Register Latest Topics
 
 
 


Reply
  Author   Comment   Page 1 of 7      1   2   3   4   Next   »
Robert

Registered:
Posts: 114
Reply with quote  #1 
There are millions of working people who are poor. I would suggest that the Justice Party focus on raising the minimum wage. We are 16 trillion dollars in debt and will eventually be facing increased taxes on the middle class and reduced benefits. Fighting for full employment is a complete waste of time.
barefootalways

Registered:
Posts: 139
Reply with quote  #2 
I believe me need a living wage such as Australia and other western countries. They give a good hourly rate and most people can afford to live. Germany was doing this for a while. We have to stop disrespecting people's careers and rewarding all workers because we are all part of humanity.


Craig

"the future barefoot lawyer"
Mcamelyne

Registered:
Posts: 12
Reply with quote  #3 
Robert Reich is a political economist and a cheerleader for the Obama administration.  I would not take much of what he says seriously.  Other Keynesian economists like Krugman offer suggestions but occasionally make excuses for the Obama White House.  To really get a good perspective, I have found Bob Pollin at the PERI Institute the most supportive of "Full Employment" without drifting over to the Socialist perspective.  We can have full employment but no efforts are going to be made by the duopoly for obvious political reasons.  One must remember that our struggle is not with the US government specifically but with leaders that seek to globalize our nation.  Their goal is to hold the US worker back until the rest of the world catches up.  To speed up the process, they must drive down real wages.  They see this as the only way to reduce conflict in the future, ameliorate climate change issues, and slow down resource consumption.  This of course is a story that justifies corporate rapaciousness, the destruction of unionism, and the collapse of the US dollar.

We can have full employment but not free trade until we change the exchange rate mechanisms.  Whereas, some do not see the deficit as a major problem, it forces us into a "0%" interest rate environment where deficits do not matter.  Unfortunately, 0% interest rates cause unbridled speculation, inhibit monetary changes, and hides true inflation.  Eventually, it will lead to stagflation because the rates will self-correct causing much more damage down the road or outright default on the nation's debt.  When interest rates move-up, and they will, it will cost the American people $160 billion per 1%.  If rates move to historic norms of 4%, that will be $800 billion in interest expense based on current debt.  The discretionary budget, including defense, is only $1.2 trillion so massive cuts to Medicare and Social Security are a foregone conclusion because rates will probably reach 10% before they self-correct to the mean.

The only way to manage this problem will be through capital controls, trade restrictions, and interest rate caps.  This is something the Republicans will never agree to because they want the cuts to Social Security and Medicare.  As a party we need to be out-front providing solutions to the interest rate tsunami coming our way.
GX Jupitter-Larsen

Avatar / Picture

Registered:
Posts: 9
Reply with quote  #4 
I would add is the idea that the government should be more supportive to people who are trying to be self-employed.
Robert

Registered:
Posts: 114
Reply with quote  #5 
Unless we get a handle on medical care costs all these great things we want will never happen. Medical care costs are primarily driving the debt. Most of these costs are for the enormous amount of treatment required for people older than 75. The baby boomers will begin reaching that age in about 10 years and then the costs will really explode if nothing is done. Either the care has to be cut or the pay for giving the care has to reduced. Nobody wants less care but if the people giving the care are paid less they might no longer be willing to provide it. Something has to give. If the Justice Party can figure out how to solve this problem it should have plenty of supporters. Certainly expanding Medicare to everyone won't solve the problem. It will cover everyone but the exploding costs will continue.
Robert

Registered:
Posts: 114
Reply with quote  #6 
On second thought, expanding Medicare to cover everyone should be a big help in reducing health care costs. The Justice Party's support of a single payer system seems like a good position to take. It is hard to see how tweaking the present system will limit costs.
Rick_StaggenborgMD

Registered:
Posts: 4
Reply with quote  #7 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Robert
On second thought, expanding Medicare to cover everyone should be a big help in reducing health care costs. The Justice Party's support of a single payer system seems like a good position to take. It is hard to see how tweaking the present system will limit costs.

