J.D. Alt: Will the Democrats Change the Subject?

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By J. D. Alt, author of The Architect Who Couldn’t Sing, available at Amazon.com or iBooks. Originally published at www.realprogressivesusa.com

So, I will now, once again, court blushing naivete….

In the middle of a contemplative walk—during which, I confess, I was imagining with enthusiasm how the Democrats might extract revenge should they win the House of Representatives in the mid-term elections (hearings and subpoenas relating to the FBI “investigation” of Brett Kavanaugh, subpoenas for Donald Trump’s tax returns, drawing up articles of impeachment, etc.)—I was suddenly struck by the realization of what aterrible mistake it would be to do any of that.

Hard as it might be to bite their collective tongues, what the Democrats ought to do if they take the House this November is to dramatically and forcefully CHANGE THE SUBJECT. Strategically, leading up to the 2020 elections, this would be, by far, the most intelligent and effective course to take. Should the Democrats continue throwing gasoline and flaming matches on the emotional blood-feud which has come to dominate our politics and news cycles, they will be playing directly into the game-plan Donald Trump has imposed on the Republican party—and American politics in general.

Donald Trump doesn’t want anyone to be talking rationally about the real issues and needs the great majority of Americans are actually confronting in their daily lives. He wants the conversation to be a demagoguery shouting match—not about important public policies, but about conspiracies against his administration, his allies, his followers. He doesn’t want people to seek solutions, he wants them to seek enemies. He wants Evangelical Christians to hate pro-choice Americans. He wants American workers to hate Latinos and immigrants. He wants men to hate female sexual assault victims. He wants everyone to hate journalists and reporters.

If the Democrats play into this vindictive narrative after the midterm elections, they could lose a sure-fire opportunity to retake control of the entire federal government in 2020. To say it again: don’t do it! Instead, if they take control of the House of Representatives, Democrats should CHANGE THE SUBJECT. And they should do it in a way that forces the media to change the subject as well.

Here are some thoughts about how that might be done:

  1. The Democrat led House should write, debate, and vote on a series of bills that deal directly with the biggest and most difficult issues American families are now actually struggling with:
    • Full, free, universal health-care— (not catastrophic health-care “insurance”)
    • Free post-high school education or training for every student who qualifies
    • Immediate forgiveness of all student loan debt
    • Free, universal pre-school education and day-care
    • A “living-wage” minimum wage for all workers who do not receive tips
    • A national affordable housing CO-OP system
    • A Job Guarantee (doing community service) for anyone willing to work
  1. The Democrat led House should hold hearings to ascertain the threats and challenges that will be imposed on American citizens, property, infrastructure, and food and water resources by anticipated global climate-change.
  1. Once the scale of the climate-change challenge is understood, the Democrat led House should hold hearings to establish an understanding of how the modern U.S. fiat-monetary system actually works today, and how it can be more effectively visualized and managed to undertake what needs to be accomplished.

If this strategy were employed by a Democrat-led House of Representatives, it would not matter if any bill they debated and passed was ever taken up by a Republican controlled Senate—or signed by Donald Trump. It wouldn’t matter if any of their hearings resulted in meaningful policy proposals. What would matter is, first, the topics of conversation in the American political dialog would change from what Trump-Republicans want to talk about to what progressive-Democrats want to talk about. Second, the seeds of the real issues facing America—and the real possibilities and opportunities for addressing them—would be planted in the thinking processes of American voters.

Third, the referendum “subjects” of the 2020 elections would be established—and it would not be what the Trump-Republicans will want to be campaigning about. The wind might well be taken out of the sails of the hate-campaign juggernaut. Some percentage of the “Trump base” might rediscover they are also middle, or lower-middle-class Americans facing real, practical challenges in their lives—challenges which the Democrats are actually talking about and proposing to fix.

If 2020 can be framed around a powerful and compelling progressive platform—based on a growing awareness of the possibilities of modern fiat-money—it seems likely the Democrats could take the House, the Senate, and the Presidency. Then, under those circumstances, and with that growing awareness, at long last, they could lead the country out of the wasteland of fiscal austerity and global corporate power.

The real “populists,” it might ultimately be discovered to our national and personal benefits, are not the Trump-Base Republicans. The real “populists” are creative progressives, operating in local communities around the country—and supported by the rational understanding and management of a national fiat-monetary system.

