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Jeffrey D. Sachs begins: "Occupy Wall Street and its allied movements around the country are more than a walk in the park. They are most likely the start of a new era in America."

Protesters trapped on the Brooklyn Bridge by police flash peace and victory signs to comrades on the walkway above, 10/01/11. (photo: Eric Hart/flickr)
Protesters trapped on the Brooklyn Bridge by police flash peace and victory signs to comrades on the walkway above, 10/01/11. (photo: Eric Hart/flickr)



The New Progressive Movement

By Jeffrey D. Sachs, The New York Times

13 November 11

 

Occupy Wall Street: Take the Bull by the Horns

 

ccupy Wall Street and its allied movements around the country are more than a walk in the park. They are most likely the start of a new era in America. Historians have noted that American politics moves in long swings. We are at the end of the 30-year Reagan era, a period that has culminated in soaring income for the top 1 percent and crushing unemployment or income stagnation for much of the rest. The overarching challenge of the coming years is to restore prosperity and power for the 99 percent.

Thirty years ago, a newly elected Ronald Reagan made a fateful judgment: "Government is not the solution to our problem. Government is the problem." Taxes for the rich were slashed, as were outlays on public services and investments as a share of national income. Only the military and a few big transfer programs like Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid and veterans' benefits were exempted from the squeeze.

Reagan's was a fateful misdiagnosis. He completely overlooked the real issue - the rise of global competition in the information age - and fought a bogeyman, the government. Decades on, America pays the price of that misdiagnosis, with a nation singularly unprepared to face the global economic, energy and environmental challenges of our time.

Washington still channels Reaganomics. The federal budget for nonsecurity discretionary outlays - categories like highways and rail, education, job training, research and development, the judiciary, NASA, environmental protection, energy, the IRS and more - was cut from more than 5 percent of gross domestic product at the end of the 1970s to around half of that today. With the budget caps enacted in the August agreement, domestic discretionary spending would decline to less than 2 percent of GDP by the end of the decade, according to the White House. Government would die by fiscal asphyxiation.

Both parties have joined in crippling the government in response to the demands of their wealthy campaign contributors, who above all else insist on keeping low tax rates on capital gains, top incomes, estates and corporate profits. Corporate taxes as a share of national income are at the lowest levels in recent history. Rich households take home the greatest share of income since the Great Depression. Twice before in American history, powerful corporate interests dominated Washington and brought America to a state of unacceptable inequality, instability and corruption. Both times a social and political movement arose to restore democracy and shared prosperity.

The first age of inequality was the Gilded Age at the end of the 19th century, an era quite like today, when both political parties served the interests of the corporate robber barons. The progressive movement arose after the financial crisis of 1893. In the following decades Theodore Roosevelt and Woodrow Wilson came to power, and the movement pushed through a remarkable era of reform: trust busting, federal income taxation, fair labor standards, the direct election of senators and women's suffrage.

The second gilded age was the Roaring Twenties. The pro-business administrations of Harding, Coolidge and Hoover once again opened up the floodgates of corruption and financial excess, this time culminating in the Great Depression. And once again the pendulum swung. FDR's New Deal marked the start of several decades of reduced income inequality, strong trade unions, steep top tax rates and strict financial regulation. After 1981, Reagan began to dismantle each of these core features of the New Deal.

Following our recent financial calamity, a third progressive era is likely to be in the making. This one should aim for three things. The first is a revival of crucial public services, especially education, training, public investment and environmental protection. The second is the end of a climate of impunity that encouraged nearly every Wall Street firm to commit financial fraud. The third is to re-establish the supremacy of people votes over dollar votes in Washington.

None of this will be easy. Vested interests are deeply entrenched, even as Wall Street titans are jailed and their firms pay megafines for fraud. The progressive era took 20 years to correct abuses of the Gilded Age. The New Deal struggled for a decade to overcome the Great Depression, and the expansion of economic justice lasted through the 1960s. The new wave of reform is but a few months old.

The young people in Zuccotti Park and more than 1,000 cities have started America on a path to renewal. The movement, still in its first days, will have to expand in several strategic ways. Activists are needed among shareholders, consumers and students to hold corporations and politicians to account. Shareholders, for example, should pressure companies to get out of politics. Consumers should take their money and purchasing power away from companies that confuse business and political power. The whole range of other actions - shareholder and consumer activism, policy formulation, and running of candidates - will not happen in the park.

The new movement also needs to build a public policy platform. The American people have it absolutely right on the three main points of a new agenda. To put it simply: tax the rich, end the wars and restore honest and effective government for all.

