State of the Union Bingo Card 2012

Play along with the State of the Union Bingo Card

Response to Ed Show Request

On his November 3, 2011 show on MSNBC, Ed Shultz put out a challenge for someone with an Independent Moderate Centrist Point of View to weigh in on the issues of Education, Unions, and Taxing the Wealthy. Although I am no spokesperson, I thought I’d write down my point of view and others can choose to take the dialog further.

 

As I see it the substantive difference between the Independent Moderate and the staunch Liberal is primary that the Indy Mod point of view is fluid. Not insipid, though I can see where those to the far left or right may at first glance perceive it that way, the Independent Moderate view it is fluid with what reality places before us to decide. No issue exists in a vacuum.  Whereas the staunch liberal and conservative view is set in stone no matter what is going on around it. That is what makes them outdated because the world order is in constant flux and we must be in flux with it.

 

Education

Education is the most powerful tool to combat poverty; a highly skilled workforce is a primary driver of the economic engine of the country. As such, I believe in a full reform of the Education system to comply with the needs of the 21st Century.

This includes:

1)      Starting school at three years old, especially in low-income neighborhoods.

2)      Including more foreign languages in the curriculum.

3)      Education as a national program with room to add local cultural ideals and local history.

  1. This offers the benefit of purchasing power of buying school supplies nationally.
  2. Consistent “branding” everyone truly gets the same curriculum.
  3. Have e-books for textbooks that can be updated easily and more cost effective.
  4. Every child when leaving high-school should have what is the equivalent of an Associates Degree in College now, including the basic liberal arts structure to build from.

4) I would not be opposed to some direct corporate involvement and sponsorship in education. After all we should be educating to the specific tasks needed by the future employers. Yet, we should be educating free-thinkers, innovators and entrepreneurs in every school across America.

So it’s not about throwing money at a broken system. It’s about making the system more in line with the needs of employers and build on that knowledge for the America of  2021 and beyond not the same Educational practices of the America of 1821.

Unions

Unions make companies cumbersome, slow moving and inflexible in many ways. However, in today’s business culture they are essential to workers despite their shortcomings. I am a proponent of a global labor union. Although I am aware in many ways that could be a mess, it seems that the only way to negotiate with a multi-national conglomerate is to be multi-national as well. As the Occupy Movement is world wide it could possibly be the conception of a type of global labor movement. I am in strong support of the Occupy Movement.

Taxing the Wealthy

At this time, because of bad actors and lax policy there needs to be reform to bring things back into balance. As such, I would be more in favor of the Obama plan than the Ryan plan. Reviews of the systems of government is vital to make them more efficient, reduce unneeded redundancy and go line by line to see what is old and no longer serves the public and replace those programs with new innovative programs that are more in line with the needs of modern America. I don’t agree that the wealthiest should have to pay everyone’s tab so to speak, but there needs to be a balance. The economy is like an electrical circuit,  if the money isn’t flowing both ways the circuit doesn’t work.

It is imperative that the tax code become more concise ,  transparent, and frankly fair which is no easy task.

 

I hope this is helpful for Mr. Schultz to get a better idea about where the Independent Moderates stand on the issues.

For more from Sophia Tesch please visit http://www.indymodpov.com which discusses politics from and Independent Moderate Point of View.

we need leaders, not nannies

During my usual morning ritual of cyber surfing,  I saw a post from one of my friends about the Occupy Wall St. phenomenon. I commented on this thread, and so did a Harvard man, telling me I was a hypocrite if I supported the protest and had a 401K or an IRA. I assured the man– I was no hypocrite. He made a remark about America being a nanny state and the protest the equivalent of babies having bottles pulled from proverbial mouths of those who found themselves at the bottom 99% of the economic wealth scale in America. I found the hubris of this comment disturbing. As I moved from that exchange and continued surfing,  I saw a lady’s comment about being so happy to see a comment about Wall St. that wasn’t mentioning the Occupy Wall St. protest, “How are we supposed to take these kids seriously?” She writes over a link for the Zombie walk of  Occupy Wall St. where the marchers chanted “We are contagious!” She didn’t get it. I got it, the idea is contagious and it will spread and it did spread because now there are Occupy Wall St. events happening all over the country  during October, 2011 and maybe beyond.

Just because the elites don’t get it, doesn’t mean the statement has no value, just because they can’t wrap their minds around what it takes to raise a family of four on $1,000 a month doesn’t mean that reality doesn’t exist for a lot of people. Just because they don’t go hungry doesn’t mean that 1 in 4 children in America don’t go to bed at night wondering where their next meal is coming from.  As a matter of fact, I wonder how people who are supposedly so smart (so says their financial portfolio) appear so dumb. Why can’t they figure any of this out? People are tired of mega-bonuses at the top while those working on the front lines with the customers are kept in a constant state of economic uncertainty and stress about paying their basic bills. People can’t believe that after what I call the Wall Street Rape of 2008,  no justice was mitigated for crashing not only the domestic, but global economy, with the sub-prime mortgage scam and the shady derivative markets.

