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Cosmic Kitten

(3,498 posts)
Tue Nov 18, 2014, 10:35 AM Nov 2014

What are the PROBLEMS Populists want to fix?

There seems to be enough talk of "policy".
Possibly too much.

Focusing on "fixing" existing problems is
still constraining ideas within the current narrative
and ideological frames.

It seems that it may serve the "problem solving"
process better to examine the systemic issues
that created the current problems.

Forget band-aiding a broken system...
What are the systemic problems that a populists MUST confront?

Quote Einstein:
We cannot solve our problems with
the same thinking we used when we created them.

70 replies = new reply since forum marked as read
Highlight: NoneDon't highlight anything 5 newestHighlight 5 most recent replies
What are the PROBLEMS Populists want to fix? (Original Post) Cosmic Kitten Nov 2014 OP
The "systemic issues" are the problems we should be fixing. Scuba Nov 2014 #1
Too much "policy talk" in the context of... Cosmic Kitten Nov 2014 #5
Election reform is a policy issue. Scuba Nov 2014 #8
It is a policy issue. Cosmic Kitten Nov 2014 #14
You are correct but it would help if you give us some examples of systematic vs issue related. jwirr Nov 2014 #33
Sure, Election Reform: Cosmic Kitten Nov 2014 #37
Thank you. That gives all of us some starting places. jwirr Nov 2014 #49
I like what you are doing. Here's my idea. We need to agree on the basic principles. rhett o rick Nov 2014 #56
Unemployment, particularly long term unemployment. Erich Bloodaxe BSN Nov 2014 #2
Unemployement is a BIG deal Cosmic Kitten Nov 2014 #6
WPA, Civilian Conservation Corps Doctor_J Nov 2014 #16
Hmm, Good examples to look towards Cosmic Kitten Nov 2014 #28
Getting money out of politics is THE top priority. (edit) CrispyQ Nov 2014 #3
YES! Cosmic Kitten Nov 2014 #9
I think you are right in that the PUBLIC/Populists need to start 'naming names and shaming sabrina 1 Nov 2014 #19
You identified two prongs of the problem and solution Cosmic Kitten Nov 2014 #22
So what can Populists do to speed up that process, is my question? Cosmic Kitten Nov 2014 #27
First we have to identify what tools are available to populists. sabrina 1 Nov 2014 #32
That makes sense, but it is preaching to the choir Cosmic Kitten Nov 2014 #38
I'm going to start the Jamie Dimon In Jail party. CrispyQ Nov 2014 #58
Yes! Nothing will essentially change until then. ~nt RiverLover Nov 2014 #51
The best way to focus the group's attention on problem solving demwing Nov 2014 #4
Not problem solving, SYSTEMIC PROBLEM IDENTIFICATION Cosmic Kitten Nov 2014 #11
Need living wage jobs. L0oniX Nov 2014 #7
ABSOLUETLY! Cosmic Kitten Nov 2014 #12
Election Reform is foundational. riqster Nov 2014 #10
It appears so. Cosmic Kitten Nov 2014 #20
Just so. When we feel invested, we increase our engagement. riqster Nov 2014 #23
Yep, it so basic. Cosmic Kitten Nov 2014 #29
Hear! Hear! starroute Nov 2014 #13
This appears to be a chicken or the egg issue. Cosmic Kitten Nov 2014 #17
Medical Bankruptcy. "working poor". Perpetual money-scarfing MIC Doctor_J Nov 2014 #15
I see your point Cosmic Kitten Nov 2014 #18
See my thread on election reform F4lconF16 Nov 2014 #21
Thats what I'm seeing Cosmic Kitten Nov 2014 #25
Campaign Finance Reform is the #1 issue Maedhros Nov 2014 #24
Again, chicken or the egg Cosmic Kitten Nov 2014 #26
Proportional Representation is characteristic of parliamentary democracies. Maedhros Nov 2014 #30
Interesting. What does the end game look like? Cosmic Kitten Nov 2014 #31
The end game looks like most of Europe (and Canada, and Australia). [n/t] Maedhros Nov 2014 #36
Any suggested reads (sumary types) to get the big picture? Cosmic Kitten Nov 2014 #41
Any decent Comparative Politics text would do. Maedhros Nov 2014 #42
Thanks, got homework to do ;~) Cosmic Kitten Nov 2014 #43
Yes. Liberals and Progressives would not be required to surrender their electoral leverage Maedhros Nov 2014 #44
That makes a lot of common sense. Thanks Cosmic Kitten Nov 2014 #47
Free and fair election system. Without honest elections, we won't be able to fix rhett o rick Nov 2014 #64
Global warming. progressoid Nov 2014 #34
Yes, many systemic problems are nested Cosmic Kitten Nov 2014 #40
Seems ta me that it's not problems, but goals Jackpine Radical Nov 2014 #35
Agreed, it's a question of how to process the goals. Cosmic Kitten Nov 2014 #39
We need to stop prisons from getting contracts that union labor should be performing.nt bravenak Nov 2014 #45
Absolutely! Cosmic Kitten Nov 2014 #46
We need to get people educated. bravenak Nov 2014 #48
Education is everything. Cosmic Kitten Nov 2014 #50
We have to fix our democracy, or nothing else will be fixed Martin Eden Nov 2014 #52
I'm in! Voting is All American! Cosmic Kitten Nov 2014 #54
We need to prioritize. I agree with your signature but we need to rhett o rick Nov 2014 #63
Yes, we can't do it all at once Martin Eden Nov 2014 #68
You need to educate Americans or nothing is going to be fixed. EEO Nov 2014 #53
Of course, but how? Cosmic Kitten Nov 2014 #55
We need to somehow render the 1% completely powerless. They are the root of every systemic Zorra Nov 2014 #57
Taxation is the way to fix this TBF Nov 2014 #59
Taxation or Tax reform? Simplify or add to the byzantine process? Cosmic Kitten Nov 2014 #60
Exactly - TBF Nov 2014 #61
Yes. Tax them at the same rate we taxed them at in the 1950's. Zorra Nov 2014 #62
Absolutely. The argument is so easy to make. NYC_SKP Nov 2014 #65
Pin of the Week! demwing Nov 2014 #66
Great choice! scarletwoman Nov 2014 #67
Thing is, a lot of the fixes need constitutional amendments, and they have become merrily Nov 2014 #69
People not caring. UrbScotty Dec 2014 #70

