still left without the power because now instead of being under corporations, we are under government. State ownership Socialism as an economic policy does not work and you may be able to point to a few own state owned corporations that are run well. Or state run public services and that sort of thing but nationalizing and entire industry or all. Industries does not work and there's a hundred years of experience to show this and countries that have. Broken up because their state owned economies collapse. What we need to do instead is have more competition but real competition, now a few companies that control most of the power. And money but lots of smaller companies including community banks all competing with each other to. Deliver the best service for the people.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

The Young Turks: Video: NYC Soda Ban: Kills Minority Businesses?: Why The Soda Ban is Anti-Freedom and Small Business



If you are going to ban soda and pop in general because its bad for people, then we should do this across the board. Because we as a society have decided that we don't want to live in a perfectly safe world without risk involved. That we live in a Liberal Democracy that comes with a lot of personal freedom including the freedom. To drink soda and eat junk food but also smoke tobacco or get drunk because we as a country have a large market. If not the biggest market in the World as far as size and the number of people who can afford these products. Is soda bad for you, of course it is but you can go down the line and single out products that are not only bad for people. But in some cases even worse and singling out just one and letting all the other business's off. The hook that produce unhealthy products is not only anti freedom because you are again preventing people from being. Able to make this choice for them self as far as what they put into their body but its also anti competition. Because you are leaving other business's and industries that produce unhealthy products off the hook.

We do have healthcare problems in this country and a lot of them have to do with the fact that we don't take care of ourselves very well as a country. And we pass down a lot of our healthcare costs to other people because we can't afford our own healthcare bills. So others end up being left with the tab we created and this problem has to be addressed. But prohibition and limiting freedom of choice in this country is not the way we do it. What we should be doing instead is having the people who choose to live unhealthy be forced to cover their own healthcare costs. Up front though things like taxation, having a tax for junk food and drink but also cover. Alcohol and tobacco as well and these people pay the price financially for living unhealthy. And giving that money to hospitals and doctors who get stuck providing uncompensated care.

Jack Hammond: Students For a Democratic Society- To Change The World


Source: Jack Hammond- The 1960s New-Left-
Source: This piece was originally posted at FRS Daily Journal

I actually believe as a current affairs blogger that todays Occupy Wall Street movement was born in the 1960s as part of what was called the New-Left. Because if you look at where Students For a Democratic Society were for back then and what they are trying to accomplish then and today, the end of war and that basically means all war, this movement is exactly what a person whose called a dove looks like and is. A dove is someone who tends to take a soft approach when it comes to areas like national security and foreign policy. Law enforcement, areas where government sometimes involves itself in the personal lives of individuals.

Doves were around pre-1965, but they really came alive in the 1960s with the Baby Boom Generation. And some of their kids today that is part of the New-Left who actually grew up, are part of the Occupy Wall Street movement today that’s again anti-war period. But also believes in things that Social Democrats call social justice. Creating an economic system that of course is government based that would work to see that there’s economic equality throughout the country. That no one has too much and no one has too little.

Pre-1965 or so even Progressives in the Democratic Party were cold warriors. People who were anti-communism and authoritarianism across the board. But progressive to socialist on economic policy. President’s Franklin Roosevelt, Harry Truman and Lyndon Johnson all come to mind. And there were the so-called doves in the party that became the New-Left. The Henry Wallace’s of the world, but they weren’t as vocal and didn’t have the numbers that the Liberals, Social Democrats and Conservatives even back then.

The Democratic Party did have a right-wing, but this all started to change in 1965-66 and so did the Democratic Party. The New-Left emerges and became what I and others call the Far-Left of the Democratic Party. People who are more socialist on economic policy, but non-interventionist across the board when it comes to national security, foreign policy and law enforcement. “That force and violence are never an answer and can never be a replacement for reason and understanding.”

Today thanks to the New-Left the Democratic Party is still a very diverse political party. And one of the reasons why we are the largest political party in America if not the world. Because we represent so much of the country, but we are a mixture of Liberal Democrats such as myself, Social Democrats, people who tend to be called Progressives, socialist on economic policy, but again dovish or soft in areas like national security and law enforcement to use as examples. And then we have Centrist Democrats, or people who are Moderate Liberals and that all happened as the New-Left emerged in the 1960s. That makes up what we see from Occupy Wall Street today.
Jack Hammond: Vietnam War- Students For a Democratic Society


Friday, January 25, 2013

Roosevelt Institute: The Next New Deal: Jeffrey Madrick: Barack Obama's Other Message: Times Change and Government Changes With Them: The Case For Limited Government

Obama's Other Message: Times Change and Government Changes With Them

I think that Progressive/Social-Democrats in the Democratic Party has miss interpreted President Obama's inaugural address in this sense. That when the President spoke of the importance of Social Security, Medicare and so fourth and that America needed collective action. That he was making the case for Big Government, not only defending the status quo but making the case that the Federal Government. Should be doing even more when really what his speech was, was about protecting individual freedom. That Americans have the right to live their own lives and the people who don't have this freedom. Because they lack the skills to do so, deserve that same freedom through opportunity and empowerment. Not that we need some superstate there to take care of people especially the people who can't fend for themselves. What the President was arguing for was for Americans to have the freedom to be able to take care of. Themselves, the right to self determination, the right to chart their own course but where he separates from Ronald Reagan. Is that he believes that governments role is to do the things for the people that we as individuals can't do for ourselves. Thats what limited government is about, its not small or big but limited which is how you get to good government which should be the goal of everyone.

If you listen to or read President Obama's 2013 inaugural address and I suggest you should if you are actually interested in where he is on the political spectrum. Unfortunately a lot of Americans aren't aware of that which is how labels like Socialist get thrown around by the right. And Progressives even call Barack Obama a Conservative or Moderate-Republican, I've heard Neoconservative thrown at the. President but if you are truly interested in where Barack Obama is politically and aren't sure where he is. You'll see a man a president who believes that government needs to be there to provide the services that we as. Individuals can't do for ourselves or can't do as well, things like a good public education system. So that as many Americans as possible can have access to a good education in life, a good infrastructure. System so that business's can get their products to market in a safe and timely manner but also because of the. Boost to the construction industry and good jobs that come with it and other things.

