We are at a historic crossroads in the United States, and indeed the world is watching to see what we’re going to do next. Everyone is looking for us to make the right choice for the future of the human race.
In addition to the current COVID-19 pandemic, here are the two most critical issues facing the world today.
- We’re in the midst of a historic Climate Crisis and we can’t afford to go back to business as usual. Climate Change is something we can mitigate in such a way that our children will inherit the benefits of the steps we take today.
- We’re in the midst of historic Wealth Inequality and we can’t afford to go back to business as usual. Wealth Inequality is something we can mitigate in such a way that our children will inherit the benefits of the steps we take today.
Both of these epic societal problems, Climate Change & Wealth Inequality, and indeed the pandemic, can be addressed by implementing one major solution and eliminating what caused these problems in the first place — business as usual. I know most people are spending their days thinking about the current pandemic crisis. But I’m looking forward to what happens after the pandemic. What we do now will help us shape our reaction to all of our societal problems, including the next pandemic.
The Illusion That We Can’t Pay For That
You might have heard the phrase, “how are we going to pay for that”. However, due to the way the world’s nations are addressing the COVID-19 pandemic, the notion of not being able to afford to tackle the tough issues we all face with bold action is complete nonsense.
Over the last 3–4 years the political discourse all over the world has been about “social democracy” or “socialism” as an answer to unfettered capitalism. It’s been an awakening, but it’s been met with ridicule and misinformation. The people in power in the US from both political parties have been undermining any and all efforts to educate the public that there are better solutions than depending on the market to settle things.
Any mention of “social programs” or “regulations” or “federally funded programs” receives an onslaught of fear-based misinformation and cries of “SOCIALISM!”
The Progressive movement has been at war with republicans and establishment democrats for control of US policy-making elected positions and a massive shift to the left is already happening.
What The COVID-19 Pandemic Is Teaching Us
Suddenly, we’re in a severe global crisis that can’t be neatly tucked away and out of the public eye — the COVID-19 Pandemic. Without any explanation, the opponents to ‘social democracy’ or ‘progressive government programs’ have quickly embraced the very programs and ideas they said months ago we couldn’t afford.
In a matter of a week, the USA has spent trillions of dollars that otherwise would not have been spent if it wasn’t for the pandemic. None of that money was budgeted or planned. It was magically created. Suddenly, money is quickly made available to take bold action.
That’s what needs to continue to happen until we have taken all the steps we can to address climate change and wealth inequality. Our collective future depends on it.
Business as usual
“Business as usual” is based on several artificial social constructs and economic theories that have been fed to the public for decades. One, in particular, is that we are consumers. The truth is we aren’t. We are people. We can live without buying products, but over the last 100+ years, our society embraced concepts of property ownership. And in the last 40 years, the concept of “incremental rents” and ownership of everything has produced an aggressive movement to renting or selling everything including space, access, use, and time, for a profit. And that system demands ever-increasing and unsustainable growth.
You want to go across a bridge, well, that’ll cost you. You want to buy a house, you’ll need to pay annual taxes. You want to own a car, you’ll need to pay annual registration. You want to rent an apartment, you’ll need to pay an increasing amount every month equal to a debilitating percentage of your monthly wages. The rich enjoy privilege of unlimited freedom, and the poor experience an entirely different set of rules, requirements, difficult responsibilities, and expected labor just to survive. If a poor person dares to take a break from work for any reason, they are risking setbacks and economic woes. If a poor person gets sick, they may suffer a financial disaster. What it all adds up to is what I call, “economic slavery”.
Another social construct that’s part of “business as usual” is called Debt. The whole idea is a profit scheme designed to front money that financial institutions don’t actually have (fractional accounting) and force ‘consumers’ to pay that money back with interest. It’s a scam just like most of the ‘business as usual’ practices. Debt is one aspect of indentured servitude.
The public is led to believe the ‘carrot-on-the-stick’ model doesn’t actually exist. But it does. The American public, as with most of the world, believes they are temporarily embarrassed millionaires or at least are afraid of becoming poor. Millions of people chase the carrot only to discover too late they’ve been duped.
Another concept that’s been drilled into our heads is that we must depend on private industry, for-profit markets, and Wall Street to drive our economy. And that social programs and government regulations are hindrances to a growing economy. Nonsense! The reason we’re in the mess we’re in right now is precisely due to unfettered and reckless private industry influence over policy in our country. We have the facade of democracy keeping the people lulled into a sense of freedom and opportunity. Yet every day the government and the media pretend the DOW is a measure of our country’s prosperity. Main street is not Wall Street.
But “business as usual” is a much bigger problem. Money in politics, corporate influence on policy, corporate corruption, etc. The two-party system is a hallmark of ‘business as usual’. We need to end all that.
‘Business as usual’ is unregulated fear-based concepts that keep most people busy trickling profits upwards to the rich elites that are sheltered from the dregs in society — the regular people who toil away every day. If hard work and diligence ensured economic success, then millions of hard-working poor people would all be rich.
