The 12-Point Platform | Corrente

Just because:

Happy birthday, Social Security! – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – ✂ – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – “The 12-Point Platform” is a simple and self-explanatory list of common-sense programs that will benefit every American, no matter their class, gender, race, or age. “The 12 Reforms” are the programs needed to secure the benefits of the Platform. The Single Value ties the Platform and the Reforms together: Government is to be used for “public purpose,” and not for privilege (which means “private law”).

The 12-Point Platform

    A Living Wage
    Medicare for All
    Tax the Rich
    Job and Income Guarantee
    Debt Jubilee
    Retirement Security
    Free Public Education, pre-K-16
    Post Office Bank
    Enforce the Bill of Rights
    End the Wars
    Clean Air, Water, Soil, and Food Carbon Negative Economy

The 12 Reforms

    Net Neutrality
    Fairness Doctrine
    Local Ownership of Media
    Public Campaign Financing
    Electoral Integrity
    Self-Organizing Web-Based Citizen Deliberation
    MMT Macro-economic Policies
    Preserve and Expand the Commons
    More Co-operatives, Fewer Corporations
    Justice Starts at the Top
    Strategic Non-Violence
    Points and Reforms Are Indivisible

The Single Value

    Public Purpose

Source: The 12-Point Platform | Corrente


Chris Hedges: The Most Dangerous Woman in America – Truthdig

SEATTLE—Kshama Sawant, the socialist on the City Council, is up for re-election this year. Since joining the council in January of 2014 she has helped push through a gradual raising of the minimum wage to $15 an hour in Seattle. She has expanded funding for social services and blocked, along with housing advocates, an attempt by the Seattle Housing Authority to allow a rent increase of up to 400 percent. She has successfully lobbied for city money to support tent encampments and is fighting for an excise tax on millionaires. And for this she has become the bête noire of the Establishment, especially the Democratic Party.

The corporate powers, from Seattle’s mayor to the Chamber of Commerce and the area’s Democratic Party, are determined she be defeated, and these local corporate elites have the national elites behind them. This will be one of the most important elections in the country this year. It will pit a socialist, who refuses all corporate donations—not that she would get many—and who has fearlessly championed the rights of workingmen and workingwomen, rights that are being eviscerated by the corporate machine. The elites cannot let the Sawants of the world proliferate. Corporate power is throwing everything at its disposal—including sponsorship of a rival woman candidate of color—into this election in the city’s 3rd District.

Sawant’s fight is our own.

via Chris Hedges: The Most Dangerous Woman in America – Truthdig.


The Shockingly Simple, Surprisingly Cost-Effective Way to End Homelessness | Mother Jones

What is really depressing to me is that not only that it’s taken this long to even *try* treating people with dignity and respect, but there’s still only one place even trying it.
But there are other studies. If people are poor, give them money; if they’re homeless and sick, give them a place to live and medical care, and they’ll do fine. Judgmental puritanism has *never* worked.

In 1992, a psychologist at New York University named Sam Tsemberis decided to test a new model. His idea was to just give the chronically homeless a place to live, on a permanent basis, without making them pass any tests or attend any programs or fill out any forms.

"Okay," Tsemberis recalls thinking, "they’re schizophrenic, alcoholic, traumatized, brain damaged. What if we don’t make them pass any tests or fill out any forms? They aren’t any good at that stuff. Inability to pass tests and fill out forms was a large part of how they ended up homeless in the first place. Why not just give them a place to live and offer them free counseling and therapy, health care, and let them decide if they want to participate? Why not treat chronically homeless people as human beings and members of our community who have a basic right to housing and health care?"

Tsemberis and his associates, a group called Pathways to Housing, ran a large test in which they provided apartments to 242 chronically homeless individuals, no questions asked. In their apartments they could drink, take drugs, and suffer mental breakdowns, as long as they didn’t hurt anyone or bother their neighbors. If they needed and wanted to go to rehab or detox, these services were provided. If they needed and wanted medical care, it was also provided. But it was up to the client to decide what services and care to participate in.

The results were remarkable. After five years, 88 percent of the clients were still in their apartments, and the cost of caring for them in their own homes was a little less than what it would have cost to take care of them on the street. A subsequent study of 4,679 New York City homeless with severe mental illness found that each cost an average of $40,449 a year in emergency room, shelter, and other expenses to the system, and that getting those individuals in supportive housing saved an average of $16,282. Soon other cities such as Seattle and Portland, Maine, as well as states like Rhode Island and Illinois, ran their own tests with similar results. Denver found that emergency-service costs alone went down 73 percent for people put in Housing First, for a savings of $31,545 per person; detox visits went down 82 percent, for an additional savings of $8,732. By 2003, Housing First had been embraced by the Bush administration.

And, since it obviously works, why not extend it to unemployment? As I’ve said many times–we have work to do and plenty of people available to do it. What the heck are we waiting for?

via The Shockingly Simple, Surprisingly Cost-Effective Way to End Homelessness | Mother Jones.


The reluctant king of the hidden internet – Henry Farrell – Aeon

The Silk Road might have started as a libertarian experiment, but it was doomed to end as a fiefdom run by pirate kings

One of the endless facts of libertarianism is that no viable libertarian state has ever existed. This rarely daunts it’s adherents, however; they constantly fall back on “but how do you know it won’t work, it’s never been tried!”


Well then, virtual worlds to the rescue!

via The reluctant king of the hidden internet – Henry Farrell – Aeon.


Democracy’s New Moment

Democracy is, indeed, in dire straits, but:

Now, 14 years later, we are in even more danger, and yet there is a far greater possibility that such a movement can emerge.

For one thing, the electorate that was coming of age in 2000 is now a major force. My colleague, De¯mos President Heather McGhee, notes that “46 million young adults under 30 are eligible to vote, actually surpassing the 39 million eligible seniors who are.” Although young people are less likely than seniors to exercise their voting rights, polls show that the millennial generation is more averse than any other age group to the right-wing agenda, and more committed to inclusive democracy. McGhee sees mobilization of the youth vote as the democracy movement’s next great challenge.

via Democracy's New Moment.


The World’s Most Sustainable Country: What? Cuba? – THE DAILY IMPACT

What we should do is recognize that Cuba confronted in 1991 precisely the kind of Apocalypse that looms before us today — the sudden loss of external inputs to the economy — things such as oil, heavy equipment, cars, and did we mention oil? — and handled it. We have more to learn from them than there is likely time to learn before we are in the soup, but we should do the best we can, because there is no better example in the world for meeting and besting such a crisis.

via The World’s Most Sustainable Country: What? Cuba? – THE DAILY IMPACT.