The President believes in a strong but limited national and homeland security that can not only defend America but help out around the World. Where we can make a positive difference for people who fighting for their freedom to use as an example. And creating an environment where as many people as possible would have the freedom to live their own lives. What I call an opportunity society where as many Americans as possible would have the opportunity to be successful in life. I believe thats just one area that separates him from the Progressive-Social-Democratic left in the Democratic Party. That would like to see some type of a new New Deal there to take care of everybody. Which is what the Progressive Caucus seems to offer as their budget plan every year in Congress. But thats not where Barack Obama is, what he believes in is the opportunity society where we would all have the opportunity. To have the freedom to take care of ourselves and this comes from access to a quality education and job training.

So if you want to call Barack Obama a Liberal-Democrat, go right ahead and I'm sure at least in private he would take that as a complement. Even though in public he might say something to effect that its time for America to move past political labels. And concentrate on American values that we can all get behind and so fourth, I'm paraphrasing. But all I ask is when you call someone a Liberal, actually know what you are talking about instead of trying to insult them. Barack Obama is a traditional Liberal in the New-Democratic sense from the Jack Kennedy/Bill Clinton wing of the Democratic Party. Which are the real Liberals in the party and not some type of Social-Democrat who believes the job of government. Is to take care of everybody and provide us with security across the board even from ourselves.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

The Thom Hartmann Show: Video: Senate Leader "Harry Reid Caves on The Filibuster": What Progressives Don't Understand About Congress



I need to start this post by clearing up a myth, the US Constitution gives Congress both the House and Senate the ability to right their own rules. That alone makes the Senate filibuster Constitutional, so this idea that the filibuster is not in the US Constitution. Is Unconstitutional is bogus and I could be harsher then that because people who make the claim. Progressives generally know better or they should no better and if they don't know better. Then they aren't as intelligent as I thought and again you make the its not in the Constitution. Argument, remember what else is not in the US Constitution, the Department of Health and Human Services. Department of Education, Medicare, Social Security, go down the line, doesn't mean they are Unconstitutional. The Constitution doesn't prohibit the Federal Government which Congress is clearly part of from doing things. Just because those things aren't in the Constitution and if Progressives want to be taken more seriously by the Democratic leadership. On issues like this, then they not only need to know the facts but stop saying things that aren't true.

Now I want to imagine a World where someone like a Rick Santorum or someone with that mindset is President of the United States. Republicans now control thirty Governorships, lets say they pick up five in 2014 and now control all of the Governorships in the swing states. And start passing rules that make it difficult for traditional Democrats to vote. They start passing new "Voter ID" law which are really Voter Prevention laws and the Supreme Court decides not to. Hear them until after the 2016 Presidential election so more then half of the people voting for President. In America are Republican or Independent, thats how someone like a Rick Santorum could get elected. President of the United States, it will probably never happen but these are things that people who say abolish the filibuster should think about. Now you got a President Santorum with a Republican Congress that has a House with 240+ Republicans and Senate with. Lets say fifty five Republicans, of course Mitch McConnell now that the filibuster is gone and he's the new Leader will say. The hell with the Democrats we are in charge now and we can do whatever the hell we want to do.

The big thing that Progressives don't understand about responsibility and actions as well as Congress. Is that Congress operates under precedent, especially the Senate the House is a hell of a lot more partisan. The majority party there can basically do whatever they want but the Senate operates under precedent. When the majority does something bad to the minority, like shut them out from committee meetings to use as an example. Which is how the Senate operated when Bill Frist was Leader from 2003-07, once the minority party comes back to the majority. They tend to hit them back and generally hit them harder like preventing the minority from offering amendments. The filibuster has been abused and I believe it should go but not because its Unconstitutional because it clearly is. But because it ends up giving more power to the minority which sometimes is a coalition of Democrats and Republicans. When there's Bi Partisan opposition to legislation which happens from time to time, just ask President Bush. When it came to the Iraq War and gives power over a minority over the Leader and Minority Leader. But minority rights needs to stay but reforming them has to be done.

Like I blogged a couple of weeks ago I would eliminate the filibuster and replace it with a motion to table. That could only come after debates on legislation are over right before final passage, that only the Minority Leader could make. I would go a lot further as I blogged a couple of weeks ago that you can read in the Congress section of this blog. But not remove minority rights because its a check on abusive power whether it comes from. Republicans or Democrats which is something we have to have in a Liberal Democracy.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

People for Polity: Article Review 1

People for Polity: Article Review 1

Another example of why the War on Drugs in America is stupid

Salon: Liberal Democracy: Michael Lind: Liberalism’s Unfinished Agenda: Creating an Opportunity Society For All Americans

Liberalism’s unfinished agenda

I already touched based on what I mean by an opportunity society last night but thats the unfinished business of American Liberalism. And American Democracy, not turning America into Europe but building off of what works in America. And expanding to all Americans by giving them the opportunity to live in the same freedom as other Americans. Who have the freedom to live their own lives and not dependent on public assistance to be able to do that. President Obama touched on this a little bit on Monday and has made progress on it with the Affordable Car Act. So now Americans will no longer be denied health insurance and healthcare because they can't afford it. Or no longer be kicked off of health insurance because they actually need it or need expensive healthcare. But we need to go further and get into areas like having a retirement system where all Americans have access to a quality retirement. And be able to manage their own retirement assets to be able to do this. And we need serious education reform thats based on what's the best schools for the students, rather then where they live. Compensating teachers based on how well they teach instead of how long they've been teaching. And financing schools based what they need on not where they are located. These are some of the ways we create an opportunity society.

We don't have an opportunity society in America right now, at least for not enough Americans. We have roughly 8% unemployment in an economy moving at 2% and a poverty level of roughly 20%. Which is pretty close to where we were in 1965 when the so call War on Poverty was created. We simply have too many people not working and we have too many people living in poverty for our economy. To be fully functioning and to make it worst we have a public education system not producing enough. Qualified workers for the future and we have a higher education system that either unaffordable for most of the. Country or for students to able to go to college if they don't come from wealthy families or aren't athletes. Getting stuck with a mountain of student debt right after they graduate from college without access to a good job. So they can start to pay down some of that debt so they get hammered twice just for graduating from college.

The unfinished business of American Liberalism is to create an opportunity society thats built around. Infrastructure investment, a national energy policy that moves us towards energy independence. By utilizing our own menu of natural resources and an education system that prepares all students. Whether they come for wealthy families or low income families or in between for the good jobs of tomorrow. Matched by a higher education system that universal for all students that are qualified for higher education. Rather then again based on parents income level or how athletic they are. And a social insurance system thats designed to actually move people out of poverty instead of just being designed to. Subsidize people while they continue to live in poverty and hopefully this is what President Obama will be pushing for in his next four years and go bold. So he accomplishes as much of it as possible, rather then settling for leftovers.

