The Independent

Embracing Change

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Progression Requires the Unknown

Often when I discuss my political philosophies and ideas with people, which happens on a daily basis, I have noticed some trends developing. The most visceral of which comes from people who continually are not able to imagine systems they have never been exposed to before. I hear a lot of "we can't", "we won't", "it will not work", "it's impossible", and "who will build the roads" reactions. At the end, even if they agree on core principles with me, their preconceived notions of what is possible often prevents them from taking actions that involved the unknown.

Perhaps we have been conditioned to the point where we no longer feel a need to progress, but merely improve a poor system into just a mediocre system, and somehow think we have accomplished something worth attaining. Perhaps the level of comfort most of us experience here in the States is just enough to keep us firmly shackled to a subservient existence, where the status quo is the measure of success now and into the future.

And where has such thinking and inaction to shape our future led us? Congress who "represents" us has a public rating so low, only a fool would think the government is working for the people. The enormous budget, created from decades of Keynesian initiatives to keep the economy from imploding, along with military spending multiple times more than anywhere else in the world, is now being used as an excuse to implement austerity measures (which hit middle and lower class families the hardest), even though the bulk of taxpaying citizens never advocated for such a policy.

Inflation adjusted wages have only grown by 10% while production has risen by 80% over the past 40 years, according to the Economic Policy Institute, and according to the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities the average income for workers has actually declined by 12% over the past decade. During the past 40 years, according to the Social Security Administration, the cost-of-living has gone up every year since 1975 except in the years 2009 and 2010. The real effects felt from such numbers is that in 2005 the Federal Consumer Quality-Of-Life Control Board, released a study that indicated that life is so expensive to live for most Americans, that it is a losing financial venture, diminishing the quality of life for millions of people and families.

According to the Federal Reserve the average American family has only $3800 in their savings account, which is barely significant enough to pay for a one-off emergency, and not significant enough to financially sustain long-term medical treatments for serious diseases or illnesses (i.e. cancer). The Fed also revealed that 25% of American families have no savings at all, and 40% of families are unable to save for retirement due to everyday living costs. Most troubling perhaps is that under such financial stress the Federal Reserve states that the average American household debt is just under $120,000.

Is this the status quo you desire and want to vote for again? What do you think happens to those millions of families, perhaps yourself are included in those numbers, who can't earn enough to save for retirement? Is the status quo going to take care of them?

So I implore you to read the quote I will end with, and take it to heart, and the next time you hear some new political ideas and theories you are unfamiliar with, and you find yourself saying, "it won't work", "we can't do it", "it's impossible", or "it's a utopian dream", remember progression requires change.

"An oppressive system often seems stable because it limits people's lives and imaginations so much that they can't see beyond the limitations. This is especially true when a social system has existed for so long that its past extends beyond collective memory of anything different. As a result, it lays down terms of social life - including various forms of privilege - that can easily be mistaken for some kind of normal and inevitable human condition.

But this situation masks a fundamental long-term instability caused by the dynamics of oppression itself. Any system organized around one group's efforts to control and exploit another is ultimately a losing proposition, because it contradicts the essentially uncontrollable nature of reality and does violence to basic human needs and values."

~ Allan G. Johnson

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Updated Aug 12, 2017 12:08 PM EDT | More details


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