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Big idea here - might be a little pretentious, but here's a question I want to see asked, so I'm asking it.  

First, go read this webcomic over at Zen Pencils -

It's an illustration of a quote from Antoine Saint Exupery:

If you want to build a ship, don't drum up men to gather the wood, divide the work and give orders. Instead, teach them to yearn for the vast and endless sea.
We're on the cusp of a long liberal renewal. As we start to leave the empty hulks of defeated conservatism behind, we're missing only one thing -

Vision.  We need to begin to articulate a vision with BIG IDEAS.  We've been working on the basics of real Christian thought (be nice to each other, take care of each other), and on finishing the promise of the New Deal and the War on Poverty for decades (though both have been rolled back a bit recently).

We need a new set of goals, a new vision to put in front of the American people and to teach them to aspire to.

I'm not going to lay out those goals, I'm going to ask you to lay them out.  What can we give America as a vision in the distance? What can we teach America to yearn for as a nation that's more inspiring than a cheap cheeseburger and free porn on the Internet? What can we decide to make inevitable?

Some thoughts that grow from the last fifty years - Reiteration of the elimination of poverty. Creation of a safety net that enables entrepreneurship without worry of destitution and ruin. Technological leadership across the board. Manufacturing leadership across the board. - Like I said, I need help here.

What true Vision should we push for America over the next fifty years, and how do we begin?


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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (4+ / 0-)

    "Don't be defeatist, dear. It's very middle class." - Violet Crawley

    by nightsweat on Fri Mar 08, 2013 at 12:15:20 PM PST

  •  The New Deal and Great Society Have Been Crushed (5+ / 0-)

    to a considerable extent. In fact Great Society began going out with Nixon. Most of the goals of those eras would be a spectacular improvement over what we have, and the advantage of re-promoting them is that they're in the history books and still in the living memory of many of our older people. We wouldn't be guessing and experimenting as the governments were that first devised those programs.

    Dumping this free trade BS, so that we can resume modest protection of our markets while maintaining trade, is what's needed to get enough manufacturing and probably some service work back onshore so that the lower classes regain their ladder up to the middle.

    Not that there aren't sorely needed new ideas: climate change is one issue, and genuine not for profit national health is another. For national health we have dozens of nations we can look to, but climate change is the biggest challenge we face, and we have no history of tackling anything on its scale.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Fri Mar 08, 2013 at 12:32:33 PM PST

    •  I Wrote A Diary The Other Day (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      cassandracarolina, HeyMikey

      saying how my town of 10,000 folks wired our town with new power lines. I mean all new lines. We planted a new pole next to the old one and just started over. We did that I think in about six months.

      A few months before that we wired every government building in town with fiber.

      Big, great things can be done.

      When opportunity calls pick up the phone and give it directions to your house.

      by webranding on Fri Mar 08, 2013 at 12:48:29 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Spread the work around. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      What we now have is approximately 86% of Americans working, most of them with too little vacation and sick time; and approx. 14% of Americans not working at all.

      What if we had 100% of Americans working, each one 86% as much?

      Sure, the average working person would take a 14% pay cut. With the right set of tax and regulatory changes, we could arrange for that to be larger at the top and smaller at the bottom. But what we'd give up in quantity would be made up in security. We'd no longer live in fear that our paycheck would be about to stop entirely.

      No, I'm not advocating communism. But what we could do is stuff like:

      * Start mandatory overtime pay at 30 hours instead of 40. This would encourage employers to hire more people, instead of work the current people more hours.

      * Raise the minimum wage. With corporate profits and cash-on-hand at historic highs, they can afford it.

      * Fill the holes in Obamacare to make healthcare truly universal. Then you won't have to worry that if your work drops to 29 hours a week, you'll lose your health benefits.

      * Start a new WPA and CCC. Why send people unemployment checks to sit and home and compete with each other for the few jobs that exist, when obviously there aren't enough of those jobs to employ anywhere close to all of them? Instead, let's pay them to, you know, actually do something useful. Like (as webranding suggests) put solar panels on government buildings. Or wind turbines, where conditions would be better for those. Or green roofs, or geothermal heat & AC, or just old-fashioned insulation. Or rebuild all those bridges that are past their expiration dates. Etc.

      "The true strength of our nation comes not from the might of our arms or the scale of our wealth, but from the enduring power of our ideals." - Barack Obama

      by HeyMikey on Fri Mar 08, 2013 at 01:46:53 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Here Is My "Big" Idea (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    HeyMikey, nightsweat

    I think every public school, city hall, post office ought to have solar on its roof. I think the federal government should give out loans to make it possible. As the building starts to save money they begin to pay back said loan.

    When opportunity calls pick up the phone and give it directions to your house.

    by webranding on Fri Mar 08, 2013 at 01:03:59 PM PST

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