This is what American Liberalism is about and this is what the Democratic Party should be about and as President Clinton said back in 1993 inaugural address. "There's nothing wrong with America that can't be fixed with what's right with America". Its not the American system of freedom of opportunity thats the problem but that not enough Americans have access to this system. And we fix that by again what President Clinton called an opportunity society and creating that for all Americans.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

RT: Video: The Big Picture: Debate: Society vs. The Reagan Revolution: How New-Democrats Countered The Reagan Revolution



I agree with John Nichols a columnist with The Nation magazine that Barack Obama is not a Progressive and certainly not a Socialist. As much as Progressive radio talk show Thom Hartmann might want him to be, which is fine with me as a Liberal-Democrat. Whose part of the Bill Clinton New-Democratic coalition in the Democratic Party but what the President did yesterday. Was to make a case for economic Liberalism and no not a new New Deal or Great Society and to build off of those. Agendas and to me thats not economic Liberalism but economic Progressivism or Democratic Socialism but thats really a different debate. The economic Liberalism that President Obama came out for which he's always supported since becoming President. And probably before that, is this notion of an opportunity society and I would love to see the President. Role out and agenda to create this opportunity society, Progressives had their New Deal and Great Society. Conservatives had their Reagan-Revolution and both Progressives and Conservatives got their agendas through Congress. I love for President Obama to propose what would be called the opportunity society, that would be. An agenda of policies and reforms not new programs that would be designed to create this new opportunity society for America.

Again Progressives had the New Deal from the 1930s, President Truman proposed what he called the Fair Deal. Which he didn't get through Congress unlike the FDR New Deal, Progressives also had the Great Society that LBJ got through Congress as well. Conservatives had President Nixon's Federalism that would've given states and locals more authority to run the safety net. And then of course they got the Reagan-Revolution that produced the 1981 Economic Recovery Act along with cuts. In regulations and new trade and so fourth. Now its time for Liberal-Democrats to have their own. Agenda whether the President can get it through a divided Congress with a Republican House or not. Its time for the President to at least fight for it and to a certain extent he did that last year with. The American Jobs Act that he really hasn't had much luck getting through Congress yet. The American Recovery Act in 2009 was part of this new Liberal vision when it comes to economics. What can government do so as many Americans as possible have the freedom to live their own lives. And not be dependent on government for their economic survival.

As I blogged last week, Liberalism is about protecting freedom for individuals who already have it and still deserve it. And expanding freedom for those who don't have it but need it and deserve it. Thats what an opportunity society is about, thats what economic Liberalism is about creating an economy. Where all Americans have an opportunity to have the freedom in life to be able to take care of themselves. And I could give you a whole list of policies and reforms, not programs to bring this about. But that would take several different blogs or a book even to do that. But its based around taxes being low enough across the board to encourage people to be productive and independent. Smart regulation not strong or weak but a regulation system that protects workers and employers. As well as the environment and consumers but does it in a way thats consistent with creating economic and job growth. Reforming our social insurance system so its designed to empower anyone on it to be able to work themselves off of it. And become independent thats based around good education, job training and job placement.

An opportunity society would also include a modern public infrastructure system something like a National Infrastructure Bank. That would be run separately from the Federal Government and if anything each state would have their own infrastructure bank. That would work with the NIB, as well as a national energy policy thats built around creating a menu of American natural. Resources designed to move the United State towards energy independence. Barack Obama has always been a Liberal on foreign policy and civil rights, I wish he was more Liberal on. Social issues and he's always been a Liberal on economic policy as well. But what we saw on Monday was him fighting for economic Liberalism and making the case for it. And I would love to see him take a step forward and fight for an opportunity society as well.

Monday, January 21, 2013

RTAmerica: Video: Barack Obama's Presidency: "Martin Luther King III: We Are Losing Our Liberties": How To Expand Individual Freedom To All Americans



When it comes to individual freedom with Barack Obama's Presidency, the main issues I have with him as far as where he's come up short. Are in the areas of the War on Terror, like the Patriot Act as it relates to the Fourth Amendment. Indefinite Detention which on its face looks Unconstitutional and the War on Drugs where if anything President Obama has expanded it. As it relates to marijuana and the marijuana raids, so my issues as it relates to individual freedom. Have to do with civil liberties but if you listen to what Martin L. King the III had to say in this video but how to. Reduce poverty in America and expand freedom to all Americans as it relates to education. Job training for low skilled workers and entrepreneurship so all Americans can have the freedom. To take care of themselves, thats where President Obama is politically and a lot of what his. Message is as it relates to economics, along with things like infrastructure investment and creating a. National energy policy that gets us off of foreign oil by investing in American natural resources with. A whole menu of natural resources that we have in this country.

As much as right wingers like to label Barack Obama as some big tax and spend Progressive-Socialist. That wants to grow the Federal Government indefinitely and transform America into Europe or something. He's simply not and when it comes to economics he's a classical Liberal-Democrat someone who believes. In economic freedom but that it should be for all Americans and not the special few and as much as some right wingers. Don't like President Obama because they believe he's a Socialist, Progressive-Democrats don't like the President. Because he's not a Socialist, the President is in a no win situation with the fringes in this country. And should stop trying to win them over.

Mr. Holt History: Video: Martin Luther King Jr. On Love and Nonviolence

Equal Rights Leader
Mr. Holt History: Video: Martin Luther King Jr. On Love and Nonviolence

There were at least two reasons for Dr. King’s message of non-violence. One, that he actually believed in it. And I’m not trying to suggest that he didn’t, but the other had a political component to it. He knew that for him and his movement to accomplish what it wanted which was equality and civil rights for all Americans, that he needed more than just African-Americans behind him. That he needed Americans of other races. Because he was facing a simple numbers game.

That African-Americans at least to this point were a relatively small minority. And that they couldn’t go up against even just Anglo-Saxon Southerners who had most of the power down South, on their own. And that he also need positive media attention and not look like violent radicals, or anarchists. But serious intelligent people who had a message for the entire country and that they needed their support. Which is how he was able to bring in so many non-African Americans to his movement.

I’m not trying to say that Dr. King was a true pacifist and that if America was under attack from another country, that it shouldn’t fight back and that would be just one example. But he did have a pacifist approach when it came to the civil rights movement. He directed his people and marchers to simply just take it, for lack of a better phrase. Put up with the violence which help get out the message of what his movement was facing from the Anglo-Saxon racist establishment in America. Especially from the South. That way to fight back was to show the opposition for what they really were. Which were radical violent racists and win legal and policy battles.