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  1. Skip Intro

    Donald Trump doesn’t wantanyone to be talking rationally about the real issues and needs the great majority of Americans are actually confronting in their daily lives. He wants the conversation to be a demagoguery shouting match—not about important public policies

    It sounds like Trump and the Dems are on the same page, working together for the same goal of policy-free politics based solely on identity-politics and pearl-clutching faux outrage.

  2. Keith Howard

    The Rs are determined to defend their minority rule by whatever means available. Surely in addition to the excellent suggestions JD Alt makes, the Ds in control of the House should write and debate laws establishing the right to vote, removing control over Federal elections from the States, strongly criminalizing vote suppression, etc.

      1. Amfortas the hippie

        I’d like to see the pursuit of a robust constitutional amendment setting in stone the right to vote. a real Democratic Party would welcome that fight.
        it could be easily constructed to force the goptea to defend their hateful disenfranchisement and overall hatred of democracy.
        a birdsnest on the ground for actual progressives.
        Of course, with the Clintonists still at the helm, I don’t expect anything of the sort.

  3. JohnnySacks

    As much as I agree with this take, didn’t the Dems change the subject the last time they took control?
    They gave fraudulent bankers a pass, they ignoring the liars that led to the destruction of Iraq and the deaths of thousands of soldiers, they gave war criminal torturers a pass.

    Yes, they need to focus on more unified and simple policy and less on ‘We’re not Trump!” and Putin Derangement Syndrome, especially after being humiliated by a guy who’s only policy statements were “Build the wall”, “Lock her up”, and “Job killing Obamacare”

    The basic problem is there’s absolutely no unity with regards to that bullet point list and because of that, we’re on the path to another Trump term.

  4. jo6pac

    If the author would ad bring home all the troops from the fake wars around the earth, I’m on board. Yes I know the wars aren’t fake to those in harms way.

    The chances of demodogs doing any of the ideas put forward are 0 Sadly those that control the party if you can call it that are about $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$ and not us serfs.

    1. DJG

      Thanks, jo6pac: Lambert commented the other day on the lack of Peace Democrats.

      The end of the endless wars and U.S. adventures in Latin American, even now unfolding again, should be the first point under point 1. Without peace, there will be no progress.

    2. animalogic

      You’re spot on Jo6pay.
      “So, I will now, once again, court blushing naivete….”
      Naivete ? Sorry, but “profoundly delusional” seems more appropriate.
      The D’s are corrupt to the core. Absent a Sanders-like miracle, absolutely nothing on the author’s wish-list will be part of a D narrative…let alone substantive policy.
      It’s very hard to imagine any improvement for the 99% under the current status quo, very hard to imagine the collapse of the status quo short of massive crisis. And given how feeble, disoriented & deluded the (what passes for) a US Left is, such a crisis would actually entrench the status quo further (ie “disaster capitalism”).

  5. voteforno6

    That would be nice, but politics at the Congressional level is stuck in a loop right now. Republicans screw things up, Democrats take back control, Democrats don’t do anything meaningful, voters get fed up and Republicans win again. Then, the Republicans screw up, and…wash, rinse, repeat.

    As long as the current leadership is in place in the Democratic party, this will not change. When they’re in the minority, they can rake in donations from those turned off by the Republicans. Then, when they’re back in the majority, they can bring in even more money. As long as they don’t buck their donors’ interests, the money will keep flowing.

    It’s not a coincidence that the leadership reside in safe seats – so what if some people in competitive districts lose their seats? The leadership will still be there. They don’t have to take controversial stands while the Democrats are in power, and they’ll still be there when the Democrats are out of power. Either way, the money keeps flowing. The only thing that changes is how much of it comes in.

    1. fajensen

      Republicans screw things up, Democrats take back control, Democrats don’t do anything meaningful, voters get fed up and Republicans win again.

      My impression is that the Democrats will add up to 10% to whatever form of stupidity (and/or evil) they inherited from the Republicans under the “Embrace and Extend”-Contract they have with their donors!

      The Republicans sets the tune, the Democrats improvise over it to show that they are The Creative Peoples Party.

  6. John Wright

    Ok, my cynicism is ramping up.

    This advice appears to be: have the Democrats APPEAR to want to provide Lambert’s tangible benefits.

    One could suggest Democratic donors know that the Republicans will not allow these to pass.

    How many voters are swayed by proposed legislation that does not pass?

    Trump has already countered the Democrats’ “Russia, Russia, Russia” with “China, China, China” trade.

