People are frustrated, and they have a right to be.
Occupy Wall Street and the Tea Party agree on one thing: they see a Washington government they feel isn’t being responsive to their wants and needs. Gridlock is preventing even the most non-controversial responsibilities of government from being accomplished.
At the same time, people have lost trillions in wealth which they thought they had, wages are stagnant, jobs are returning at a snail’s pace. Concerns with health care cost and quality continue to dominate their lives. Washington seems to be giving all the breaks to the bad actors, not to mention that we’re starting to see dramatic shifts in the climate of our planet. Global warming is a real concern, not a political ploy.
So people are frustrated. They’re looking to their leaders to lead, or at least get along and get out of the way. Proponents of extreme, simple views seem to get all the media attention while the acrimony and shouting in Congress and on the airwaves turns many, especially the young, off to politics.
This sad display of dysfunction obscures the good news. The fact is, fixing our problems, moving to a sustainable path, even saving the world doesn’t have to be this hard. It’s entirely within our power, both citizens and government, to reverse these trends, not overnight, obviously, but embark on this path with a 10 year demonstrable program on new and better ways to do our business while getting debt and budgets under control we could make a world of difference.
Each week for the next 40 weeks, I’ll be highlighting an idea to change how we’re doing business, from big ideas to depoliticize the redistricting process to innovative ways to engage citizens as participants in the governing process. Some of the ideas will be simple and straight forward, others may seem a little wonky, but all are important. They are the ideas that have accumulated from my 40 years of public service which would make government and business more fair, our environment cleaner, and our communities safer, healthier, and more economically secure.
I invite your comments, observations, and other suggestions. America is already paying for more than most Americans are receiving. It is time to do something about it.
This is our decade of decision.