Monday, November 3, 2008

Change We Need. Change We Can Believe In

It all seems perfectly clear to me.

We need jobs, the economy needs stimulus in the form of flowing dollars, and we have a global warming and closely related energy crisis to address immediately. If we can create a national renewable energy development program, we create jobs that provide cash flow, and we begin to address global warming and our dependence on foreign oil.

Fortunatey, it seems clear to Obama, as well. That, alone, is reason to reject his Neanderthal alternative.

If federal investment in renewable energy is "socialism," bring it on, baby. It's no more and no less "socialism" than federal investment in investment banking. The difference is that federal investment in renewable energy builds jobs. Therefore, it builds the economy from the bottom up. From the foundation. Federal investment in investment banking doesn't build anything. It creates, Pavlov style, a foolhardy Wall Street ever confident of a bailout. It attempts to build the house from the roof down. That, uh, doesn't work.

The infrastructure is worn out. We need money to fix it. Creating projects to re-build infrastructure at least gets us infrastructure for our money. Pouring money into investment firms doesn't even get us shares. Bring on federal investment in infrastructure renovation. The alternative is to contract out infrastructure innovation to the private sector. This accomplishes enormous wealth for a few, in the form of ownership of infrastructure and tolls for its use from the rest of us. If we're worried about redirecting wealth, I'd far rather redirect it to public ownership than to private oligarchies.

That money -- for healthcare and for infrastructure and college education for the next generations -- has to come from somewhere. It won't be coming from our 401(k)s anytime soon, thanks to Republican economic policy. It has to come from the federal government. This, by the way, is just another variety of "trickle down." Federal dollars are our dollars. Their investment in our collective wellbeing is hardly redistribution of wealth. It's OUR money to start with.

Let's get it out of Iraq so that we and our soldiers can get on with living, and with real priorities. Let's elect Barack and start a new era. Vote tomorrow if you haven't already. No matter how long it takes, vote. It's the most important election of your life.