    The Democrats need more than political theater, they need to actually do something, trying and , perhaps, cynically failing, won’t work.

    1. a different chris

      I think the “do” part of the post was that “they need to lay the groundwork”? Call it political theatre if you wish, theatre is a big part of politics. They don’t have Presidency or the Senate, so what exactly is that “something” that you expect from them??

      1. RMO

        They didn’t do anything when they HAD the Presidency, Congress and the Senate – because of this I have trouble believing that they really want to do any of these things.

  7. WheresOurTeddy

    Good article, and worth trying. Glad the author put the prefix “So, I will now, once again, court blushing naivete” on there though, because as I read it I just kept thinking “and you expect this to happen in the democratic party?”

    Big Club, You Ain’t In It

  8. Pat

    While I agree that the Democrats should focus on good public policy, looking at the slate the Democrats largely have fronted, I am wondering where Mr. Alt has gotten his policy list. That list is not up for discussion with the majority of the probable Democratic Congress members. Frankly I am not sure I want the Pelosi/Schumer Democrats focusing on anything. Lambert didn’t come up with gridlock is our friend only because of the Rebuplicans.

    Along with that I am also uncertain about the “look forward not back” nature of just focusing on policy. I, for one, would love for Congress to bring the hammer down on our public servants who have no fear of lying to Congress and by extension us. Not sure whether Clapper can still be charged, but if he can he should be. Kavanaugh should face perjury charges regardless, even if his defense is the perjury was years ago NOW I am telling the truth. And in further pipe dream land, we should revisit torture and set the groundwork for prosecutors to jail a few people. I also consider both of those to be about policy.

    The real problem for both myself and Mr Alt is that we are confusing our current politicians with public servants working for the good of their constituents rather than the servants of the donor class they really are with very few exceptions.

    1. Jeff W

      …we are confusing our current politicians with public servants working for the good of their constituents rather than the servants of the donor class they really are…

      I had the same impression, at least with regard to Mr. Alt. His underlying premise seems utterly divorced from reality. Of course if the Democrats framed the 2020 campaign around “a powerful and progressive campaign,” using the fiscal space afforded by fiat money, they could “plant” the “seeds” of “real issues facing Americans,” they could “lead the country out of the wasteland of fiscal austerity and global corporate power.”

      But Democrats who would do that are not, by and large, the Democrats we have. Sen. Bernie Sanders who does focus on real issues (though not from a fiat money perspective just yet), those Democrats take pains to remind us, is not, repeat not, a Democrat. (We dare not mistake those “changing the subject” and talking about “real issues” with Democrats, it seems.)

      Instead, we can look to Democrats like House minority leader Nancy Pelosi who, following the win of someone—Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez—who ran a “powerful and progressive campaign,” wanted to assure us that that win should “not to be viewed as something that stands for anything else,” and who, far from evincing “a growing awareness of the possibilities of modern fiat-money,” recently reaffirmed a commitnent to Pay-go, a move which has been characterized, by someone who understands fiat money, as “economically illiterate.” That’s not to pick particularly on Nancy Pelosi—she’s just representative of the vast majority of Democrats, although, to be fair, Mr Alt seems to be calling on “progressive Democrats” to employ this strategy and Democrats like Pelosi, even acknowledging that she says she’s “progressive,” might not be whom Alt has in mind.

      Democrats could have “changed the subject,” they could have run “powerful and progressive campaigns,” they could have acted in the public interest and not embraced neoliberalism, at any time in the past 40 years. For whatever reasons they chose not to do any of those things. The possibilities afforded by fiat money don’t change any of those reasons. In fact, if anything, those possibilities are far more threatening to the status quo. They say “We don’t need to beg you, rich people, to pay your ‘fair share’ in taxes in order to get the things we want—we’ll remove you from the equation and just authorize the money.” It’s empowering and, for that reason, disequilibrating—it changes power relations in ways no establishment politician, Democratic or Republican, wants to have occur and no member of the élites wants to think of. J. D. Alt argues, implicitly, that the possibilities afforded by fiat money allow us to “change the subject” but I think it’s really that not wanting to “change the subject”—i.e., wanting to maintain the status quo—disallows discussion of the possibilities afforded by fiat money.

    1. Judith

      And Glen Ford’s conclusion is important:

      “The Democrats are a fraudulent opposition, and totally shameless, moving from election to election, financed by an oligarchy whose interests both parties regard as paramount. They have no vision beyond endless austerity and war, the same agenda as the Republicans — with a racial and ethnic “diversity” twist.

