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Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Is it time to consider social democracy? – Part 6

If you haven’t already, you will have to read Parts 1 through 5 of this series to understand why the U.S. is in some ways already a social democracy, and why we should move even further into this political philosophy in order to get things right in America. It is, in fact, a balancing act, but right now over 13 percent of the country is under the poverty level, soon to go to 15 percent. Folks, that’s 45 million of your fellow Americans.

Because some are skeptical, even afraid, of anything with the word “social” in it—except those receiving Social Security, Medicare or Medicaid, of course—The Dunning Letter will conclude this series of articles by identifying the kind of ideology held by contemporary social democrats. In other words, what you might expect should a social democracy be more prevalent in the U.S. in the future.

• A mixed economy with both private enterprise and publicly owned or subsidized programs for education, universal health care, and related social services for all citizens.

• A far-reaching system of social security to combat poverty and for support in times of job loss, or during retirement.

• Regulation of private enterprise in the interest of workers and consumers.

• Enact environmental protection laws.

• A value-added/progressive tax system to run the government.

• Secular and progressive policies.

• Immigration and multiculturalism.

• Fair trade over free trade.

• The promotion of Democracy and protection of our human rights.

• Advocacy of social justice and civil rights.

Social democracy is an issue that requires considerable research and discussion before embarking on a political philosophy that will virtually change the way we live. But even before that, we need to overcome the barriers preventing many from even giving consideration to this form of government. It may not be right for the U.S., but it at least deserves close examination.

Please read Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5.

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