I won’t be long-winded about this, as the article is lengthy and thought-provoking.
The fundamental difference between me and either Jeff Gahan or Kevin Zurschmiede is that as mayor, I’d be doing whatever I could to support democratization initiatives like the ones explained here.
In fact, I’d challenge the community to embrace these, and to do more. I sincerely believe that insofar as posterity cares about Gahan’s term, it will focus on the perpetual pander: “Relax, and let me spend more of your money. You needn’t do or believe anything. Just trust me.”
This offends me, and it should offend you. Corporate welfare of the sort practiced by both major political parties has nothing to do with grassroots sustainability and democratization.
You have to push from the ground up. If I’m mayor, I’ll listen and try to help.
What Then Can I Do? Ten Ways to Democratize the Economy, by Gar Alperovitz and Keane Bhatt
The richest 400 Americans now own more wealth than the bottom 180 million taken together. The political system is in deadlock. Social and economic pain continue to grow. Environmental devastation and global warming present growing challenges. Is there any path toward a more democratic, equal and ecologically sustainable society? What can one person do?
In fact, there is a great deal one person working with others can do. Experiments across the country already focus on concrete actions that point toward a larger vision of long-term systemic change – especially the development of alternative economic institutions. Practical problem-solving activities on Main Streets across the country have begun to lay down the elements and principles of what might one day become the direction of a new system – one centered around building egalitarian wealth, nurturing democracy and community life, avoiding climate catastrophe and fostering liberty through greater economic security and free time.
Margaret Mead famously observed: “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.” Some of the ten steps described below may be too big for one person to take on in isolation, but many are exactly the right size for a small and thoughtful group committed to building a new economy, restoring democracy and displacing corporate power.
As the history of the civil rights movement, women’s movement, and gay-liberation movement ought to remind us, it’s precisely actions of this sort at the local level that have triggered the seismic shifts of progressive change in American history.