I wish I could follow that up with something clever. Sorry to disappoint you but I swear I’m not playing click-bait games. I honestly wish there was a humorous or clever follow up in the spirit of Will Rogers. Maybe it will come to me later. In case it doesn’t, I’ll beg your forgiveness right now.
My point is this – the ridiculous ideal of a centrist democrat trying to change the narrative of the economy when they are seeking votes of people who actually struggle on the daily is worthy of a punchline, because it’s that much of a joke. A centrist democrat is nothing more than a proxy for the capitalists who want to keep the economic model the same as it has been for the last hundred years or so: exploit labor, the environment, and the disenfranchised so that the passive income streams the rich have ‘worked hard’ to create don’t disappear.
I have no patience for a centrist line of thought. There are too many flashing red signs in our reality, warning us that we must change, drastically and quickly, if we have any hope of moving toward an egalitarian society, where humanity and compassion reign.
One of those flashing red signs is warning us to dig deeper into regulations supposedly protecting our air and water. We have been lulled into believing that the toxins are measured and accounted for so that our health isn’t compromised. That simply isn’t true. It’s a charade. It is an intentional charade, crafted with the influence of industrial capitalists, to be enacted by legislators and regulators. It’s not just our air and water. The deception exists where all ‘resources’ are concerned. This story talks about how easily crass capitalists deceive the regulators with their ‘obscure formulas’ and create a false sense of ‘sustainable forestry’ on the regular. Think this story is only about what is happening in the Great Bear Rain forest in Canada? Think again.
Another flashing red sign is the massive inequality that pushes people out of stable homes and into the streets, green spaces, and highway overpasses. There is no centrist message that addresses this inhumane inequality in any meaningful way. Instead of rolling up their sleeves and putting their influence and power to work in service of breaking down barriers to housing, they attend galas and wring their hands, while getting fat on the lamb and champagne hors d’ouevres on offer at their galas and fundraisers. They conspire to come up with hare-brained ideas, like this, which create more debt for the poor and enrich the rich. Or this one, where they “Look Like” they care about housing for the poor, but really are just too cowardly to try and change the economic reality so that the poor can build wealth. Pay close attention to the words “low vacancy rates”…especially since we have gotten a glimpse into how “developers” manipulate the system for reporting vacancies in their buildings. If you think that only the “big boys” do this, you are fooling yourself. It happens at every level, in every community. It is an economic scam perpetrated by crass capitalists and enabled by ‘centrist’ politicians.
We all deserve honorable public servants. We deserve a fair economy, not a biased one. We should all arm ourselves with knowledge about economic principles and how they are crafted to favor the rich, disingenuous, and the dishonorable. We must arm ourselves with the powerful tool of critical thinking and clever argument. The poorly developed, emotional argument will weaken us every time. That’s not to say there isn’t a place for emotional arguments – they have their place and are very powerful. Let’s just make sure that they reasoning is sound.
I will give you what I think is a good example of a solid argument against the extreme wealth that is accumulated in the 1%. How is that someone is unable/unwilling to live on less than a million dollars a year in annual income? 1 million dollars is a lot of money. Why anyone needs more than $1,000,000.00 a year to live is baffling. It makes me uneasy. If you can’t live, peacefully and graciously, on $1,000,000 per year, I don’t think you really understand the meaning of life. I’m not against the principle of abundance, and in fact have studied those principles on many levels. What I’m against is the accumulation of wealth without taking care and making space for people living in extreme poverty. What I’m against is the accumulation of wealth whereby people’s lives are endangered and freedoms are oppressed.
What do you think? Is that a sound argument?
I don’t hear or see any words from centrist democrats that would right the wrongs and balance the inequality in the economy. I see them using their ‘title’ as a way to provide cover for the crass capitalists. The ‘passive income’ cohort who build warehouses that sit empty for years, after having destroyed an important urban forest. The ‘speculators’ who push fossil fuel projects through without public input and in spite of evidence that fossil fuels are killing us.
I would love for any centrist to prove me wrong, but I don’t see that happening without more voices rising up, like mine, to say that we have had enough of their deception. There are a lot of voices out there – no doubt – but we need more. We need perfect narratives. We need folks humble enough to admit when they are wrong, brave enough to try and correct their mistakes, and wise enough to not fall for the fools gold that crass capitalism continues to peddle.
I still wish I had a Will Rogers level punchline for ya….but this is all I gots. Comments, questions, smart remarks welcome….but keep it respectful.
Here are a few resources for learning about economic thought.
Kate Raworth is one of the most intriguing thinkers on this topic in a long time. She kind of takes after those who have exploited Adam Smith’s oeconomic theories to fatten their wallets.
Charles Eisenstein has a very different outlook on how economies are based on sacred principles of giving and not taking more than one needs. To some, his theories are unworkable. When I say some, I really mean crass capitalists. If you have a heart, you can see how this would work, if you would step out of fear of living in the “dog eat dog world” that crass capitalists have convinced us exists.
If you know anything about me, you know that I love the work of Robin Wall-Kimmerer. I won’t say anymore. You should just watch the video.
And finally, this article on the Guardian should be required reading fro any one who hopes to have a meaningful conversation about economic realities in this country.