Sunday, January 20, 2013

Salon: The Next New Deal: John P. Rollert: What Barack Obama Should Say in His Second Inaugural

What Obama should say in his second inaugural

I already wrote a blog today over at http://www.FRSFreeState.Blogspot.com of what I believe President Obama should say tomorrow. But now I'll write what I believe he will say or at least part of if and what I believe he won't say. President Obama's speech will sound like something to effect, Vice President Biden, whoever the former Presidents are. Speaker Boehner, Leader Reid, Minority Leader McConnell, Minority Leader Pelosi, perhaps acknowledge the reverend. We've come a long way in the last four years together as a country, from the depths of the greatest recession. Since the Great Depression, with millions of Americans unemployed and millions more about to lose their jobs. Where our economy was shrinking at 7%, banks falling and Wall Street running wild, millions of Americans losing their health insurance. And we acted as a country to respond to this Great Recession and the American people. Have responded under the leadership of my administration to put people back to work and rebuild this economy. And our financial system and create a new system where more Americans would have access to affordable health insurance.

The President will say something like that tomorrow but what he won't say that will disappoint Progressive/Social Democrats. In the Democratic Party and outside of the DP is a speech that will point back to Franklin Roosevelt's New Deal. And speak to a 21st Century where the next New Deal is created and the importance of not only protecting current social insurance programs. But to expand on the New Deal and Great Society and create the next New Deal, this will not be a speech. Written by Democratic Socialists, Senator Bernie Sanders and other Social Democrats won't be consulted about this speech. Or not to the point where they'll have much influence on it but he'll layout what the country has been through. The progress we've made and hopefully what's next to be done especially since he won't be running for. Reelection and hopefully what direction he wants to take the country in but this won't be a speech I'm guessing that anyone will fall in love with.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

C-Span: Video: Newsmakers: Senator Leahy (D-VT) on NRA Relationship



Senator Pat Leahy the Chairman of the Judiciary Committee will push for hopefully common sense gun regulations. In the 113 Congress but he's going to need Republican cooperation in the Senate to do that and will hopefully work. Which Senator Chuck Grassley the Ranking Member of the Judiciary Committee to make that happen.

Friday, January 18, 2013

AlterNet: War on Poverty: Tavis Smiley: "Why President Obama's 2nd Term Should Be All About Taking on Poverty": How to Fight Poverty in America

Why Obama's 2nd Term Should Be All About Taking on MLK's Anti-Poverty Crusade | Alternet

President Obama's first year of his second term will be focused on what at least were the first few months of. His first term which is the economy because we are still not growing at a rate that can bring down our unemployment and poverty rates to an acceptable level. The fact is without a strong economy we'll never accomplish four things, bringing down unemployment, poverty and the debt and deficit. You need a healthy economy to accomplish any of those things and when you have an economy thats growing at. Around 2% with an unemployment rate of around 8% and we are creating somewhere around 125-150K jobs a month. With a national workforce of around 160M people with the public sector still laying people off, with the debt and deficit growing faster then the economy. With people still moving into poverty, the former middle class, your number one focus still has to be the national economy. Before you can address any of those issues and we are not there yet but we'll in the next few months be there. With a long term debt and deficit reduction package and a two year extension of the debt ceiling. And then we can talk about issues like infrastructure investment and a national energy policy that would benefit everyone.

Now once our debt and deficit picture is fixed to the point where they are both sustained and contained. Meaning no longer growing faster then the economy and with a path to bring those things down. Then we can move to areas like infrastructure investment and a national energy policy, real education reform and. Not more unfunded mandates which is basically what the Bi Partisan No Child Left Behind Law became about. But real education reform thats about what's the best schools for students, rather then where they live and let the parents. With advice from educators make those decisions which would benefit everyone especially kids living on poverty. And a way to fund schools in this country thats based on need and not where schools are located. Another words move past the property tax formula thats used to fund schools in America where middle class and wealthy school districts. Get most of the resources and low income communities get what's left.

As far as poverty in America as I blogged last night and maybe something could be reached in the next deficit reduction agreement. When they talk about entitlement reform, is that we know what we need to do when it comes to reducing poverty. The evidence and facts are already there, its just a matter of actually doing those things. Temporary financial assistance, education, job training and job placement, someone in poverty gets those things. They'll move out of poverty and move out of public housing because now they have a good job. That allows for them to pay their bills and raise their family and I would go even further then that. And require anyone on public assistance whether they are currently working or not to be involved in education and job training. As condition of receiving their public assistance with the financial assistance, as well as childcare if needed. So they can move up and move out of poverty and that doesn't take a new New Deal or Great Society to accomplish that.

President Obama has so many other things on his place starting with the debt ceiling, deficit reduction and then the economy. To go along with a Republican House that believes that compromise is a sin and he has to deal with those issues first. And successfully resolve them before he can take on new issues that he hasn't push strongly for yet. So I don't see some new 2013 anti poverty campaign coming out of this administration.


Thursday, January 17, 2013

Roosevelt Institute: The Next New Deal: Presidential Vision: Robert Woolner: A Liberal-Democratic Vision For America

Leading from Behind is No Way to Lead: What a Second-Term Obama Can Learn from FDR

A I would like to say good friend of mine on Facebook who I won't name in this post but if you are one of the followers. Of http://www.Facebook.com/FRSFreeStates if you are one of my followers, you'll see his name because. I'll mention him when I post this on Facebook, asked me last week after reading one of my blogs and said that he liked what I blog about social insurance. And then basically asked me how do I describe my politics and something to the effect of what Liberalism is to me. Well after you read this post you'll have a pretty good idea of what Liberalism means to me. But he also asked me to recconmend a good book or books about my view of Liberalism and incase you haven't noticed. My view of Liberalism doesn't matchup up with the MSNBC prime time lineup or the Nation Magazine or AlterNet. Or other so called Liberal publications that in a lot of cases aren't Liberal at all but more Socialist instead in a. Democratic sense and I'm embarrassed to say that I couldn't answer his question other then reading a bio of Jack kennedy or Wendell Willkie and other real Liberal Democrats out there.

