I managed to get a few essays into this project when life presented a possibility to improve my financial situation through several related opportunities. It took most of my free time for several months, but one of those paid off. Life was busy and it was easy to let this blog slip. However, the message is bigger than me and more important than ever so I will try again.
In the time since I last wrote we had the ugliest election in living memory. It was the money and power elite who have been getting ever richer off of globalization and automation facing off against several populist candidates speaking for everyday people. In other words the people who run the world vs the people who actually make the world run. There has already been much ink spilled over the election and it's aftermath, so I will focus on the specific implications it has for our fight to save the American economy and also the course this blog will take.
The most important thing the election showed was that voters of every political affiliation see that despite what we hear from the media and politicians our country is declining, that the jobs are leaving and that business as usual means the situation will only get worse. Hillary Clinton was the culmination and human embodiment of the status quo - working for it's own power, saying or doing anything, no matter how wrong or hypocritical, to make it happen. She had the entire system on her side but she still narrowly lost. Despite the best efforts of the elite the voices of the average working person in the US were heard and they said, "If you ignore us YOU. WILL. LOSE."
The tone of this blog will continue to reflect that reality. If you want to fight to restore the American economy you are welcome here. Party affiliation or lack thereof is secondary. In the election I saw Sanders supporters and Trump supporters saying similar things on the subject of jobs and free trade. On social issues the two groups are pretty far apart but it would be a mistake to never talk or work together because of that. The Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) was a great example - both opposed it. Trump happened to win and now it is dead. Had Sanders wound up in the White House the same thing would probably be true. That was a huge victory for all Americans, except for the wealthy elite who would have used it to get even richer by firing people in this country and sending their jobs to China.
The point here is that politics is not a basketball or football game. In sports there is an emotional appeal to picking a team to stick with through thick and thin, to see them win the championship and opponents leave in defeat. In politics it is tempting to do the same thing, however, athletes are only there to win or lose. It's a simple arrangement. They are not there to represent your interests. That is the realm of politics and the purpose of that realm is much more complicated than winning or losing a vote. When laws are passed or repealed there are broad economic and social consequences that can span generations, and which affect some people more than others. Often laws are an attempt to address complex problems. "How do we provide and pay for healthcare for 300+ million people?" is a much heavier question than, "Which group of guys is better at moving a ball around?"
For decades prior to the 2016 election voters were presented with two options. A Republican candidate who supported globalization vs. a Democrat who supported globalization. Looking at it through a sports lens, each election one team won, yet through an economic lens most Americans lost. The US political system is ideally suited for those in power to bury ideas that would benefit the average person by instead proposing two ideas that promote their agenda and then getting the two sides to attack each other, their anger clouding their ability to clearly see the game in which they are used as pawns. One of the key purposes of this blog will be to find and spread the better option that is missing from political dialogue in this country. The best way to defeat a stupid system is to show that it can be better. I realize this will probably alienate potential readers that have been highly polarized to one party or the other but my hope is that there are still enough people out there looking for a better way who resonate with the ideas here. More optimistically, even if we disagree on specific political actions that could help restore American industry, there is plenty that can be done on the individual level to help and I will be posting plenty of ideas/field reports on that as well. Until next time, keep that fire burning.