Finally, the new progressive era will need a fresh and gutsy generation of candidates to seek election victories not through wealthy campaign financiers but through free social media. A new generation of politicians will prove that they can win on YouTube, Twitter, Facebook and blog sites, rather than with corporate-financed TV ads. By lowering the cost of political campaigning, the free social media can liberate Washington from the current state of endemic corruption. And the candidates that turn down large campaign checks, political action committees, Super PACs and bundlers will be well positioned to call out their opponents who are on the corporate take.

Those who think that the cold weather will end the protests should think again. A new generation of leaders is just getting started. The new progressive age has begun.


Jeffrey D. Sachs is the director of the Earth Institute at Columbia University and the author, most recently, of "The Price of Civilization: Reawakening American Virtue and Prosperity."

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+29 # NanFan 2011-11-13 12:32
Spot-on!

Also read this on RSN: "Occupy Mandate: Oust the Bums!" -- 12 November 2012. Fandel-MacQuenn speaks of the imperative to start a new Occupy Party.

Thanks...so right.
 
 
+9 # NanFan 2011-11-13 15:06
Quoting NanFan:
Spot-on!

Also read this on RSN: "Occupy Mandate: Oust the Bums!" -- 12 November 2012. Fandel-MacQuenn speaks of the imperative to start a new Occupy Party.

Thanks...so right.


Sorry, that's 12 November 2011, not 2012. Oooops! Tired.
 
 
+42 # mwd870 2011-11-13 13:18
Yay - another critical thinker expressing support for the Movement. Everyone in America (except the 1%)should be able to understand the issues you outlined:

"To put it simply: tax the rich, end the wars and restore honest and effective government for all." Given this agenda, we can hope "a new generation of leaders is just getting started. The new progressive age has begun."
 
 
+3 # unclewags 2011-11-14 08:13
The OWS movement is the long overdue heralding of a grass roots desire for the restoration of honest, people oriented governance, with an insistence on disengagement from the perpetuation of warfare for the profiteering of the "silversmiths in blood". Hopefully, OWS is about to morph into a Progressive Patriots Party.
 
 
+48 # John Locke 2011-11-13 13:18
Very good article and right on point...the occupy movement is a movement to readjust American society as its former movements did, corporate corruption will always try and make a comeback, and we must be ever watchful to see it raise its ugly claw and snip it off...Reagan was a fool, there was never any doubt of that with intelligent people...
 
 
+3 # LeeBlack 2011-11-15 12:11
Hopefully people are waking up to what Reagan really did to the country.
 
 
-34 # anarchteacher 2011-11-13 13:26
Dr. Thomas C. Leonard of Princeton University has compiled a terrific power point presentation on the Progressive Era. Google - "Excluding Inferior Workers: Eugenic Influences on Economic Reform in The Progressive Era."

The presentation is very comprehensive, yet is very easy to understand. This is definitely NOT Glenn Beck at his blackboard superficial stuff. This is the real deal.

Many of Leonard's insights are very compatible with the synthesis of analysis developed by economist/histo rian Murray N. Rothbard:

Google - Rothbard The Progressive Era and the Family. The Progressive Era was the incubation period of the welfare-warfare state — and of all the malevolence that follows.

Google - Rothbard World War I as Fulfillment: Power and the Intellectuals. The Great War was not the end of Progressive "reform" but its fulfillment.

Google - Rothbard Origins of the Welfare State in America. Rothbard provides the Rosetta Stone to understanding the origins of the welfare state in America: the role of post-millennial Protestant pietistic intellectuals and evangelical activists born in the crucial decade surrounding the Civil War who, because of the seductive influence of the evolutionary naturalism of Darwinism, came of age increasingly secularized, but who did not forsake their faith in statism and elitist social control.
 
 
+6 # KittatinyHawk 2011-11-13 15:21
I will read some sound interesting.

Welfare and Warfare...defin itely was an appetizer set out to appease both needs...one for man to be used to kill, the other to make us totally dependent and live in squallor while the Rich enjoy the feast from both.

I did not think to just put religious seductions at Civil War, that sedution goes back mush further. Jealosy of Pagans, man having to create their 'religion'. From whichever Religion prior to Christ that believes it is the true Religion...I am going with Pagan and Celt, all Faiths after Catholicism were nothing but haters. Guess that comes with being second, third etc. best.

those that preach of the greatness of this country and Religious
freedom seem to have forgotten the Puritan and Quaker, the need to kill the Indians for their own Greed. Then the decades of Witch Hunts which are still in effect, just not as Publicly seen as such, we have new terminology for the same crap.