      The long legal twilight time is over and deep darkness has now fallen on the U.S. Supreme Court, with the active and passive collaboration of the Democratic Party. A real opposition must be mobilized in the streets, and in alternative electoral formations that take their cues from the street mobilizations.”

  9. kurtismayfield

    These are not Democrats.. the Republicans have moved so far right that these Dems have occupied the space of a moderate 90’s Republican with identify politics thrown in. They will never get a majority to pass one thing on that list, unless it is purely symbolic ( like the Republicans voting against the ACA when they knew they don’t want it fully repealed).

    The real question is will the Millennials continue to be fooled by them, and keep trying to kick at the football only for it to be taken away.

    1. polecat

      I think that football’s been ditched, some time ago .. for a whole chamber of big-@$$ dodged-ballers ..
      …and the plebes keep on getting smacked, as they rush from one side of the court .. to the empty other .. while being told to take it and like it !

      I am sooo done .. being a chump !

      1. JBird4049

        what aterrible mistakeit would be to do any of that

        Well, yes as they are two wings of effectively the same party. Bernie Sanders would have been a regular Democratic leftist forty years ago, back when the party was a left leaning liberal party. If the Democratic Party as an institution wanted to win especially as a working and middle class party, we would have President Sanders right now. Then again, if the current Republican Party was the Conservative party of forty years ago, they would be insanely working on climate change.

    2. HotFlash

      The real question is will the Millennials continue to be fooled by them, and keep trying to kick at the football only for it to be taken away.

      The Millenials are not fooled. And their response will be as ineffectual as ours was.

      This game is well-organized and well-honed. Thank you, Lewis Powell and friends.

    1. JBird4049

      Actually, we are more likely to become the next Brazil what with the ongoing conservative soft coup and an increasingly right wing even reactionary, instead of conservative, political movement run by rich a@@@@@@@ gaining power.

      If the weaken dysfunctional Brazilian left does win the presidency, or by some gift from God, become ascendant again, look for a military coup.

  10. albert

    “…Will the Democrats Change the Subject?…”

    Short answer: No!

    I swear, I’ve seen kindergarten classes behave better.

    “Endless and meaningless political theater.”

    . .. . .. — ….

  11. DJG

    As mentioned above, the biggest flaw in Alt’s list is lack of a requirement that the endless wars end. Also, it may be time to state outright that we have to dump Israel and Saudi Arabia, “with friends like that…”

    And then there is this economic problem:

    A “living-wage” minimum wage for all workers who do not receive tips


    Tips? Are we pretending that the tipping economy is somehow wildly successful? Does Alt intend to include the insolvent barely tipped Uber precariat?

    Edit this to:

    A living wage for all workers, with minumum wage raised to $19 and employer tax dodges for “tips” and such eliminated.

    I am reminded how Social Security originally didn’t include domestic workers like maids and cleaners–and not so coincidentally, many black people were not covered. So “tips” as a criterion has a whiff of the same economic discrimination and disaster.

    1. JBird4049

      Good points, but the economic disparity between different parts of the country have gotten so great that they might have to have a multi tier minimum wage. Say like 21 in California, 15 in Alabama, and 19 in maybe Michigan.

  12. Big River Bandido

    As Lambert or Yves (I don’t remember who) has phrased it: the problem isn’t with the Democrats, but these Democrats.

    The strategy and the policy positions enumerated in this post are spot-on. But if the CIA Democrats take control of the House, none of those sensible proposals will ever see the light of day — for the simple reason that these Democrats don’t believe in those ideas, or support those policies.

  13. larry

    Some of these ‘populists’ are actually civil servants and work for the national government. Except for those that Trump put in who know nothing about the agencies they are supposed to either run or organize. Michael Lewis’s The Fifth Risk is particularly good about how much work many government agencies do that no one knows about. An especially good discussion of data is the third chapter entitled All the President’s Data. Two examples of agencies Lewis discusses in some detail: the Department of Commerce which does much more than commerce; the National Weather Service of which weather is only part of the data it deals with.

    1. Amfortas the hippie

      NWS is hands down my favorite part of the FedGov.
      I visit their site(s) regularly.
      essential for planning one’s day…especially if you need to venture far from home.
      I never hear about them in the news…either mainstream or alternative…which is a shame.
      I also never hear a politician lauding them….which is also a shame.
      They’re the perfect example of government that works.

