Thursday, February 14, 2008

Progressive Policies Open Thread

by shamanic

Okay, so I'm a little behind on these here intertubes, but I've got to agree with Ezra that as nice a change as four years of poetry emanating from the White House would be on its own, this is a really critical juncture in America where real progressive change can happen. I do believe that Obama is the candidate to do that, to make the arguments and build the coalitions and make the shriek machine of the right look like exactly the kind of dollar-for-shouting mill it is, and I'm crossing my fingers that he will.

And what kind of progressive changes most interest me? Well, if we can return back to American history before it was so rudely interrupted by George Bush, Florida, 9/11, and Iraq, there was a growing progressive consensus in this country that our trade policy was completely insane, and that's where I'd like to see some energy focused.

We ink these deals that basically wipe out businesses and even industries here in the States, that include no language on environmental impact or the right of labor to organize in our partner nations, and then over and over again we get horror stories about abuse and destruction in the factories that make the crap we buy every day. This is crazy.

We already have large international institutions like the World Trade Organization, and they are not going anywhere. So let's use them not just to mediate trade disputes, but as enforcement tools in better, less exploitative, more ecologically astute trade pacts. In short, let's be actual partners in the prosperity of our partner nations, and let's level the playing field just a tad.

That's a progressive policy change I'd like to see. Anyone else?

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