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Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Americans Want A Government That Ties Rewards To Work

Nov. 1 (Bloomberg) — American politics are at a watershed, and trying to understand this moment in conventional terms misses the point.

It is likely — though far from certain — that the transformation will advantage Democrats, but whichever party best aligns with the forces of change will have a huge edge in 2012 and beyond.

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Copyright 2011 The National Memo
  • ecut

    This article fairly accounts reasons for our current political crisis in easy to understand language. Articles like this need more public exposure to diminish existing politically encouraged stupifying partizanship.

  • Wib

    Yes, the president did accomplish a sort of health care reform, but only by rewarding the large corporate insurance companies who ultimately will destroy its meaningfulness. We need a single payer kind, such as Medicare, for everyone. Yes, this can be paid for with the proper tax structure that properly taxes everyone, including, and especially, the wealthy and corporations. Further, anyone with a memory knows he adopted the model put forth by the Republicans when Clinton was trying to get universal health care through Congress. Corporations should not be rewarded for their greed, which is what is happening with our so-called universal health care.

  • Dianrib

    ALL the GOP Baggers ..Bachman Mitt Perry Trump & pals talk about is more corp tax cuts- more deregulation & gutting education,school programs, the disabled, old sick, Same old tired GOP fat cat policies since Reaganomics Bush GOP deregulation, amnesty for slave wages, wars based on lies, that led to 2008 disaster TARP scam
    IS that what you folks want more of ??

  • Twicker

    Good article but it’s not entirely it. It’s not that we want a government that ties rewards to work, it’s that we want an economic system that rewards work, and a government that has respect for it and protects the American worker. Who would really care about bailouts if the benefits affected the average person and they really helped the economy? We need regulations that protect the American worker such as regulations about moving companies overseas. We used to have trade restrictions that kept our market from being flooded with foreign goods. We used to have regulations that kept Wall Street from crashing the economy. We had higher taxes on the wealthy and corporations that kept all the money from pooling in one place.

    The Republicans ‘solutions’ of slash and burn cuts and cutting social programs makes the central issues worse, not better. Every one of those cuts loses someone a job. Every cut to education decreases the chances of those who are children now being able to get jobs in the future.

    What Americans want is a fair shake. What they know in the their hearts now is that a permanent underclass is being created, while money and power will only be held by a very few individuals at the top. They will have no hope of being able to work their way up, create a better life for their children, or even just to stand still and stay in place.

  • bobpol

    one way to change the paradigm would be to reform the election system by eliminating PACs and dividing political contributions evenly between all the candidates. this could be done by changing the role of the federal election comission and al of the state election commissions

  • DaveG53

    This article is directly on target. CEO’s must realize they are only the captain of the ship. Without the necessary “good” crew to man the ship, a captain will surely fail. Labor is a necessary link to bring an idea to reality. We do not begrudge someone higher salaries or rewards. We do begrudge those who profit from failure, or criminal activity without fear of prosecution. Congressional elections should be fully paid for with public money. Otherwise, you get what you pay for, and our current Congress is living proof!

  • Dik

    Mr. Klain;

    It would seem your solution to the problems caused by government interference in the economy is more government interference.

    Dik Thurston
    Colorado Springs

  • Newfriend

    As an older gentleman who never, really, got involved in politics,I appreciate these news letters and all your comments.
    Many Thanks for enlightening me in my old age

  • SusanL

    Excellent article which is right on the money. The problems we have now result from not enough intelligent regulation and regulators too cozy with who they’re supposed to be watching. And too much big money in politics, of course. It is not that government is simply too big, it’s that so much of it needs overhauling, not scrapping altogether.