Cosmic Kitten

(3,498 posts)
5. Too much "policy talk" in the context of...
Tue Nov 18, 2014, 11:01 AM
Nov 2014

We all know we need jobs, economic reform,
to end wars, state surveillance etc etc etc.
We could generate an endless shopping list
of policy fixes, right?

But how did we get here?
There are systemic problems that created this mess.
Adressing outside, undue in Congress would go
farther in solving some problems rather than
playing whack-a-mole with each individual problem.

Take ELECTIONS for example:
This is a huge problem for Populists.
How do you remove barriers to voter participation?
Do you try to urge individuals, one at a time, to vote?
Do you fight gerrymandering one state at a time?
Do you address voting methods/counting case by case?
What about voting wait times?
I could go on in minutia about these problems...
But it is a SYSTEMIC PROBLEM more readily solved
though addressing the system itself, not the symptoms?

Hopefully that helps clarify

Cosmic Kitten

(3,498 posts)
14. It is a policy issue.
Tue Nov 18, 2014, 11:35 AM
Nov 2014

I'm lobbying for an approach
that looks at the Gestalt.
We can either get lost in the minutia
and miss the forest for the trees,
or adopt a higher perspective.

That "higher perspective", if
properly executed would solve
multiple problems rather than spend
precious resources in small skirmishes.

So the issue is how do we frame
the issue of election reform.
It's about capturing and controlling the narrative.

Cosmic Kitten

(3,498 posts)
37. Sure, Election Reform:
Tue Nov 18, 2014, 02:56 PM
Nov 2014

Last edited Tue Nov 18, 2014, 03:52 PM - Edit history (1)

This may be a semantic problem, so any
suggestions to clarify the issue are welcome

So what are the problems with our current election system?

