The recession we're in at this point is an opportune time to commence three interrelated initiatives.
1) Campaign Finance Reform
2) Universal Health Care
3) The Green Economy
Changing our way of financing campaigns – getting private money out – would go a long way toward reforming our broken government, illusory democracy, and fraudulent corporate culture. The national discourse would suddenly change from whoever has the most money to get their viewpoint or issue to the top of the national spotlight, to what is in the best interest of the majority of the nation. This is the quickest route back to a politics of, by, and for the people.
With all the talk of globalization, competitiveness, and manufacturing these days, one obvious way to make the U.S. more viable is to enact universal health care and remove the cost from our employers. Also, with a reinvigorated medical establishment focusing more on preventable disease and providing services to more citizens, we would have a healthier, better educated, and more productive labor force. And, in the end, this would save money, which could be reinvested in more productive uses.
And, finally, as a way to recreate some of the well-paying jobs lost to globalization and outsourcing (and corrupt political & private dealings) we need to reconfigure our manufacturers to build technologically advanced, sustainable, "green" products desired the world over. I can’t think of a better way to reestablish our automakers. By downsizing their line-ups – making fewer brands and fewer styles – U.S. automakers can concentrate on fuel economy and quality. The excess productive capacity can be used to begin generating more solar panels, geothermal, wind turbines, etc. Not to mention, this last initiative also helps save the planet – which we kind of need.