What does change mean?
A number of economic events that are occurring today lead us to recall similar events of the Herbert Hoover-Franklin Roosevelt era. Even Senator John McCain, who has always opposed regulaitons is referring to improper regulation in the financial world.
President Roosevelt had to take drastic steps to save the financial system and perhaps the capitalist system of the 1930's. Many of these reforms, these changes have been gradulally repealed as the Republicans and conservative Democrats were given the chance to do so beginning right after the Harry Truman administration.
We have since witnessed an on-going Republican change or the unrolling of the Roosevelt established institutions that created a new cultural basis for influencing the economy.. More recentlyy an attempt to privatize Social Security.
Today, at least in the financial world there seems to be a willingness to return to some of those Roosevelt-type regulations and institutions. Fanny Mae, was first established as a government institution. We've now seen the call for some of these by economist and businessmen and we've seen the re-establishment of some already. The greediness that brought down the stock market and the financial institutions of the late twenties and early thirties seems to have been at work again
Are we prepared today to bring about changes of the magnitude that were instituted in the 1930's?
At one end there is one type of change that works at the edges and there is one at the other end, a type of change that can be considered to be revolutionary in depth.
I studied under a conservative Republican economics professor, who used to claim that there were many plans stored away in Washington D.C. that would be put into play as soon as we had signs of another depression, this in order to prevent it from happening. These supposed plans were his arguments for a minimally regulated capitalism. I would guess that some conservatives today are ready to unroll some of these stored-away “New Deal” plans, if they are applicable.
A magnitude of change of old New-Deal proportions is probably not what is required today , but a lot is needed, at least for the next four years. The change that has been called for by McCain is primarily to separate himself from President Bush, it is not the kind of change that we are talking about here.
On the other hand, Senator Obama has not suggested the depth of change that Roosevelt brought about. An underpinning of real change is called for. And if this was understood, then perhaps one or all of the following specific proposals would have already been suggested. These are only examples of a few suggestions:
An education doctrine, that every child in the United States would be required to go through an educating process, with few exceptions, befitting the individual child from age 4 to 22 but toward specific standards. The purpose of that education and those standards would be for learning the best use of the language and to understand mathematics, science and human history but not limited ot this knowledge.
All educating institutions would establish the highest standards for teaching and teaching would become among the highest rewarded professions.
People wanting to further advance their education toward professions or for the attainment of additional knowledge within organized structures and who meet the requirements of these institutions would be financially supported.
THIS WOULD BE CHANGE, change in attitudes and in culture.
A Social Security doctrine, providing for individuals as they approach maturity that, they would be encouraged to take part in programs that would permit them to continue their present occupations indefinitely or adapt themselves to other work or accept retirement, or move in and out of retirement as they like. They would be entitled, in some way, to remain productive or to live the life of their choice. People who could not support themselves in later years, would be assisted in order to continue to live lives of dignity.
THIS WOULD BE CHANGE, change in business and government approaches to aging.
One more. A Health Care and Services doctrine, like that for education, would make true services available to everyone in the country according to individual need.
THIS WOULD BE CHANGE, a change in our approach to our social investment in lives of our citizens.
Some of these specific social requirements of modern societies, as indicated above are the kind of elemental changes that ought to be discussed by the presidential candidates.
Otherwise, both candidates should drop the slogan of “change," if they are not going to say what thery are going to specifically change.