Campaign financing
Low voter turn out, voter apathy
~ voter disenfranchisement/voting rights
~ voter eligibility
Open vs closed primaries
Lack of election procedure standards
~ electronic voting
~ punch cards
~ butterfly ballots
~ poll worker training
and so on...

Some opinions are that we need to
"get money out of elections"
or that we need to change "how we vote"
or that we need stronger "voter rights"
These are ALL valid concerns, but they are symptoms.

Together, they represent a SYSTEMIC PROBLEM.
The calcified political process and entrenched
malignant elements within the power structure
The fight to maintain control on the levers
of power manifests as it's symptoms.

Does that help?


rhett o rick

(55,981 posts)
56. I like what you are doing. Here's my idea. We need to agree on the basic principles.
Wed Nov 19, 2014, 01:55 PM
Nov 2014

In another thread here there is a great start. Then we need to prioritize the issues related to the principles. Then we go to tactics as you demonstrate above.

"We have a right to free and fair elections" - Principle or value

Related problems: as you listed above.

Which of these problems if solved give us the best return? How much resources and what resources are needed to solve the problems?

I would think there is guide for this type of development.

Erich Bloodaxe BSN

(14,733 posts)
2. Unemployment, particularly long term unemployment.
Tue Nov 18, 2014, 10:48 AM
Nov 2014

Why don't we have something like 'social workers' who do nothing but work with unemployed to match them up with jobs in their areas and skillsets? Government 'placement agencies' who work with employers to get people who have skills into the jobs that use them, rather than having every individual struggling by themselves to figure out even how to get their resumes looked at by a human?

Taking that farther, beyond simply employment, why should the individual always be left to struggle solo without expert advice on most things? Why should we need to figure out which insurance policy meets our healthcare needs? Why not just.... provide healthcare?

And institute more community programs. Community cafeterias that provide healthy, balanced meals at cost to any member of the community, and subsidized or free to the poor. Community exercise facilities that provide health regimen advice. Community housing, on a short or long term basis for those without. Community transportation. Community childcare.

Cosmic Kitten

(3,498 posts)
6. Unemployement is a BIG deal
Tue Nov 18, 2014, 11:17 AM
Nov 2014

But why aren't there more jobs?

Retraining people sounds great,
but retraining for what?
Career counselors, or placement agencies
can only place you if there are positions to fill.
The lack of jobs is the issue, and there have
been policies which created and maintain that problem.
Get to the root of the issue.

The concern with the individual struggling
to navigate a byzantine bureaucracy a SYSTEMIC ISSUE.
The convoluted nature of institutions, Govt included
is often by design to discourage people from getting help.
Under-staffing, limited offices or hours, all serve to
diminish the availability of those services.
Do we need MORE services or to IMPROVE delivery

Regarding "Community based" services...
rather that looking for a bureaucracy to solve the problem
why not look to community based programs that work?
CSA's and Community Gardens seem to be good examples
of both serving community needs while ACTUALLY building
real communities by reclaiming public space, feeding people
and providing a sense of community pride.

Cosmic Kitten

(3,498 posts)
28. Hmm, Good examples to look towards
Tue Nov 18, 2014, 01:10 PM
Nov 2014

With out decrepit infrastructure we have two basic choices
when we finally decide to rebuild America for the future.

1. Privatize the projects and allow private corporations to siphon off public funds.
2. WPA those projects, keep the money local, and raise the standard of living for millions.

The Populist choice is obvious.


(35,909 posts)
3. Getting money out of politics is THE top priority. (edit)
Tue Nov 18, 2014, 10:49 AM
Nov 2014

On edit, I'll add that the entire electoral system needs overhauling from redistricting, to paper ballots, to standardized election laws & more voting hours, etc. The whole thing is such a mess.

Cosmic Kitten

(3,498 posts)
9. YES!
Tue Nov 18, 2014, 11:27 AM
Nov 2014

So if MONEY is part of a SYSTEMIC problem
in what way can that be addressed?
I seems to require politicians with enough spine
to risk not getting BIG donations from traditional sources.
Does such a political creature exist?

To overhaul the electoral system means those
in Congress would be putting PUBLIC needs before their own.
A rare bird indeed!
Perhaps Populists have a role in naming names and shaming
those who sellout the Public for personal gain?

