What we can do as a nation
"Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did
and it never will."
- Frederick Douglass
Last time, I poised a series of questions about our future
if those at the top continue to hold all the cards.
As grim as it looks, remember it has looked grim
We have been able to turn the ship of state around, as
witnessed by Andrew Jackson's fight with the bankers,
Theodore Roosevelt's fight with big corporations and
Franklin Delano Roosevelt's fight with the bankers and
corporate oligarchs who had caused the last Great
The struggle we are facing now may be the most dire we have
ever faced because we are being assaulted on all sides -
economically, environmentally and politically.
Our march toward "liberty and justice for all" will require
us to unite against the power of greed, plunder, dishonesty
and destruction to win.
Some of the potshots we take at each other are because we
honestly see things differently and some are caused by sly
manipulations of oligarchs who encourage division by
inciting inflammatory issues.
As long as we fight each other, they are safe to continue
to pillage the earth.
How do we restore the balance between corporate wants and
the people's needs?
When clarifying the problem, define it in terms of needs.
What are our needs as a people?
I envision an economy that works for all of us, not just
the few; jobs for everyone who wants to work; good
education for our children; a clean environment;
sustainable use of our resources; a well-maintained
infrastructure; care for the elderly, disabled and
children; health care for all; a legal system that protects
us from predators and rehabilitates those motivated to turn
their lives around; respect and appreciation for diversity;
public safety, etc.
We cannot reach these goals as long as Big Money controls
After graduate school, I participated in a two-year
post-graduate program at the Family Therapy Practice Center
in Washington, D.C.
We learned dysfunctional families were often structurally
For example, the "parentified child" had to assume the role
of mother because mom had to work two jobs after dad
This imbalance often led to abuse, neglect and acting
Issues of authority, discipline, organization and structure
needed to be corrected in order for the family to
Helping the parent re-establish her role and calling on
community resources to assist the family proved to be very
When things are dysfunctional, look first to what is out of
balance and make structural corrections.
Hopefully we can educate ourselves about how our economy
collapsed so we can make the structural changes needed.
President Barack Obama is starting to do that by telling
the banks they must submit to more regulation and
To gain a better understanding of our current economic
crisis, the public is invited to a program by Mark Pash on
"How to Survive the Economic Tsunami" on Jan. 14 at 7 p.m.
at St. Stephen's Episcopal Church, located at 24901 Orchard
A noted author, economist and financial advisor, Pash, one
of Money Magazine's top 14 planners in California, will
discuss our economic problems and what our country can do
to make the structural adjustments needed to stabilize the
Another vitally important structural change that will help
us rebalance our out-of-whack political system will be the
institution of public campaign financing, formerly known as
Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger signed the California Fair
Elections Act which will, if ratified by the proposition on
the June 2010 ballot, create a pilot program to allow
candidates for Secretary of State to use public money
rather than rely on Big Money to get elected.
In this way, the office holder is beholden only to the
voter and not special interest.
It is acknowledged by many Democrats and Republicans that
our political system has been hijacked by large
contributors, which has only polarized our political system
to the point of stalemate in many cases and has led to an
era of corruption not seen since that of the robber barons
of the 19th century.
A free meeting about this proposition will be held Jan. 21
at 7 p.m. at St. Stephen's Episcopal Church.
I hope to see you at both meetings.
Carole Lutness is a Valencia resident, Democratic
activist and chairwoman of Democratic Neighbors of the 38th
Assembly District. Her column reflects her own views and
not necessarily those of The Signal. "Democratic Voices"
appears Tuesdays in The Signal and rotates among local
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