  • JudyWendt

    Very well stated position. As an ardent “Occupy Everywhere” supporter,I see that governmental legislation failed when, in 1998, they repealed the Glass-Stegall Act that had protected middle Americans for 60+ years from financial greed and corruption by blurring the distinction between commercial and investment banking. Because great risk was encouraged by the economic climate of both times, bankers transformed from traditional, conservative stewards of financial sanity to radical risk takers – both before The Great Depression and again before this Great Recession, jeopardizing the economy with impunity. Instead of admitting that there was a serious mistake made with this repeal and rectifying it, our gov. rewards this flagrant bad behavior with bail outs. The bankers receive huge bonuses, and we lose jobs, homes, money from our pensions, and equity in our houses to compensate for their mistakes. Then those on the right want to privatize our Social Security and Medicare to futher rob from those accounts to try to make up for their budgetary failures and over spending on unnecessary wars. We are still not safe, and we have very little trust in either government or big business. Where is our FDR when we need him? Someone needs to champion us!

  • 2lolo


  • Indy 60

    In your list of what Americans want, you named many things that Pres. Obama included in his “jobs bill”:
    1. The help for homeowners was to be for homeowners who are struggling but not behind – refinancing. You had to be caught up, not behind.
    2. Student Loans – community service has been a part of many Student Loans for at least a year, maybe more. (Teachers, Drs., Nurses would receive a discount for working in poor communities.)
    3. Business incentives for hiring the unemployed and veterans.
    4. The jobs for infrastructure would go to those who are unemployed – meaning they would stop getting paid for not working and paid for working. An endeavor like this would mean more than just “construction jobs”. There would be a need for engineers, drivers, secretaries, flaggers and many more. True, it would be gov’t money paying for it, but is it not better to use government money to pay someone for working, than to pay them not to work?
    However, as you stated whether he is to be successful is yet to be determined. Why? Because Congress (especially those in the Republican Congress) wants to stonewall the bill.
    Congress has lost the trust of the people, Republicans are seen as only wanting to help the wealthy and big business, while Democrats are seen as to scared to stop it. Whichever side actually helps the problems of the people will be the Party that regains the trust.

  • pmk

    While not wishing to under estimate the scope of the problems facing the US, my view is that so many solutions advanced appear to be band aid short term fixes. Solve one problem here and perhaps another there. The country has past that stage years ago.

    This is the time to undertake a full and comprehensive review. No sacred cows should be spared. Time is overdue to enact fair taxation reform. The very wealthy pay a fraction of the taxes that are paid by the same class in Europe and elsewhere. The Republican party has to be confronted once and for all on its obsession with low taxes for the rich. What compelling evidence is there that by giving the ultra rich tax breaks that it creates significant employment?

    The entire system of elections and the obscene amount of money that must be raised to win elections must be scrapped and replaced by a system that doesn’t exclude a good candidate because he or she couldn’t raise huge sums of money to compete. Lobbyists and their activities must be greatly curtailed. But equally important the US must reclaim its position as a great manufacturer. Enact legislation to punish companies that brazenly export US jobs overseas in the name of appeasing Wall Street. When companies are being pushed to think short term, what does it do to innovation?

    Stop the ruinous practice of declaring wars on nations-another flawed policy of the Republicans. Make value assessments in granting foreign aid-here again a long history of pandering to despotic regimes in the name of national interest. Shouldn’t morality be viewed as an important criterion?

    Enact legislation to encourage savings. Cancel useless subsidies to various segments such as the oil and gas companies. Seen their profits recently? Get rid of the deeply flawed health care system. Curtail the power of insurance companies which greatly adds to the inequality and excessive waste of precious funds. Universal health coverage should become a prerequisite for all citizens. The list goes on and on. The real question is which party has both a soul and the conviction to put citizens first and special interest in the distant back seat. Begin to target politicians that are too cozy with special interests. OWS is once again demonstrating the lethal power that citizens have, and shouldn’t be shy to use it to make the country once again a fair and more kind US.