It may be easier to push electoral reform
than getting money out of politics?
Then with enough support in Congress,
work to solve the money issue?
If for no other reason than the right-wing fringe also
has a distaste for self-serving, career politicians.
This is an area where unexpected allies presents itself?

sabrina 1

(62,325 posts)
19. I think you are right in that the PUBLIC/Populists need to start 'naming names and shaming
Tue Nov 18, 2014, 12:21 PM
Nov 2014

those who sellout the Public for personal gain'. That process appears to have been started however, by the voters.

See eg, the 2010 Election. Nearly all Progressive Dems held their seats. Blue Dogs however, did not.

Why did that happen? I think partially because when Progressives became angry over Dems caving on policies, especially when they were in the MAJORITY, they were told it was the Blue Dogs who were to blame. Of course most of us did not buy that. But the voters responded by refusing to keep them in DC.

Then of course, the anti populist/liberal policy Third Wayers, again 'blamed the voters' back tracking on their claim that Dems could not implement Dem policies in the MAjority because of Blue Dogs, and claimed the opposite, 'we needed them'.

Once again, in this recent election, voters took matters into their own hands.

While not enthusiastic at all over National Politics, they went out across the country and voted for Progressive Ballot Issues, locally.

So whether it is an organized movement or not, voters are addressing the problems.

We have to accept that to turn things around is not going to happen overnight.

It took decades for money to buy the Republican Party and much of the Dem Party.

It has to be done in stages. We cant just take the 'money out of politics' by focusing on National Elections.

So imo, starting Locally is where to begin rebuilding the Dem Party. And that has already begun.

So what can Populists do to speed up that process, is my question?

Voters are not stupid, contrary to what DC insider appear to think.

They have started the ball rolling so how to keep it rolling is the question.

Cosmic Kitten

(3,498 posts)
22. You identified two prongs of the problem and solution
Tue Nov 18, 2014, 12:37 PM
Nov 2014

1. starting Locally is where to begin rebuilding the Dem Party.

That is how the tee party (although astro turfed) worked.
There is clearly a need for a "farm league" and a need
for a deep bench of trusted candidates.
Trust must be EARNED, not bestowed.
Earned through working UP through the ranks.
Currently, deep pockets are all that's required to get nominated.
See also; Mittens, The Donald, et al

2. We cant just take the 'money out of politics' by focusing on National Elections.

Exactly, that's a tall order, particulary in consideration
for how necessary MONEY is right now, as it is.
So not so much the Elections itself, as the platform itself.
The public has to buy into how money disenfranchises them.
And why its important to get their vote/voice back.
That message has cross-party Populist appeal.

Remember, inside every republican is a Populist
waiting to be set free!

Cosmic Kitten

(3,498 posts)
27. So what can Populists do to speed up that process, is my question?
Tue Nov 18, 2014, 01:05 PM
Nov 2014

Hopefully, this is part of that solution!

An engaging platform, an exciting brand,
re-framing of ideas, forward thinking,
capturing the narrative, media insurgency,
guerrilla marketing, exploiting social media...
the power of viral memes is unstoppable.
A solid idea could carry more weight than
hundreds of individuals.

Recognize the tools, utilize the techniques!

sabrina 1

(62,325 posts)
32. First we have to identify what tools are available to populists.
Tue Nov 18, 2014, 01:23 PM
Nov 2014

This cartoon illustrates what the people/populists are up against:


I agree with everything on your list that we need to do.

But what can we realistically AFFORD to do?

We cannot afford media marketing.

But we CAN exploit Social Media, it is free, it is where many people go for news now.

You are correct that a solid idea could carry more weight than a hundred individuals.

This small group is not the only group, many already formed and working towards similar goals.

Many of them are on Twitter and FB. Some have had some success on certain issues.

So first, perhaps, and I'm just thinking out loud, identify and clarify a 'solid idea'.

Put it into words, make it short but captivating.

Start circulating it on Social Media.

On Twitter eg, follow other groups who already exist, eg, Civil liberties groups, Unions, Progressive Activist Groups, Social Security Advocacy Groups etc.