My vision of Liberalism doesn't come from one book or one author in particular but from a lot of things that I've read. And watched over the years since my early twenties or things that I've watched or read about people being so called Liberals. But then knowing enough about the word Liberal and knowing that these so called Liberals aren't very Liberal at all. And have more Statists and Big Government leanings then they would be Liberal and that the job of government is to make sure that we are as secure. As possible across the board and to do this freedom has to be limited again across the board to make sure we all have as. Much security as possible instead of allowing adults to be able to make these decisions on their own. That yes we'll have people who make better decisions then others, thats what happens in a Liberal Democracy. But at the end of the day thats much better then government preventing us from reaching our full potential. In the name of security for the whole society.

This post is not about what I think President Obama should say Monday at his second inaugural address. I'll write that over the weekend as well as what I thought of the speech hopefully Monday night. But what a Liberal Democracy is and what comes from living in a Liberal society, that Democracy is about. Freedom and a Liberal Democracy is about a Liberal amount of freedom meaning a lot of freedom not government. Which are too different things and that governments job is to handle the things that individuals can't do for themselves. Or do as well and if you saw my post about poverty earlier you know I believe that government has a role there. But not take care of people to keep them down but to empower them so they can get themselves up and be able to take care of themselves. The basic idea of Liberalism is about protecting freedom for those who already have it and still deserve it. And expanding freedom for those who don't have it but need and deserve it.

If you want to know what are the Liberal positions for this issue or that and what the Liberal policy would be. For that issue and those issues, that will take a book probably multiple books that hopefully I'll write myself someday. Or just read this blog everyday and you'll see the Liberal position for this issue or that issue. But the core notion of Liberalism is being about freedom and freedom of choice and having a society and economic system. That promotes those things so we all have the freedom to chart our own course in life as long as we aren't hurting any innocent people. On what John F. Kennedy called Freedom's Road.

The Nation: Individual Freedom: Katha Pollitt: The Message and The Meaning: Is 'Pro-Choice' Passé?: The Meaning of Pro Choice in America

The Message and the Meaning: Is 'Pro-choice' Passé? | The Nation

Yes I'm pro-choice on abortion for the simple fact that I don't want government telling us men or women what we can do with our own bodies. Government does have the right and responsibility to tell us what we can do with other peoples bodies. A difference between freedom and anarchy, the right to live your own life as long as you aren't hurting innocent people. But the problem I have with the term is that it tends to only be about reproductive rights and when someone says. They are pro -choice on marijuana, gambling, prostitution, pornography, healthcare and health insurance, healthcare broadly, speech. How we spend our money broadly again as long as we aren't spending money to hurt those people. Pro-choice supporters look nuts or something, why they are just pro-choice they don't believe in forcing people to. Do these other activities but that it should be their call. And then we can talk about regulating these activities to make them as safe as possible and so they don't avoid taxes.

Roe v Wade I believe was settled correctly even though the decision happened two years before I was born. But why was it settled correctly, not because the Justices who ruled in favor of Roe v Wade were in love with abortion. It was settled on privacy grounds that it was the decision of the individual, in this case women of whether or not. To see their baby through full term and not the decision of government and my argument about the right to privacy. Since it was upheld with Roe v Wade on privacy grounds that if women has the right to make their own healthcare decisions. Shouldn't men as well and shouldn't American adults have the right to make their own decisions again. As long as they aren't deciding to hurt people and then again if you want to make a good government best interest of the public argument. We can talk about what the rules of the road should be as they relate to other activities including abortion. To make sure that its as safe as possible.

A better way to describe my position when it comes to abortion is not pro-choice but that I support freedom of choice. The right for one to able to chart their own course in life as long as they aren't invading the freedom of innocent people. To live their own lives because supporters of abortion tend to look Liberal or Libertarian when it comes to abortion. But look Statist on other issues and argue against freedom and privacy on those issues for the benefit of those people. And thats not where I am but instead I support freedom of choice.

AlterNet: War on Poverty: RoseAnn Demoro: A Program For Combating Poverty: Empower People In Poverty To Move Up

A Program for Combating Poverty -- Stop the Cuts to Social Security, Medicare, Expand Medicare to All | Alternet

There is a discussion by commentator and talk show host Tavis Smil
ey that was broadcasted by C-Span tonight. For anyone to see who has C-Span and whose not too busy watching 'reality TV' that was focused on poverty in America. And talking about solutions to how we end poverty in America. Tavis Smilley is a known Progressive and so was most of the panel. People like Dr. Cornel West and Dr. Jonathan Kozol and others but there was at least one right winger in this panel in Newt Gingrich. And it was an interesting discussion because you had at least one Progressive actually admitting that education. Is a key to moving people out of poverty that lack of a quality education is a cause for poverty in America, Progressives don't tend to say that. They like to blame poverty on things like corporations, racism and so fourth, cuts to public assistance and rarely. Acknowledge that education has anything to do with it, except when public education is cut in America so for at least this reason. The program was worth watching tonight to go along with the subject matter.

I've always believed that one of the things thats wrong with the poverty debate in America, that its not divided along political camps. Or even ideological camps and that alone is not the problem but that the fact that its divided between people. Who want to solve the problem, cut back on poverty at least to the point that we are more competitive with our foreign competitors. Instead of having a poverty level twice as high as the rest of the developed World approaching 20% nationally. And a camp not interested in solving the problem but people who want more government spending on poverty in this country. Who know that the more people we have in poverty, the more money from government that would go to. People who live in poverty or the higher our poverty level is, the easier time they would have to argue for more. Public assistance and the interesting thing is that the anti poverty supporters people who want to solve the problem. Are made up people who are generally not on the same team, Democrats and Republicans, Liberals and Conservatives.

The reason why I say this is not to put people down and the make other side look like Saints. But to make the point that we already know what the causes of poverty in America are and what the typical. Person in poverty is and what their background is and what it takes to move a typical person out of poverty. Which is temporary financial assistance so they can survive in the short term. Education so they can get themselves the skills that they need to get a good job and become self sufficient. Job training for workers who are working but low skill and low income, so they can get themselves a better job and. Become self sufficient perhaps even with the current company they work for and then job placement. Help finding a good job so they can move off of public assistance and become self sufficient. Thats the blue print for moving people out of poverty in America its not Democratic or Republican, Liberal or. Conservative its what works and basic common sense and yet we don't do these things or have stopped doing them. Because of our broken politics being too divided politically as a country.

