by Mark Angelides
It is fair to assume that the vast majority of people have become either disillusioned or outright disgusted with modern politics (89% expressed dissatisfaction in a recent study). We have one party that seeks to control us through demographic percentage edges, and another party that can’t even get a favourable budget passed while they have a majority. Neither side wants to deal with the other side’s issues; each considers the other beneath contempt. And we are the ones that suffer.
The two party system was designed to foster compromise and the limiting of extreme views (as in the compromise would always pull both sides to the center), but when almost every politician sees it as a “badge of honour” to be uncompromising, no voters are left satisfied with the outcome.
We have reached a point where our Presidents consider it a victory to be in office, when in reality, the victory should come from the achievements they make whilst actually in office. It is not enough to just be the “holder of power”, the power must be exercised in an effective manner; concrete things must be enacted, then measured for efficacy before policies are hailed as a success.
Consider several failures of government that should be fully addressed, yet election after election, are ignored:
Tax: Income tax (in its present form allowed for by the 16th Amendment) was introduced in 1913 as a temporary measure, yet 100 years later, it is the largest source of income for the government. Despite tax hikes, adjustments, and regulations, the USA somehow managed to end up $20 trillion in debt. How can a nation hope to extricate itself from this kind of mess without radical politics and policies? The present system of compromise almost guarantees that the nation will forever remain indebted.
Education: A system that requires almost everyone to have a college degree to get any decently paid employment, but that ensures that anyone who does go to college is saddled with debts, is a broken system. Having your citizenry well-educated (not with pointless courses that have the word “studies” after their titles) is an asset to a nation, and should be treated as such. Science, medicine, engineering and tech should be made more affordable; the graduates will be (mostly) high level taxpayers and their work will likely benefit society as a whole.
Ghettos: They are defined by their poverty and their lack of employment opportunities. How difficult would it really be to encourage companies to open their new factories or distribution centers in these areas if they were given incentivized tax breaks? Ghettos are perpetuated by people in poverty bringing up children in poverty who in turn do the same. Giving Welfare does not allow them to help themselves, it just makes communities reliant on further handouts.
There are no easy answers to the nation’s problems, but one thing is very clear: under the present system, almost nothing changes. It is only through radical politics that the cartel can be broken. It’s time for something new.
by Mark Angelides