Blog – In a prophetic voice, I’m going to say that the March Against Gun Violence or March for Our Lives is a turning point or catalyst for the USA. More than a million Americans marched on Saturday, March 24. Thousands got up from their desks and walked out of classrooms on March 14. Another walkout is scheduled for April 20, the 19th anniversary of the Columbine shootings.
Who isn’t hopeful watching these teens leading March for Our Lives?
Our young people make up the largest voting bloc behind the dying Boomer Generation. The tipping point for a new direction may have occurred in Parkland, Florida. Town Halls are next on the schedule in April as millions take action across the country. The NRA has a fight on their hands and monies funneled to GOP politicians are being used against the corrupt politicians.
As we all know, the NRA isn’t the only large organization funneling money to corrupt politicians with the purpose of maintaining the status quo.
We can’t get any progressive causes enacted because campaign donors feed and control both political parties. The late Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia passed Citizens United with a majority opinion, “There is no reciprocity expected when a donor gives money to a politician.” This will be known as the second biggest lie of the 21st century behind the “weapons of mass destruction” boondoggle.
Look closely at the chart showing what’s happened to our deficit as a result of Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher ushering in Neoliberalism in the 80’s. As I’ve written about a hundred times in Muncie Voice, Milton Friedman proposed the theory that cutting taxes on the rich will lift up all U.S. citizens…”We’ll all benefit from their newfound riches.” It was called “trickle-down” economics.
Cutting taxes on the rich also added trillions of dollars to our deficit causing us to borrow money to sustain our spending. As we’ve all learned, not only was that a scam, it created the greatest income and wealth gap this country has experienced since the first Gilded Age.
Who’s suffered the most under Neoliberal policies?
Our current lackluster wage growth is far below what it was in 1997 and hasn’t even recouped the losses from the Great 2008 Recession. As Bernie Sanders famously says, “All the gains made in income and wealth since 2008 have gone to 1/10th of 1% or the uber-wealthy.”
In the World Economic Forum, a young CEO Andrea Zorzetto writes:
To borrow a great analogy, inequality is like cholesterol, meaning there are two types of it: one good and one bad. The good one is about getting the incentives right: the gifted and the hard-working must be rewarded handsomely for their creations, innovations and discoveries that benefit all of society. The bad one is what we are seeing more and more of today: disproportionate gains going to an elite that gradually becomes powerful enough to become a new oligarchy. As in Fordism, we can once again have the former but not the latter, thanks to a social formula that suits the digital age.
What is Andrea’s remedy for the 21st Century Digitalized Gilded Age:
What would the New Deal of the digital age look like then? Getting the details right will take a lot of thinking and experimentation, but the new social formula should be that consumers equal owners. Distributed production and growth needs to replace full employment as the new base for a thriving middle class.
We should receive micro-payments, enabled by technologies such as the blockchain, for the data we give away for free access to digital platforms. Households could own solar panels and 3D printers, instead of having to buy energy and basic goods. And the growing ranks of freelancers of the gig economy could receive shares as compensation, working for different companies in a flexible way but having a steady flow of income to fall back on.
This formula upholds the fundamental freedom of private property, but avoids unsustainable concentrations of wealth. Neither communism nor plutocracy, rather it’s about saving capitalism from itself.
With daily doses of Trumpism, it’s easy to develop a dystopian view of our world. We’ve all sensed the USA as a smoldering flame for decades awaiting a catalyst. It’s truly been a working-class war. Will the activism of our youth take on the role as incendiary?
We can hope and provide support as they capture their voices and lead a new generation eager for change. Gun violence will not be the only issue taken up by our youth. I predict it will be the start of a major transformation in our political culture.