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Saturday, September 24, 2016

Eric Schneiderman Urges Progressives To ‘Dig Deeper’ To Transform The System

Last Thursday, Roosevelt Institute Senior Fellow Jeff Madrick kicked off the Roosevelt Institute’s new flagship initiative, Rediscovering Government, at an event with a keynote address from New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman. Why are Americans so distrusting in government? Schneiderman’s answer is that we’ve been led to believe in the “magical market” that supposedly guides us to equality and prosperity. “Its like the conservatives are pretending they’ve found some missing pages of Genesis that the rest of us are missing,” he said. But in reality humans are to blame for profound changes — like skyrocketing income inequality — not supernatural forces. “The distribution of wealth is not determined by nature,” he said, “it is determined by public policy.”

Progressives’ efforts at making significant changes to the system after the financial crisis have mostly borne little fruit, he noted. We therefore “need to dig deeper” see how deeply the unfettered propaganda that less regulation leads to growth and higher taxes always create jobs has affected the American mindset and economy. We also have to aim for long-term, “transformational” change instead of the everyday “transactional” change we usually get bogged down in. We have to move past the election cycles and everyday battles to politics that involve working today to improve circumstances in the future and challenging the way that people think about issues in the first place.

But the importance of progressives’ efforts can’t be overstated. “Great strides in social justice don’t come out because of politicians, they come out because of movements.” The movement has to put pressure in all the right places — most importantly by reviving the fact that government plays a vital and positive role in every American’s life. ”By demonstrating that the government can and will enforce one set of rules for everyone, and protect the interests of all Americans, not just the most fortunate, we begin the process of transforming people’s awareness of themselves and our collective life,” he said. “And if we do this work, we can put to rest the deep fallacies that have allowed injustice and inequality to grow unchecked for so long, and we can begin to rediscover the potential of government to get us back in touch to start building, as our counterparts in the 1930s did, a more equitable, educated, healthy, and compassionate nation.”

Cross-Posted From The Roosevelt Institute’s New Deal 2.0 Blog

The Roosevelt Institute is a non-profit organization devoted to carrying forward the legacy and values of Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt.

  • glorybe2

    Obviously when Ayn Rand wrote the Bible she could not cover every little thing. But when free market, capitalism spoke to her from a burning bush she cracked and wrote down all kinds of right wing babble which stranded her people in the wilderness perpetually. Only when the great oil wars parted the seas could her people move into what is now called Israel and in the name of faith destroyed, raped and pillaged the entire indigenous population while chanting the ancient German concepts of national security and breathing space.

    • Doglover77

      You are great!

      • glorybe2

        Thank you. I do try.

  • The bible could use some extra pages as I am still curious as to during the time period of talking reptiles in apple tree’s, how “Eve” with only one man and three sons produced more people to populate the planet. Sit and think about that for a minute and then look at the long list of excuses Chrisitans devise to compensate.
    Occupy Wall Street is a misguided movement-first off, why bankers would not make bonuses when its their job to generate capital is confusing and if people had such an issue with the distribution of money, why not demand or request donations been made on behalf of the public by those whom gained. Very little talk in Occupy Wall Street went into the the anti-trust laws which in 1999 were altered by a Democratic President with Republicans-those laws were made after the “Great Depression” to prevent a second-and everything lasted until recently. Who can disagree with the 1% controlling parts culture?
    Really while I support some of the Democratic positions a small minority in the party sell out the public and trade often. The lack of rapid economic growth in the music business is an example-just look its now a monopoly and there is a 1% governing that commodity as well. Nice
    I as many do admire Eric Schneiderman.

  • howa4x

    The problem progressives have is they come off as eastern snobs to the working classes that they need to connect with, and they over intellectualize the issues. My neighbor is a tea party member, flag and all. totally against health care reform. Since is was in Public health he knew I had an understanding of the issue. Over time I was able to open his eyes to the forces that we against him having good health care and why it costs so much. I did it by speaking in common language and away from jargon that all groups use. We have to stop having conferences at universities only and start having them in churchs. Let’s make fairnes whether in health care or income inequality a religious issue. We have to start putting out the question about where Jesus would spend his time if he were alive today: in a homeless shelter or a corporate boardroom? We need to stop thinking a debate like that is low brow. We have to take these issues away from Republicans and we can only do that by getting out with the people. Once the middle class sees that programs like medicare, medicaid, social security and cleaning up the enviornment were progressive ideas, that benefited their families they will stop listening to the Republican claptrap.We are not going to do that talking to ourselves or staying in safe areas.

