QUESTION: hi laurie ...... i was interested in your reply to an earlier question, wherein you took the view that the U.S. as a Nation was most likely in a Danger Condition. I know you always look at the broader picture and look at all factors possible, so, where do you see the major action or policy change needed that will initiate a move out of Danger ? .. who or what will lead that upward movement ? ... over here in the u.k. most of my friends have our Government/state in enemy or teason as a condition primarily bcos of the inability, nay, unwillingness to control the abuses of 'banking' and pharmaceuticals/corporations .. they hanker after a more libertarian position away from self-interest and monopoly type institutions... can you comment on that ?
ANSWER: Well, the condition of the nation and the condition of the government can be two different things. In fact, I suspect they usually are.
The acquiescence to business and banking interests over those of the electorate certainly would appear, in the instances where it occurs, to be a betrayal after trust - ie "treason" (as an ethics condition, not as a legal or political reality), but the fact that there are portions and facets of the government which clearly do advance the interests of the people, while others tend to suppress the people while elevating the interests of banking and business, means that you cannot even apply one overall blanket condition to "the government" as a whole. It is too broad, and too multi-faceted.
However, it is just such actions (putting money before people) that imperil both the immediate and long-term survival of the nation and bring about a condition of danger.
As both the endangered body, and likewise the senior over the area, it is up to the electorate to apply the Danger formula. It is the effort of the political and money classes to ensure this never happens.
Bypass habits and normal routines (bypass the junior in charge of the troubled activity) - The habits and normal routines of the American populace are to follow the media narrative, the conventional wisdom, and the leadership of the politicians and corporations, and otherwise "get on with their lives" without rocking the boat.
A bypass in this instance would be to access the truth about who's doing what, whose interests are being served, and to embark on self-determined action which ignores the media narrative, conventional wisdom and the leadership of politicians and corporations, and pursues an activist stance toward the establishment of a competent and effective/productive government. Via the mechanism of elections, this entails firing corrupt and incompetent personnel and hiring true servants of the people. As it requires sustained interest, energy and action, it is the most unlikely (though primary and most important) action to be taken.
Handle the situation and any danger in it. - Insist, and follow up, that legislators demand adequate revenues, spend them on needful things (while buying with a hammer), impose a living wage, break up monopolies, regulate markets, usury, etc., streamline the military, prohibit undue influence from lobbyists, etc. There are really too many "handlings" to lay out in detail here.
Officially recognize the condition of Danger
Reorganize our lives so as to remain educated, politically informed, pro-active and engaged, not led around by our collective noses
Formulate and adopt firm policies to maintain the command chart - people/consumers on top, elected officials next, business and commerce below that, etc.
These are some ideas.
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QUESTION: hi laurie ... yes, i can see your thinking and operating basis ... the focus from alternative media and 'libertarian' as well as disillusioned citizens seems to focus primarily on the economics/corporate/banking side of things, not surprisingly i guess .. the by-pass actions would involve a very real understanding of the who, what and why so that effective action could be introduced to sure up and better control those areas with firm policy actions and changes ... do you see a reverse starting at a local/state level or do you think there is a growing unrest sufficient to create a nationwide situation where change would HAVE to be implemented one way or another ? ..... how does it seem long term to you ?..
ANSWER: Sorry to take a long time getting back to you on this. Things have been a bit hectic with my business.
I can only see a reverse starting at the vote level. And that would require educated and committed voters in adequate numbers.
Long term, the outlook does not look promising to me.
If the radical imbalance of wealth and power continues to advance at the pace it has, there's a real chance folks would take to the streets - a la the Occupy movement, but something like a thousandfold that magnitude.
The main retarding force against such a development is the way in which the powerful keep the powerless divided against each other.
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QUESTION: Hi Laurie ,,, am i right in thinking you are in favour of 'Obamacare' ? ,,, the feeling amongst some here is that he still has links to Ely-Lily and therefore Big Pharma, and is in effect creating business for them and pharmacy in general with this pgm, and therefore the further proliferation of a drugs and a chemical based society ,,, do you concur with any of this ?
thanks , dave
PhRMA has a stranglehold on the public perception of the relationship between health and drugs (including mental "health"), so there are few if any politicians upon whom one can rely to stand between the industry and its victims. This monopoly on perceived expertise with regard to chemicals and health is THE problem. That is what must be addressed.
Even the most libertarian politicians tend to accept the conventional view of how marvelous the drug industry is, and how wonderful its "advances."
For instance, if one is going to enthusiastically support the 2nd amendment and full and unfettered access to arms, then the most common justification offered for why the US has more gun deaths per capita than anyone in the first world is in brief, "crazy people." Hence, people who normally legislate in favor of pure liberty and lack of interference in people's lives, draft and vote in favor of legislation keeping guns out of the hands of "crazy people." In order to do this, these laws tend to move in the direction of being more pro-active about diagnosing and declaring "craziness" - which has the effect of what? More drugging. So it doesn't matter; liberal, conservative or libertarian, politicians do the bidding of the drug industry.
That said, the drug industry donates money to, and often later hires, every single politician they can get their hands on. You can no longer be in politics without rubbing shoulders with PhRMA. So saying this or that president has "connections" to the industry or to a given company, is modernly a meaningless distinction. Factually, the last president to have directly traceable connections to Lilly was Bush. Since Robert Gibbs left the White House, he joined a lobbying firm which Lilly subsequently hired. So - that's the state of play of PhRMA in politics.
As to the Affordable Care Act, I think it's a pretty poor bandage on a pretty horrific health "care" system, but better than nothing. As long as the holiest thing in the US is profits, it may be the best we get. Insurance companies are in charge of our medical systems, and that in and of itself is a deeply pathological situation. I'm not happy with the ACA. I'd be even less happy without it. For more people to be able to afford to pay for their own coverage, so that they have access to life-saving care without being a burden on the insured and on the taxpayer (ie, "free riders"), and without facing as great a risk of personal medical bankruptcy, is a step in the right direction. It is a LONG way from ideal scene.