 

The failure of Obamacare to contain costs is becoming obvious to all but the most partisan Democrats with the recent announcement of another round of premium increases by major insurers. Maybe Democratic politicians will finally see that Obamacare is a poison pill that will put Republicans in power again if they do not initiate an honest discussion about the necessity of a single payer health care system.

No Difference

Registered:
Posts: 155
Reply with quote  #8 
I am sensing that the more right-leaning element of our wonderful left-right coalition (remember, we must all come together) might be getting uncomfortable with the single payer proposal coming from our more left-leaning element in this same, broad-based coalition.   After all, our right wing brothers and sisters would not like to subsidize the rest of the people who they probably feel are too lazy to get the health care they really need.  They feel that if you die of cancer because you did not have the insurance or finances to pay for life-saving preventative health care that could have avoided the more advanced stages of cancer, then that is your own fault.

Of course, catching these allegedly-irresponsible, and many times destitute, people is nearly impossible after they are dead.  (Sorry, I have only been following single payer health care for about 30 years, so please ignore my ignorance.)

__________________
Cooperation, coordination, and clarity are essential to creating a political party based on equality. Cliches and equivocations will not move this or any other party forward.
No Difference

Registered:
Posts: 155
Reply with quote  #9 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rick_StaggenborgMD

The failure of Obamacare to contain costs is becoming obvious to all but the most partisan Democrats with the recent announcement of another round of premium increases by major insurers. Maybe Democratic politicians will finally see that Obamacare is a poison pill that will put Republicans in power again if they do not initiate an honest discussion about the necessity of a single payer health care system.



Doctor, as a huge supporter of Single Payer health care, which is a goal of the JP, and in the interests of maintaining the integrity of a broad-based left-right coalition, also a goal of the JP (despite the obvious incongruity on which the party leadership so far has been curiously silent), I would like to ask you how we should proceed.

Since the right will typically not support any government program that does not generate a profit -- that is, if they will support ANY government program at all -- and would prefer to keep health care privatized, I am having difficulty seeing a way forward for the JP with regard to the issue of single payer.

I am hoping that maybe you or others here have an idea for this, since the party leadership refuses to put an end to this partyƛ absurd posturing of being one big happy left-right coalition.   Gotta work with it ...

__________________
Cooperation, coordination, and clarity are essential to creating a political party based on equality. Cliches and equivocations will not move this or any other party forward.
Rick_StaggenborgMD

Registered:
Posts: 4
Reply with quote  #10 

I fully support the goal of a left-right coalition. The problem then is to unite around common values by changing the frame of the discussion.

The crux of the difference is not that conservatives don't want government. People who have this goal are the hard-core self-deluded individuals who will never be able to make common cause with anyone. Our job is to break down ideological barriers by appealing to the common sense of justice shared by the vast majority of Americans, whether they think of themselves as liberals or conservatives.

Considering economic responsibility is most definitely a conservative value shared by thinking liberals. The only reason that most conservatives don't support a single payer system is that they do not realize that in addition to health care being a human right, universal health care is the only sane way to provide health care from an economic point of view. The dirty little secret that Democratic and Republican politicians don't want you to know is that single payer is the most important means to reign in costs of government there is, although cutting the defense budget is a close second.

The reason that Congress doesn't want you to know that is that both parties depend on campaign cash from corporations in the medical-industrial complex, just as they do money from the military-industrial complex. If they betray the interests of any of their corporate puppet masters they run the risk of scaring all of them into attacking them. 

The truth is that we all pay for health care for the uninsured one way or the other and that is not going to change. However, the costs of the for-profit health care system are about twice what they are in countries with universal health care and are approaching 20% of GDP. With an aging population, Medicare will be unsustainable if costs are not reined in. The only way to do this is to improve it by making drug companies negotiate with the government and offering Medicare to everyone so the healthy offset the costs of caring for the sick. Since this saves the average taxpayer money and eliminates the fear of medical bankruptcy, only a fool would argue against it on ideological grounds.

