A Change Is Gonna Come

For the past six years our country has been taken right, very right, to a place where we fight the war against terror in a place it didn’t start and where we clearly can’t win it, to a place where we spy on our own citizens, where we threaten to deny women the right to control their own bodies, and to a place where the all the economic growth is routed to the people already occupying the top rung on the ladder.

I have said before on this blog that the political pendulum swings in both directions. Our country swung too far left in aftermath of the new deal and the civil rights movement (both good things) and too far right in the wake of the reagan revolution. I think we are on a verge of a swing back and this front page article in today’s New York Times points out why.

wages and salaries now make up the lowest share of the nation’s gross
domestic product since the government began recording the data in 1947,
while corporate profits have climbed to their highest share since the

According to Times, Ben Bernanke warned that the unequal distribution of the economy’s spoils could
derail the trade liberalization of recent decades. Because recent
economic changes “threaten the livelihoods of some workers and the
profits of some firms,” Mr. Bernanke said, policy makers must try “to
ensure that the benefits of global economic integration are
sufficiently widely shared.”

Charles Cook, a nonpartisan political analyst sums it up:

“There are two economies out there. One has been just white hot, going great guns. Those
are the people who have benefited from globalization, technology,
greater productivity and higher corporate earnings. And then
there’s the working stiffs,’’ he added, “who just don’t feel like
they’re getting ahead despite the fact that they’re working very hard.
And there are a lot more people in that group than the other group.”

I am in the first group, "who have benefited from globalization, technology, etc" but I don’t like it one bit that our current path is screwing over the "working stiffs" and it’s time for a change and we are doing our part to make sure that change comes soon.

Last night some friends came together to do a fundraiser for two candidates for the US Senate who will help bring a needed balance to our government, Claire McCaskill of Missouri and Sherrod Brown of Ohio. As much as the right would like to paint these two as "liberals", they seem like pretty pragmatic responsible people to me.

Claire’s the Missouri state auditor and talks a lot about fiscal responsibility which used to be the strong suit of the republican party but now is clearly something the democratic party has a stronger record on. She also used to be the Jackson County Prosecutor and believes that strong law enforcement (like we just saw in the UK) is our best reponse to the war on terror instead of fighting a war in a place that had nothing to do with 9/11. Claire’s a tough customer and I like it when she gets fiesty. She’ll make a great Senator.

Sherrod’s a veteran congressman from Ohio who makes exactly the case that the Times article talks about. He’s for an increase in the minimum wage which is now at its lowest point on an inflation adjusted basis since it was created. He’s for full funding of No Child Left Behind, he’s for fixing Medicare Part D, and a host of other issues that really matter to the "working stiffs".

Claire and Sherrod were joined by Rep. Tim Bishop who represents the eastern end of long island, where we did the fundraiser last night. Tim’s also a sensible progressive who wants to bring some balance to our government. Tim looks like a shoe-in to get re-elected but let’s hope Tim’s in the majority in the house next session because he’s got some really good ideas about education policy that ought to see the light of day.

Claire and Sherrod each left us with a parting thought that sticks with me today. Claire says that getting involved in politics is a patriotic activity. It shows we care about our country. If Claire and Sherrod end up in the Senate, I don’t plan on calling in any favors. I just plan on being happy that some balance has been returned to our government.

Sherrod asked us each to convince five voters to support him. I hope that I have at least five readers in Missouri and Ohio and that you all will give Claire and Sherrod a chance, and ideally your vote. Because a change is gonna come. Our country needs it. Now.

A Change Is Gonna Come – Sam Cooke