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Policy provokes me to think and write. I currently work in ivory towers inspiring people to engage in their world. I am a student of the human condition and my classroom is the world. I don't need credentials to have an opinion but I've got paper to prove I know a few things about public health, social welfare and economics. I'm coming out of the tower and taking the words to the people and hope you will send some words back at me.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

What provokes me

The current political climate in the USA and in Europe is enough to provoke anyone to comment (or rant in my case). So I don't feel particularly unique in that context.

But I am more than a bit of a pain in the arse when it comes to talking about policy. Why? Because I tend not to take sides. And when I do, it's not usually consistent with the 'side' I may have taken on another policy. I admit: I do not judge policy through some political lens but rather through the lens of: Does this make sense? Why? And for who?

In a country full of centrists (Democratic Reps and Republican Dems), its a pretty easy thing to go either way. In the USA there is a new group of people that have actually brought some right to what has always been a center game: the tea drinking folks. To make it really fun there needs to be a whacko left to join them. I use the term 'whacko' because despite my sharp brain and that of commentators around the world it's pretty tricky business to make policy sense of the tea party - that brand of republican so 'interesting' they provide political entertainment at a time when the state of the world gives us need of a little laughter inspired by incredulity.

I am tired of 'the left' (which in the USA means 1 mm left of center) making logical arguments about policies that they think will pass. Why not just throw a hail mary? (For those readers not American or football friendly that's 'longshot'). What is so wrong with just 'going for it'? It is not as if the logical stuff is getting through Congress anyway. So if there is a real left out there, perhaps what's on offer by the Dems will look so 'sane' that the Reps will happily give it a vote. Or just perhaps Dems should give a rats ass about what Congress will pass and give the people what they want and then let the Reps take the heat for shutting it down.

Where is the Faux News on the left? (Yes. A whole channel full of ranting lefties of various persuasions). Where are the people willing to propose radical leftie ideas (No! Healthcare for all is not a left idea because even right governments, fascists and dictators accept this as a policy norm). Where are the people willing to say leftie stuff that will have people sit up and take notice. Where is the 'tax party'? The party that promotes more taxes for the rich and for corporations? Are there enough people to follow Warren Buffet's lead?

Occupy Wall Street (and main streets all over the USA) is a populist movement demanding changes in the way banks and corporations operate but perhaps they need to occupy DC. Where lobbyists on K Street suck up cash and hedge their bets on either side. Where interests, special or not, get traded like monopoly game pieces. Occupy DC would hold elected officials responsible for making the choices the people want them to make.

Right now, the USA will have a hard time disengaging from capitalism at its greediest while trying to encourage business to occupy Detroit and shiny up the rust belt. Greed drives growth. Or it did. And we all went along for the ride. A home for everyone and everyone a stock trader. We bought 3 cars, shopped our fill on eBay and bought more stuff at Costco than we could use in a lifetime; or even used at all.

So that's what I'm going to be writing about: stuff that pisses me off and annoys the hell out of me. Policies for poor people that benefit the rich. Policies that have an underlying addition problem that a preschooler would notice. Policies that have goals and objectives not slightly related to their stated outcomes.

Policies like the small government proposals of the Republicans that have their hands so far up my uterus I'm all for them making government quite a bit smaller (at least in that respect) until they stop telling me who I can marry and what to do with my body.

This will be my Faux News channel. I wont make up the data (I've got a professional reputation to uphold) and I will not be careless in my interpretation (my brain just wont let me) but when policy provokes me I shall write and hope that you too get provoked.

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