Here is a little bullet point I wrote outlining the savings from a single payer plan.

Here is an article I wrote about the politics of health care reform that argues for an honest debate on single payer.

I hope that you will read and share both.

No Difference

Registered:
Posts: 155
Reply with quote  #11 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rick_StaggenborgMD
I fully support the goal of a left-right coalition. The problem then is to unite around common values by changing the frame of the discussion.
If it is so easy as that, then why has that never happened?  What are these "common values" you refer to -- please list SOME of them, explicitly.  Human need is the only true common core, but since the right already controls the resources to that end, they have no compulsion to help the rest of us.
Quote:
The crux of the difference is not that conservatives don't want government. People who have this goal are the hard-core self-deluded individuals who will never be able to make common cause with anyone.
(I am going to assume you are equating the right with "conservative" in your post since you seem to be using them interchangeably.)

You say it isn't that they (the right?) don't want government -- uh, does the name Grover Norquist ring a bell?  Newt Gingrich?  Hasn't there been one long march to the right on making government smaller, and smaller, then still smaller -- driven by the right itself, but also sucking in flim-flam Democrats along the way to further prop itself up?

My point is:  Those people who you characterize as the "hard-core self-deluded individuals who will never be able to make common cause with anyone" -- well, that's the right wing.  Call them out any way you like; they stand in the way of human progress, and they hold on to a lot of power, and it is growing daily.  It is only people on the Left who think the right will give in who are delusional.  The right is certifiably nuts and too powerful, which is a dangerous combination.

Quote:

Our job is to break down ideological barriers by appealing to the common sense of justice shared by the vast majority of Americans, whether they think of themselves as liberals or conservatives.

The Left, to the best of my knowledge, whether through reading, discussion, personal experience or other means, does not have any "ideological barriers" about justice.  It has always been the Left that fought for civil rights, equality, ending war, and much more.  The right wing stood in the way every time, drawing out their military arsenal to put such actions down.  Many people on the Left have given their lives in pursuit of justice.

The Right, however, when it comes to such barriers, seems to just itch for excuses to throw minorities (esp. their youth) into our prison system, from which they rarely return to our society.  They fight endlessly for precluding women from safe, clean, and free abortions and natal care.  They fight against raising wages so that workers can actually live, not just work. 

If the right cared about justice, my guess is that you and I would not be having this conversation.
Quote:
Considering economic responsibility is most definitely a conservative value shared by thinking liberals.

The only agreement there might be there is that "thinking" liberals know they had better be thinking before rising up too loud or too fast against the right or they might lose silly little things like their careers and other such drivel (the ability to clothe, feed, shelter themselves...).

Doctor, if the right has this value of "economic responsibility," then how about them creating the means by which the rest of us can also be economically responsible?  Like creating jobs with the shitloads of taxpayer money that subsidize their many castles.

The rightwing's notion of economic responsibility is a very convenient one for them, but hardly the one I believe in.  And I speak from the Left.
Quote:

The only reason that most conservatives don't support a single payer system is that they do not realize that in addition to health care being a human right, universal health care is the only sane way to provide health care from an economic point of view. The dirty little secret that Democratic and Republican politicians don't want you to know is that single payer is the most important means to reign in costs of government there is, although cutting the defense budget is a close second.

So you don't think the right's ("conservatives" as you say here?) objective is to make profits by privatizing public services?   That seems to be the all-too-obvious pattern.  They will bellyache how government wastes too much money on health care, and that only wealthy capitalists can save us.  They worship the profit motive and free markets.

Surely, doctor, "thinking" conservatives certainly do realize the only sane and economical approach to health care is single payer.  I don't think they are too stupid, frankly.  This next paragraph of yours seems to acknowledge this fact, yet the previous would contradict it.
Quote:
The reason that Congress doesn't want you to know that is that both parties depend on campaign cash from corporations in the medical-industrial complex, just as they do money from the military-industrial complex. If they betray the interests of any of their corporate puppet masters they run the risk of scaring all of them into attacking them.

