ProgressiveLever

Building progressive consensus for progressive legislation.

The Commons

President ObamaOver the past few years we have faced the most severe financial crisis since the Great Depression. Americans across the nation are suffering from weak home prices unemployment and little accumulated savings. These factors forced two administrations to take unprecedented action to free up a catastrophic lending stall. The roots of this crisis can easily be traced back decades to specific legislative missteps but in general we simply grew complacent and preoccupied, compensating on Main St. for the reckless policies of Wall St. At some of our most sophisticated financial firms, risk management didn’t keep pace with the complexity of the new financial products. The lack of standards and transparency in evaluating loans weakened underwriting standards. Sound market principles broke down as investors continued relying on deceptive credit ratings enabled by having no externally reliable referee. Compensation practices that rewarded short term profit rather than long term value spread through the highly competitive system like a virus. It was a text book example of the principles set out in “The Tragedy of the Commons

While this crisis has many explanations it is perfectly clear now that it  is our governments responsibility to put standards and regulations in place to insure it doesn’t happen again. Our government must act to restore confidence in the integrity of our financial and regulatory agencies. We must build a new foundation for financial regulation that insures sustainable growth by protecting consumers and investors at the foundation of our economic system. There is no more basic responsibility of governance than to protect the sustainability of our economic commons.

Filed under: Economy

Health Care Reform

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Rise of the Conservative Media

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Fox News Isn’t News. It’s a Political Operation.

Filed under: Holding Corperate media accountable., Media

Be Informed Get Involved & Stay Engaged

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“Computers can remember accurately and can cope with and integrate vast amounts of all known, relevant information on complex problems, uncopeable with prior to the computer. What we had prior to the computer were respected opinions and only selfishness conditioned reflexes on how to cope. Though an opinion might be wrong, there was no practical and convincing way to prove it. Unchallenged, the opinions became respected precedent, then exceptionless concepts, and even civil and academically accepted social law.”  -Buckminster Fuller

An essential process in representative democracies are freedom of political expression, freedom of speech and freedom of  the press so that citizens are well-informed and able to engage in the process in a way that accurately reflects their interests. The major problem with representative democracies is low voter participation. This difficulty in the process often means that our elected officials are in power without mandates, and rather than troubling him or herself to go find the true will of the “apathetic” average everyday Americans our representatives often assumed the majority opinion based on the most convenient source, the Washington corporate lobbyist. Their perception of an issues popularity was easily clouded by carefully crafted polling that is reported by “fair and balanced” news outlets. Other media picks up the “polling” story and precedence is established. The scattered, disconnected citizens, on the receiving end of this propaganda, without broader contradicting information assume that his or her view is the minority opinion. Reinforcing an apathetic, cynical attitude about the entire process. To overcome this an open, popular platform was needed  to gather and discuss an issue openly so that everyone can know the will of the people and everyone can know that everyone knows the will of the people.

The new social media provides this forum with instant access to unlimited amounts of relevant information on any particular piece of legislation or candidate. We can organize and share information in a transparent, engaging way to an unlimited audience in real-time independent of the restricted, exclusive, one-way corporate media. We can see the effect reflected instantly through legitimate polling, knowing it will be considered valid and that the representative will be held accountable to it.  The new social media provides the ability to have a real-time national discussion and reduce it to a valid, actionable consensus in a completely transparent and inclusive process. It’s like having a daily town hall meeting on the national level. The new media puts more tools of persuasion, perception and validation in the hands and minds of more people to effect more change, in less time than has ever before existed or even imagined and opens up a new paradigm of political functionality. No longer can restricted access between the two be an excuse for apathy by the voter or plausible deny-ability of the popular demand of an issue by the representative.  As people become more informed and more aware of their  power to effect change, being politically engaged I believe will become second nature.


Filed under: Activism, Media , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Noam Chomsky: The Stony Brook Interviews Part One

 

Avram Noam Chomsky (pronounced /ˌnoʊm ˈtʃɒmski/; born December 7, 1928) is an American linguist, philosopher,[2][3][4] cognitive scientist, political activist, author, and lecturer. He is an Institute Professor and professor emeritus of linguistics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.[5] Chomsky is well known in the academic and scientific community as one of the fathers of modern linguistics.[6][7][8] Since the 1960s, he has become known more widely as a political dissident, an anarchist,[9] and a libertarian socialist intellectual.

Filed under: Activism

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