  • jose lafaurie

    We, the workers, at one time had a tool that we used very well and had given us a position of sharing in the wealth that corporations made. That tool was called THE UNION, but corporations found a way to destroy that tool by proposing and financing the idea of a “close shop”. This idea was presented to us in such a way that it convince a lot of workers who did not have the vision of what it would do to our collective bargaining unions. When a UNION receives union dues from every worker, whether a member or not, that union no longer needs him as a member and now for its survival all that that union requires is that that business remains in business, the needs of the working class no longer interest them, the survival of the corporation does. Most unions today are nothing more than PACs for the Democratic Party. We must repeal the “close shop idea” and go back to unions needing, for their existence, the membership of those who believe in them. I am still a union man, but as the years have passed I realized that the day we conceited to the “close shop” idea we lost the union. The local leadership would go for a year and do union work and then would comeback to the ‘tools’, their jobs were protected and they would be part of us again, after ‘close shop’ they left and never came back, they became professional union people, a parasite of a different kind, bleeding the american worker of the fruit of their labor and basing their existence on passed laurels won by true union leaders.
    The American worker needs to wake up and establish new unions that can truly represent them and not unions concern about the corporations we work for. If the corporations we work for mismanage and fall then let the market place decide their future,someone else will buy them and we will continue, fearlessly.
    Professional politicians and professional union leaders are at the root of all of our woes, and until we realize this, electing well packaged products will never right the damage done, WE THE PEOPLE are the only ones to be blame and the only ones that can change it, parties no longer mean anything, they all are the same hypocritical parasites eternalising their jobs and help their masters rape, steal and slaving us all. Our democracy will only be as good as our participation and watchful eye, reigning in the powers of Corporate America, holding those elected, to represent us, accountable for their votes, and keeping informed about what our country is doing abroad in our name, will get us out of the situation we have placed ourselves in. Stop being terrorize but those we elected to office, our biggest enemy at this time is our own government elected officials, the powers given to the office of the President after 911 should be an indication to us all why such an act was permitted to be. The political parties are nothing more than another tool to keep us occupied and not seeing the real course that corporations are trying to push us through, there is no difference between them, they all have the same agenda, do what my master asked me to do and after that I will be well taken care of by the same people I violated. What a disgusting reality. Maybe that is why we do not want to think about and rather continue writing on blogs and internet sites. And I guarantee you that they also count on the majority of us not wanting to believe it. None would dare call it a conspiracy.
    Even that word has been prostituted and every time it is used people immediately laugh and sneer at what ever has been said, even if it makes more sense that anything they have heard or read before. CONSPIRACY: To join in a secret agreement to do an unlawful or wrongful act or to use such means to accomplish a lawful end.
    Read history and you will find that what we are seeing and experiencing today was put in motion 50 years ago, but then as it is today NONE WOULD DARE CALL IT A CONSPIRACY! Great book to read if you can find it today.

