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writing for godot

Everything is done by us. We can make it all be for us

Written by Tom Cantlon   
Saturday, 26 September 2020 07:23

by Tom Cantlon

A new book, US, Everything is done by US. We can make it for US, is a short book in plain language that gives three ideas.

Idea one. We do everything but we've forgotten that. We think powerful interests control how things run. We think we are dependent on rich corporate leaders and their money, and on big corporations for good jobs and for the seemingly magical products we've become dependent on. Wrong on all counts.

Powerful interests do warp things to their benefit but only because we've allowed it. More on that in the second idea. Corporations typically borrow money to do big things and much of that comes from us, from the accumulation of people with small stakes in pension plans, 401(k)s, savings accounts, and more. When an entrepreneur has a big idea it then takes an army of us to carry it out, secretaries, finance people, engineers. Every big company got that way by years of many of us being wonderfully competent at our jobs. Every increment in tech comes from us, from lab scientists, engineers, clever technicians. Apple, Inc. didn't develop the iPhone. Engineers within Apple, some of us, did. And so much beyond work, the communities, the local culture, the civic activities that make an area wonderful are all done by us.

Idea two. We have the power to change things. In the 1970s President Richard Nixon, of all people, quickly signed creation of the EPA to protect the environment and OSHA to reduce carelessly dangerous workplaces. Why? Because we demanded it. After the Great Depression of the 1930s we insisted on an economy geared more toward the people, and we got it. And we empowered President Roosevelt to carry it out. Recent public revolt over the degree and frequency with which minorities encounter harsh treatment has forced a wave of surprising changes. The century-old Mississippi flag design changed, suddenly, by their own legislators. Why? Because people insisted. Powerful interests do their thing only as far as we allow. We've been allowing it. We could change our mind.

Idea three. There's a kind of change all of us could demand, which bridges the divisions between us, and would be more powerful than anything else proposed by either side. One one side some might want a better border wall on the idea that fewer immigrants would mean fewer lost jobs. On the other side, because jobs pay poorly, some want a social program to provide child care. Both are weak positions taken by people without power looking for some tiny improvement. Little bandages on gaping wounds. The heck with bandages. Not good enough. Go bigger. Go for fundamental change.

It's a change in leverage. Leverage to get the full value of our work. Decades ago a person could get a job, just a regular working job, afford a modest home, afford one spouse staying home when the kids were little, and have a modest retirement. The main thing that's changed is who is getting the benefit of our work.

Change it back and we could afford all that, or to hire daycare, or to buy insurance, or to buy food without food stamps and still make rent.

And far beyond work. Changes to laws and rules, national and local, affecting how we're treated as consumers, as citizens. Decades of powerful interests changing every aspect in their favor replaced by our reclaiming our power for years of turning it all back.

There is nothing violent in this. Nothing revolutionary or Socialist or unAmerican. Nothing even about tax and redistribution. It's all free market, but with an empowered public. It is a little like returning to that post Great Depression time, only this time even better. Not a change in our basic system, but a change in making it run for us.

Then it was mostly good for white men. This time every last one of us has to get not just full benefit, but full respect. Understand that, or you're standing against us.

Who runs every Congressional office? Who operates every corporation? Who casts every vote? Who creates everything good in this country, and shows their amazing competence? Who has this power if they want it, and who is well up to this challenge if taken?


You can find my book on Amazon by searching by my name, "Tom Cantlon". Paperback and ebook. And if you like the ideas in the book please spread them, wherever and however you can. These ideas need traction, and I believe they are ones people will rapidly take to and be empowered by.


Tom Cantlon is author of US: Everything is Done By US. We Can Make it For US, and a columnist providing a left-leaning view for a daily paper in a small, right-leaning Western city. your social media marketing partner
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