There's a consensus of what it takes to move people out of poverty in America and with you want me to sound political or ideological. I would say that one thing Liberalism is about is the people, protecting freedom for people who have it. And expanding it for those who don't have it but need it and deserve it and poverty in America is the perfect place. To use Liberalism to fight poverty expanding freedom for people who don't have it but need and deserve it.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Thom Hartmann Show: Video: American History: Caller: President Reagan Exponentially Increased Revenue: The Truth Of The Reagan Tax Cuts



I give President Reagan credit for the economy turning around under his watch but this idea that his tax cuts alone did it. When he raised taxes something like ten times post 1981 after the Kemp-Roth 1981 Economic Recovery Act or whatever it was called. Trust me I'm close, is bogus the tax cuts had an effect because our tax rates were simply too high. Ranging from I believe 20-70% at that point, still lower then they were under President Eisenhower but still very high. Especially considering were we are now so tax cuts did put more money in peoples wallets but so did all of. Those jobs in the defense industry and public sector as a result of the massive buildup of the defense department. To finish off the Cold War and as a result of the unemployment went down, more people working, spending money paying taxes. Less people on public assistance and trillions of dollars going to the Federal Government not to pay down the debt or deficit. But to spend more money on government programs and as much as President Reagan claimed to be a limited government. Conservative and he was to the extent that he believed in individual freedom and keeping government out of our lives. He grew the Federal Government massively as President.

Al Jazeera: Video: Arabia: Islamic Republic President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad Blames Sanctions For Iran's Economic Crisis



Its President Ahmadinejad's and the rest of his administration's fault that the Iranian economy is in the shape that they are in. Because they are Theocratic-Socialists and like most politicians Authoritarian and otherwise. Don't know how to run an entire national economy. Iran is a country of 75M people and physically the size of Saudi Arabia and Libya with first World people. And resources and yet they are still a third World country because of their government. And the Iranian people need to wake up to that fact and do something about it.

People for Polity: Possible PIP Topics

People for Polity: Possible PIP Topics:   Link: CourseWeb: Causal Reasoning   For this semester, I was asked to complete a Personal Inquiry Project (PIP).  The goal of ...

Check out the blog from one of my favorite Democratic-Socialists. Lets see if we can get him to blog more.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

RT: Video: The Big Picture: Will President Obama Get Citizenship Pathway For Immigrants?



Its in the Republican Party's best interest to get a comprehensive immigration reform deal with Democrats. Because they need new voters its thats simple because their current Bible Belt base is dying off and there aren't enough country club Republicans to keep the party afloat. And getting the problem of illegal revolution resolved meaning solved and dealing with the 10-15M. Illegal immigrants that we have in this country, not amnesty but a way for them who haven't been. Convicted of any other felonies besides
entering the United States illegally, an opportunity to earn. Legal residency and live and work in this country legally as long as they are living and working in this country legally. As well as be penalized for the amount of time they've worked and lived in the United States illegally. A fine based on how long they've lived and worked in this country illegally and pay whatever back taxes they may owe. The Federal Government as well as state and local governments. As well as doing something to make our borders as secure as possible in a responsible way that solves the problem.

Monday, January 14, 2013

MSNBC: Video: Countdown With Keith Olberman: FDR 1936: "I Welcome Their Hatred"



President Roosevelt speaking about what he saw as the dangers of big business influence on American politics back in 1936.

AlterNet: Politics: Adele M. Stan: Is the Tea Party Over?: The Party's Influence on American Politics

Is the Tea Party Over? | Alternet

Without the Tea Party we probably still have a Democratic Congress right now instead of a divided Congress, Republican House and Democratic Senate. House Republicans would probably have more seats then they did at the start of the 2009 in the 111th Congress. Thats just the nature of mid term elections in America, the opposition party tends to pickup seats in both chambers of Congress. Especially with a weak economy but House Republicans wouldn't of gotten the forty seats that would've needed. To win back the majority in the House and even with the Tea Party, Senate Republicans were in the minority back in 2009. And still are today but with four more seats then they had in 2009, so what the Tea Party did for the Republican Party. Was to give them some power which they didn't have at the start of the Obama Administration. But it didn't give them back the Senate and it didn't do much for a divided Republican Party that settled on Mitt Romney. Who most Republicans probably had a different first choice who only won back two Republican states. That Barack Obama won in 2008, Indiana and North Carolina.

The Neoconservative wing of the Tea Party which unfortunately for the GOP  is the dominant faction of the Tea Party right now. Is over as a positive influence on the GOP, the 21st Century of the Neoconservative/Religious Right in America. Can't drive Republicans back to high office to the point that they can get back the power that the GOP had. When George W. Bush was reelected in 2004 with an expanded Republican Congress, for that to happen a new GOP is going to have to emerge. That can appeal to non Bible Belt Americans who don't live in the 1950s of what America is suppose to be. And this is a very diverse group of Americans who are very Liberal especially on social issues. But also believe in low taxes and regulations and economic freedom which is the avenue for Republicans. To meet them on if they can get there without scaring them and making them feel unwelcome in the GOP. If not America as a whole but the Tea Party as it stands now won't get the GOP there, they need a new direction.

The Tea Party's main influence on American politics right now is within the Republican Party not the country. As a whole because Republicans still have to take these people seriously as it relates to primary challenges and fundraising. But Democrats don't and have their own fringe base to deal with as a whole but the Tea Party is not a governing coalition. But a faction of a divided party thats not sure where they are headed or where they want to go.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Media Rich Learning: The Progressive Era

Source: Media Rich Learning-
Source: Media Rich Learning: The Progressive Era

I might be the wrong person as a Liberal who is a true believer in limited government and someone who has what I would call at least a healthy skepticism of what government can do for the people with the people's money. Which is why I believe government should really only being doing what we need it to do for us and the people should have the rest of the power to live their own lives. And for the people who don't have the freedom to be self-sufficient, they should be given that power as well. Thats basically what I believe the role of government should be. And I also distinguish between liberalism and socialism, as well as progressivism.

And believe as a Liberal that liberalism is about the people and protecting freedom for the people. And expanding freedom to people who don't have, but deserve it and need it. And socialism to me is about what government can do for the people with their money, rather than what government can do for the people so they can take care of themselves and make their own decisions.

And with Socialists you tend to get we need government to do these things for the people as well as new things and that capitalism needs to be scaled back. So government can have that power to take care of the people. So thats why I call myself a Liberal rather than a Libertarian or Socialist.

I was in a debate in the summer of 2011 (on Facebook of all places) about what progressivism is. And I was making or trying to make the case for why I'm a Progressive. Not in the sense that I see that as my ideology. But that I see it as someone who believes in advancing the ball down the field and moving forward. That progressive comes from the word progress.

