Wednesday, July 14, 2010

All Politics is local

All politics is local. We have all heard that and it is attributed to so many politicians. It is only partially true today and in the future it may become even less… unless we all do something about it.

In the past, it was the community that was the center of the political world. With the exceptions of world wars, most of the issues were about what was happening on main street in your own home town. The high school curriculum, roads, the mayor’s affair with the local call girl and if the old abandon church should come down to make room for the expansion of the lumber yard were the big issues.

Yes, that is a little simplistic view of the issues but what wasn’t simplistic were the solutions. The solutions weren’t based on the left or right or some extreme agenda on either side. Solutions had to make sense to the community and the people that lived in them. Extreme ideas didn’t get tried because people at ground zero could see that it wouldn’t work in their situation. Solutions also didn’t come out of a vague philosophy that preached a point of view that may work in the macro but not on main street.

If someone was about to lose their job but politicians tried to convince them that to help them out would not let the market work like it should, they were voted out. If the local banker lost the community’s money in risky instruments that if they paid off would have only benefited the banker, he would have been run out of town. (after his house was taken and sold)

Then came centralized politics with solutions that sounded good in abstract thinking but made no sense to those living the problems. Then came big money spent on marketing and advertising campaigns that convinced people that what was bad for them was really good.

Along with all of this came the centralization of economic power. This point of view believes that the only purpose of big business is to accumulate wealth. If the local community must suffer layoffs and plant closings to maximize profits, then that is what the CEO has to do. (I guess making ten billion in profit isn’t as good as 12 billion)

But the Responsible Community takes another view. It must view solutions from ground zero of the world, the place where people and families live. Government should be run by political parties that understand they are to help people live in a safe and secure environment. Business has a fiduciary responsibility to the community, it is there to provide jobs and support the community.

This is not a naive view, it is a practical view. It is a view that means people will do the responsible thing and expect government to be responsible to them not to political ideology or big business.

There will be problems but the solutions must keep real people in mind.