  14. Seth A Miller

    another set of proposals that says nothing at all about de-industrialization or outsourcing? Really? Our corporate overlords shipped 40 million jobs overseas since 1980, and this is not on the radar for someone blogging about taking power back for the Democrats? Even though the issue is a big part of why Trump won?

    The issue is jobs. I agree that a jobs guarantee will help at the polls, but it will sound like la-la land without a proposal that speaks to outsourcing and de-industrialization.

  15. Synoia

    J.D. Alt: Will the Democrats Change the Subject?


    For democrats it is low risk to fight against the Rs, President Thump and blaming the Russians.

    If they propose policies they risk irritating some their collective donors.

    The Democrats own a collective null (empty) set of proposals they could all get behind, because they are beholden to their donors, who are mostly interested in further rent extraction.

    1. ChrisAtRU


      Won’t get behind #M4A because of Pharma and Health Insurance money
      Won’t get behind #FightFor15 because of big capital desire to extract exorbitant profits and please markets (wage depression)
      Won’t get behind #TuitionFreeCollege because of student debt sector of big finance

      Won’t get behind Democratic Socialism because, as Nancy Pelosi said, “We’re capitalists … and that’s just the way it is.”


      1. polecat

        Which All stems from black-robed supreme priors, allowing Corporations to have unbridled power and control over real humans (and, well, every other living Terran organism !) as well as the remaining commons that should sustain us all !!

        Now, WHY don’t the Democrats revisit THOSE court decisions for ‘reconsideration’, considering the apparently distopian route we’re collectively heading. Hyper-Merchantilism is on a path to kill everthing it touches. I fail to see how they can go through the motions, and not be mindful to the awful consequences in all of this.

  16. Glen

    Dems are a dead end, parachuting into Dante’s inferno and apologizing for the heat, but stating “there is no alternative”. Repubs ride the rocket to hell and cheer all the way down. It’s all the same for the 99%.

    1. Synoia

      Dems are correct “there is no alternative.” .

      Pelsoi showed me the light when she rescued Bush.

      Obama showed me the searchlight in his first summer, where he was invisible as the Senate wrote the best republican Medical Care Law.

  17. KYrocky

    Really? A vindictive narrative? As others above stated, this reeks of the “not looking back” wisdom Obama used to, in substance, screw the middle class and protect and enrich the criminals. How did that work our for elected Dems in 2010, 2012, and 2014? Huge losses in Congress, Governorships and statehouses throughout the country.
    The Republican Party, and the small number of rich white men they serve, are out to destroy the social fabric and programs of our country for their financial benefit. They are going to manufacture outrage and scream their lies at every single step. They will be aided by a compliant media and countless of millions of dollars of dark money. Whether the Republicans retain control of the Senate or just the White House they will oppose every single thing Democrats in the House try to do.
    The Republicans are willing to destroy the country to get what they want for the rich because that is what they are going to do anyway.
    From Day One, the Democrats need to be united and focused as a team. Gone are the days of yellow dogs and “it’s never, ever going to happen.” Democrats need to make clear that Making America Great Again means having Social Security that can sustain you in your elder years; having access to affordable, comprehensive health care that is no more of a financial burden to families that it was in the 1960’s or 70’s; having attending a 4-year public university cost no more in terms of minimum wage hours needed to pay for it than it did in the 60’s and 70’s; and having the difference between what banks paid you for your saving compared to what they charged you to borrow being no more than it was in the 60’s and 70’s.
    Making America Great Again means having elections where voter suppression and barriers to voting does not exist.
    Democrats, should they take the House, must be prepared to chew gum, walk and fight every minute of every day, and they need to be explicitly clear, every minute of every day, about who and what they are fighting for. Because the Republicans will be fighting every second of every day with lies, hate and the tyranny of the minority.

    1. drumlin woodchuckles

      They should, but they won’t.

      “SanderSocial” Democrats would, but they would have to conquer and purge the mainstream Democrats-of-today out of the party. As long as the Pelosis and the Hoyers and the DiFis and etc. are not purged from the party, they will prevent the SanderSocial Democrats from doing even one thing that Mr. Alt or KYRocky suggests. And if even so much as one of the New Wave of CIA Democrats is elected, the problem will be re-entrenched for some decades to come.

      Better to let the Republicans retain command of government until the system crashes so badly that all the little Stormtrumpers in the field admit to feeling the pain of the system crashing on them. And, when looking around, see that there is no one to be seen exCEPT Republicans to blame it on.

