3. America needs a New Deal.
Take it to heart: After eight years of unfettered corporate rule, we are on the precipice of economic collapse. The nature of the current crisis goes well beyond the housing bubble and the answers go well beyond rebuilding government regulatory authority. We are in debt because we could not sustain our standard of living on diminished wages. We are in trouble because we can no longer afford basic health care. We have witnessed a decline of organized labor and the decimation of American industry as our jobs have been transferred to cheap labor overseas.
Corporate America has killed the golden goose. In their thirst for immediate profits, they have destroyed the foundation of a consumer economy: the middle class.
Joe the Plumber is living in a world of delusion. In the age of the corporate elite, the dream of upward mobility is dead. When consumers can no longer support basic needs, small businesses are the first to fail. Capital is consolidated in fewer hands. International corporations grow larger. Labor exploitation is institutionalized. Government becomes an agent of the wealthy.
America needs a New Deal in the tradition of Franklin Roosevelt. We need a government that can no longer be bought, that answers to the needs of the people, that provides jobs, that secures the rights of workers, that ends job exportation, that rebuilds roads, bridges and mass transit, that creates new job opportunities and funds education. We need universal health care, not some harebrained privatization scheme. We need to strengthen social security, not to dismantle it one brick at a time.
The New Deal was only possible because Roosevelt had the support of both houses of congress. We are beyond the minor fixes that can be accomplished through bipartisan compromise. The Republican way, the way of the elite international corporation, has failed. It is time for systemic change.