People who already have a Twitter and/or FB account can begin retweeting to those they follow and their follower, the message, and imo, the most important one is 'get the money out of politics'.

Build up accounts with the goal of reaching as many people as possible.

Then start naming names of Candidates who are running who are clearly Corporate Tools.

Identify and support non Corporate, Progressive Candidates.

Social Media is a powerful tool when used effectively.

I know it is just a small tool, but it is free. So for now, that is my first thought, use what is free. I will try to think of other ways we can spread information.

Cosmic Kitten

(3,498 posts)
38. That makes sense, but it is preaching to the choir
Tue Nov 18, 2014, 03:14 PM
Nov 2014

That cartoon is an example of working within
the establishment current framework.
It's insane to try to compete on the establishment's turf.
Success depends on redefining the frames and narratives.

I was thinking more along the lines
of the mainstream conscience.

Pop culture is THE vehicle.
Smart, funny, accessible to the mainstream.
A solid viral idea could become as pervasive
as say, LOL Cats, rage comics, etc.

Consider how Apple computers creates demand
before a product is launched.
Or how Harry Potter started small and totally blew the roof off.
It's more about creating the demand and
then fulfilling that demand.
We already know what doesn't work, right?

Before any of that happens, there needs
to be a core product/values that is fulfills
the existing public hunger for change.
Not "change we can believe in" though



(16,916 posts)
4. The best way to focus the group's attention on problem solving
Tue Nov 18, 2014, 10:50 AM
Nov 2014

is to create threads and offer problem solving suggestions.

So...thanks for getting that ball rolling!

We're focused on policy and branding right now because we're still in the forming stage of our group development. It will come...



(31,493 posts)
7. Need living wage jobs.
Tue Nov 18, 2014, 11:18 AM
Nov 2014

If enough people have living wage jobs other problems will not seem as bad for people with those jobs.

Cosmic Kitten

(3,498 posts)
Tue Nov 18, 2014, 11:31 AM
Nov 2014

Living wage would go far to diminish many
problems spawned from pitiful wages.

What is the SYSTEMIC PROBLEM that perpetuates
the minimum versus Living wage fight?

Cosmic Kitten

(3,498 posts)
20. It appears so.
Tue Nov 18, 2014, 12:24 PM
Nov 2014

I could see widespread, public support
for Election Reform as a platform issue.

capturing the public attention and imagination
to clean up and reform the blatant corruption
would go far to bolstering further Populist initiatives.

That leads to public servants who would be
accountable to the constituents.
Which means getting policies that reflect the public interest.

The majority of Americans already see themselves
as outsiders in the political process.
Giving them a seat at the BIG table has appeal.

Cosmic Kitten

(3,498 posts)
29. Yep, it so basic.
Tue Nov 18, 2014, 01:12 PM
Nov 2014

And that would explain why there is so much
effort by the PTB to disenfranchise the public, right?


(12,977 posts)
13. Hear! Hear!
Tue Nov 18, 2014, 11:35 AM
Nov 2014

Electing more progressive Democrats isn't the solution if being "progressive" means reverting to the policies of 80 years ago. We need genuinely new ideas.

I'd also point out that the New Deal wouldn't have been possible if there hadn't been people to the left of the two-party system. The socialists and others served as a source of ideas for Democratic progressives -- and also as a club that Roosevelt could use to intimidate the establishment by pointing out what they might be facing if they didn't accept the New Deal.

These days, the Republicans seem to be on generally good terms with the extreme right -- to the point where ideas that were once limited to the John Birch Society have now become mainstream GOP doctrine. But at the same time, the Democrats have been cowed into denying, running away from, and twisting themselves into pretzels in an effort to avoid being identified with the "extreme" left (as if there even was such a thing any more.)

So part of what's needed to create a genuinely progressive movement within the Democratic Party is to find people who who are willing to look outside the party and entertain ideas that have been beyond the pale.

Cosmic Kitten

(3,498 posts)
17. This appears to be a chicken or the egg issue.
Tue Nov 18, 2014, 12:12 PM
Nov 2014

Is it really about ideas "beyond the pale"
or simply redefining "Home".

