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Taking Inventory; Setting Priorities

Happy 4th of JulyThe week of July 4th seems like a good opportunity to take a little time to see where we are at and where do we want to go. It never hurts to assess what our goals are and therefore where we should be focusing. Like most inventories I plan on being fairly sober and task driven. I would appreciate keeping the chatter down and try to follow along.

I think we need to separate our list into “must do today” and “need to do, but can wait a bit.” I think most of you will agree that there is not a lot of slack in any of these.

1) End global warming.
– Climate change or whatever you want to call it, without a place to live, all else becomes moot. The horizon for stopping and then reversing global warming is becoming shorter each day.

2) Get money out of politics.
– Until we have decision makers freed from being beholden to corporations and the rich we can never expect them to make decisions for the best of all humans. And we can’t use the institutions set up for decision making until we have people who are able to think and act freely.

–  All lobbying and contacts with decision makers must be in the open. No money or gifts should ever change hands. No former decision maker can become a lobbyist.

3) Verifiable elections with all citizens allowed to vote
– We simply can’t have true leadership if there are always questions of election theft and rigged elections. This is closely tied to #2.

4) Jobs, Jobs, Jobs
– We have plenty of work to be done in this country. Repairing infrastructure and creating the infrastructure for the renewable energy economy should keep us busy for a couple of decades. We do have the money to do it. That money is in fewer and fewer hands. Getting at it is tied once again to the two previous points – money out of politics and verifiable elections. A populace that is beholden to the rich for their very existence is a populace that will be restive.

5) Media must be freed of corporate control and competition in media must be restored.
– Except for the internet – which must be kept open – our media is about the equal of 1960s Russia.

– This would be the lowest hanging fruit in terms of what could be done tomorrow, but we need leaders with guts to do the right things. BTW – much of the work that needs to be done directly relates to changing society to use less resources and global warming causing methods.

Those are, to me, the very critical tasks that must be focused on immediately and with a laser-like beam. Without getting those behind us it remains increasingly hard to accomplish any of the following:

5) Public Education focusing on reality and equality with it geared toward turning out good citizens.
– currently the trend toward privatizing education with an eye only on profits is scary. The other side of the coin – the starving of the public system with an eye on destroying it is also scary. Neither will produce what the country needs – well grounded and educated citizens.

6) A subset of #1 – re-invigorating the environment.
– Our planet needs diversity among plants and animals to survive and prosper. We have greatly hurt that cause in the past centuries, but all is not lost.

7) Total separation of church and state.

8) Women’s issues from health to equal pay.

There should never be any reason why one worker doing the same job gets 30% less than another. Nor should there ever be a time when a woman cannot get a legal medical procedure done in the United States. Men do not have such a problem.

8a) Racial discrimination. We are currently headed backwards from the ideal that all men are created equal. Despite what John Roberts says, we have problems. Ignoring them will not cause them to go away.

9) Medical care for all and ending hunger in America
– Bring the US from 3rd world status in this category. We have the money. Why do we let it happen?

10) Keep the internet free and open.

11) End all secrecy in government, except for personnel matters; nothing else should be done in secret. No organizations such as ALEC, no NSA, no  secret courts.

Well, the above is one person’s opinion. When I look at the list I do not see see one item that a case couldn’t be made that it is the top priority. The point is that each of us should take some time to reflect on occasion where we are headed.

Keep working all.

One Response to “Taking Inventory; Setting Priorities”

  • Paul Deaton:

    I like the list, but would argue that continuing to beat the jobs drum, as Democrats are wont to do, reflects a false hope for some resolution to meeting economic needs of a majority of Americans. What is needed, and is harder, is to recognize the value of work done in society. Given the median net compensation in the U.S., at $26,965.43 (http://www.ssa.gov/OACT/cola/central.html), is less than a living wage, and that raising the minimum wage, or creating infrastructure jobs won’t adequately address the shortfall of median net income compared to a living wage, the whole argument should likely be thrown out, and progressives should focus on resolving the social inadequacies of a “what’s in it for me” society. Raising the minimum wage, or creating infrastructure jobs may bring more people into the ‘I got mine” camp, but in the end, it is a policy failure. To make progress as a society, we must reject this harping about jobs and work together to recognize the value of work in society. If we do that, then the chances of having everyone employed in useful work would increase dramatically.

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