Why America Needs to Talk About Fairness


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This presentation: "Shifting the National Dialog: Why America Needs to Talk About Fairness" is dedicated to changing the focus from obscure agendas to one that reflects the needs and interests of all Americans. This is the first in a series of presentations provided by the Fairness Coalition...

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Why America Needs to Talk About Fairness

  1. 2. An Introduction <ul><li>Over the past several decades, American Politics has drifted further and further away from the concerns and issues that effect the vast majority of its citizens. </li></ul><ul><li>While global issues and the needs or desires of big business are important – so to are the needs and desires of middle class Americans. </li></ul><ul><li>Where once there was a balance between the interests of ordinary folks and a power elite – now there is little or none. The dialog has become totally one-sided and now only those who can afford to play the game are heard. Free Speech has never been so expensive. With balance gone, we’re rapidly losing Fairness too… </li></ul>
  2. 3. Premise <ul><li>This is not an examination of detailed policy choices or complex statistics – this is about core political philosophy. </li></ul><ul><li>This discussion also transcends existing political parties because it is clear that both of the major parties have been compromised by our current situation – the economics have changed and the advantage is now fully in the hands of those with the deepest pockets. </li></ul><ul><li>This talk is about how we view ourselves and what kind of country we wish to live in – what we want for our children… </li></ul>
  3. 4. Politics is more than a popularity contest – it is the mechanism which defines the nature of our society. Failure in the operational aspects of politics is simply not an option. There must be balance.
  4. 5. Critical Questions <ul><li>Do we want a country where every voice is heard ? </li></ul><ul><li>Do we want a country where the value of free speech is measured in dollars rather than merit ? </li></ul><ul><li>Do we want the same or greater opportunities for our children as we had ? </li></ul><ul><li>Do we want a society where 95% of the people have to sacrifice to satisfy the greed of the other 5%? </li></ul><ul><li>Do we want a country where American workers and small business are valued less than cheap overseas alternatives? </li></ul><ul><li>Do we want to be able to decide our own futures? </li></ul>
  5. 6. What is Fairness ? <ul><li>Some will claim that Fairness is too subjective to build a political philosophy around – we disagree . </li></ul><ul><li>We can attribute certain characteristics to Fairness which allow it to be accurately identified and agreed upon. </li></ul><ul><li>More importantly, we can apply those characteristics or principles to any political issue or policy. The concept of Fairness can significantly increase accountability in governance and politics. </li></ul><ul><li>We contend that Fairness is both the foundation upon which this nation was built as well as the primary mechanism for all its later successes. </li></ul>
  6. 7. Characteristics of Fairness 1 <ul><li>Fairness is merit-based. </li></ul><ul><li>Fairness is rooted in the notion that hard work and honesty are always superior to privilege or power. </li></ul><ul><li>Fairness is a national good; in other words, our focus is our society, our nation – The United States of America. No global trend should persuade us to relinquish our rights or principles. </li></ul><ul><li>Money is not Free Speech and never can be. Corporations are not human beings and never can be. </li></ul><ul><li>Fairness involves both shared sacrifice and shared prosperity without special exemptions. </li></ul>
  7. 8. When presidential debates become contests between candidates trying to sound ever more like one another - it’s a sign that the dialog has shifted away from the interests of ordinary Americans.
  8. 9. Characteristics of Fairness 2 <ul><li>Fairness is ethical. Fairness applies a new canon of ethics to politics. </li></ul><ul><li>Fairness is not Liberal or Conservative, not Republican or Democratic – it is transcends all and serves as a guidepost for all. </li></ul><ul><li>Fairness respects and promotes Democracy; Free Speech, 1 person 1 vote, Majority Rule. </li></ul><ul><li>Fairness promotes the public good – for everyone – not just a few. </li></ul><ul><li>Fairness promotes long-term solutions, as opposed to knee jerk reactions which create more problems. </li></ul>
  9. 10. Fairness & Politics <ul><li>There are three core dimensions in Politics: </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>A Personal Dimension </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>An Economic Dimension </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>A Political Dimension </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Fairness can be applied to each of these dimensions: </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>A Fair Chance (for the ordinary American) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Fair Economics </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Fair Government </li></ul></ul></ul>
  10. 11. Fairness 1 - Personal <ul><li>This dimension addresses how people view Fairness in their personal lives or in their relationship to government or society. </li></ul><ul><li>The story of America is the story of the individual – the average person who betters themselves and has the opportunity to do better than their parents did. The difference between America and the rest of world was that our society provided opportunities for upward mobility. </li></ul><ul><li>America gave ordinary people a chance – A Fair Chance . Fairness, the political philosophy, recognizes the need to protect and promote this. </li></ul>
  11. 12. Power without conscience is morally bankrupt and fundamentally contradicts the principles of Fairness…
  12. 13. Fairness 2 - Economic <ul><li>This dimension addresses Fairness in the context of economic policy. </li></ul><ul><li>Fair Economics involves refocusing on the American Workforce and the American Standard of Living. </li></ul><ul><li>Fair Economics is not anti-business; quite the contrary, it recognizes the importance of small business and open competition in the marketplace. </li></ul><ul><li>Fair Economics contends that business growth cannot be sustained if the American workers are discarded and mega-companies are allowed to monopolize entire industries. </li></ul>
  13. 14. Fairness 3 - Political <ul><li>This dimension addresses Fairness in the context of political policy. </li></ul><ul><li>Fair Government is not concerned about the size of government but rather who the government represents. Any sized government that fails to represent the rights and interests of the overwhelming percentage of its citizens must be considered a failure. </li></ul><ul><li>Contrary to the popular dialog today, ordinary Americans did not create the economic crisis and the Budget deficits or debt. Ordinary Americans should not be held responsible or forced to suffer for other peoples’ mistakes. </li></ul>
  14. 15. One thing that both sides ought to be able to agree on is Fairness – the need to protect it and the need to promote it. We don’t have to agree on every issue to work together to make this country stronger…
  15. 16. Changing the Dialog <ul><li>So, how does someone go about changing the national dialog / debate? How can we introduce the topic of Fairness ? </li></ul><ul><li>It starts simply enough – if political leaders and pundits decide to talk about issues that aren’t important and create new problems instead of solving the old ones first – then ignore what they’re saying . </li></ul><ul><li>Disregard what they say and change the subject – ask them why they ignored the real issues. Ask them why they haven’t created new jobs – ask them why they are promoting policies that will hurt you and reward the people who created the crisis. Get engaged… </li></ul>
  16. 17. Who We Are <ul><li>The Fairness Coalition consists of ordinary Americans who are tired of the direction the country is going in. </li></ul><ul><li>We began this effort from the Heartland, outside the beltway, because we know that true change cannot happen inside of Washington. </li></ul><ul><li>We represent the countless Americans who no longer identify with existing parties or activist groups. This is not about remaking America into some new Liberal or Conservative vision – it is about restoring America to the successful formula it employed in the latter half of the 20th Century . That America respected and supported Fairness – and as a result became the most powerful, prosperous nation in the history of mankind. </li></ul>
  17. 18. Conclusion <ul><li>At the close of Summer 2011, the approval rate for the US Congress stands at 13%. The President’s approval has also sunk to its lowest level yet. </li></ul><ul><li>Why has this happened ? Ordinary Americans are telling our leaders that they haven’t listened. Government and politicians are now creating problems rather than solving them. </li></ul><ul><li>This is what happens when balance is lost, when the interests of ordinary Americans are discarded and when the principles of Fairness are traded-in for political deal-making. Before we can change this though, we must change the discussion, now… </li></ul>