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Sun Dec 31, 2017, 02:18 AM

"Infrastructure" not "Socialism"

Instead of the duality "socialism vs capitalism" can we start pitching "infrastructure FOR a people's economy"?

A healthy infrastructure of trains, bridges, education, social services and representative government – with the US Constitution at its core – presents a bullseye image where the inner infrastructure supports a non-monopolistic people's economy.

Democrats have understood this intuitively and the economy – the outermost ring – has thrived under Democratic presidents. By reframing the debate we can own the concept that Democrats are better at managing the economy. Stimulus spending on the infrastructure during the Great Depression and the recent Great Recession lead to significant recoveries. The formula is as old as the hills and is even in the Old Testament.

The tiresome oppositional approach – which Republicans goad us into taking – is a rhetorical trap. As my father, an economist, used to say: "Humans wear many hats." We're both cooperative and competitive, builders and reformers, property owners and people sharing a commons. So for the New Year ahead, can we establish an image of nested systems –with the US Constitution as the central operating system? It suggests something positive, anchoring and functional.

The knee jerk Republican effort to destroy the social, physical and institutional supports at the CENTER of our system looks a whole lot worse when we reframe welfare, democratic institutions, education, net neutrality, etc., as infrastructure and not as "socialism."

I hope this makes sense. It's the kind of language and vision change we may need to work on within Democratic circles – a kind of talking point.

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Arrow 6 replies Author Time Post
Reply "Infrastructure" not "Socialism" (Original post)
DemocracyMouse Dec 2017 OP
rusty quoin Dec 2017 #1
lostnfound Dec 2017 #2
DemocracyMouse Dec 2017 #3
Ken Burch Dec 2017 #5
Ken Burch Dec 2017 #4
DemocracyMouse Dec 2017 #6

Response to DemocracyMouse (Original post)

Sun Dec 31, 2017, 03:35 AM

1. I think back to the Mayflower Compact.

You could not get more social than that.

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Response to DemocracyMouse (Original post)

Sun Dec 31, 2017, 09:15 AM

2. To GOP, Infrastructure is private profit at mostly public expense

Instead of paying 100%: public will end up paying 80% directly plus another 80% in tolls and user fees to private well-connected investors who put up 20% (using funds backed by public loan guarantees).

Look at the price of tickets at NFL stadiums.
Look at guarantees and pay structures for private prison industry.

It will be crony capitalism.

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Response to DemocracyMouse (Original post)

Sun Dec 31, 2017, 11:42 AM

3. So you agree in principle?

Public infrastructure can, in principle, enable the intelligent flow of goods and services – especially if public oversight isn't corrupted by crony capitalism.

My larger point was that we need to reconceptualize infrastructure as a democratic operating system for a more democratic, non-feudal economy. This would get us past the hair-brained construct pitting socialism against capitalism.

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Response to DemocracyMouse (Reply #3)

Sun Dec 31, 2017, 10:01 PM

5. Not a bad idea, but "infrastructure" is not a punchy enough word.

 

Maybe "For The People".

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Response to DemocracyMouse (Original post)

Sun Dec 31, 2017, 10:00 PM

4. "Democracy, and the common good".

 

Maybe throw in "the better angels of our nature", too.

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Response to DemocracyMouse (Original post)

Sun Dec 31, 2017, 10:59 PM

6. To clarify with a diagram:



Old Paradigm:

"SOCIALISM" vs "CAPITALISM"


New Paradigm:

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
. . . . econ . . . —— . . . econ . . . .
. . . . . . . —— . . . . —— . . . . . . .
. . . . — INFRASTRUCTURE — . . . .
. . . . . . . —— . . . . —— . . . . . . . .
. . . . econ . . . —— . . . econ . . . .
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Infrastructure = soft + hard operating systems with democratic oversight and the US Constitution as the source code. A universal basic income would allow more children to join the economy on a more equal footing with their luckier neighbors.

econ = a people's economy. Free enterprise that allows small businesses to fluorish free of monopoly intrusion.

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