No thumbs down just some reading for mind to see things from different prospective. I do not want my mind ever to shut to one side or I will be no better than the I say 10%
 
 
+26 # wwway 2011-11-13 13:27
How did we loose power and how do we get it back? The 1886 Supreme Court decision, Santa Clara County v. Southern Pacific Railroad recognized
corporations as citizens entitled to personhood protections under the 14th Amendment. The recent Supreme Court Citizens United vs. FEC decision entitled corporations as persons to unlimited spending on campaigns under the 1st Amendment. We are now assured the best government $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$ $ can buy.
A constitutional amendment to abolish corporate personhood and enstate public financing of campaigns has been proposed and political action for it is underway. When our politicans have to collect small donations from individuals and media must provide equal air time we will see government by and for the people. I hope all readers get on board or accept their status as corporate road kill.
 
 
+4 # KittatinyHawk 2011-11-13 15:25
Went back to feudalistic system of man must buy and then we will tax. Then man must work for us and we will tax some more.

The System never owned anything, but we allowed them to...now we are the servant to our own stupidity. We have not changed in thousands of years....No one owned this Planet...Squatt ers is what I hope this ends with, everyone living same, everyhome is worth the same etc. It is kind of like living in a trailer park or development...b oth the same functionally but everyone has different assessment... No more assessments.
This has been the stupidest lording allowed since forever. Who gave anyone the entitlelment to land that was the Creators. Certainly not the Creator. Man made this system to fit his greed.
 
 
+6 # Cliff 2011-11-13 20:56
We lost power by being apathetic and not voting. And not really reading into the issues, but listening to emotional arguments, like they are taking your money. Totally agree, we need to abolish corporate personhood. A corporation has no soul, and exists only for profit. Certainly some corporations have good people, but everyone knows that you don't get to the top by being good. You get to the top by agreeing and helping to produce more $$$.
 
 
-6 # propsguy 2011-11-13 23:49
please! voting is bullshit, a pointless exercise that lulls people into thinking they have a say once every 4 years and then it's back to reality TV.
the most zealous voter could not have affected those outcome one bit. gore won in 2000 and the people's voice was silenced by powerful interests that wanted their guy Cheney pulling the puppet strings of their moron Bush.
you could have voted or no voted- the outcome was fixed.
the OWS has it right- don't participate; agitate! the system is rigged, you won't change it from within. we have to destroy it from without and replace it with something that works for us
 
 
+6 # X Dane 2011-11-14 01:24
You are right Cliff. way too many people don't bother to vote and just as bad, they just listen to Fox instead of trying to inform themselves about the candidates.

Propsguy, You are part of the problem. All the negativity is destructive. We need some positive input and ACTION.
 
 
+5 # X Dane 2011-11-14 01:16
wwway. WE MUST vote democratic to be sure republicans do not get two more r.
ight wing judges on the Supreme court.

DO NOT VOTE REPUBLICAN
 
 
0 # unclewags 2011-11-14 08:20
Do NOT vote Republican...
and Do NOT vote Democrat ....
.... VOTE Progressive Patriot ...

Undo the machinations of all those currently holding office for self-interest ... "lining of own pockets".
 
 
+2 # L mac 2011-11-14 16:39
Do some people see Democracy and capitalism as the same thing?
 
 
0 # LeeBlack 2011-11-15 12:10
I'm afraid that some people do see it as Democracy = capitalism, and that was behind bringing 'democracy' to the Middle East. Hopefully people are beginning to see that capitalism must be limited to retain democracy.
 
 
+19 # panamericans 2011-11-13 13:28
Blind Freddy and his dog can see that Obama is not working to the will of the people.

The Occupy Movement is effectively ignored by the main stream media by design. The Movement must make itself representative at the Democratic Convention and do so in large numbers with union political support.

For once, this is where the media can't ignore what is being rallied on the convention floor.

Have strong candidates put forward who can defeat Obama using his own platform of dismal'performa nce' against him.

The reality is that most voters feel safe with a two party system, especially in times like these. Remember, Obama does NOT OWN the Democratic Party...let's make it a Genuine Party of the people! We have our platform, we know what needs to change that appeals to the vast majority. If we push now, we just might interrupt his return to 'more of the same'.
 
 
0 # Michael_K 2011-11-13 15:51
Amen!
 
