Until recently, I had little interest in politics, but all of that began to change when I came across the phrase “not left, not right, forward.” That piqued my interest and brought me to learn more about Andrew Yang, a 2020 Democratic presidential candidate.
When I first heard about Yang’s idea of all adults sharing the country’s wealth by receiving a universal basic income of $1,000 a month, I thought it was a gimmick. But after reading his book, I not only began to see the profound implications of the human-centered capitalism he is proposing — I began to feel them.
But to see and feel Yang’s vision there are two basic assumptions that need to be questioned — the assumption that our country does not have enough wealth for all to share in and that everyone does not have equal value.
Yang points out the falsity of these assumptions and how we can only create a new way forward when we see that. We do have the prosperity for all to share in and each one of us does have equal value. A “trickle-up economy” as well as GDP measurements reflecting our overall well-being will help unleash the best of our humanity which will then reveal solutions to problems we long thought unsolvable.
There is no telling what this country is capable of when we the people, the true value of this country, are trusted and unleashed to fulfill our highest potential.
Honor veterans with deep reflection
Another Veterans Day has come and gone with all the traditional well-deserved thanks to those who serve. Unfortunately, once again, the only thing missing in the celebrations was any meaningful discussion of what these troops are actually doing in all these far-flung countries, and whether or not these efforts are succeeding.
There was little mention of our 18-year-long war in Afghanistan in which nearly 40,000 civilians have been killed, almost one third of them children in recent years. There was little questioning of whether or not invading Iraq made the world safer. It doesn’t appear to have done so. And there was certainly no mention of our recent betrayal of our Kurdish allies in Syria who had lost 11,000 soldiers fighting our enemies. Remember, it’s a small population to begin with.
I might be alone in this sentiment, but it seems to me that the way to truly honor our troops is to think long and hard about the wars we commit them to: the history, the goals, the costs, the prospects for success, and the exit strategies. Simply repeating clichés like “freedom ain’t free” is cheap and easy; but, it does no justice to those soldiers who are actually facing live rounds.
Toughness in whale entanglement debate
I’ve been following the whale entanglement debate closely, and I have some observations as a lawyer of 59 years of practice and a former assistant attorney general, deputy attorney general and counsel to the Legislature and a frequent lobbyist.
First of all, I believe that we have a very competent commissioner at the Department of Marine Resources (DMR), but he’s not a lawyer.
I think the state’s approach, whether driven by DMR or the Attorney General’s Office, is wrong, and I’ve thought that for a number of years. They want to settle with the Feds before it’s time. I’ve long held the view that faced with the prospect of destroying the lives and businesses of those who have protected the fishery, the Feds will blink.
I’m of the firm view that, if we’re tough enough, we can prevail with a better solution than what appears right now. I believe we’ve got some lawyers in the Attorney General’s Office who can handle this matter and that we ought to go forward and tell the Feds that they should go to the place that’s rumored to be warm.
I’m proud of what Maine has done.