The World We’re Making

14387714597_9d026aa844_b

“STATUE OF LIBERTY” by airlines470 licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

The first Democratic debate began with a question to Warren about the economy: “Since most Americans think the economy is doing fine, why do you need all those plans for change?”  She responded by pointing out that the “great” economy was primarily benefiting only a lucky few.

Even that, however, understates the issue.  It’s not just that unemployment rates don’t tell the whole story about what it means to be working for a living.  It’s that there is so much run amok with the direction of the country that the unemployment rate doesn’t begin to stand-in for the strength of the economy or the well-being of the country overall.

For that we need to pull together many strands and formulate a picture what it would mean to have four more years of Trump—the kind of world we are making.  This note attempts to make a start.  We can be explicit about many things.  Our decline from the confident image of the Statue of Liberty was clear from early on, but now we have more specifics.  We should leave no doubt about the risks we run.

In doing this, one goal is to avoid what I felt was a problem with the Clinton campaign.  Trump kept talking about change, but we didn’t get across the danger in those changes: what they would mean for ordinary daily life, for the environment, for the courts, for democracy in America.  Who’s to say if that would have made a difference, but many people were certainly surprised by what they got.  If nothing else, it would have called out the risk of non-voting.

What follows is an outline with a few supporting points and references.  As noted this is a start.

  1. Climate change continues unabated

More unprecedented floods, hurricanes, temperatures, etc.

By leaving the Paris agreement we broke the international unanimity that was the best chance for progress.

               Each lost year is time we won’t get back

  1. Back to the 19th century on woman’s rights

Roes vs Wade hangs by the thread of Roberts’ desire for Court legitimacy.

One more Supreme Court vacancy, and we all live in Alabama.

  1. Loss of American technological superiority

Disdain for science and technology in government

Non-support of research and education

Ignoring climate change technologies

Choosing big, established companies over innovators (Net Neutrality)

Xenophobia and racism encourage entrepreneurs to go elsewhere

=> Lower standard of living

=> Real threat to our military security

  1. Erosion of opportunities for middle class life

Education—weakening of public education and more generations in debt

Attacks on unions

Healthcare at issue—ACA hobbled with no other proposal in view

Continued declines in good jobs for people without degrees

No recognition of the problems created by technology change

Cutting the safety net—If you don’t succeed you’re a loser

  1. Nuclear proliferation and risk of nuclear terrorism

Encouraging nuclear proliferation by statements and actions (N. Korea vs Iran)

More players means more chance of theft or sale

Belligerence normalizes nuclear weapons

  1. A population divided against itself

Conflicts stoked between races, ethnic groups, cultures

No interest in racial justice—to the detriment of all

Cruel and intentionally divisive Immigration policy

  1. A world filled with senseless conflict

Major hit to both security and prosperity

Trade wars instead of alliances and international norms

New arms race already announced

Policy rooted in weakness—from fighting on all fronts

Conflict as the first choice— “Trade wars are easy.”

Other wars too?

  1. Weakened environmental and other standards

Air and water

Workplace safety

Food safety

  1. Bubble economy based on debt

Good times prolonged by deficit-funded stimulus

Proven recipe for cycles of boom and bust (back to the 19th century here too)

No Republican history of help during downturns

  1. Undermining of democracy in the US

Increasing government by fiat (“executive order”)

Restriction of voting rights

Politicization of the Justice Department

=> Democracy is not a luxury—it made us what we are.

 

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s