We have had enough experience with an elitist "Contract with America" to now realize that we were sold a bill of goods by a group of snake oil salesmen posing as politicians. We are now facing another group of these salesmen doing their best to promote another elitist campaign as "compassionate conservatives." Isn't it now only too evident that regardless of how they package their self-serving nostrums they are designed to profit the few at the expense of the many? ...
As I now see it, the Democratic Party, which calls itself the Party of the People, must return to its roots if it is to survive. ... The Democrats must now reorganize the party and develop new plans for the upcoming elections of 2002 and 2004. The unmet needs of people must be moved to the top of the list of things to get done. Even above the annual search for soft money. ...
An old Democrat, Franklin D. Roosevelt, said it straight. He said it is not the function of government to take care of the needs of those who already have too much, but to concentrate our efforts on taking care of the needs of the many that have too little.
I strongly suggest that the time has arrived to find us another Real Democrat to lead the Democratic Party back to its roots as the Party of the People. We are in need of a man who will be more concerned with the well being of people, rather than the welfare of Wall Street. A man who does not believe in the greater pain of the many for the greater gain of the few. If you believe like I do, then help find our right man, and vote him into office, and stay with him until he reaches the White House.
When this happens we will have taken one giant step towards closing the Democratic Gap between the haves and the have nots that now plagues our society and in so doing will help return our Government to its rightful owners, the people of America.
Dan W. Collins
North Olmsted, Ohio
[Editor Notes: Sounds good, just don't limit your search to men.]
Another issue of The Progressive Populist (9/1/02), another round of Green bashing. Besides doing the Democratic Party's dirty work, I'm not sure sure what TPP hopes to accomplish. It certainly won't stop the Green Party from fighting to build an authentic progressive party in the US.
Steve Cobble on p. 16 urges the Minnesota Greens to put its energies into the governor's race and give Sen. Wellstone a pass (thanks for the gratuitous advice, Steve). Micah L. Sifry on p. 17 ridicules Green Party candidates for governor, Peter Miguel Camejo, of California and David Bacon of New Mexico, while "covering" the Green Party national convention in Philadelphia.
On page 1, Bernard Weiner, listing 20 things we've learned since 9/11, informs the naive readers of TPP that Republicans are secretly supporting Green Party candidates. What brilliant insight! Tell me, Bernard, do you think the Democrats secretly support Conservative Party and other right-wing candidates? And what about it?
Bernard neglected to mention the 21st thing we have learned since 9/11. Many members of the Republican Party have more guts than many members of the Democratic Party when it comes to standing up to Bush's Pax Americana and Ashcroft's program to bring fascism to America. I've learned that the Democrats are more pathetic than I had ever imagined and can't wait for Election Day to come so that I can vote for ALL the Green Party candidates listed on my ballot.
New York, N.Y.
Bernard Weiner ["20 Things We've Learned Since 9/11," 9/1/02 TPP] said that since 9/11 we have learned this:
"The difference between Democrats and Republicans may seem small to Greens and others, but, as we've learned in a painful way under Bush & Co., that difference is immense when it comes to foreign and domestic policy and its actual effects on real people, here and abroad."
We? I didn't learn that. Maybe Weiner has a mouse in his pocket, a country club mouse and member in good standing in the [Democratic Leadership Council].
I've just read the letter from Grace Cooper in the 9/1/02 TPP, in which she criticizes Marty Jezer's article "9/11 Conspiracy-itis." While she may not be intellectually lazy or paranoid, she is certainly naive and gullible. Among the sources she quotes for her view is the book George Bush, An Unauthorized Biography, by Webster G. Tarpley and Anton Chaitkin. It so happens both Tarpley and Chaitkin are operatives of right wing political crackpot Lyndon LaRouche, who has made a career of cockamamie conspiracy theories. It would be advisable if one would check the background of persons promoting conspiracy theories for an agenda before buying into them.
Some problems seem to be great, if not insurmountable, if you accept problem descriptions and analyses in the mainstream media. Among these problems are Minimum Wage, Social Security and Medicare.