  • alternativer

    What Americans need is not necessarily what they want.
    The needs are jobs and a future of employment for those that want it and need it. What many Americans want is a return to a more lucrative economy where money was almost as easy as picking it up with a shake of the hand. We all know that this false credit balloon popped and most Americans felt the repercussions even if they were not in debt up to their eyeballs.
    The finger pointing continues to this day. And we all tend to do it even if we try not to. It is the nature of the political beast within us.
    In climates of change, and this is one that is gaining speed not slowing, the objectives and ideas of yesterday are temporarily forgotten, or are abandoned. Polarization takes hold and we either stagnate or we rebound with new goals and confront the problems as they arise.
    The needs of the American people will not be met on the course of travel that is offered by the current options of political choice. This is evidenced by the larger outcry of many Americans. The shrinking middle class and the growing poor are only the beginning and only radical thinking can contain the disaster awaiting Americans over the next five years.
    We argue about taxes, programs, funding, entitlements, and subsidies, but what we are not facing are the facts.
    Fact 1: Fuel prices are going to rise to at least 8 dollars a gallon, soon than anyone anticipates.
    Fact 2: Jobs are not going to increase with cutting federal programs they will be lost.
    Fact 3: Manufacturing jobs are lost and will not be returning any time soon. The profit element, follow the profit to find where the jobs are going to go.
    Fact 4: Americans are very independent and many do not even own a passport. The idea of Globalization is not a good idea to many.
    Fact 5: The majority of immediate jobs in the United States will not be created in the manufacturing industries, but in the service and agricultural industries.
    Fact 6: Most of the new jobs available will be low paying and not on the same level as the education of the applicants available for hire.
    Fact 7: Housing and property values are going to continue to dive for years to come.
    Fact 8: Food prices and everyday commodities will continue to rise.
    Fact 9: With all of the increases in costs to survive fewer will care about environmental issues or the impact on the environment of coal and other types of energy consumption.
    Fact 10: Paying the rich and the major corporations with tax cuts and benefits will not create any measurable amount of new jobs.
    Fact 11: They will take the increase in revenue and expand in other economies that are worse than ours that have much lower wage scales; Asian countries, and then African countries.
    Fact 12: Once the majority of Americans are in the lower class or the poor any employment will seem reasonable to survive.
    Fact 13: some of the more educated will try to find employment outside of the US and others will take jobs that are beneath their skill level and education to survive.
    Fact 14: Cottage industries will spring up all over the US to meet the needs of their communities that can no longer afford the costs of imported goods from these companies that abandoned the US for profit.
    Fact 15: Who will suffer the most? The elderly, the sick, the weak, the poor, and the young.

    With these kinds of facts facing Americans in the future, what matters is not when it happens but how will Americans be prepared to deal with it when it does.

  • krystalroad

    I think that what Americans want is reward for hard work back in vogue. I cannot understand why ANY business would pay millions to a CEO who does not create a profit. I thought business was there to make a profit. Now we are paying CEO’s millions to not do their job well. And we are OK with that.

    Most businesses would fire an employee who does not help them succeed. They would find one who does their job. Not in corporate America….

    The only ones who lose are the middle income wage earners who sent their hard earned cash into the stock market and see no returns.

    Then the Republicans say they want
    to scratch social security and instead help people invest in the stock market themselves? We already know that corporations are playing with our hard earned money fast and loose without fear of consequences. The middle income earner is the only one who loses.

  • FrancisM

    I like Ron Klain’s article simply because it hit home with me. While the ideas the author expresses tend to crystalize some of the challenges we as Americans have, unfortunately his statements are geared toward winning a second political term and do not address the real challenges we Americans face.

    I sense where Ron Klain’s article is coming from. On the other hand I am not ready to do battle with “the rich” and, I suspect, neither is he. Who will win that battle may not really matter and we will definitely lose any momentum toward find a long-term solution. In fact the more we draw battle lines, the more likely we will find resistance even from well-meaning, like-minded people. We need to find common ground where most of the earnest public can agree.

    Our goal should be to emphasize those values which we all hold dear and to devise a plan to get us there. While aspiring to those shared goals may not be how a person gets an opportunity to lead. That is what we should expect from those who will lead the company we work for or the country we call home.

    The author’s chief message is fairness. . . getting a fair reward for hard work. That might be a starting point for discussion with which we can all agree.

    Just some thoughts from someone who cares about my family and the future of this great nation.

  • wpaulp1951

    Is accountability; we want it from our legislators, from our business executives, from corporations, our Supreme Court justices who equate speech with money, from lobbyists & from our media. I feel like I can’t get a straight answer from anyone in power these days.

  • cminhtown

    The only current candidate that has shown any real economic insight is the independent (Ron Paul) of the bunch. He has called the drug war the farce that it is and threatened to revise it,he predicted the housing bubble pop 4 yrs before it actually occurred,and has the only realistic view or plan for foreign policy that doesnt involve bankrupting us. But I’m sure he wont get elected because he is not a Fed Res lap-dog or a business as usual good ole boy.