On April 10 @WashingtonMonthly published a blog post by @JoelBerg titled, “It’s Policy, Stupid.” This motivated me to search my past blog posts to find, edit and repost this one that I originally posted in 2014 as “It’s Domestic Social Policy, Stupid!”. Sadly, everything and nothing has changed.
Where is the domestic social policy that once mattered in the United States? Congress does not seem to have any interest in advancing it. They have no ideas to rebuild the domestic policy context that has been systematically dismantled over the last 30 years. Where is the policy on jobs? Where is the policy on infrastructure? Where is the policy on immigration? Where is the policy on youth employment? Where is the policy on the safety net for those who fall on hard times? Where is the policy on legal services for the poor? Where is the policy on modernizing transportation and air traffic safety? Where is the policy on a minimum wage that is a living wage? Where is the anti-trust policy that protects us from propaganda that cloaks itself as news on the airwaves? Where is it? Nowhere.
We are now a nation without coherent public policy. We are a nation suffering the absence of competent, responsible, responsive governance. We are now a nation of bought and paid for representatives available to the highest bidder. As Robert Reich observed @http://robertreich.org/The Disease of American Democracy.” Monday, August 18, 2014::
“Put simply, most Americans feel powerless and assume the political game is fixed. So why bother?
“Americans are sick of politics. Only 13 percent approve of the job Congress is doing, a near-record low. The President’s approval ratings are also in the basement. A large portion of the public doesn’t even bother voting. Only 57.5 percent of eligible voters cast their ballots in the 2012 presidential election.”
“A new study scheduled to be published in this fall by Princeton’s Martin Gilens and Northwestern University’s Benjamin Page confirms our worst suspicions.Gilens and Page analyzed 1,799 policy issues in detail, determining the relative influence on them of economic elites, business groups, mass-based interest groups, and average citizens. Their conclusion: “The preferences of the average American appear to have only a minuscule, near-zero, statistically non-significant impact upon public policy.”
I have concluded that true enough, “it takes a village.” But now it will take a movement to put the ship that is our country back on a course that represents and acts in the best interests of all its people not just the one-percent, but the ninety-nine percent that is losing economic and social ground at an alarming pace.