Enhancing Our Democracy

It is time for our Congress to stop ignoring the will of the people. Congress is elected to represent the people.

They will not represent the people unless they hear from the people.

You can help them hear. Tell them what you want.

  • Call them.
  • Write to them.
  • Email them.
  • Tweet them.

Get your friends to tell them what they want.

The more often they hear what you want, the more likely they will vote the way you want.

Let your voices be heard and enhance our democracy.

Is It Really The Economy?


The political pundits are often quoted as saying that election outcomes depend on the state of the economy. But is this true? It is true that what people want is a “good” economy and not a “bad” economy. And the electorate recognizes that our government’s fiscal policy has a great influence on the economy. When the economy is “good” they want the government to continue its current fiscal policy, when the economy is “bad” they want a change in fiscal policy.

Therefore the common wisdom says in a “good” economy stay with the current political party in control, in a “bad” economy change the party in control. But is this is the best way to control the economy or is it just a shorthand rule-of-thumb, one that has led us in the wrong direction many times in the past?

The relevant question is not, where the economy is now, but rather where is the economy going?

In very early 2009 the economy dropped into a deep recession. The policies in effect at that point were still the policies of the prior administration. Once the new administration had a chance to institute new policies the economy started to recover. It was a very slow recovery, so that when the midterm elections rolled around the economy was still “bad.”  Thus in 2010 the electorate chose to change the control of the House of Representatives to the other party; a party whose goals were to change policies that were working and to prevent expansion of those policies. Since it was a government in which control was divided between the two parties, a deadlock ensued which left the existing policies essentially unchanged, but battered in terms of public confidence.

The economy is still  slowly recovering under those policies, the economy is still “bad,” and another election looms. Are we going to ignore the trends and make party changes which this time may reverse the trends? It is up to the people to choose. But I hope to remind them that in making this choice they should look both back and forward from today, not  just choose to react to the economy of the moment.

Yes, it is “the economy.” But when electing public  policy makers, it is the public that must get the big picture, the long-term flow of economic policy, the outcomes of interventions.  We, the people, will be here suffering or benefitting long after the politicians have gone home. So, keep an eye on the direction not just the immediate state of the economy. It is an informed electorate that makes our democracy work.

The 2012 Blame Game Starts

It’s a new year and the end of last year was hectic. It got boring while the pundits tried to guess the outcome of the Republican presidential primaries.
Now, the Iowa caucus is over and the real race is on. The lack of any viable economic plan for recovery by any of the Republican candidates is truly distressing.
Tha House of Representatives is still as factious as it was last year and this year with campaign battles going on, it does not promise to get any better.
The most interesting part of the upcoming Republican primaries will not be the race for a presidential candidate, but rather the congressional races. Whether they will move towards or away from the raw idealogues of the Tea party.
Let the races begin.
The blame game can have many interesting side effects.

Wanted: Responsive and Focused Political Leadership

It is strange that the most responsive entities to the “Occupy …” movement has been some banks. In response to protests by the Occupy movement over foreclosures some banks have immediately responded by renegotiating mortgages with the affected owners. They heard the protest and they responded to the protest not to the act of protestation.

If only our political leaders would respond in a similar way rather than focusing on the problems inherent to acts of protest. If they would only respond to the the act of protest by giving the protesters a chance to be heard. True it is the responsibility of public officials to be concerned about public health issues during acts of protest, but would it not be more cost-effective to provide portable toilets rather than providing riot police (and associated legal system costs) to monitor and arrest persons defecating on the streets.

Given the focus on the needs of the protesters, we could then spend time listening to their protests and responding to them. After all a free people have a right to protest but from that right flows the responsibility of our public officials to listen and be responsive.. That is where the focus should be.

Profits, Revenues, and Spin Equals OWS

Companies spend money to produce the products which they sell. A company that sells its products for more then it spends is profitable. It is the profit that is taxed not the expenses incurred for producing its product.

Continue reading ‘Profits, Revenues, and Spin Equals OWS’

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