 
-3 # wcandler1 2011-11-13 16:04
Blind Freddy and his dog can see that Obama
will not change his ways. That is why he needs to be thrown out. Which can only happen if he loses either to the Republicans or in the Democratic Primary. He will only lose in the Democratic Primary, if OWS can provide an alternative candidate.

Can they? Start by approaching Gore and McKibben, but I suspect it will have to be someone who has cared enough to sleep out.

wcandler1@gmail.com
 
 
+3 # Cliff 2011-11-13 21:05
Wrong approach. When the next election comes around Obama is going to win. You are blaming him for Republican action. Sure he tried to reach across the aisle. Only to get slapped. Was it a mistake. No, it was necessary.

We need to election more Democrats and take over the House as well as the Senate.

Please folks, listen to the news. Not just Talk Radio.
 
 
+3 # X Dane 2011-11-14 01:34
Clif please keep telling the truth, too many don't bother to understand what the right wing has been doing for years. They are unfortunately helping, the right wing. We need people to fight the R W, not carry the water for hem.

Also remember 2 NEW SUPREMES.....
 
 
+1 # unclewags 2011-11-14 08:00
The main stream news is manipulated and controlled by the "corporistocrac y".

Throw the "panhandlers" out ... both those in Democrat sheep's clothing and those who are Repugnicant wolves.
 
 
0 # unclewags 2011-11-14 07:53
We desperately need to
"throw the O'BUM out". He will not change his ways. The OWS need identify persons of the OWS stripe who will challenge Obama and the national level Democratic "machine". Aside from the OWS, America's voting citizens have been suffering "ED" ... Electoral Dysfunction for far to many recent elections ... They are in serious need of some medication to invigorate their mental impotence ... Viagra for the brain !
... to bring them to attention ... to rise up .. to the task at hand. Then "stick it" to deceitful "powers that be" who serve corporate interests at the expense of the toiling masses.
 
 
+10 # MHAS 2011-11-13 18:03
Most Americans feel safe with the two party system? It has done nothing for them in over 40 years but they feel safe? Part of what makes Occupy unique is its transcendence of this foolishness and build something more responsive and participatory and get away from the sports paradigm that infects both politics and the media's coverage of it.
 
 
+6 # MHAS 2011-11-13 19:18
meant to say...Part of what makes Occupy unique is its transcendence of this foolishness (two party system) and desire to build a truly participatory democracy first and foremost through its actual practices...
 
 
+1 # Cliff 2011-11-13 21:06
I would love to see a 3-party system, but I don't think this is realistic. At least not right now.
 
 
+2 # Ralph Averill 2011-11-14 03:35
Why just the Democratic convention? The same voices need to be heard at the Republican convention as well.
More than that, it's all about Congress! Any constitutional amendment to end corporate perssonhood starts with Congress. Work for and support progressive congressional candidates!
 
 
+21 # Vardoz 2011-11-13 14:04
I have emailed Progressive organizations around the nation urging them to take action and run Progressive candidates in as many counties and states as possible.

http://www.startguide.org/orgs/orgs00.htm

I told them they should form a clear message that can appeal to Independents and contact Elizabeth Warren who has demonstrated she can deliver the message in away that can be heard by Independents in a wide range of catagories. I have called the head of the Progressive congressional Party in congress as well and told them they need to endorse Progressive candidates and not just talk the talk. I wanted to know if they gained a majority would they stand up to the special interests, corporations and Wall St.

Everyone should call and tell them we want to know if they would do things differently. 202-224-3121 Rep. Raul Grijalva
 
 
+7 # KittatinyHawk 2011-11-13 15:26
After last nights debate and the least amount of answers given to any question...a blind mouse could run this Country better
 
 
0 # wcandler1 2011-11-13 16:00
The quoted link does not work for me.

wcandler1@gmail.com
 
 
+4 # shortonfaith 2011-11-13 14:38
Misinterpretati on of Santa Clara vs SPR as read by a clerk & not by the judge. Publicly financed elections are as simple as taking back the public airwaves & demanding equal time to all before the sitcom commercials. Corporations don't own the public commons & whatever they believe they own, should be taken back immediately. Including the health of our oceans. The welfare state as described by large corporations sucking off the government chest needs to be stopped immediately. It is draining the life blood from all the citizenry. Every military officer has read the "Art of War" & knows prolonged war has never worked, since the beginning of time. If corporations hold their products over the health of their workers & citizens than a death sentence need to be instated as our forefathers wanted. These are the values of the occupy movement & the new progressives. Get on board or get out of the way. It only takes a third grade education to understand Republicans & most Dems have nothing to offer the citizens of the US. Even naked girls spouting corporate news can't sell it. They might get the most viewers but it won't sell.

