1.Do you consider the increased concentration of economic wealth in the United States to be corrosive to our democracy? If yes, how should this issue be addressed? If not, why not?
Concentration of wealth is a historical problem that can be addressed a number of ways. First: progressive taxation and social programs to make sure the benefit of that money goes to folks who need it. Second: Stronger unions to give workers bargaining power. Third: Higher estate taxes to lessen the flow of great wealth from generation to generation. Fourth: Universal access to education and training.
2. What are your thoughts on social democracy?
Social Democracy. That’s a bit general, but I would make this comment. We are suffering from a plague of cynicism about our politics that makes it hard to accomplish anything.
3. Racial discrimination continues to plague our nation. This is evident in our workforce (hiring practices, income disparities, opportunities for advancement, etc…), in the administration of our criminal justice system, in systemic efforts to disenfranchise voters based on race, in the relative dearth of substantive environmental protections for communities where people of color constitute a large percentage of the population, and in other facets of American life. What steps can and should be taken to address these issues?
Race. Another historical problem that’s hard to fix. Long term, the best solution is greater participation in the political process so the system, flawed as it is, works for all.
4. Thinking about the principles of liberty and equality, and this can apply to any given challenge (fiscal, social, etc…), how can they both be promoted to ensure that the “unalienable rights” of all Americans are protected?
Liberty & Equality. Humans are torn between the individual desire to “get ahead” and the social desire to help others. One provides the selfish engine that can do great things; the other makes sure those things are available to all. We need both and government can work that balance.
5. Let’s assume that something called “class warfare” exists. If so, who has been winning? For how long? And in whose interest is it to continue the war?
Class war. The rich will always have the advantage in this ongoing war, especially when they rig the system through the political process.
6. Considering the UN’s sustainable development goals which refer to gender equality as a “fundamental human right,” how is America performing when it comes to promoting gender equality and what specific steps can and should be taken to secure true gender equality in the United States?
Gender equality. We have made great progress in my lifetime. My sister (now 73) was pushed out of science class and was later harassed mercilessly in the workforce. recent events, however have shown that we have a long way to go. I don’t think legal quotas are the way to go, but a system of grading businesses, etc. on gender equality could give consumers a way to direct their dollars away from the stinkers.
7. Many LGBTQIA Americans have expressed concerns that the current Administration (and those who view the world similarly) are dedicated to rolling back recent legal protections fought for, and recognized, in this country. What steps can and should be taken to safeguard the rights of LGBTQIA citizens to participate fully in the “pursuit of happiness” stated in our Declaration of Independence?
LGBTQIA. First- elect Democrats. Simple but true. The Dem. Party has staked out their position and should be rewarded. An expanded Equal Rights Amendment could also help, although that will take a while.