A Democratic Economy
As a teacher, Senate Candidate Mike Fogel told his students that the two most critical 21st Century challenges facing American democracy are addressing income inequality and the power of corporate CEOs. The concentration of wealth and power is not a
Democratic Party versus Republican Party or Left versus Right issue. Our great divide is between democracy and the ability of the super wealthy oligarchs to buy power. The oligarchs in our country have successfully concentrated their wealth, gained power, and then used that power to accumulate more wealth.
This cycle results in the top 0.1% of Americans owning 20% of America’s wealth. They own almost as much wealth as the bottom 90% of Americans. The bottom half of America owns just 1.3%. The Clean Slate for Democracy believes that this disparity is not the result of individual laziness or disincentive, a lack of productive skills, or lack of talent. It is the result of the takeover of our American political-economic system by a very few, very wealthy people who are using our government systems to enrich themselves. Our American economy has fallen prey to top-down corruption.
In order to increase the political power of citizen-stakeholders in our democracy and hold corporations accountable, we need to empower the voices of everyday working Americans. Stronger labor unions, farm cooperatives, local retailers, and smaller community banks are the bulwark of a democratic economy. Worker representation should be required on every corporate board in Arizona. Corporations should give 0.5% to fund Pre-K through University public schools to ensure that we have a competitive workforce for the future. Unions should be given the freedom and right to require dues payment so they can effectively represent the rights of workers.
Strengthening the economy in a democracy while reducing income inequality and an uneven distribution of power will improve the lives of working Arizonans. Good governance and stewardship of a democratic economy revitalizes the trust and faith citizens have in their government. The Clean Slate for Democracy will work for a fair, equitable, and strong economy.