Thursday, January 31, 2008
Basically just having the guts to say ELIMINATE POVERTY instead of being anti-poverty is a big deal.
The economic system we have now that requires poverty to function as it does is created. There are laws and regulations deliberated on and adjusted over decades to give us what we have now. Breaking out of that mentality is what most attracted me to Edwards. I think Kucinich was further "left" but not charismatic enough for US presidential politics. But between them I would likely still vote for Kucinich.
I was listening to Air America today and the caller was talking about the Republicans having pulled perspective so far to the right that Edwards is actually "CENTER" but is presented as some looney leftist. Thinking about that comment is what made me decide to review him today.
Putting a time line is impressive. The most amazing thing is that it is doable! He may have been timid in order to get the first steps in, but still better than the remaining candidates. We'll see if they really take up his campaign.
A minimum wage of at least $9.50 would be a good start if he didn't put if off for 4 years. He points out that a $1 minimum wage increase in 2001 would have pulled 900,000 people out of poverty. Way to go. Now it would likely need to be $2 or more dollars. Indexing to inflation is another excellent idea. Again, shortening the work week and giving people $20/hr would likely allow two parent families to choose to have one parent stay home. Most of us benefit from the underpaid workers. It's time for everyone to get a fair share for their work. Reward work!
Changing the measure of poverty is great! Here is one example called the Bare Bones Budget. As long as we have an inacurate view of poverty we will not be able to eliminate it. The inequities that are required for the rich to be as rich as they are... well are disgusting. Amazing we put up with it. But part of it comes from some crazy idea that our society is the way things are "naturally" supposed to be.
Supporting Unions and worker protections, excellent!
His housing vouchers are interesting. Revitalizing devestated neighborhoods is definitely important to make the US live up to its values and promises. The wealth gap between "whites" and everyone else was set up after WWII. It is time to set things right.
Work bonds and accesible savings! Totally important to the equitable development of all the members of our society. Also important for retirement and educational attainment.
Going after abusive financial products and predatory lending - PRICELESS!
He falls short of Free Higher Education. Strengthening schools by paying teachers more. Good idea! Economic diversity in the schools is interesting. I think by creating a more equitable society this would become self-correcting. But encouraging it in the meantime is probably a good idea.
Family literacy is good. Maybe just going for full literacy like.... CUBA! If they can do it, why not the US?
Going after fathers. Good if he's going to go for full employment - something not really mentioned.
Goes after teenage pregnancies. Nothing specific, but seems to be an important goal. With good jobs, good education, and strong financial supports. This problem may also diminish from the change in environment.
Home visits for new families has been researched and shown to work.
"No one who works full-time should have to live in poverty. If a job takes you away from your family every single day — or for many low-wage workers all through the night — it had better pay you enough to support them."
Overall, this platform is relatively strong. Too bad he couldn't stay in until Super-Tuesday, but from what I understand he pulled out in order not to be a "spoiler." I'll have to look into which candidate he would spoil for.
On another note, Clinton Turns Out to be Silent on Anti-Union Wal-Mart Board! Go figure.