IMO, the "extreme-right" is to the republican party
what the 3rd Way is to the Democratic Party.
Both are insurgent elements that have co-opted the party levers.

The new ideas may simple be a matter of re-framing
what has always been part of what people want and need from govt.
Responsive and responsible govt isn't a new idea.
But it is what's lacking now, thus creating SYSTEMIC PROBLEMS.



(36,392 posts)
15. Medical Bankruptcy. "working poor". Perpetual money-scarfing MIC
Tue Nov 18, 2014, 11:43 AM
Nov 2014

These would seem to be, on their face, overly-specific problems, but in fact fixing them would mean fixing the systemic issues.

Cosmic Kitten

(3,498 posts)
18. I see your point
Tue Nov 18, 2014, 12:16 PM
Nov 2014

Medical bankruptcy is a problem
because ACA didn't go far enough.

The ACA didn't go far enough
because, money-scarfing.

The "working poor" exist because
of resistance to a living wage...
because, money-scarfing.

Money-scarfing-is an issue because
Legal bribery?


(3,747 posts)
21. See my thread on election reform
Tue Nov 18, 2014, 12:35 PM
Nov 2014

Changing the structure of elections at a national level would serve to fix the systemic issues to as much a degree as campaign finance reform would.

Cosmic Kitten

(3,498 posts)
25. Thats what I'm seeing
Tue Nov 18, 2014, 12:54 PM
Nov 2014

If you follow a Populist movement trajectory
to it's logical conclusion, the two-party system
would be sent to oblivion.

So some of the issues in your thread could become irrelevant.
Populist in the largest sense of the word has no need for traditional
party identification.

As both parties in the two-party system have been co-opted
by the corporatist party, Populists would be the natural
counterweight to that minority faction.

As a point of reference, the terms liberal or Populist,
at their core represent Humanistic values.
When seen through that lens, we are all Humanists.
And of what need do Humanists have for political parties?
A party is a political tool.
Once the job is done the tools can be put away



(10,007 posts)
24. Campaign Finance Reform is the #1 issue
Tue Nov 18, 2014, 12:41 PM
Nov 2014

At some point down the road I'd like to see proportional representation as well.

Cosmic Kitten

(3,498 posts)
26. Again, chicken or the egg
Tue Nov 18, 2014, 12:56 PM
Nov 2014

Election reform to change finance legislation...
or fight against MONEY for Electoral reform?

Proportional representation?
Tell me more, please.



(10,007 posts)
30. Proportional Representation is characteristic of parliamentary democracies.
Tue Nov 18, 2014, 01:14 PM
Nov 2014

The term proportional representation (PR) characterizes electoral systems by which divisions in an electorate are reflected proportionately in the elected body. If 30% of the electorate support a particular political party then roughly 30% of seats will be won by that party. The essence of such systems is that all votes contribute to the result, not just a plurality or majority of them.

Under Proportional Representation, if the Green Party earns 10% of the vote, then 10% of the Congressional seats would be awarded to Green Party legislators. No more "wasted" votes.

It does lead to government by coalition, but I prefer that to our current system.

Cosmic Kitten

(3,498 posts)
31. Interesting. What does the end game look like?
Tue Nov 18, 2014, 01:20 PM
Nov 2014

The two-party system IS going to come apart at the seams.
The tee party is tearing the right-wing fabric, while establishment
supporters struggle to maintain a grip.
The 3rd Way is doing the same here.

Populism has immense potential to destroy
many of the current psychological barriers
that perpetuate the two-party duopoly.

Proportional representation presents
some interesting possibilities in/for
a post-duopoly environment.

Cosmic Kitten

(3,498 posts)
43. Thanks, got homework to do ;~)
Tue Nov 18, 2014, 03:30 PM
Nov 2014

As you see it:
is the main strength to proportional representation
that there is no "wasted votes" and it divides power
in a more egalitarian manner?



(10,007 posts)
44. Yes. Liberals and Progressives would not be required to surrender their electoral leverage
Tue Nov 18, 2014, 03:56 PM
Nov 2014

and vote for a dismal Democratic candidate as the only alternative to a more-dismal Republican. Liberals and Progressives could cast their votes for actual Liberal and Progressive candidates and, while they may not win the majority, they would still be guaranteed to have a voice in government.


rhett o rick

(55,981 posts)
64. Free and fair election system. Without honest elections, we won't be able to fix
Sun Nov 23, 2014, 11:12 AM
Nov 2014

anything. Maybe we can give both election reform and campaign finance reform top priority. They are related.