‘Business as usual’ creates a unique set of rules surrounding how everything is done in society. Every time we are faced with decisions, we consult the “business as usual” method that asks, “is it profitable” and “can we afford it” before “what are the long term effects” or “how do we do this sustainably and in such a way that it benefits as many people as possible at no cost. I know that sounds shocking. But to solve our environmental and economic problems, we must think boldly first, and then act boldly.
The Problem is Business As Usual
Everything we’ve been doing for many decades has been wrong. Wrong in terms of what it does to the environment, and wrong that it’s not sustainable for the human race. Unfettered capitalism is more widespread than democracy around the world. The reckless and dangerous side-effects of unchecked capitalism are hazardous to our health, the safety of our communities, and endangers the future of humanity. And yet it is the norm in society. “Business as usual” is not only acceptable, but it’s also revered by many.
“Business as usual” has been hyper-focused on a for-profit Ponzi Scheme I call “Unfettered Capitalism”, but it goes by many names (American Capitalism, Greed-Based Capitalism, etc). The concept of Capitalism isn’t bad all by itself. It’s only bad when it’s not governed by reasonable regulations that protect the interests of people and the planet over profits. Unfortunately, our current system is more like a facade than an economy.
Bad Aspects of Business As Usual
- Profits over People
- Corporate Interests Influencing Government, Elections, and Policy
- Unrestricted Debt, Credit systems, and Fee-based Access to Money
- Unregulated Profiteering from Basic Human Needs, Shelter, Healthcare, Water, Utilities, Education, and Access
- The Demand for Physical Labor in exchange for Compensation as a means to prosper or advance in society
- Socialism for the rich and rugged individualism for the poor
- Putting a price tag on everything and eliminating anything that doesn’t have a price tag
- Corporate Pollution and Waste
- Corporate Influence Preventing Alternative Energies and Technologies
People over Profits
The need to discontinue the notion that people should pay out of pocket for everything, including healthcare, rent, education, utilities, water, sewer, etc. All those things are needed in society by everyone. The most prosperous country in the world can afford to significantly fix wealth inequality by reducing the costs of living.
We need big changes in our monetary policy and the way we run our economy. The unsustainable profit-driven history of the US from 1976 to 2020 has shown that if we keep doing ‘business as usual’ the entire country will fail miserably (complete economic collapse) in a matter of only a few years or sooner. We are at peak prosperity where the amount of wealth in the top 10% is so lopsided compared to the bottom 90% of the country that it’s off the charts and indefensibly unfair. That disparity has claimed the lives of many people who could not afford to prevent their own deaths. Many suffer today because the paths of so-called “opportunity” are landmined with for-profit schemes and riddled with economic pitfalls that stifle any hope of self-improvement. Even our laws are designed to funnel profits to the “prisons for profit” industry. Simple traffic fines are so financially debilitating that the average American could lose up to 25% of their monthly income for a simple parking ticket in some cases.
The cost of living should be affordable for all. Period. Anything that depends on ever-increasing profits is a cancer upon society. And that’s what unfettered capitalism does.
Here’s What We Must Do
- We need to eliminate Business As Usual
- Find ways to reduce your support any effort that promotes unfettered capitalism (this is more difficult than you might think)
- Learn how to identify propaganda designed to fool you into participating in promoting “business as usual”
- Avoid participating in practices that funnel profits to Wall Street or Large Corporations that are influencing or lobbying our government officials
- Demand that all politicians adhere to a progressive agenda that includes bold action to address climate change and wealth inequality
- Help others understand your plight to deal with Climate Change and Wealth Inequality by sharing your perspective and information
- Find ways to reduce your dependence on industry and institutions and instead, focus on small businesses and local businesses
- Hold politicians and the media accountable for their actions and information by calling them out publicly and demanding they correct their behavior
- We need to demand Universal Healthcare and Universal Basic Income (these two greatly increase our freedom and ability to demand better)
- We need to demand significant regulations that eliminate for-profit economic practices that are destroying the environment
- We need to get money out of our elections, policy-making, government, and politics
- We need to invest in innovative technology and clean energy to overcome our economic and environmental problems
- Vote for representatives of the people that aren’t tied to corporate interests
- Vote FOR someone, not AGAINST someone
- Add to this list: find new ways of creating a better future for all of us (please add more in the comments section)
It’s not going to be easy. But we must do these things to reduce the power corporations have over us. The future depends on what we do now.
Everything Depends On What You (We) Do Next
What you do next matters much more than you may ever know. It matters to everyone you ever knew, everyone you know now, and everyone you will ever meet. Whether they know it or not, it matters to every single human being who ever lived, or will ever live on our little blue planet.
What you do in the next several months — this year and the next — will determine the course of our country, and perhaps the entire planet. Everything is at stake; what kind of future our kids will face, and the fate of the world as we know it. If our collective demands are not met we may need to rise up and demand change via an actual revolution.
Everything hangs in the balance; everyone you know, your family and friends, your communities, the oceans, the air we breathe, the forests, all the species on the planet… The time for bold action is now!