Although the next Presidential election is more then 18 months away, I think it is time to start looking at the potential candidates and the probable issues that will shape this campaign. As those of you who are long time readers will rememb4ver, I was an ardent supporter of Barrack Obama in the last election. However, I am not sure I will be as ardent in my supporter of his re-election this time around.
The reason for my lack of enthusiasm for Obama’s re-election is that he has fallen far short of my expectations in his efforts to bring about real change in American domestic and foreign policy. We still do not have a healthcare system that puts the needs of people ahead of corporate profits, we still have a foreign policy that is too quick on the trigger, and not enough emphasis on the desires and aspirations of the peoples we are claiming to help. Our economic policies, which also effect in a very significant way our environmental policies, are still strongly grounded in an overdependance on fossil fuels. Our tax code greatly favors the large corporations, which are the culprits in all of these issues, at the expense of working people. I will discuss each of these areas in greater detail in the months ahead, but right now I will sketch out some of the basic problems in order to get our discussions rolling.
The basic underlying issue in all discussions of political is the over emphasis on profits that is at the heart of the American economic system. While I do not begrudge a business an honest profit, I feel that the American economics system places far to much emphasis on the investor and far to little on the end user. To often the investor and the end user are not one and the same, and the investor has little interest in the quality of the product or service for the end user. All the investor cares about is his/her return on investment, I.E. profit, The most glaring example of this is insurance, wether life, health, or casualty. In the old days the company belonged to the policyholders. Nowadays to many insurance companies are owned by investors, the vast majority of whom do not have their polices with the company. The same is true of the banks. They were once owned by the people who had accounts with the bank, and therefore benefited when the bank made a profit that, sadly, is no longer the case,
America is still overly dependant on fossil fuels like coal and oil, which are increasingly limited supply as well as detrimental to the environment. We need to institute a national policy that fosters aggressive development of renewable, low-cost, alternative fuels but not necessarily the so-called “bio-fuels”. It is apparent that our increasing use of fuels produced from bio-products like corn, is causing serious food shortages worldwide. That is not a good thing.
Our healthcare system sadly enough is also becoming increasingly oriented towards profit then providing better and better healthcare for people of all economic classes. The most disgusting example of this corporate greed is in the pharmaceutical industry. Rather then developing products cure serious diseases the pharmaceutical companies are rushing to market products that only treat symptoms, which often have side-effects worse then the disease they are to supposed to “treat”. This has lead to product recalls and outrageous lawsuits. The only people then the investors in the pharmaceutical industries who reap long term benefits from this situation are the lawyers who represent the patients.
Finally, our foreign policy, which should be geared toward leading by example and fostering American ideals of “life liberty and the pursuit of happiness”, are geared instead towards promoting the profits of the oil companies and other large corporations, the very businesses that are responsible for the loss of American jobs, thanks to their outsourcing. They use the rationale of “multi-nationalism” to justify this outsourcing. Yet it is this same multi-nationalism that allows them to avoid paying U.S. taxes, although it is the American consumer that is their main source of profits. To me, that is really despicable and needs to be corrected immediately.
It is President Obama’s lack of leadership in forcing these much-needed changes that causes me some serious concern. I understand realpolitik need for compromise, but at some point we need to disregard realpolitik, and stand up for what we believe. Had the Sons of Liberty in 1775 practiced real politics, there would have been no Boston Tea Party and, therefore, no American Revolution.