Liberal Democrat

Liberal Democrat
Individual Freedom For Everyone

Thursday, February 7, 2013

The Nation: Economy: Eric Alterman: The Missing Link in Barack Obama's Liberalism: How to Create an Opportunity Society

The Missing Link in Obama's Liberalism | The Nation

There are four words that I want you to focus on as you read this blog. Because they go to the heart of Liberalism  after you get past individual freedom and individual rights. These four words are liberalize, liberate, notice how liberalize and liberate sound like liberal. Because they all come from the same thing and the other two words would be empowerment and opportunity. These four words are not only at the heart of Liberalism but economic Liberalism as well. And President Obama did mention opportunity in his second inaugural address but the other four not so much. But he did talk about the need for more opportunity in America and talked about ways to create that. He didn't talk about expanding the New Deal or Great Society or even build off of that but he talk about the need for an economy. That creates more opportunity for more Americans and he did focus on the poor the people who need exactly that. And talked of terms of hand ups and not handouts, so in that sense his inaugural wasn't an FDR. Social-Democratic speech but more in terms of Jack Kennedy of, not ask what your country can do for you. But what you can do for your country, how we build an economy that empowers more Americans to have the same freedom. As the rest of the country.

Sorry Progressives or Social-Democrats we are pass the FDR New Deal and LBJ Great Society days. And still live in the world of Ron Reagan versus Bill Clinton. Of government not being the solution but the problem coming from President Reagan, since Republicans have yet to move pass that yet. Vs Bill Clinton's Opportunity Society of using government to empower people who need it with the. Opportunity to be successful in life and not be dependent on public assistance. Those are basically the two main competing visions for the country coming from the major political parties. Yes Progressive-Democrats have their own vision that they would call the New Deal of the 21st Century. Thats government based to build a more inclusive and equable society where no American would have too. Much or too little but the problem for them is they yet to find a President who'll push that agenda for them.

For anyone whose interested in what's called income inequality, meaning some Americans have a hell of a lot more then others. To put in simple terms because they've been successful in life, if this is an issue you care about and so do I but I would put in different terms. Then you should be pushing policies that will empower the fifty million or so Americans who don't have enough. Are struggling to survive, what can we do for them so they to can be successful in life. And if you read this blog on a regular basis especially the War on Poverty section. You know for me at least its about opportunity for these people to be successful in life and that gets to things like. Education, job training and job placement so they get themselves the skills they need to be successful in life. By the country focusing on those things.

Robert Reich.Org: Economy: The Economic Challenge Ahead: "More Jobs and Growth, Not Deficit Reduction"

Robert Reich (The Economic Challenge Ahead: More Jobs and Growth, Not Deficit Reduction)

I actually agree with Progressive economist Robert Reich on a couple things here, can't remember the last time that has happened. That since the deficit is finally under a trillion dollars and now around five percent of our GDP. That its not as big of a problem as it has been and we can debate what caused this and so fourth. The problem with Dr. Reich's argument is he didn't mention the national debt still 16T$ and we just can't allow that to grow faster then the economy indefinitely. The other thing I agree with Dr. Reich in is that jobs and I would add economic to go along with job growth should be our number one priority as it. Relates to the economy but my point is we should be doing that as we get the debt under control. No its no longer growing faster then the economy, I wrote a blog three years ago arguing for more. Infrastructure investment in this country and wrote a blog eighteen months ago calling for a National Infrastructure Bank. We simply for our economy and our infrastructure system need to rebuild it and thats going to take around 1TS over a 5-10 year period. And we can do this as we are doing infrastructure investment.

We can pass a comprehensive which I have a feeling will be the number one used word in America. This year at least as it relates to national politics, comprehensive deficit reduction plan to finish the idea. Over a 5-10 year window that includes savings and reforms in entitlements and the broader social insurance. System, defense and the tax code and we could get around 1T$ by reforming the tax code and doing things like. Encouraging business's to invest and hire in America not oversees and eliminate wasteful tax loopholes. Especially corporate welfare, bringing down our corporate tax to a more competitive rate. Forcing Medicare and Medicaid to stop compensating doctors and hospitals based on the amount of healthcare they provide. And compensate them based on how healthy the patients are, having wealthy seniors pay more for their Medicare and Social Security. Creating a public option for Medicare, reforming the broader safety net by making all of it financially self reliant. And turning those programs into empowerment programs designed to move people out of poverty.

When it comes to defense, not not cut it across the board but cut back in areas that we don't need to spend or shouldn't be spending on. Like in Europe, Saudi Arabia. Korea and Japan and using the drawdowns from Iraq and Afghanistan. To go for deficit reduction and having those cuts come from developed nations that we are forced to defend. Have those countries defend themselves or pay us to defend them, so we don't have to hurt our own national security. And then pass an economic growth act that rebuilds this country and encourages business's to invest and hire here and pay for that. And we can rebuild our economy and perhaps erase the deficit and have a debt that no longer gets in the way of. Our economic and job growth.