It’s been easy to get overwhelmed under the swelling mountain of outrages, atrocities and abominations. They come daily and are thrown on top of an ever-growing Everest of offenses.
It’s easy to get overwhelmed and exhausted and hopeless. The only way I’ve found to keep my head from exploding, or climbing the metaphorical Texas Tower, is to focus on what I believe has led us to this dark and confusing place so we can think about how to get past it. So what has lead us to this place?
Isn’t it our abdication of justice? Isn’t what lead us here the surrendering of our compassion and empathy?
The most clear example of this is how our economic system has swung wildly out of whack. There is no justice, no compassion, in this system. The obscenely rich have a huge reserve of power to effect and control our political system. They are the ones who’ve brought us Trump (Robert Mercer, anyone?), and the GOP writ large that’s now fully in control of our government. The Kochs and Mercers and the rest of the oligarchs have given us Trump and Ryan and vile Mitch McConnell.
The GOPers barely even bother to try to hide it anymore.
Meanwhile there’s 42 humans (who, by the way, should be stripped of their wealth and imprisoned) who have more money than half of the people on this planet.
If we remember to focus on this, on building a just system, especially a just economic system, many of the dire problems and atrocities that we’re now facing will vanish. That should be our end game: economic justice.
And we’ll need to think outside the box to accomplish this. In fact we probably need to throw the box out and start from scratch. For example, beyond the obvious things like publicly financing elections and rescinding the idea of money as speech, we could legislate that we can not cut taxes for the rich beyond a certain point, and never with a poverty level above a certain point. We could legislate limits on defense/military/security spending as a percent of our annual budget. These sorts of things are not only possible, but necessary if we want a more just system and economy. And, as an added benefit we would never again have to hear a millionaire elected representative complain about a tax cut that he just gave himself.
Even further outside the box would be issues of monetary policy. Just as a rough example that I’m sure has flaws that would need fixing, but an example of the kind of big, bold thinking we should be doing, we could, as a country, embrace a national crytocurrency that could run in tandem with our standard currency. The national cryptocurrency could be issued equally to every adult, excluding only those in the top 20% income bracket or so. The cryptocurency could also be designed so that more was issued, not by so-called ‘mining’ but to those who solve pressing problems. For example, a person or institution could earn more currency by, say, coming up with a plan that reduced greenhouse emissions by a certain percent– just as an example.
The problems we’re now facing can not be fixed with tweaks to the tax code or quantitative easing. It’s time for a structural rebuild and evolution. That’s the kind of thinking we must start getting used to. We can either start thinking in a new way now or we can wait until after the inevitable train wreck and try to figure it out on the fly in the middle of a crisis.
I suggest we start thinking outside the wretched unjust box now. Now would be a good time.
PS- I have been working on novel titled Undertow which is about two months from being finished. It’s an occult mystery (I needed a break from politics). Please look for it when it’s released which will probably be in late spring or early summer.