A Few Modest Proposals

We’ll soon know whether Donald Trump plans to be the economic populist he claimed to be on the campaign trail. Will he lower the boom on crime in the executive suites as well as the crime-ridden streets? Will he finally hold Wall Street and the bank gangsters accountable and prosecute the crimes from 2007-present? Or, will we see a dismantling of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, repeal of Dodd-Frank, and a shutdown of attempts to reinstate Glass–Steagall?

I am hoping not to see the soon-to-be President Trump pander to the rich and powerful (like himself) and expand the corporatocracy over the people. If he does, we’ll see a backlash even harsher than Trump’s own surprise over the establishment political class. We’ll see divisions we haven’t seen in many years.

What might happen if President-Elect Trump extends the powers of corporate America over the people? If “Obama created Donald Trump,” then you’ll see President Trump throw gasoline on the fire of the movement that supported Senator Bernie Sanders in the Democratic primaries.

It isn’t a movement ala “The Bill and Hillary Clinton Coalition” of Identity Politics. That big tent of disgruntled/victimized groups fighting for their own race, gender, sexual orientation, insert-pet-divisive-cultural-issue, should be over. You saw the future of the Democratic Party in the Sanders campaign. The one with all the crowds, the one with all the passion and excitement, the one that was hoodwinked by the DNC who rigged the process for Mrs. Clinton. The Sanders movement was about income/wealth inequality, economic injustice, and bringing people together as a class to rebuild the great middle class in America. This movement is united by class – not Identity Politics.

Here’s a modest proposal (okay, several) to spell out the agenda I support…

– A several Trillion Dollar plan to rebuild America’s deteriorating infrastructure.
Rebuild our roads, bridges, airports, rail yards, schools…a massive WPA-like mission to save our crumbling national infrastructure. A trip to many other countries with modern cities will tell you this is a must.

– Private doctors, private hospitals, but with one payer.
Eliminate “health insurance” which serves no medical purpose whatsoever. All medical needs (including dental, vision, mental health) would be paid for by a progressive tax, mostly on the top 3% and the unearned income of the top 1% with a single, non-profit, public payer. Swipe a card that every American will carry and receive needed treatment. Health care would be universal, paid for, and available for all – regardless of “ability to pay.” The state of a person’s health should no longer depend on the size of their wealth.

Break-up and nationalize the Mega Banks, putting them under public control.
Massive financial and monetary policy reform. Return personal banking to the local communities with their original mission. End the independence and free-rein of our central bank: the private Federal Reserve. That champagne-popping party of collusion with other central banks around the world – as well as the revolving door to and from the Mega Banks – will end and the banks will be put in public hands. The central bank will be audited by Congress. There needs to be many changes in the shady, corrupt, Brave New Financial World that has gone on a tear redistributing wealth to the already very rich. Obscene amounts of money making even more obscene amounts of money by shuffling paper and to think they think they are “working” and actually, “earning” their ridiculous compensations. No. We no longer have capitalism in this country, the free market is a myth, as the big corporations take in billions in corporate welfare and it’s as if anti-trust laws don’t even exist. Monopoly capital has a stranglehold on our economy. That needs to stop. Soon.

– Outlaw private ownership of electricity and natural gas companies.
 These are the monopoly companies that provide services to our communities and bilk the consumers at every opportunity. Public utilities should once again truly be public. This would end the practice of for-profit corporate behemoths operating not to provide power and light, but to make outlandish profits using energy-to-the-consumer as their product. Production for use – not profit. The plunder must stop. It will happen sooner than many think.

– End corporate welfare.
Too many corporations, from retail conglomerates to sports teams to Big Energy rush to the public trough for tax-breaks and outright capitalization from taxpayers. Many of these corporations are the loudest proponents of so-called “Free Enterprise,” “Free Markets.” But too often we see socialism for the rich and powerful and “Free Enterprise” for everyone else.

Democratic Socialism is about the economy. It is NOT about Identity Politics. Bernie Sanders has understood this for years. The focus must be shifted away from individual grievance groups to a united working and middle class to fight the class war that has been waged on the people by the very rich for decades – without any real fight back. It has resulted in a corrupt, paid-for oligarchy masquerading as a democratic republic.

Make our communities safe. With an uptick in supportive measures for the poor and working class, there should be a downtick in property crime, thefts, robberies, etc. If there are not, the communities must take every measure to stop crime and criminals should be swiftly dealt with. Safe communities and law & order should not be conservative issues or liberal issues – they are people issues.

See? Just modest proposals (cough, cough). But It’s a start.

Mike Swickey