“That’s why they call it the American Dream, because you have to be asleep to believe it.”
― George Carlin

People are looking at the bleak prospects of their future, not only for themselves, but their children. Americans in their 40’s are looking at the very real possibility that they will be caring for their parents, themselves and their children, meanwhile not being able to plan for it,  because their 401K  is on some psychotic roller-coaster and the Congress couldn’t legislate itself out of a wet paper bag. It is all very disturbing and frustrating as the country gets held hostage over a financial cliff for seemingly mundane decisions. But the legislators themselves are in no risk, their healthcare and pension prospects are not in question, their salary not cut 60% as many of their constituents have experienced in the last two years.

Working American people are not looking for hand outs, we don’t need to be spoon fed by a nanny state. That is not the point, and it’s insulting to say, it is not about entitlement. What about the feeling of entitlement of the upper 1% to assume all the money is  theirs. You may create jobs, but our brothers, sisters, fathers and mothers risk their lives at those jobs. You benefit from the security of the military, but who sends their children to the front line to die? You eat the food that the working class grew and put on your table, as the saying goes the wealthy would be eating money if someone didn’t grow and prepare the food for them. Not that one class is better than the other, everyone has a purpose that makes society work well,  but let’s put some things in perspective here.

If your company uses American labor, it behooves you to pay for world-class  education to have the best in an educated labor force.  You want that investment in employee training to have longevity, especially now that labor needs to work to a more mature age, make sure they have good health insurance so that individuals can work longer and be more productive.  You need military support, make sure they have the best resources, and are taken care of when they return home, thank them for the fact that you and your family didn’t have to be in harm’s way. Allow workers  access to nutritious food and kids great parks to play in and become strong citizens, body, mind and spirit. Allow people the ability to squeeze some living out of this life before they pass on, it makes for better workers.  These aren’t great mysteries. This isn’t asking too much. These are the types of ideas that Occupy Wall St. is about.

We’re Americans. Together we prosper, we all have to work together. It used to be understood that wealth and privilege came with a level of responsibility, of community and stewardship, that we all worked together to make capitalism work. But this bastardization is no longer capitalism, it’s corporatism and it’s killing Americans, it’s killing America, and that ‘s what Occupy Wall St. folks are standing up against. They want to restore the possibility of the American Dream, the American ideal. I support them 100%. This type of guts demands respect. This brand of courage makes me even more proud to be an American.

we need honesty, not denial of access

We all suspected it right? That the mainstream media is rigged, some outlets more subtle about it than others at first they seemed all the same to me. Then MSNBC became known for its progressive leanings which I likened to artisan whole wheat toast with homemade organic jam, as opposed to the white bread and grape Denny’s jelly of CNN’s bland news fare.

One afternoon in the Spring of 2011 while channel surfing, I tuned in to MSNBC  and was pleasantly surprised (and frankly a little shocked) to see Young Turks host Cenk Uygur taking it to ’em right there on my TV set.  I wondered how his style would translate to TV. I loved his heated and unfettered discussions. I cheered as  he challenged the party talking points of his guests.

All my conspiracy theories about mass media were challenged as I conceded– they let Cenk on MSNBC maybe things really are changing toward more government transparency and honest to goodness debate.  I scheduled my day to be able to be available to watch in the afternoon, something I’d never done before, and then,  one day about a week ago I tuned in and he was gone. Al Sharpton was on in the time slot instead.  My heart sank a bit in disappointment thinking maybe Cenk was on vacation.

And then I saw this:

Part 1

Part 2

Don’t get me wrong I have been to rallies with Rev. Sharpton and I appreciate his work. I just don’t enjoy watching him as host as much as Cenk. He does not seem to be as well prepared  often stumbling on his topics. I don’t see Sharpton giving guests as strong of a challenge nor a new and  innovative perspective. His is the same ball-playing show that other shows offer. It’s not worth scheduling my day for, but I usually check out some highlights online later. Like an interview with Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) that I’ll discuss on another blog.

If we the people can’t have the access to ask the tough questions through our media representatives like The Young Turks then it is fair to ask the question is  Freedom of Speech and more specifically Freedom of the Press an illusion? What we have is some kind of strange opiate of the masses goop that makes us feel like we have the power of speech but it’s not if the leaders we are trying to speak to aren’t listening.

I felt when Cenk was given access to “the big boys” that some progress was actually being made. That he was asking the raw-meat questions  that I wanted answered. That he was as tenacious as I would want to be; not allowing guest to slip out with shallow party talking points. He was actually an accurate, well-informed, intelligent mouthpiece to the establishment conveying a  point of view that was easy to relate to.

I will continue to support The Young Turks on You Tube.  I think there needs to be a strong message from consumers of news and media to Washington DC if you won’t speak transparently to “our guys” we don’t need to have anything to do with you.  We need honesty, not denial of access.