Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Three Big ol' Bowls

The current work of this blog is an outline for approaching perennial domestic issues facing the US public, in three (3) broad topical areas, each of which we call a Big ol' Bowl (B.o.B.):
  1. Economy and ecology, including trade, taxation and government spending
    • Money, work, prosperity, economic fairness, energy, water, air, soil, garbage
  2. Personal, group and govt authority and identity - including abortion, gun, gender, race, police  and justice issues 
    • Includes what are commonly called "social issues", and constitutional issues involving amendments 2,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,13,14
  3. Leadership, power, and communication - including elections, parties, campaigns, and media
    • Highlights: 1st amendment issues, the nature of truth, and the role of money in politics
Most domestic policy issues fall somewhere within these three Big Bowls, while most foreign policy issues do not.   Immigration straddles Bowls 1 and 2, as do medical and drug policy issues.

I have chosen these three (Big) Bowls because I think that our dysfunctions and misunderstandings as a society tend to follow common patterns within each area.  Therefore this 3-way sorting offers a chance for high-value analysis and debate.  Here is a quick abstract summary of how I see each Big Bowl today:

Big Bowl #1:  Our Economy + Ecology

In the Eco-Eco domain, we are confused about where our common interests lie, and we have trouble even considering our most fruitful opportunities.  Our public debate in these areas is obsolete.  It is time for fresh air!  This blog aims to provide some, starting with our signature B2sday Money proposal.

Big Bowl #2:  Our Social Conflicts

In the Personal / Group / Social area, the US has been more dynamic as a society, in recent decades.  However, rapid change to the social fabric naturally meets resistance, and the moral, cognitive and legal issues raised in social conflict are challenging and divisive.  Asking the Federal Supreme Court to resolve these conflicts for us is at best a short term stopgap.  We must be more thoughtful in applying our principles of constitutional government to our shared need to respect differences.  This blog offers specific proposals for sustainable compromises in many of these social policy areas.  The general doctrine proposed in this Bowl is a modern framing of federalism:  Let the states have discretion, but protect our most fundamental individual rights. 

Big Bowl #3:  Our Political System

No political system is perfect, and by nature political struggle invites brinkmanship and demagoguery.  Meanwhile our modern leadership and power structures are necessarily a product of our history, and no single group is to blame for their failures.  If we are to make headway, we will need to climb out of the poisonous "left. vs. right" mentality that is re-sold to us every hour.  Doing so will require sustained effort across many different segments of society.  This blog offers concrete suggestions for how we can proceed to grow into a more effective republic of independent states and freethinking individuals.

But why?  Why the Bowls, Mr. B22?

Your first guess might be "So we can beat the Orange Goblin!".   
But that would not be correct.  At least, not at the most obvious, literal level.
I have confidence that the O.G. will get spanked in '18 and '20.
He will quite possibly resign in '19.  Win Gold Now!!!
But what I am really concerned about is the next act.  The Post-Goblin Boogaloo.
Because in '92 we got Clinton.  And in 2008 we got Obama.  And they both meant well.
But they both accomplished disappointingly little, while fueling the phony outrage machine for a generation, in each case.  I think I understand some of the why (why so little accomplishment, why so much outrage).   That's what I'm attempting to address with these Big Bowls.  I hope they are useful!