The Olympia Fellowship of Reconciliation’s February 2016 TV episode — “Understanding Socialism” — contributes to the public discussion of how to fix our nation’s broken economic system.
The American people know that the economic status quo is dysfunctional and are open to alternative ways of meeting our economic needs. The U.S.’s dominant economic system has persisted for a very long time. Many people assume that the status quo must always exist. But growing numbers of people are pointing out problems, such as:
• The declining middle class
• The widening gap between the very rich and everybody else;
• Big business’ abuse of our environment and climate; and
• The reckless – and sometimes illegal – wheeling-dealing of Wall Street’s biggest banks that crashed our economy in 2008 but instead of being held accountable – and instead of being prosecuted for their crimes – the government treated these giant banks as “too big to fail,” so they were bailed out and now are even bigger.
More and more people are pointing out these problems and demanding economic reforms that will stop concentrating wealth and political power in a few very rich hands – and instead serve ordinary people. This shift in public opinion is further illustrated by American voters’ growing support for candidates who actually campaign as socialists:
• Seattle’s voters elected – and re-elected – Kshama Sawant to the Seattle City Council. She ran as an active candidate of the Socialist Alternative and has moved the City Council to take bold actions.
• Vermont’s voters have been electing an explicit socialist, Bernie Sanders, to a number of offices, and U.S. voters rank this socialist high in the polls for the presidency.
This TV program is produced by a strictly nonpartisan organization, so we are absolutely NOT trying to support any candidate or party. Rather, we are responding to the growing public interest in exploring better economic alternatives to the status quo. That’s why this month’s TV topic is “Understanding Socialism.”
Two guests explored this topic on the Olympia Fellowship of Reconciliation’s February 2016 TV program. Peter Bohmer and John Regan have studied economics for many years and have worked in various ways to lift up alternatives that will better serve the broad public interest. They share their knowledge and insights during this interview.