    • that’s how barack obama got started: in homeless shelters. His big start was his being a community organizer.

      • howa4x

        I know He had the right idea

  • It’s time to tackle the government’s role head on. Where the private sector is failing the government needs to step in and take positive steps to fill the gap. Instead of just criticizing what the right is doing, progressives need to promote government activism. Our infrastructure is crumbling, education costs are pricing students out of the market, and health care is unaffordable. The solution to most of these problems is making the government the employer of last resort at a wage that will create demand for real goods and services, and eliminating unemploymnent and other forms of welfare for the able bodied. The Roosevelt Institute has dedicated this project to restoring the traditional role of government in promoting the general welfare. The economists of the Hyman Minsky school at the University of Missouri, Kansas City and international economists like Bill Mitchell of Australia are on board in promoting the federal government as the employer of last resort. I would like to see a speaker like economists Randall Wray or Marshall Auerback from this community to air their views on government as employer of last resort on one of these Vimeo videos.

  • Tim Meyer

    Fellow citizens, how would FDR react? The modern astrophysical measurements of our Sun’s output shows that for the going average U.S. electrical power rate of $0.112/kWh (EIA), each day, our planet turns through about $467 trillion. That’s a lot of money every day. In all gentleness, kindness and in good spirits, folks, re-invigorating our space aspirations would be a serious jackpot for the world economies. Let’s progress the state-of-the-art of energy technologies; forgive the carbon minerals concerns for their embarrassing technological cowardice. The general health of our nation with hope for the future is tied to our imagination, as Professor Einstein once remarked to President Roosevelt. Grand astrophysical engineering is fearsome, true, but subtle violin music can calm the nerves. Many enjoy piano. I would nominate a certain USAF Lieutenant Colonel for the initial public information effort. After 14 years of conventional unemployment, I am available to help at an affordable rate. I believe there are a few million other long-term unemployed who are like me, eager to get started working on an exciting effort with great hope for the future. Sadly, our Sun is not renewable, for we have only a billion years before Earth will be threatened by its burn out. We better get cracking!

  • montanabill

    Does she really have to ask why Americans are so distrusting of government? Billions spent on the War on Poverty, and it has not accomplished a thing. Billions spent on creating thousands and thousands of regulations on virtually every little thing in our lives, and, somehow, we need more regulations? After the Marshall Plan we continued to spend billions of foreign aid and what has that got us? We must pay more taxes to pay for more government and just what has a bigger and bigger government accomplished? Oh right, more regulations. One more question, how many more regulations and how big a government is needed to insure ‘fairness’ and a perfect society?

  • Clarpark24

    One of the problems is the Holder-Obama mindset of finding solutions and not assigning blame. When you’re the AG and it appears someone’s broken the law, you have an ethical obligation to investigate. If you find the law’s been broken, you have an ethical obligation to prosecute. If the details of some of these economic shenanigans became well known through a public trial, Occupy would grow and coalesce around changing the system to prohibit future such abuses.

    As far as not making a convincing case, I’m torn. On one hand, we’re dealing with a segment of the population that doesn’t believe in evolution. This seems pretty simple: organisms mutate; if a mutation increases its chances of living and multiplying, that mutation eventually becomes standard equipment. Which prompts comebacks like “If chimps evolved into humans, how come there are still chimps?” Ten years ago, I argued this point with a postal supervisor. When their reasoning starts with “My conclusion is by definition right”, no point you make can be valid, or even get through to them.

    But there are a lot of arguments we should still be making. Before Obamacare, the US government was already the biggest player in all forms of healthcare: the largest insurer with 100 million enrollees in Medicare, Medicaid and SCHIP; the largest direct provider with 268 hospitals and over 1200 clinics in the VA, military and IHS systems; and the largest market for private healthcare insurance with 4 million FEHB enrollees. Financial audits, investigator reviews and patient surveys show these programs to have lower overhead, higher standards and provide better services than privately run systems.