By James Kwak
We have lots of problems: Expensive yet mediocre health care. Lack of retirement security. Out-of-control megabanks. Inequality of opportunity. And, of course, climate change.
At the end of the day, though, there are only two things that matter: early childhood education and electoral reform.
We need smart, motivated, knowledgeable voters. And we need a political system in which all people have an equal say. Without those ingredients, no amount of well-meaning, reasoned, fact-based argument is going to do much good.
Just think about climate change, for example. It’s abundantly clear that the planet is getting warmer because of our greenhouse gas emissions, the process is irreversible at this point, and the downside risks to billions of people are enormous. Yet, in the country that won World War Two, rebuilt Europe and Japan, won the Cold War, and exported most of the technology that makes the modern world modern, we are incapable of doing anything about climate change. Why?
Because our political system is blocked by the fossil fuel industry, politicians dependent on the fossil fuel industry, and ignorant zealots who oppose a carbon tax because it is a “tax” and a cap-and-trade system because it is “regulation.”
That’s why I’m supporting Larry Lessig for the Democratic presidential nomination.