The rest of your post is preaching to the already-converted, and does nothing to further how or where the Left and the Right can bridge their differences. 


__________________
Cooperation, coordination, and clarity are essential to creating a political party based on equality. Cliches and equivocations will not move this or any other party forward.
No Difference

Registered:
Posts: 155
Reply with quote  #12 
Thank you, Alan, for one of THE most cogent posts I have read here so far.  I enjoyed reading this.

Quote:
Originally Posted by alanmaki

it is virtually impossible to have any kind of coalition for ANY reform which includes the right wing. It is quite possible, and has repeatedly be done, that those who are afflicted with right wing ideas can be educated and convinced their right wing (conservative) ideas are wrong


Sounds like you are saying that even though it is virtually impossible to work with the right on any reform, it is still possible to sort of re-train them.   I hope you are right.

My own experience with coalitions, frankly, is that -- and this is true whether a coalition of Leftist/progressive/liberal groups, or a coalition of Left-and-right groups -- is that the narrower the focus, the more likely a productive outcome.  (I think I have posted about this elsewhere here.)   Single-issue coalitions are the best.  And this is why I don't see how a political party, which are typically NOT single-issue groups, can accommodate the entire Left-Right spectrum.  If it were that easy, then why would there be so many different Left political parties?  (Granted, some of it may be related to "personality" issues, but usually it has to do with genuine philosophical differences that need to be respected!)

Quote:
What are "progressives" but liberals who have been convinced by leftists who are not yet quite ready to come to the realization capitalism is the culprit and has to go.


Almost true.  Some Leftists, like myself, are "progressives" not because I/we are not ready to come to the realization about the real culprit.  No, I/we are all too aware.  The difference is that we are anxious to see some kind of progress now, if for no other reason than to ameliorate at least some of the suffering under this system.

Quote:
there isn't a lot of agreement with exactly what kind of future system leftists agree they are for. I happen to believe socialism is the replacement we need for capitalism


Right on.  This is a huge problem with the most radical Leftist groups.  When I ask them to offer a vision of their ideal worlds, there is invariably some equivocation.  I've heard lots of excuses, reasons, and tangents; so far, I have not heard one single realizable goal.

You are clear about your solution, and I hope you will share some time what your vision of socialism would look like.  Then again, you rightly point out this is not about socialism, and we need not get hung up on this side point.

Quote:
It is true that many libertarians support anti-Wall Street initiatives but where liberals, progressives and the left part ways with the libertarians is when it comes to reforms


Now there's a group that can offer you a very clear vision of their ideal world.  No government, no laws, no rules.  Everyone is a gentleman or a lady, so there is no need to worry that anyone could possibly get hurt.   If someone does get hurt, they'll just pull out their weapons and take care of what ails ya.  Everyone for themselves.  Complete and utter dystopia to me, but they are in love with the idea.

I think it might be for this reason that it is so hard to work with the Right on social reforms.  The strategies of achieving "solution" are diametrically opposed.  Righties always want to make sure that any "reform" includes plenty of rest stops for siphoning off some profit before it reaches the intended recipients.  The Left generally does not demand these measures.

Quote:
The libertarians often condemn the imperialist wars which they generally see as wars of "empire" rather than imperialism


Surely you did not mean to distinguish "wars of empire" from imperialism, which also refers to empire.   I suspect a typo?

Quote:
It is, in fact, the historic coalition of liberals, progressive and leftists which has won every single major reform in this country from the New Deal to Civil Rights and built the powerful industrial unions. 

I comment on all of this because I think it is relevant as to how we move forward if we want to win the peace, real health care reform and full employment--- jobs for all who want to work.



What do you think of Social Credit (not the current day parties which do not share much philosophically with the original movement)?  I wonder if Clifford Douglas, its founder, may have had a point that pursuing full employment in an increasingly automated world might not make good public policy.

