Ideas & Short Essays
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This should end well

Here’s one of the headlines in the New York Times today:


Even back in the mid 00’s, when I was still sympathetic to conservative politics, even then I could see that it was lack of accountability and lack of regulation that had led to the Great Recession. I didn’t know any conservatives (personally or in the mainstream conservative media), however, who were willing to acknowledge the problem, to take a hard look at reality. So, I got on board with Obama. When Obama failed to punish anyone responsible for crashing the global economy, I joined Occupy Wall Street. 

What’s happening now is nothing new, keep that in mind. It’s all too easy to be outraged by the bombastic Trump and miss the point that he’s merely implementing a slightly more aggressive form of government that has been in place for decades.

It’s true that Trump takes it to another level, turning the guilty (Wall Street) into the victim. Still, this is bigger than Trump, it’s part of a decades-long trend. What Trump is doing is merely part of the greater philosophy of deregulation, something that both establishment Democrats and Republicans believe in.

Neither party believes in real accountability for those in power. This is true of banks, of corporations, of the wealthy, and of politicians in government. And this is what leads to economies crashing. Accountability stabilizes things.

A good and just society begins by reforming government so that it acts for the common good of society and so that all persons within that society are able to benefit

Those in power ought to be held to higher standards than the rest of us. Were Trump to pay attention when watching Spiderman, for example, he could learn that with great power comes great responsibility. At this point in our nation’s history, the opposite is true: those in power get a pass.

Regulations are not bad, they provide accountability. Government is not evil if it is used for good. Government regulations are meant to keep the powerful in check — or more to the point, to keep any one person or corporation from gaining too much power to begin with. A good and just society begins by reforming government so that it acts for the common good of society and so that all persons within that society are able to benefit.

So, where does that leave a guy like me, a vagabond and Occupy drop out? Well, I just had a meeting this afternoon, at Santa Cruz Coffee Roasters, with a fellow DSA (Democratic Socialists of America) member. DSA is an activist group I believe in. They are not associated with the Democrat Party but instead are a grassroots organization dedicated to democracy and accountability, two things that our political parties have failed to deliver.


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Writer. In the summers, I live and work in the incredible state of Alaska, in the bush community of McCarthy; I pass the winters in the Santa Cruz Mountains of California. I'm working on a memoir-based nonfiction book on the American Dream. I blog, quite frequently, and I also have a novel in process, set in Alaska.

Consider this post an invitation, an invitation to comment and collaborate, in an open-ended sort of way, so please share your...whatever it is that's on your mind: thoughts, ideas, greetings, angst/irritation, inspiration, confusion, query, rant, salutation, data/research, meme, epigram, exposition or epiphany -- because I'm all about the synergy and solidarity. ~ JE

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