Choosing Our Future

Written by: Terry Link

Primary Source: Possibilitator

Well the verbal battle for the vision of our future has been launched with the media focusing on two visions – President Obama’s and the House Republican’s (Ryan Budget) through their budget proposals.

As is usually the case, a third approach from the Congressional Progressive Caucus’s, remains ignored. Well for the most part it does. A nice handy comparison of the three budget proposals side-by-side with what polls show Americans actually want offer distinct visions of what our future could be has been assembled by the National Priorities Project.
National Priorities Project: Democratizing the Federal Budget

So as you listen to NPR, read the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, or Lansing State Journal
realize you are being a very limited view of what is possible and I urge you to challenge these media
outlets to include the CPC’s budget in their discussions.

This analysis is of course not complete in itself. Other than military spending it doesn’t speak to
our role in the world beyond military spending. There is no comparison of funding for environmental
issues or climate change.

For the role of the US in the world a recent essay by Nobel economist Joseph Stiglitz and Professor
Michael Doyle call for a commitment to reducing extreme inequality worldwide at the Policy Innovations
website of the Carnegie Council. There are no shortage of ideas, just the very limited circulation of
them in the mass media.

As for the issue of Climate Change, the IPCC released the next piece of their 2014 report on Monday.
Read the grim news here or listen to noted climate scientist’s Michael Mann’s interview
summarizing the report.

For a look at the Progressive Caucus’s budget, entitle the “Better Off Budget” go here.
You’ll see that it does address the environment, climate change, and international development.

There are many visions of what the future could be. Let me recycle the Buckminster Fuller quote for
the third time in a week:

“We are called to be the architects of the future, not its victims”

Time to voice your own ideas to your elected representatives. You know the wealthiest
amongst us have their ears.

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Terry Link
Terry Link is a retired MSU librarian, former founding director of the MSU Office of Campus Sustainability, and co-founder and former chair of the American Library Association’s Task Force on the Environment. He recently served as associate editor for the two-volume encyclopedia, Achieving Sustainability: Visions, Principles, and Practices(Gale/Cengage 2014). He has also served as executive director of a regional food bank and as a county commissioner. Currently he is president of Starting Now, LLC, a sustainability consulting firm, a Senior Fellow for the U.S. Partnership for Education for Sustainable Development and serves on numerous non-profit organization boards.
Terry Link

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