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Money to build and generously equip thousands and thousands of new schools, with well-paid, exquisitely trained teachers, small teacher-pupil ratios, a full range of enriching and inspiring programs.

Money to revitalize the nation's crumbling inner cities, making them safe and vibrant places for businesses and families and communities to grow.

Money to provide decent, affordable and accessible health care to every citizen, to provide dignity and comfort to the elderly, and protection and humane treatment for the mentally ill.

Money to provide affordable higher education to everyone who wanted it and could qualify for it. Money to help establish and sustain local businesses and family farms, centered in and on the local community, driven by the needs and knowledge of the people in the area, and not by the dictates of distant corporations.

Money to strengthen crumbling infrastructure, to repair bridges, shore up levies, maintain roads and electric grids and sewage systems.

Money for affordable, workable public transport systems, for the pursuit of alternative sources of energy, for sustainable, sensible development, for environmental restoration.

Money to support free inquiry in science, technology, health and other areas -- research unfettered from the war machine and the drive for corporate profit, and instead devoted to the betterment of human life.

Money to support culture, learning, continuing education, libraries, theater, music and the endless manifestations of the human quest to gain more meaning, more understanding, more enlightenment, a deeper, spiritually richer life.
The money for all of this -- and much, much more -- was there, all along. When they said we couldn't have these things, they were lying -- or else allowing themselves to be profitably duped by the high priests of the market cult. When they wanted a trillion dollars -- or three trillion dollars -- to wage a war of aggression in Iraq, they found it. Now, when they want trillions of dollars to save the speculators, fraudsters and profiteers of greed in the global market, they suddenly have it.

Who then can believe that these governments could not have found the money for good schools, health care, and all the rest, that they could not have enhanced the well-being and livelihood of millions of ordinary citizens, and helped create a more just and equitable and stable world -- if they had wanted to?

This is one of the main facts that ordinary citizens around the world should take away from this crisis: the money to maintain, secure and improve the lives of their families and communities was always there -- but their governments, and their political parties, made a deliberate, unforced choice not to use it for the common good. Instead, they subjugated the well-being of the world to the dictates of an extremist cult. A cult of greed and privilege, that preached iron discipline to the poor and the middle-class, but released the rich and powerful from all restrictions, and all responsibility for their actions.

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes
by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Tue Oct 14th, 2008 at 09:12:24 AM EST
It's from Chris Floyd's The God that Failed: The 30 Year Lie of the Market Cult.

The whole thing is worth reading.

"The money was there all along."

by Bruce F (greenroofgrowers [at] gmail [dot] com) on Tue Oct 14th, 2008 at 09:34:16 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Another good read, from beerm:

Government does well

The great success of the American Government is that it is largely invisible. I am not talking about secrecy, what I am talking about is the number of things that the goverment does that are taken for granted by Americans.

Everyday, people drive on roads built and maintained by the government. You go to the supermarket and do not worry that your meat and milk is tainted. You turn on the tap and clean water comes out, the dirty water then flows down the drain, often because of the government. You call the police, the fire department and they come. You can mail your payments through the mail. A lot of these things don't happen in other countries.

The government was good enough to win WWII, put men on the moon, and bailout the "financial experts" both in the 30's and now.

The number of things that the government enables on a daily basis is astounding. It is also largely unnoticed until if fails. What is amazing about something like the I-35 bridge collapse is that it is the exception, not the rule.

Few people realize that less than 10% of the federal budget is debated publicly. Most of the spending goes to continuing things like food inspectors, bridge inspectors, etc. all the little things that we rely on being there during our daily life.

My 13 year old son and I started having this discussion yesterday because of our local library. I pointed out that the government funded the library because it was a public good. He noted that not everyone used the library. I noted that it was available if they wanted. Not all countries have public libraries. Try finding a Salman Rushdie book in a Saudi library, I'll bet you can find a Koran in ours.

(I would like to note that my 13 year old, along with many of his classmates, asks more intelligent guestions than anybody on Fox News. )

The government is different from private industry in a couple of notable ways.

First, it is largely undercapitalized for the things that it does. Few companies would want to run the National Parks on the Park Service budget.

Second, it does its business in public. As we are finding out many CEO and boardrooms cannot stand the public scrutiny that is leveled on the government everyday.

Ronald Reagan was grandstanding. It is easy to find mikstakes, even wrongdoing in an organization with millions of employees. There is not another company with as many employees. Reagan was dead wrong in stating that government was the problem. The real problem was that Reagan didn't understand the government and what it does for people.

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes
by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Tue Oct 14th, 2008 at 10:43:04 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I thought that a great argument. The trick, as always, is to persuade American voters that (1) "investment" or debt to socialize benefits mitigates individual outlays; and (2) Congressional incumbents are not remotely interested in legislating appropriations that do NOT guarantee revenue to profit-taking firms in the business of supplying general utilities, that small set of human "rights".

OK. That was awkward.

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.

by Cat on Tue Oct 14th, 2008 at 02:19:57 PM EST
[ Parent ]


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