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.