Quote:
And I have been an outspoken supporter and activist for single-payer for many years even though I have always advocated single-payer as a first step towards a National Public Health Care System--- socialized health care.

In Canada, the great Tommy Douglas, one of the primary founders of the socialist New Democratic Party, while near death, reminded Canadians they were going to have to see the struggle through without him for "socialized health care" because the single-payer system was only a short-term fix reform and was not sustainable in the long-term.



Wow.  I have done a lot of reading and research into the Canadian universal health care phenomenon and somehow missed this; thank you.  Alan, if you have links on this, please do share.  It does make sense, however, and though a Canadian-style system is nothing to snub at, I agree with you that an NHS is really the much more ideal.  I have even uttered this a few times myself, but I realize it is hard enough to get single payer.

Quote:

This is now a position being advanced by large numbers of Canadians--- liberals, progressives and leftists. (And, by-the-way; leftism is growing in Canada by leaps and bounds. The socialist NDP has dominated Manitoba politics for over 50 years, and the NDP is on the verge of taking political power from the hands of Bay Street in the next national election.)


This is very good news if true about growing leftism in Canada.  The reports I see on TRNN leave me puzzled and worried.

Also, I've heard varying characterizations of the NDP as to just how "socialist" it really is.  Certainly, of the 3 major parties in Canada, it is definitely the most progressive and leftleaning.   And I agree that if Harper keeps at it, that is just what will happen.  And that is why the US, through its NAFTA/SPP/Northcom treaties and agreements, continues to attempt "harmonization" (I swear that is the technical term for this) between the two nations in hopes that the US can wrangle power over Canada and force Canadians into full compliance with our agenda.  I believe that the B-35 debacle/scandal is just one manifestation of this.  If the US loses this window, it could be all over for US plans for North American hegemony.  (We can only hope...)

Once again, thank you for your lucid and well-written post.  I am looking forward to more of these.


__________________
Cooperation, coordination, and clarity are essential to creating a political party based on equality. Cliches and equivocations will not move this or any other party forward.
Rick_StaggenborgMD

Registered:
Posts: 4
Reply with quote  #13 

Alan said: " It is quite possible, and has repeatedly be done, that those who are afflicted with right wing ideas can be educated and convinced their right wing (conservative) ideas are wrong by the way a coalition of the liberals, progressives and the left proceed in fighting and struggling for reforms and those of us from the left (I speak here as a leftist) should always consider we have to convince and educate people to bring them along to a healthier view of the world--- the "we" instead of the selfish "me" which is the basis for right wing thinking to begin with. "

He goes on to cite a lot of history of social change that unfortunately is not as relative today because of the filibuster (requiring a supermajority to pass legislation in a deeply divided Senate) and the grip on the public mind of a corporate media that does not challenge the left-right meme that fills Congress with uncompromising ideologues and milquetoast "liberals" (at best). In such a milieu, it is impossible for a Tommy Douglas to muster the political strength to oppose the right wing, which I most certainly do not regard as synonymous with "conservatives." When I was going up, the "right wing" was a term reserved for fascists who quite clearly supported the interests of corporations and the rich over the people. It is the corporate media in the west that has given the term respectability by equating it with the term "conservative." It is nothing of the kind. That is what I think about when I frame the terms of any discussion about how to bring Americans together to fight for justice.

 

The only way to effect political change is to get people to quit labeling themselves and arguing from ideologies that are determined by the corporate media after extensive polling by folks like Frank Luntz tells them what language will best sway the masses. Both "liberal" and "conservative" politicians frame the terms of debate in Congress using these memes, which is why there is any debate at all about cutting earned benefits under Social Security and Medicare as a "necessary" means to reduce the debt, for instance. I use the terms "thinking conservative" and "thinking liberal" as a convenience, but in my opinion anyone who has thought very deeply about our current situation knows that a thinking citizen holds both liberal and conservative values, many of which were traditionally identical. That is why America worked for a while, even if it has always fallen short of true democracy.