Cosmic Kitten

(3,498 posts)
40. Yes, many systemic problems are nested
Tue Nov 18, 2014, 03:20 PM
Nov 2014

Pull the proper thread and the knot
almost seems to untangle itself.
Pull the wrong thread and create
an impossible tangle.

Jackpine Radical

(45,274 posts)
35. Seems ta me that it's not problems, but goals
Tue Nov 18, 2014, 01:52 PM
Nov 2014

that ought to be the major focus. Sometimes the right goal automatically eliminates the problem, as renewable energy sidesteps various problems associated with fossil fuels.

Cosmic Kitten

(3,498 posts)
39. Agreed, it's a question of how to process the goals.
Tue Nov 18, 2014, 03:17 PM
Nov 2014

Reverse engineering saves lots of time and resources.
Examining how a problem was created make the goals
more readily definable.

It's not inconceivable that seeking goals could overlook
the actual SYSTEMIC ISSUES that created the problems.

Cosmic Kitten

(3,498 posts)
46. Absolutely!
Tue Nov 18, 2014, 05:15 PM
Nov 2014

That issue if part of a SYSTEMIC PROBLEM
of privatizing what is rightfully a public interest.

The larger overarching concern is how politicians
are dismantling public institutions and selling out to corporations...
Which is part of the revolving door between Congress and corporations.



(34,648 posts)
48. We need to get people educated.
Tue Nov 18, 2014, 05:25 PM
Nov 2014

We need to explain to poor folks, especially poor White folks that the prisons are taking their jobs. Their good paying manufacturing jobs. And we need to find out which legislators are reciaving funds from prison corporations, while at the same time votimg to increase jail sentences.
This is organized crime. They are stealing jobs, imprisoning people for years for self harm, and pocketing millions from state contracts and private contracts. Paying a pittance to the workers.
Then, we the people, must pay to support the families of non violent drug offenders through welfare, ssi, medicaid, and other public services. It is a scam to increase the wealth of private prisons. There should be no such thing as a private prison.

Cosmic Kitten

(3,498 posts)
50. Education is everything.
Tue Nov 18, 2014, 06:09 PM
Nov 2014

The question is how to do that most efficiently.
It has to be cool or hip to be "in the know".

There needs to be a perspective that
provides a framework within which
the nested social and political problems
can be observed.

Once people are "oriented" and gain
sufficient "situational awareness"
the appropriate action becomes clearer.
Their actual self interest is apparent
in contrast to their ideological beliefs.

Your point about impoverished people
essentially voting against their self-interest
can be could be resolved by putting the
individual in the position to make an informed
rather than irrational, self-defeating choice.

Martin Eden

(12,745 posts)
52. We have to fix our democracy, or nothing else will be fixed
Tue Nov 18, 2014, 08:38 PM
Nov 2014

That is my sig line, and also a very necessary first step.

End corporate personhood in the political process.
Limit personal contributions so the 1% doesn't have 99% influence.
Nationally televised debates with real issues instead of tabloid journalism.
Replace gerrymandering with impartial methods based on geography.
End voter suppression and register all eligible citizens.
Prosecute fraudulent scrubbing of voters and other nefarious tactics.
Standardized balloting that accurately records voter intent and can't be hacked.
National voting day where everyone is guaranteed at least a half day off.
Instant Runoff Voting (ranked choice)
Replace the Electoral College with nationwide popular vote for president.

Cosmic Kitten

(3,498 posts)
54. I'm in! Voting is All American!
Wed Nov 19, 2014, 09:38 AM
Nov 2014

Get the voting numbers UP UP UP!

It needs to be a National Holiday on the order of July 4th

Any argument against THAT is just UN-American


rhett o rick

(55,981 posts)
63. We need to prioritize. I agree with your signature but we need to
Sun Nov 23, 2014, 11:06 AM
Nov 2014

choose maybe 6 top priorities. To me nothing can be fixed w/o a free and fair election system.