  18. Llewelyn Moss

    The Dems to the rescue?! The Dems whose glorious Obamacare turned out to be a windfall to the Health Industrial Complex? The Dems who rewarded the Banksters with lavish bailouts for the 2008 crash instead of jailing them? The Dems who refuse to end any of these pointless wars?

    I love the authors ideas but these Dems will never deliver or even debate any of that. They are almost as horrific as the Repubs. These are not the Dems you are looking for.

  19. PKMKII

    That would require the Democrats to think about long term strategy, something they’ve been loathe to do the last decade. That’s why there’s the obsession with impeachment, quickest path to the hated one being out of office. No thinking about how much political capital that will burn through, or what a Pence presidency would look like, or that they could just wait two years and get the whole administration out. Instead it’s all bumbling and knee jerk reactions from one election to the next, holding the voters responsible if their back of a paper napkin plans fail to produce victory.

  20. Chauncey Gardiner

    Timely and brilliant article. Expect changing the conversation will require a change in party leadership, which I believe will come sooner rather than later. Thank you JD Alt, and to Yves for posting this piece.

  21. Tomonthebeach

    Does anybody with clout in the DNC ever get exposed to this sort of strategy? Therein lies the proverbial rub.

  22. freedomny

    Until corporate money is out of the politicians hands….real change cannot occur. Corporations are ruling America.

  23. Eric Titus

    The Democratic party, despite its issues, is trying to put the attention on healthcare, the environment, etc. Ironically, it’s the progressive wing of the democratic party (of which I consider myself a “member”) that has put the focus on stopping Kavanaugh, impeachment, etc. The Democrats have even been introducing bills to address healthcare, labor, campaign finance, etc. It’s just–no one on the left really cares, or wants to hear it from them.
    Much as I think the Democratic establishment needs to be replaced, they too have been getting pulled around by Trump and the media. Except for Bernie Sanders (and maybe Elizabeth Warren), no one is going to talk about the bills that people propose. Ned Lamont wants to make 2 years of college free in CT. He also bashes Trump. You can guess which one is going to get voters out.

    1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

      “Dems” of all stripes need to quickly move through the Kubler-Ross stages of loss: Denial, Rage, Bargaining, Depression, Acceptance. They’re stuck at Stages 1 and 2 after 2016. Instead they need to place a giant mirror in front of their faces, have a long hard gaze, and move TF on.
      The immutable certainties of political correctness (ID politics) lock them into never-ending loops of infantile acting out of Stages 1 and 2. Stephen Fry gives the best argument against PC and ID politics: they don’t work:

  24. Darthbobber

    Breaks down on the fairly obvious fact that a very large fraction of house Democrats, including their leadership, don’t actually want to accomplish most of the objectives the author sees as important.

  25. ymetca

    We’re all terrified of the fact that representative democracy is dead. It has about as much relevance to the modern, globally interconnected world as a buggy whip is to an Uber driver. No one truly “represents” me, or you, or anybody else. And, technologically speaking, there no longer is any need to.

    A New World Order needs to be created, only as a real-time, Global Direct Democracy, and NOT framed with all the spooky bugaboo hogwash utilized by our nationalistic, flag-waving, slave-lords –the one-percenters, all vying to become the Man in the High Castle.

    The first order of “business” for our New World Order should be to provide a universal basic income to all people on the planet, followed by a rapid winding down of the planet-wasting “need” for jobs. The goal should be universal un-employment, not the other way around. The sooner we all stop working, the sooner our planet will start to recover.

    We need a global system of “plentinomics”, not “economics”. We should start with the idea that there is plenty to go around, if we all just begin to realize it.

  26. Newton Finn

    This article, and especially the reactions to it, remind me of other articles about a different “hot” topic; namely, climate change. It’s always the same pattern. The author lays out what he or she believes are steps that could be taken to begin to address a crucial problem, while openly acknowledging that the odds that these steps will be taken are extremely low. But that’s not sufficiently pessimistic for postmodern thought. So then comes the commentary, which drives down those dismal odds lower and lower until the author’s suggestions crash into incoherent pieces on the rocky ground of utter impossibility, and the author is left looking even more naïve than he or she admitted being at the outset. To amend the line from “Cool Hand Luke,” what we’ve got here is a failure to communicate, due to a failure to believe, even against all odds, in the irrepressible human spirit.

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