Help keep the struggle growing every chance you can. Thanks to all who are living it daily.
 
 
-4 # anarchteacher 2011-11-13 14:42
The Progressive Era, 1900 to 1920, is a critical watershed in American political-econo mic and intellectual history.

Once there existed a consensus among "court historians" of academia and popular history. Richard Hofstadter, Arthur Link, George Mowry, and Arthur Schlesinger, Jr., held the uniform belief that the "progressive reforms" were popular efforts by the people against the elite business interests dominating American life.

Then in the early 1960s, all Hell broke loose.

The provocative historian tossing the stick of dynamite into the consensus was Gabriel Kolko. That incendiary was The Triumph of Conservatism: A Reinterpretatio n of American History, 1900-1916.

Kolko was soon joined by other New Left colleagues in challenging the reigning orthodoxy. Rather than "the people" being behind these "progressive reforms," it was the very elite business interests themselves responsible, in an attempt to cartelize, centralize and control a competitive and decentralized economy.

First there was the reigning liberal orthodoxy (thesis), challenged by the New Left revisionist interpretation (antithesis). Murray Rothbard, using the insights of Austrian economics and Libertarian class analysis, built upon the New Left critique and created a new Libertarian historiography (synthesis).
 
 
+15 # Diane 2011-11-13 15:19
"...the three main points of a new agenda. To put it simply: tax the rich, end the wars and restore honest and effective government for all. - I would also add that we must look at not just fixing the things that are wrong with the kind of economy we now have, but creating a new kind of economy that will relegate private wealth accumulation to second place behind public wealth accumulation - a commons-based economy.

Additionally, so much will depend on our politicians and media speaking the truth. I still cannot figure out when we lost our respect for honest, direct-speaking and compassionate people. Maybe we never did have it. In any case, I suspect the only way that situation will improve is if we, individually, collectively, insist on a much higher ethical bar for ourselves (who have not always paid attention as we strive to be entertained), for our representatives and for the media.

I do have hope. I have been so impressed with OWS and know the people are out there who can, and will, make the changes we need.
 
 
+4 # X Dane 2011-11-14 01:50
Diane it depends more on ALL OF US to keep the polititians' feet to the fire.
If they are serving the big corporation instead of us. We have to kick them out.
Either VOTE them out, or KICK them out: recall. It works IF WE ALL VOTE.

Corporations and other special interests win PRECISELY because of the apathy exibited by several of the people commenting here.

IF WE STAND TOGETHER WE CAN BEAT THE CORPORATIONS.
 
 
+7 # tapelt 2011-11-13 15:46
I would like to take a few steps back and see OWS from an even larger perspective.

In the past million years, humans have undergone two main shifts in how societies organized. The first shift was from hunter/gathers to city states. The second shift was from the divine right of kings to represenative democracy.

This could be the start of the third shift.
 
 
+9 # wfalco 2011-11-13 15:49
Yes. Define the movement simplistically, just like how the Republicans do with their.."lower taxes and less government."
The importance of a simple message can not be stated enough. We progressives/li berals/radicals /"Democrats" can not even give ourselves a label we can all agree on-unlike conservatives. This was born from decades of media/corporate led propaganda that hoodwinked the masses into thinking that leftist politics was anti-America-ev en dangerous. The apolitical citizenry, of which there are many, were effectively bamboozled. The end result being near loss of our country as a Western style Democracy.

Yes we leftists have a very large tent.(By nature we are anything BUT simple.) There are so many issues to address...but too little time. Remember K.I.S.S.(Keep it Simple Stupid.)
 
 
+1 # nirmalandhas 2011-11-13 18:51
From none other than Jeffrey Sachs "The Price of Civilization: Reawakening American Virtue and Prosperity." Clearly America accepts civilization to be the outcome of its own activities…and so must be held responsible for the outcome of this global “civilization”.
 