And that you could be on the left where I am, or on the right, but you are a Progressive. Even if thats not your political philosophy if you believe in progress. I agree that my definition of Progressive is not the popular definition that progressivism is not just about progress.

But that progressivism is a real political philosophy based on what government can do for the people with their money. And that government needs to be big enough to deal with the issues that so-called Progressives don't trust the private sector to deal with. In summary, things that would be considered social services. Education, health care, health insurance, retirement, to use as examples.

Again I might not be the right person to label and define Progressivism in America. And actual Progressives should try to figure out this for themselves and how to define and build their own movement. But to me at least the way forward both politically and governmentally. Progressives should essentially be Center-Left Progressives. Especially as the country is becoming more liberal-libertarian as a country and less socialist. That we like our taxes down and our freedom up both economic and personally.

And we want government to do for us what we can't for for ourselves. So the Progressives who could compete with this growing mindset is that we believe government should try to make life  better for everyone. Especially for people who are snuggling, but that should be in a limited sense. Not in a socialistic sense that government has all the answers and that people the world is too complicated for people to do their own decision-making. But government when managed well can also make positive contributions in the areas of social services as well. Like in education and health care, to use as examples.

Progressivism at it's best has given America the and contributed to creating equality in America as far as equal rights and equal justice. And economic development in the areas of infrastructure and free trade.  Governmental protections like the regulatory state to protect consumers and workers from predators. Progressivism at it's best is what FDR was which was pragmatic and figuring how government can help people help themselves and do what we need government to do. But not with some big government philosophy that government should try to do everything for everyone.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

The North Star: Philosophy: Dan Dimaggio: "How Can We Build the Socialist Movement in The 21st Century?": How Democratic Socialists Should Build Their Movement

How Can We Build the Socialist Movement in the 21st Century?

Socialism or Progressivism is a diverse political ideology, that includes classical Socialists who do believe in state ownership. Meaning the state owns the means of production of society, another words no private enterprise or private sector at all. The state meaning the national government essentially owns the entire country for the benefit of the people. Those Socialists are dying off not just in America if they ever existed but in Europe and Asia as well. Even Cuba now has a form of capitalism and will benefit from that as well but those aren't just the only Socialists. Communists at leas some of them like in North Korea are Socialists when it comes to economic policy and believe. In state ownership at least some of them or to some degree but there are also Communists like in China, Vietnam and now Cuba. That believe in at least some form of capitalism while limiting social freedom for individuals. Socialism is not an economic system like Capitalism but a broader political philosophy that covers. Foreign policy, national security and social issues as well and as I've blogged before its a very diverse political philosophy. With Socialists who are Statists basically across the board, economically and socially and then you have. Socialists who are more Liberal on social issues.

The Socialists that I'm more interested in are the Democratic Socialists and the Socialist Libertarians and no thats not an Oxymoron. Or people who called themselves Socialist Liberals, Socialist on economic policy and foreign policy and Liberal on social issues. And these are the Socialist factions that support some type of capitalism but with government having a heavy hand. In the economy where its spends 50% or more of the GDP, taxes are high and heavy to finance a social insurance system. To finance the programs that they don't trust the private sector to handle to provide as well. Like in healthcare, health insurance, retirement education to use as examples with the private sector managing the rest. So companies would be private like automobiles, technology, small business's to use as examples. There would even be large corporations in a Socialist Liberal or Democratic Socialist system but there would. Be a lot of them with strong anti monopoly laws and they would be taxed and regulated heavily.

Thats the future of Socialism in America where it would be very Liberal on social issues with a lot of social freedom. Where people would even have a large degree of economic freedom as long as there's a lot of competition. And where people would be taxed to provide the services that Socialists don't trust the private sector to provide. The more social services that people have to have to live well but where anyone whose physically and mentally. Capable of working would be expected to and be able to work for private companies even, which is what's. Going on in Cuba right now, this is really the only vehicle forward for Socialists in America and I believe in Europe as well. Rather the some form of Statism where the job of government is protect people even from themselves. Where freedom economic or social would be limited for our own good which is what Progressives have a tendency to sound like now.

Socialists can even succeed in America, as long as they are Democratic Socialists or Socialist Liberals. Just look at Senator Bernie Sanders, or Elisabeth Warren or Tammy Baldwin who've all just been elected to the US Senate. And will be part of the Senate Democrats 55-45 majority in this Congress, just as long as they aren't Statists. Who believe the role of government is to protect people even from themselves instead of supporting people which is different. Thats how Socialism works in Sweden and it could work in America as far as getting people elected to Congress and other high offices.

AlterNet: War on Poverty: Evelyn Nieves: What America's Most Vulnerable Need: A Bill of Rights for the Homeless

What America's Most Vulnerable Need: A Bill of Rights for the Homeless | Alternet

If I was a wealthy man and I was only allowed to donate money to support one cause whatever the cause is. I would cheat and pick two, one set up a foundation to raise money to combat homelessness in America. But it wouldn't be in a traditional sense where I would support homeless shelters that give people on the street a meal and a cot. And then send them on their way the next day without the resources to start a life for themselves but I would go much further. Not homeless shelters but what I would call housing centers where yes they would get a meal and a temporary place to stay. But I wouldn't send them on their way, I would go further and empower these people to either rebuild their lives. Or start their lives period by providing them with whatever healthcare they need, to go along with long term housing. Through section eight, as well as job placement and even job training if they need it so they can get themselves a good job. Private donations would be needed to set up a private non profit like this and for it to startup and in the future as well. So it could be as effective as possible but an organization like this could also be financed through the current public assistance system.

You want to combat homelessness in America, then we have to find long term housing for the homeless and put these people to work. So they can afford their own place to live through either renting or mortgage if they really get their lives together. We don't accomplish this by giving people a place to stay for one night and a meal and then sending them back on the street. To live with no help of getting their lives on track and something like housing centers would accomplish this.

Friday, January 11, 2013

EPI: War on Poverty: David Cooper: EITC and The Minimum Wage Go Hand in Hand in Fighting Public Dependence

Strengthening the EITC and raising the minimum wage should go hand-in-hand | Economic Policy Institute

If you want to have more low skilled people and people in poverty actually working jobs and getting paid to do so. Then they simply have to have incentive to work its that simple, otherwise why would someone who unless. They have some wanting to work and be productive in society, even if its in their best financial interest and in their families. Best interest for them not to work because they can collect more money and public assistance by not working. And collecting Welfare or Unemployment Insurance, why would someone in that position work if they can collect more money and benefits. From not working which is why I'm in favor of not only eliminating the minimum wage and replacing. It with a living wage starting at 10$ an hour and indexing it from inflation for full time workers 21 or over and not just keeping the. Earned Income Tax Credit or EITC but expanding it so these workers can have access to health insurance and. Even put money away in savings and for retirement, as well as educational opportunities so they can get education and job training. And be able to get themselves off of public assistance and into the middle class for good.

