Donate to Grassroots Policy Project now through Network for Good
To encourage dialog about ideas and trends in social movements for economic, racial and environmental justice, we survey various movement-oriented forums. Please contact us with your comments on these ideas and be sure check our 'What's New' page for updates.
What a difference 40 years makes. The most progressive proposals in President Obama’s 2013 SOTU address --- raising the minimum wage, comprehensive immigration reform, clean energy, sensible gun control --- are the kinds of things a Nixon Administration could have proposed and supported in 1973.* I say this not to put the President down; he did a fine job, making a progressive-leaning, though pragmatic, speech. He signaled a willingness to take on the intransigent leadership of the opposing party.
On New Year’s Eve, Congress appeared to leap over their counterfeit cliff. One day later, they bounced back onto the cliff’s edge, but they did not step away from it. Their rebound took the form of a temporary agreement that sets us up for a continuation of unfortunate “cliff” metaphors as Congress bounces from one budget showdown to another.
Whether Congress sends us over the proverbial cliff at midnight or makes a last-minute deal, one thing is certain. We, as progressives, must resolve in the new year to shift the narrative away from ‘the debt is the biggest challenge we face today’ toward ‘the great challenges we face: unemployment, inequality and worsening ecological crises require that we work together to create a new economy.’ Okay, that’s a mouthful and not as catchy as ‘fix the Debt’ or ‘strike a grand bargain’ or whatever.
What does the latest doomsday obsession have in common with the so-called fiscal cliff? They’re both over-hyped myths. The former was cooked up mostly by misinterpretations of the Mayan calendar. The latter is promoted by fiscal hawks who want to get their hands on Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid while keeping taxes down for the wealthy.
In today’s column, Paul Krugman dispels the “terrible trillion” bogeyman. Does current deficit spending suggest we have an out-of-control federal budget? The current deficit is a side-effect of an economic recession. And the first order of business should be to end that recession. Yet, what’s under discussion during this trumped up ‘fiscal cliff’ debacle are things that would worsen the recession, and throw us off the road to recovery.
Lately I’m have trouble figuring out which past moments in our nation’s racial history we are trying to relive: Is it Reconstruction all over again? Or a replay of the fight against integration? Have some of us really hopped into a time-machine back to the Antebellum South? Scary stuff. Ugly reminders of where we’ve come from, and how far we still have to go. Like the news about election night activities at Ole Miss. This particular story took me back to 1981, when I spent a summer at Ole Miss as a participant in a program for undergraduate Sociology majors.
We're taking a moment to breathe a sigh of relief and to savor some of the gains we are seeing from yesterday's election. We'll bring on some serious analysis in the coming days. For now, here are our quick and joyful reflections on winners and losers.
I’ve been reading a lot of stuff over the weekend from progressive and left thinkers and activists whom I deeply admire, making the case that, in a safely blue state, it’s okay to vote for someone you really like, such as the Green Party candidate, instead of the lesser of two evils.
Licenced by Creative Commons. The documents on this site are free for all to use noncommercially, with attribution. In addition to giving us credit when you use or reproduce our materials, we also ask that you let us know how you are using them.