The 1%? Try the 31%

A lot has been made over the last decade of “The 1%”, the top wealth earners and owners in the nation. From Occupy Wall Street to the Sanders campaign there has been a call for a revolution of sorts to overthrown them and put the nation on the right path. The other 99%, the theory goes, cannot remain slaves forever.

As time has gone on, however, something strange happened to the calculus that went into describing the revolution. Those at the top of the wealth pyramid? They know there’s something wrong. Many are more than a little sympathetic, and most seem to be at least resigned to a more progressive system.

Meanwhile, genuine American fascism has risen in a boisterous and orange form. Who is the real enemy? Who do we need to rise up against? If you’re paying any attention it’s not necessarily the rich.

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Romanticism Reborn?

I am behind in far too many things, so I hope you don’t mind a repeat from 2011. It’s a question I still find very important.

There are times when it seems as through the world is falling apart.  The power of nations and their armies, which has only become greater through the last two generations, seems paralyzed to act in the face of growing unrest and demands for freedom around the world.  The best solutions to the frozen uncertainty seems to be in nature, a life closer to the farm and organic.  Imagination and the power of the human mind offers another way out once it is unleashed and free to take on the established regimes.

This summary not only describes today, but the world around 220 years ago at the start of what became known as the Romantic Era.  It wasn’t romance in the way we usually use the term today, but instead a belief in the power of individuals and their natural instincts.  Understanding the movement and where it came from can give us a few clues where we might be going today.

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Thanksgiving Deliverence

Thanksgiving is a truly great American holiday. It is a time when people from all over the world blend their traditions into one religious holiday celebrated by Christians, Jews, Moslems, and every other faith alike. To give thanks is universal, and what better way to celebrate deliverance to a land that to many is indeed the Promised Land.

But why is it in November? The very first day of Thanksgiving was held right after the harvest, on a day very similar to the Canadian Thanksgiving on October 12th. Why is it on a Thursday? The answer is that the nation itself was delivered from the horrors of war and recognized by the Treaty of Paris, owing a bit of time for the time it takes to cross the Atlantic and bring the joyous news. It was indeed a time to be thankful – but the story has the Hand of Providence all over it.

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Cabinet Government

There are basically two types of Democratic-Republics in the world – Parliamentary, or a Prime Minister led government, and a strong President based system.  Hybrids of various kinds involving monarchs and other systems with varying degrees of power abound, but every democratically elected government in the world falls into one of these categories.  The person who shows up at the international conferences has one of these titles.

But is that the only way to go?  The situation in Egypt, among other places, has led me to wonder if there is some way a nation with a history and tradition of strong leadership might do better under a system of more than one nationally elected leader with defined roles and a real balance of power between them.  I call it an “Elected Cabinet”, and the inspiration comes from the laboratories of democracy, the US States.

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Perhaps, a Revolt?

“It is well enough that people of the nation do not understand our banking and monetary system, for if they did, I believe there would be a revolution before tomorrow morning.”
– Henry Ford

In case you were wondering what the cost is of “Too Big to Fail” banks, the Federal Reserve has an answer – $440 million (about $4 for every household in the US).  If that seems low, well, it is.  It’s just what it costs to have “enhanced regulation” of those banks that have been declared “systemic” – legalese for protected by you and I.

Where did that number come from?  It comes at the end of a long, watered-down process that has finally defined just what it means to be one of the protected investment banks. It’s all the result of Dodd-Frank regulation that does more harm than good if this is all they can manage.  But perhaps we can make a bit more out of it …

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