First consider Social Security and Medicare. The society is aging. The media says that will cause a crisis because more people will be receiving benefits than those working.
Today there is a cap on Social Security taxes; I think it is about $85 or $90 thousand. The solution is simple. Remove the cap. Conservatives want a flat tax; this could be an experiment to see if a flat tax is a good idea. Tax ALL income at the same rate.
Conservatives have a hissy fit when we want to add a few pennies to the minimum wage. So, instead of defining the minimum wage in terms of dollars and cents, perhaps the minimum wage should be defined as a percentage of the remuneration received by the highest-paid person in the organization. This should include money paid to CEOs, board members, athletes for endorsements, consultant fees, everything.
Henry Ford was a world-class conservative and tightwad, but he had two policies that seem to apply today. Ford said that a CEO should be paid about 40 times as much as the lowest-paid employee. He said that every employee should be able to afford to buy his product. Today the average is about 700 times the pay of a US worker; the multiple for a sweatshop worker must be much higher.
Cedar Falls, Iowa
For years we have discussed an inadequate health care program, almost non-existing mass transit system, a Social Security system they falsely claims to be insolvent and a host of other programs that need financial attention. All of these we cannot help because we have already budgeted our money to other programs and say we are facing deficit spending. Point is, "Why are those opposing the invasion of Iraq worried. Considering the above cost, we cannot go to war; remember, we are supposed to be broke. Selling government bonds will only give us the debt plus interest to pay back, which mathematically would leave us poorer."
On the other hand, those in favor of invading Iraq shouldn't worry about the financial cost. I was a young man when the Great Depression ended with the beginning of World War II, when dollars were really scarce, when this mysterious money made its appearance and we completed gigantic projects.
If destiny ever allows up to get back to these needed social programs maybe we should wonder why this mysterious money never reappears.
The warlike atmosphere [George W. Bush] gained from the Sept. 11 attack enhanced his status without having to satisfy the necessities, like Social Security, medication that's affordable to all, or proper schooling, etc.
To stay away from increased spending for needs the rich can handle themselves, Bush needs a bigger war than we have now. He wants to start a war with Iraq in the absence of any invitations on their part. Iraq is a country where the people are controlled by their leader, similar to many other countries, including China. So why is a war needed just for Iraq?
The Republican Party needs a war so that the average voter will overlook the neglect of the people of the USA.
We have the finest government money can buy. But we do not have to let it be sold.
Corporations can't vote and should have no right to "make campaign contributions." Or bribe our elected officials. Or write laws, or design government programs, or hound and lobby our officials. The drug companies employ six lobbyists for every US senator. Their job is to influence your elected officials. How can we expect decent government? How can you vote fairly on a bill affecting Company A when Company A was your biggest campaign contributor? It's a clear conflict of interest. We'd better get our government back while we still can. If we can.
Oklahoma City, Okla.
Today's jaw dropping environmental idea from President Junior is that we remove logging restrictions to prevent wildfires.
Prevent Forest Fires -- Cut Down The Trees.
Next up: Prevent Stupidity -- Remove the Head.
San Marcos, Texas
The recent federal court ruling that inclusion of the words "under God" in the Pledge Of Allegiance is a violation of the US Constitution has aroused a great deal of furor and, in some cases outrage, among Americans.
However I suspect that God is rather pleased at this turn of events.
Given the history of what the United States has done to humanity all over the world since WW2, I'm sure that God would prefer that His name NOT be associated with the United States of America under any circumstances.
Richmond Heights, Ohio
When I was a child in the '30s everybody hated war and everybody acknowledged that it was the duty of the rich to help the poor. In 50 years' time we have managed to reverse both of these feelings.
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Many of our readers noticed they only received one issue of The Progressive Populist in July and called up wondering if the other one got lost in the mail. In fact, we only published one issue in July (dated Aug. 1/15, 2002), as we usually do during the "dog days" to give our staff time off to burn a layer of epidermis at their leisure. But we're gratified to hear that you missed us. We're back at work now, thanks to the palliative effects of aloe vera, and will remain at our posts faithfully until December, when we'll put out another "combined issue" shortly after St. Nicholas Day.