 

No Difference asks for values conservatives share with liberals. How about democracy? I am convinced that the only way we will get single payer is to get liberals and conservatives to agree that we need a constitutional amendment to ban corporate campaign expenditures and limit the amount individuals can spend to influence elections. Since 80% of self-identified conservatives and liberals are opposed to Citizens United, this may be the one issue we can get a vast majority of Americans to agree on that Congress will have to respond to, especially after we make it a campaign issue starting in 2014. Check out the Pledge to Amend campaign.

We are not going to get conservative support when we start talking about socialism. If a democratic nation decides to adopt socialism that is well and good, but you can't get there from here. You have to have a plan that starts from where the People are at, moving them forward until they can see why they should or shouldn't take that step. The National Health Program Alan is talking about would not even get the support of most liberals, who would view it as impossible to sell to conservatives, or even undesirable. Look how the "liberals" in the Democratic party sold out for the public option bait-and-switch.

 

No Difference

Registered:
Posts: 155
Reply with quote  #14 
The problem with Dr Staggenborg's analysis of the health care issue is that it seems to re-assign the alignments by slightly changing the traditional meanings of left and right.  It is common in these conversations to conflate "left" with Democrat and liberal-leaning independents in the Congress.  This is illusory, because in truth the Democrats are no less right wing than their Republican counterparts, and to claim otherwise is to contradict even the most recent history.  It is Obama demanding drone hits, not Bush.

When we speak of the "Left," unless stipulated otherwise, I always assume the traditional meaning.  The right is the vanguard of the status quo, money, power, inequality.  The left fights/struggles to make even modest changes to correct the resulting inhumanities. 

Again, this is supposed to be a political party, not a political coalition, and certainly not a political movement.  It takes coalitions to achieve results spanning different ideologies. 

"Democracy" is not a party plank in the sense that single payer health care is a party plank.   Sure, democracy had better be high on the list of JP to-do's.  But it is not something the party can achieve unilaterally.  The Doctor points to democracy as an example of common ground, but if the right actually shared common ground on democracy, then why do they muck with the rudiments of voting right in our faces?  The Left knows what these cretins are doing with our elections and our votes, primarily through the use of the electronic voting tabulators whose totals cannot be verified. 

I also mentioned in previous posts here other things the Right boasts about.  Those things are hardly the sort of "common ground" of anything I would consider a basis for democracy.

I don't totally disagree with Dr. Staggenborg.  But I do have some strong quibbles over the use of terminology, which seems to be stipulated, or dispensed with altogether.  All I am asking for is clarity.

__________________
Cooperation, coordination, and clarity are essential to creating a political party based on equality. Cliches and equivocations will not move this or any other party forward.
Rick_StaggenborgMD

Registered:
Posts: 4
Reply with quote  #15 

The basis of any productive discussion is a common understanding of the definitions of terms used. In redefining conservative as distinct from "right wing" I am making the same sort of distinction Alan and No Difference make between "liberal" and "progressive." The point is to highlight the desirable characteristics of the "right" and "left" points of view where we can find common ground and invite people from the extremes to join us.

 

Let me be very clear about what the central message of my last post was: I want to see the Justice Party take a strong stand on a constitutional amendment and to reach out to other parties and organizations to do the same. That is a plank that will strengthen the platform of any party or candidate willing to put democracy at the center of political campaign debate. Again, I would ask that whoever reads this look at the Pledge to Amend campaign here.

 

Pledge to Amend is nonpartisan, in that its goal is to make support for a constitutional amendment making it impossible for corporations and the rich to buy elections a litmus test in congressional elections around the country, starting in 2014 and continuing until we elect a Congress that will pass the amendment. With 80% of both self-identified liberals and conservatives opposed to Citizens United, the time is now to take back America for the People.

Previous Topic | Next Topic
Print
Reply

Quick Navigation:


Create your own forum with Website Toolbox!