by Chris Theodore
This issue, America The Possible: from Decline to Rebirth, is a reminder of what we can yet be because of all that we still are. Some words are a harsh rebuke of what we have become. Others try to rekindle our collective understanding of who we are by remembering the values of people who gave to America an understanding of itself, players in our collective conscious like George Bailey in the classic It's a Wonderful Life.
It's fitting to do this here because truth-telling about who we are, the America still yet possible and how to get there is virtually non-existent. We may have light occasionally, but we lack a sustained, truth-telling voice heard across our land, and the result is our collective groping in the dark to leave our ignorance behind. The fear and even hatred which some have described as the primary emotional states Americans have for each other today are more understandable when we consider that we are living in a culture of manufactured ignorance.
If you have any doubt that the enemy is ignorance consider where you and the US economy would be today if enough Americans knew that in response to the financial crisis of 2008, instead of giving $700 billion to the very same banks that caused the crisis, the government could have created 10 regional, public banks, each with $10 billion in assets that leveraged the capital 10 to one. Each could lend $90 billion directly to people and small businesses, creating $900 billion in money for America's families and small businesses when they needed it most.
Even more important than the nearly $1 trillion in the real economy would be the precedent set and signal to every person working in the financial industry and all other industries, globally: when you mess with the people of the United States, the people find alternatives, the people have the final authority as to how money works in their own nation, and institutions willing to risk the system's collapse will be punished, not rewarded.
In response to the financial crisis, the rational thing to do wasn't done not because we're foolish but because we were kept in the dark on purpose, making it impossible for us to respond to reality.
The financial crisis is one of the biggest events in American history. The fact that it could have brought about historic, corrective action rather than further instability should tell us how important it is that people like you and me know what is really possible for America.
And this is one instance only. How many other problems do we think of today as impossible to solve not because they are, but because we doubt our collective ability to solve anything?
In this issue, we start the exciting journey to an America the Possible. It is dawn not sunset, our step is sure not uncertain, we have been kissed by providence and wished well. We are certain to arrive at a better place from remembering who we are and how far we've already come.