 
+5 # Blast Dorrough 2011-11-13 19:11
"The Court Years" by one of our greatest Supremes, William O. Douglas, IS required reading for all Progressives who believe that the Constitution is our Moral Compass and only Authority under our constitutional Republic. At page 156 Senator John Sherman made the following observation in representation of true egalitarian principles mandated by the Constitution. Although eventually circumvented by Supreme legal fiction in effect embracing monopolistic fixed-enterpris e the U.S. Senator's position led to the toothless legislation called the Sherman Antitrust Act:

"If the concentered powers of this combination [of lawless and unscrupulous Corporatecrafte rs]are entrusted to a single man, it is a kingly prerogative, inconsistent with our form of government, and should be subject to the strong resistance of the State and National authorities. If anything is wrong this is wrong. If we will not endure a king as a political power we should not endure a king over the production, transportation, and sale of any of the necessaries of life. If we would not submit to any emperor we should not submit to an autocrat of trade, with power to prevent competition and to fix the price of any commodity." (21 Cong. Record 2457)"

Needless to say all perverters of the U.S. Constitution must be held accountable for their greedy and corruptive sins.
 
 
+2 # Blast Dorrough 2011-11-13 19:48
The Sherman Antitrust Act was legislated in 1890. As noted above, the Act was eventually rendered to counterfeit legislation via legal fiction of the Supremes. The Act has been window-dressing for over a hundred years.
 
 
-4 # HerbR 2011-11-13 21:50
DEAR Jeffrey, As we used to say in the Old Country, "From your Mouth to God's Ear".
1. Leaders(?);
2.Policy Principles ? also known as Ideology ?
3. Program(s) ?
4. Self restraint and organizational discipline?
5. Communication links across geographical and political distances ?
6. Financial resources ?
7. Allies among political elites ?
6. Evidence of 1- 7?

Then I'll believe it !
 
 
+1 # futhark 2011-11-14 06:29
Quoting HerbR:
DEAR Jeffrey, As we used to say in the Old Country, "From your Mouth to God's Ear".
1. Leaders(?);
2.Policy Principles ? also known as Ideology ?
3. Program(s) ?
4. Self restraint and organizational discipline?
5. Communication links across geographical and political distances ?
6. Financial resources ?
7. Allies among political elites ?
6. Evidence of 1- 7?

Then I'll believe it !


HerbR: What do you mean by the above? Don't assume I know anything and explain yourself in plain English.
 
 
0 # Joeconserve 2011-11-14 08:55
I highly recommend each of you read the article in the Nov 14th issue of NATIONAL REVIEW on "Progressivism, Race, and the Training Wheels of Freedom" written by Tiffany Jones Miller. The article will put your "renewal" in it's proper context as you consider the role of the individual person and the role of government. After all, all men are created equal albeit not at the same time...right?
 
 
0 # Joeconserve 2011-11-14 09:59
Oh, I forgot, some of you are "more equal than others"
 
 
+2 # PGreen 2011-11-14 17:09
TJM makes a good point that earlier progressives did not apply the same principles of equality to people of other races, as they did to themselves. However, she writes, "The progressive redefinition of freedom transformed the object of government. For the Founders, the purpose of government follows from the premise of human equality — from the idea, that is, that all men at all times and in all places are by nature equal." What TJM fails to note-- or understand-- is that the founders themselves applied unequal standards to people of different economic status, regardless of race. James Madison wrote that those suffering from the serious inequities of society "would "secretly sigh for a more equal distribution of [life's] blessings." His solution was to limit democracy in such a way as, "to protect the minority of the opulent against the majority." The founders rejected the ideals of Aristotle and the practice of Athenian democracy from the start.
However, there is no moral reason that we can't institute a system that limits the power of the corporate state, and gives democratic control over the economy to the people. Lets create the best system that we can for Everyone, not only the privileged few who selfishly dominate the economic and political centers of society.
 
 
+2 # Joeconserve 2011-11-14 20:00
The Constitution begins with "We the people" and does not qualify the word people. Thus, we can conclude that any person regardless of race, color, creed or other limitation can be a citizen of this country. I suggest that what did put a qualification on the word was the cultural influence that each person of that period brought with them.

Not every person sheds its view of humanity to enter into a new way of governing. Go anywhere in the World and you will see conflict of views resulting in confrontation, confusion or some power domination. What little history I've read tells me that in the initial coming together of the people to create a new way, ie., America, not every issue of concern could be solved in the implementation of our Constitution. Slavery, for example, turned out to be a deal breaker if not allowed. It took the time up to Lincoln to declare its being wrong as a way of governing. And, then it took longer to do away with the after effects of people getting around the idea of no slavery. There are other issues that have come up over time that are not consistent with "We the People." And, there are more that we Americans will have to deal with. But, the beauty of our system is that 330 million people and counting in this country, each having Free Will, can express their views and some resolutions will come. This country is not completed, yet.
 

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