I would take public assistance to the point that it would encourage low skilled people to actually be working. Instead of being unemployed or unemployable because they would end up making more money and collecting more benefits. Then someone who doesn't work but collects public assistance. For example a low skilled worker just starting out. While they are also going through education or job training would make 10$ an hour over forty hours a week. As well as childcare benefits but someone not working and not going to school but collecting public assistance would make 7.25$ an hour. Over forty hours a week and someone working part time or not working at all but going through education. And job training would be collecting lets say 8.25$ and hour over forty hours and also eligible for childcare. Benefits as well where someone not working at all and not in school or job training wouldn't be. So I would incentivize work, education and job training over not doing those things.

As I've blogged before we should move towards having a public assistance system thats so effective that it becomes obsolete. That we would no longer need it, we'll never completely accomplish that but thats what we should be striving for. And you get by valuing work over dependence and self sufficiency over public assistance by making work, education and job training pay. More then dependency and you do this incentivizing people to work and better themselves.


American Prospect: Foreign Affairs: Ending the Mindset that Got Us Into Iraq: New Liberal Democratic Foreign Policy

Ending the Mindset that Got Us into Iraq

President Obama's appointment of former US Senator Chuck Hagel and current Atlantic Council Chairman to. Be his next Secretary of Defense is the final deathblow to the George W. Bush's Neoconservative foreign policy because no longer. We'll be a country that will lead only by defense and no longer will we be a country that will try to govern the World. Or secure the Democratic World on our own because we now have a national security team led by President Obama. To go along with Vice President Biden, soon to be Secretary of State John Kerry, soon to be Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel. Soon to be Executive Director of Intelligence John Brennan who doesn't believe in defense only that. You have to use all of your assets at your disposal to make sure America is as secure as possible and our allies can secure themselves. That you can't impose Liberal Democracy on countries that aren't ready for it and don't want it that diplomacy. As well as economic and allied power all have to be part of the same package thats responsible for securing. The United States.

I could give you a whole host of reasons why President Bush's Neoconservative foreign policy didn't work. But it gets to mainly weakening the country as he was trying to secure it, both militarily by overcommitting the US military. Which is what happens when you have a foreign policy that relies so much on defense and doesn't utilize your other assets. But also weakened us economically at a time when China, Russia, Brazil and India are all on the rise and when both. Europe and America were losing influence in the World, as the new powers are becoming powerful, America was becoming. Weaker with the annual debt and deficits we were piling up that we still have to deal with today and owing so. Much money to other countries so we could do the job of other countries in securing those countries. Senator Hagel knows this was a mistake and new at the time when he was in the Senate and even spoke up about it. As early as 2004-05.

In this new era of Liberal Democratic foreign policy, we will no longer try to govern the World. We will no longer try to defend developed nations around the World, we'll no longer borrow money from other. Countries so we can pay them to be able to defend them, we'll have a national defense that we can afford. That we'll pay for without borrowing that can more then meet the national security needs of this great huge country. And we'll no longer invade countries because we don't like their governments and will only take military action. To defend ourselves and to protect innocent people who are simply fighting for their freedom in areas where we can make a positive difference.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Roosevelt Institute: Congress: Joe Swanson: Using The "Nuclear Option" for Filibuster Reform Endangers Cooperation: How to Reform the US Senate

Using the "Nuclear Option" for Filibuster Reform Endangers Cooperation

If I had it my way I would eliminate the Senate filibuster all together but replace it with something that still supports. Minority rights and if anything would empower the Minority Leader even further, even if it is Mitch McConnell. A what's called in Congress both House and Senate the Motion to Table which unfortunately every. Single member of Congress has this ability to propose at least in the Senate and its the ability to prevent amendments. From even being voted on, lets say Senator Jones doesn't like the current amendment on the floor to the 2013 transportation bill. That was offered by Senator Wilson, Senator Jones could move to table the Wilson amendment which would put. That amendment aside and the Senate would move on to the next business at hand, the next amendment or perhaps. A cloture vote which would be a vote to end whatever filibuster might be coming or move to final passage. A vote on the bill itself, under my plan only the Senate Leader or Minority Leader could offer a Motion to Table. And they could only do it after all votes on the bill have taken place except for final passage and it would take sixty votes to overcome. A Motion to Table leaving minority rights in tact and eliminating filibusters on anything.

So under my plan no more filibusters, no more motions to proceed, what would happen instead is that the Senate Leader. Would call up bills on his own that have been passed through committee that have a process in place. In how they will be debated on the floor, what amendments will be offered and how long the debate would be. But then the Minority Leader on his own could bring up a relevant substitute to the bill brought up by the Leader. For bills to reach the floor that have not been passed through committee, they would have to come up through emergency. Meaning the Leader would need the permission of the Minority Leader and the leaders of the committee of jurisdiction. The committee that the bill would normally have to go through to reach the Senate floor, so what I would do. Is restore regular order in the Senate so that Senators could actually read legislation before they vote on it. Offer their own input on it that would need to be approved by the Senate and be able to layout what they think. Of the legislation and more importantly tax payers would be able to get to read the legislation as well.

So under my plan the majority would get to set the agenda and decide what issues get debated on the floor. And there would be real debate on bills and real debate and votes on amendments and real time limits. What the minority would get in return is minority rights restored the ability to block partisan legislation or. Party line legislation thats brought to the floor by the majority that they had little to no input in writing. The ability to offer their own version of bills that are brought to the floor by the Leader, led by the Minority Leader. As well as relevant amendments to the majority bill but no longer be able to obstruct to just shut the Senate down. The minority if they have at least forty one votes would only be able to block final passage, not stop the Senate. From debating and legislating.

So under my plan as it relates to the Senate filibuster, filibusters and motion to proceed would be history. Sorta like VCR's or landline phones, which is a joke but minority rights still intact but the right to obstruct. Just to obstruct would be gone because it would be limited to final passage and what the minority gets in return. Under the Minority Leader, is the ability to voice their own input and get that input voted on, not automatically passed. Which is different and the Senate could get back to legislating without the majority being able run over the minority and shut them out.