Skip to comments.A Grand Strategy on Ending Poverty Could Separate Dems from GOP
Posted on 02/27/2006 2:46:40 PM PST by Diana in Wisconsin
In a recent speech in Washington, Gen. Wesley Clark called for an American grand strategy to replace the Cold War strategy that held the world together for a half century after World War II. Good idea.
Even some Republicans are now privately admitting the failure of their party's grand strategy, which as I understand it involves instituting democracy in countries around the world, by persuasion and example or by force. President Bush says it is working. Events in Palestine, Iran, Iraq, Egypt and elsewhere suggest otherwise.
The second leg of Republicans' grand strategy is to shrink the role of government in people's lives. That, too, is failing. Budget deficits, trade deficits and the federal government's incompetent response to Katrina and rebuilding New Orleans, to say nothing of the Medicare Part D headaches, are evidence enough.
Democrats have been criticized for offering no alternative grand strategy. We might forgive them on two counts. Republican control of the White House and Congress virtually dooms any Democratic ideas. And if an idea has any merit, the other party would take credit for it a Washington custom.
I propose a grand strategy for the Democratic Party. Republicans, at least the far right wing, are not likely to appropriate it as their own. It is one that all but the most deluded religious zealots must embrace. Properly presented, it will sweep Democrats into power, probably for decades. It will do more for humanity than all the wars we might conceive in the cause of democracy. And it will cement our nation's role in 21st century history in the way that World War II and the Cold War sealed our place in the 20th.
The grand strategy? Simple: Eliminate poverty throughout the world.
Take a few minutes to get all the guffaws and harrumphs out of your system, then consider it seriously. Let's begin by agreeing that eliminating (or greatly reducing) poverty will do more than war to nurture democracy. Can we also agree that eliminating poverty will reduce resentment toward the United States among the people of Africa, South America and the Middle East (a leading cause of terrorism)? A couple of worthy objectives right there. And, oh yes, eliminating poverty is a dominant message of the Bible, if that means anything to you.
This will not cost the United States as much as you might think, if we follow the "teach a man to fish" school of charity. America's main contribution to the worldwide war on poverty would be our brains, our technology, our roll-up-our-sleeves problem-solving ability. We know that, properly utilized and husbanded, the Earth's resources are adequate to support its current population and then some. It would be America's role to provide the know-how to make that happen. And where current knowledge falls short, we would find ways, using the vast research resources of our universities and corporations.
In the course of finding those technologies and practices, we will find new products and services to export, putting Americans to work and generating profits for American companies. It should be noted that the first poverty to be eliminated would be here in the United States.
Eliminating poverty would solve environmental problems including global warming because many of the solutions are the same. It would involve some sacrifice on the part of American citizens. But hey, shouldn't we have been doing that all along? We're not talking sack cloth and ashes.
Spend a bit more on education and energy, medical and agricultural research; a bit less on automobiles and extravagant lifestyles. Increase our foreign aid to the level of other industrialized countries. Agree that all humans deserve food, shelter, medical care and a shot at the good life.
Skillful budgeting and coaxing other developed countries into this effort must be parts of the grand strategy, talents present day Republicans seem to lack.
If there is a leader in the Democratic Party, let us hear him or her spell out a grand strategy that Clark called for. If it's not a war on poverty, then something else. If there is a Republican leader out there with a bold vision, let's hear it.
Please, anything but the childish, petty, destructive partisan squabbling and nibbling at the edges of horrendous problems that make all thinking Americans want to put a foot right through the TV screen.
What is in the water in Madison?
More leftist crap.
Crack. Most highly concentrated in Madison.
And risk the wrath of the PETA babes???
The Great Society goes global. Yeah, that'll work.
E. Coli. They crap in their nest - in our nest.
Good grief! These neo-Socialists just won't go away.
It is demonstrably, patently impossible to "eliminate poverty thoughout the world". Wait, perhaps the last umpteen failed Socialist/Communist/Utopian pies in the sky were just flukes. Let you run things, and it would all work beautifully, right?
Technically speaking- it's a good idea, PETA's negligible since, well, they're a fringe no one cares about. The only real objection here is that I am a firm believer in mercantilism and that there is a set amount of actual capital in the world. So, their success might not be so good for us, selfish of me? Yeah. All the same, you can't deny that there have been very few times a nation has risen to economic power without bringing another nation down.
This is brilliant thinking! The way to fix the poverty and despair in Zimbabwe is to send the racist commie Robert Mugabe more money and to quit driving SUVs.
I wish I had thought of it.
What a fabulously stupid notion - jumping from the neo-Wilsonian of the second Bush administration to the neo-Johnsonism launching a "war on global poverty."
How about this for a strategy - limited government, republican-style government, and presenting the United States as a federalist model for the world to emulate, not as a enforcer of democratic ideals.
A small example of how this works: When I moved into my home, I spent the first few weeks cleaning up the junk and debris left laying around by the previous owner. I mowed the lawn and put in a garden. Within a year, every neighbor cleaned up his own yard, and the guy across the street built an attractive stone wall. Gardens and lawns are being kept up. I said nothing to anyone, but when it looks good, others follow.
"Liberals fought poverty and poverty won." Ronald Reagan
We're going to take more of the money you've earned through your sweat and toil and give it away to people who have done nothing, but that we think deserve it.
That will make us good people for giving the money away, and you bad people for having earned it in the first place.
Power to the people.
Has he consulted Vincente?
"And, oh yes, eliminating poverty is a dominant message of the Bible, if that means anything to you."
I not an expert on the Bible, but where does it say this?
The solution? Simple: Raise taxes.
There! See how simple it was...???
What a bunch of loons you've got up there.
Well, if you want to get technical, a certain level of socialism seems like a good idea, not all out- but you can't really treat any element of socialism as bad for virtue of it being a component of socialism. Keynes, anyone? (It's worth noting also that Norway currently owns bragging rights to the highest quality of life in the world, despite a significantly smaller GDP- clearly some socialism can't be that bad.) Like everything else, the best is gained from a mixing of both elements.
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