New Thoughts from Friend John

Published March 5, 2020 by Nan Mykel

It is a critical time with regard to democracy in this country. I have waffled between supporting Sanders and Warren. It is time to vote for the changes democracy needs and for someone  who can possibly win. That is Sanders.

Many voters probably chose Biden over Sanders because they feel Biden has a better chance of winning the general election. Maybe that is true; maybe it isn’t. We thought Hillary was a shoe-in over Trump, but the electorate, through our distorted electoral college system, made an anti-establishment choice. Biden is the establishment candidate for the Democrats this time. To some people he feels safe. He won’t rock the boat. He won’t change things.

But people know that change is what we need. Biden may reverse some of the worst things Trump has done, but things will go as they have in the past over decades – continued environmental degradation, corporate control of government, a healthcare system that fails millions of Americans, continued concentration of wealth and power in fewer and fewer hands, worsening financial and food insecurity, and outright poverty.

People are afraid of change, but change happens. Without major changes in policy, the changes we will see are continued degradation of society and the environment. That is where unchecked greed, concern only for the present, and only for ourselves, will take us.

I know some people find Sanders scary. It is too bad that people, especially older people, are scared of the label, “socialist.” Would they like to get rid of the socialist things we already have in place, such as Social Security and Medicare? And what about the socialist protection that Wall Street banks have against failure? Perhaps it can be said that capitalism survives because socialism is there to bail it out.

People are understandably afraid that change might mean they lose what little they have. Might “Medicare for All” mean higher taxes? Will it mean I’ll lose my present insurance? These questions linger despite the fact that “Medicare for All” will provide health insurance for all and better healthcare at lower overall costs. Other countries find ways to pay for it; we can too.

When we are determined to do something, we can find ways to pay. No one objects to the development of a new weapon system for military use because it will increase their taxes. There is no reason to hesitate about doing what needs to be done now.

Economic and monetary systems should facilitate what we as a people want to do. Physical and social resources impose real limits, but money, which is created everyday by keystrokes on computers, should not be limiting.

A changed money system, in which government creates money instead of private banks, would open up possibilities. Where new money is spent increasing goods and services, through improvement of infrastructure, healthcare and education, there is little inflationary pressure. Inflation comes from increased costs, not from government spending.

Our current socialist system benefits the wealthy and the old folks who hold the wealth. What is needed now is some socialist policies to benefit the young and those who haven’t inherited wealth. It is time for us to seize the opportunity in this election and get Bernie nominated so the voters are offered a real choice. Unfortunately, at this point support for Warren amounts to supporting Biden.

As Supreme Court Justice said, “We can have democracy in this country, or we can have great wealth concentrated in the hands of a few, but we can’t have both.”

3 comments on “New Thoughts from Friend John

  • A well argued position. I still have some concerns as to whether Biden is up to the task. He appears a bit weak to me when under attack (unlike Bernie who comes out fighting every time) I am not sure he will be able to handle the Trump onslaught that is surely coming, but time will tell. Best wishes to all you Americans from someone who is just observing the upheaval, lies and power struggles from my perch in a sunny Caribbean island where the water is always warm and the drinks cold.

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