Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Forget the bum on the rail, fear the bum on the plush!

I find it remarkable that we (American's) still haven't made the changes needed to recover from our economic woes. We have a model that worked in the past, brilliantly in fact. The model I refer to was the New Deal. When we invested from the bottom up, not only did we strengthen communities, but the lasting legacy of infrastructure investment is still playing an important part of peoples lives generations later. The WPA for example has left behind bridges, roads and buildings all across our nation that are still in regular use.

Despite the successes of the past, the current orthodoxy in our government has been pulled so far to one side that it has simply abandoned the majority of us. Since the 1980's, where Reagan introduced the concept of "trickle down economics", our government has drifted farther and farther from being functionally competent for anyone who cannot afford to sway political interests financially. We all know, that those who are wealthy are perfectly capable of developing systems for protecting and growing their wealth without depending on the government to aid them.

I have also argued that business disproportionately benefits from systems that are publicly funded. I have used examples; ranging local roads and civil services to international politics and military protection, to illustrate exactly how businesses get large returns for their ever shrinking tax contribution. Even more shocking is the nature of direct subsidy. If you take into account the subsidies being distributed directly to the petroleum industry for example, we probably pay more than $10 per gallon every time we fill our gas tank.

Yet talk about a progressive tax system; the likes of which kept our nation strong through world war II after pulling us out of The Great Depression, and politicians wither in fear and huddle under a blanket of rhetoric. If Washington DC was a plane, it has clearly been hijacked and is being flown directly into financial catastrophe, the controls in the hands of single-minded economic terrorists. The goal of these terrorists is to completely entrench social stratification and create a disenfranchised working class.

The evidence is clear, wages have stagnated, social programs are maligned as entitlements, and political will is bought and sold as a commodity. If the founding fathers could see the complete corruption of their accomplishments, I am sure they would be heartsick. We have to take our nation back, one person, one vote at a time. The oppression felt by the majority of Americans as our homes and livelihoods are stripped from us by what amounts to robber-barons in the financial sector, petroleum industry and other entrenched private interests will only be alleviated by clear referendum.

Going forward, commit to voting at every election, even the local dog catcher if necessary. The voter apathy in america is not a cultural relic but a carefully crafted workaround of our rights. Don't let your opinions be swayed by pundits and media personalities, they only seek to coerce you into buying what they are selling. Rationally analyze your needs and interests and vote (or write in!) for the best choice, not for some lesser of two evils. We are all in this together, and we are counting on you!

Monday, February 11, 2013

Education and environmentalism.

Life starts today. Go! I have been on hiatus for the last few weeks and a lot has changed for me. It is time to kick off the struggles of the past and start a new chapter. 

I am not currently enrolled in school. I am not far away from obtaining a degree in biology from the California State University system. But for purely economic reasons I am having to pull out and reenter the workforce in the private sector. The administration governing the system I was apart of used a thick tangle of bureaucracy to exploit money from the stream of students passing through their hands. Instead of seeking the best route to educate people, the administrators of the system were forced to work in manner antithetical to the purpose of the system because they were tied to a financially focused model.

Lets look at another example of where this focus has failed us. Environmental protection requires regulation, yet more often than not, the regulators who write and enforce the rules come from the industry in question. It is not hard to understand that when profit is prized over all else, self regulation is about as realistic as any other form of collective will power. If we can't as a society completely eliminate baser activities such as rape and murder from our collective, then what chance do we have against lesser crimes such as incremental environmental degradation.

You can't just ask a company that is used to drinking from a fire-hose of profit to settle for one glass at a time. Today embracing austerity would represent the highest percentage of net positive change the private sector could make towards proper environmental stewardship. While environmental protection waxes and wanes in regulatory power and oversight through the mechanism of the political body, the purpose often is lost. The notion of cap and trade for example is abhorrent from an environmental best practices view point. Putting a price on the right to pump deadly pollution into our collective air, implies that it is a right someone should even be able to obtain.Yet the profit motivated and the power hungry would lead us to believe even this meager compromise would be unbearable.

We as a society cannot afford any longer to let this way of thinking continue to metastasize unchecked though our political leadership. So much of the progress we take for granted has come with an environmental price tag that has not been paid and the account due is accruing interest. The notion of earth as an eternal immutable provider is as antiquated as it is dangerous. We know that climate change is being influenced by human activity. We are taking carbon that was safely sequestered underground millions of years ago and dumping it into the atmosphere of today at an alarming rate. 

History will record the greed and avarice of mankind as the main factor of our own demise if we don't respect that we are only apart of the biosphere and not the masters of it.