Martin Eden

(12,745 posts)
68. Yes, we can't do it all at once
Sun Nov 23, 2014, 02:04 PM
Nov 2014

I listed all the reforms I'd like to see, but more are achievable than others. Perhaps once we correct a few priorities, more can be done.


(1,620 posts)
53. You need to educate Americans or nothing is going to be fixed.
Tue Nov 18, 2014, 09:34 PM
Nov 2014

We need to begin drafting well researched releases on everything from voter suppression to the need for universal healthcare and getting them out to the public. People don't know simple facts like Social Security is solvent, or how their government actually works. Let's begin to remedy the ignorance.

Cosmic Kitten

(3,498 posts)
55. Of course, but how?
Wed Nov 19, 2014, 09:45 AM
Nov 2014

Spoon feeding only goes so far.
Often, the info gets lost in the noise
or confused by disinformation.

There needs to be a way that creates
a framework or perspective that allows
the information to be assimilated and organized
to create an internal coherence.
The information should be seen as "essential"
to complete the puzzle/picture for the individual.
This approach is in contrast to the current paradigm
where politics and policy is disconnected from
the immediate needs of the individual/public.


(27,670 posts)
57. We need to somehow render the 1% completely powerless. They are the root of every systemic
Wed Nov 19, 2014, 02:50 PM
Nov 2014

problem in the world.


(31,869 posts)
59. Taxation is the way to fix this
Thu Nov 20, 2014, 08:24 AM
Nov 2014

if you don't go the revolutionary way.

And, how you use the Tax money you bring in. Very basic, old butter vs. bombs argument

More money needs to go to: schools, job retraining, childcare so young moms/dads can work, food banks, dedication to infrastructure

Less money needs to go to: defense contractors, private jails, tax breaks for the corporations and wealthy individuals

ETA - Reagan was the one who accomplished cutting capital gains taxes substantially & I believe every president since has done the same (possibly with exception of Obama - I haven't seen numbers on his administration). This is critical because the 1% are making money hand over fist by not being taxed as much on their income (especially investment income).


(31,869 posts)
61. Exactly -
Thu Nov 20, 2014, 11:47 AM
Nov 2014

as a socialist I would answer the question of systemic reform very differently.

But as populists who want to reform the system without overthrowing it I think taxation is where you focus. I don't have the answers to how you do that. I would think though you'd want to look at investment income as just one place 1%ers are raking it in. I'm sure there are a ton of other individual issues - regulation, tax breaks for moving companies in/out of the country, and so forth. The subject likely deserves its own thread with a lot more detail.


(27,670 posts)
62. Yes. Tax them at the same rate we taxed them at in the 1950's.
Fri Nov 21, 2014, 01:01 AM
Nov 2014

A nice new peaceful revolution would be kind of fun as well.



(68,644 posts)
65. Absolutely. The argument is so easy to make.
Sun Nov 23, 2014, 11:33 AM
Nov 2014

If only the media wasn't part of the problem.

Still, it's our last chance, we have to take it all back, take back the power and the fourth estate and get rid of Citizens United and make voting easy and reform campaign financing.

It's a lot to do but it can, and must, be done.



(16,916 posts)
66. Pin of the Week!
Sun Nov 23, 2014, 11:50 AM
Nov 2014

Congrats! The Hosts voted, and selected your thread the Pin of the Week. It will stay pinned until next Sunday.

Thanks for the great post!


(45,251 posts)
69. Thing is, a lot of the fixes need constitutional amendments, and they have become
Sun Nov 30, 2014, 11:42 AM
Nov 2014

extinct, so it's a catch 22.


(23,977 posts)
70. People not caring.
Wed Dec 3, 2014, 01:50 AM
Dec 2014

Things like:

  • Low voter turnout
  • People shopping at places like Wal-Mart (and thus perpetuating some of the economic issues we're dealing with)
  • Disrespect for environment
  • Disrespect for other people's rights
  • People not fully appreciating their own rights

These are broad things that can't be solved solely by political means, but political participation does have a role to play in addressing some of these.
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