Sunday, November 6, 2016

Green - The Party (You Didn't Know) You Want

Do you think it is any coincidence that the richest state in the country sits on the north side of the repository of all of your federal U.S. tax dollars? Maryland is the wealthiest state in terms of per capita income and millionaires per square mile, so it would appear that the capital in The Capital is being leveraged for private gain not too far away. The rising tide has also kept 90% of boats from grounding, keeping Maryland ahead of most states with respect to poverty rates. This privileged position makes it improbable that any Green Party candidate would succeed in winning an election in Maryland, especially when the Maryland Green Party platform is that of the parent Green Party of the U.S.

One of the reactions that the idea of the somewhat socialist Green Party provokes is that wealth would disperse to the undeserving masses, but why should it, instead, concentrate in the hands of those closest to the halls of power? Is the ability to direct the affairs of a democratic society so rare that it can be vouchsafed to only a very few who have elbowed their way into luxurious appointments clustered incongruously around the nation's most polluted river? The Green Party wants to spread prosperity and governance throughout the land, rather than keep it in the firm grasp of the mighty.

Take a look at their solutions for local economic development and see if they don't fill you with excitement. The list of imperatives under this section of the Green Party platform return much decision-making power and revenue to local governments, businesses, and workers. Would that not be vastly better than abdication of decision-making over the business character of our communities to the faceless, heartless bureaucracy in Washington, DC? Local jurisdictions would not be compelled by economies of scale or federal agencies to accept dominance by major corporations, because the Greens have plans to cut down those corporations' political and market power, too.

Oh, and that scary adjective I used in describing the Green Party ("socialist") - the platform provides a concise glimpse of how that would look in the section on Work and Job Creation (italics mine):
To begin a transition to a system providing sustainable livelihood, we support:
  1. Creating alternative, low-consumption communities and living arrangements, including a reinvigorated sustainable homesteading movement in rural areas and voluntary shared housing in urban areas, i.e. homeless people outside of cities would be helped into low cost homesteads, and those in the city into shared housing.
  2. Universal health care requiring coverage for all.  (Single payer system, like that in many other countries, e.g. Canada, parts of Europe) 
However socialist the Green Party of the U.S. is, the adjustments that involve shelter and care for all residents are hardly radical. The Ten Key Values of the Green Party provide additional background on the changes sought for the sake of economic justice:
We call for moving beyond the narrow "job ethic" to new definitions of "work," "jobs" and "income" in a cooperative and democratic economy. We support restructuring our patterns of income distribution to reflect the wealth created by those outside the formal monetary economy – those who take responsibility for parenting, housekeeping, home gardens, community volunteer work, and the like.
It's not welfare we're talking here, it's compensation for socially valuable contributions that are currently devalued by capitalism.

When we have two main parties with candidates that espouse right and far-right policies vying for the top job, it should prompt us to look for alternatives that offer more left-leaning views. The Green Party is a step to the left that would help the U.S. revisit democracy.

Don't just vote your ticket, vote for what you believe.

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