A person not moving forward is said to be moving backwards. Stagnation allows those around them to progress past them over time. The same principle applies to societies. If nations are unable to progress forward, competing nations will surpass their economic production, national skill set, and other important metrics nations used to evaluate societal progress. Societies must change to move forward but change for change sake or recreating the wheel only harms the potential for growth.
The desire for our policymakers to hold forward thinking viewpoints should not be partisan. Good public policy positions a nation to best compete socially, diplomatically, and economically against competitors abroad. For instance, forward thinking social policy can help expand freedom and civil liberties throughout society. Forward thinking economic policy could foster innovation and growth, expanding opportunities to more and more in society. Policymakers can help maintain social greatness by anticipating future needs and finding effective and efficient solutions to address them.
There is great fervor among some to embrace the ideals of progressivism, notably on the far left. Many in that camp believe progressive liberal candidates embody greater social innovation and forward-thinking policies. The reason is many modern-day progressive candidates campaign on messaging pushing the “newness” of their ideas. Under President Barack Obama, he frequently campaigned promising a new economy and new America. Current candidates describe the ideas in the same context as well.
The problem with many of the modern-day progressives is their ideas are not authentically new, simply rethreads of policies implemented elsewhere. Therefore, the public and political opposition enjoy real world examples to judge the efficacy of their ideas. For instance, the single payer health system that capture the eye of the progressive wing of the Democratic Party is available in many European nations. While the perceived coverage benefits is what catches the eye, the quality issues, including lack of access to new medical technology and treatments, which may be costly, is commonly ignored. Other issues like appointment scheduling is overlooked as well.
Many nations have socialist economies, like the one being proposed by Bernie Sanders, Alexandria Ocasio Cortez, and other socialist backers. Many nations in South America, like Venezuela, embraced socialism as an economic distribution system. Now, those nations are plagued with economic and social strife, as millions upon millions live in abject poverty and suffer corruption and violence from the same socialist government. The thousands of migrants that seek illegal entrance into the United States and other free market economies more likely than not come from these socialist economies. While capitalism has its challenges, rational Americans should not fall for the false hopes and power grabs of socialist economics.
The proponents of modern-day progressivism cannot fathom the fact that free thinking people will reject their ideas. Proponents will label their detractors as people opposed to change. There are legitimately some people that will stand against any change from what they consider normal. But there are many who rightfully stand against proven ineffective policy proposals and ideals that fundamentally regress our common shared values. There are valid questions concerning the driving factors of many proposals of modern-day progressives. Change in the form of power grabs or government oppression is not change society should believe in.
The argument for change needs to consider outcomes, potential side effects, and alternative approaches. The political record for progressive agenda is not a desirable one. In addition to the notable issues above, our first attempt with addressing issues plaguing health care was an abject failure, requiring a fresh approach. Many nations are moving away from government control of industries towards greater free market capitalist principles. The outcomes increases the freedom and well being of society and greater efficiency and choice for their economies.
The argument for change needs to also consider whether the action is moving society forward or regressing it backwards. If one looks at the actions taken against cashless stores by progressive state and local leaders, this move clearly is a step backwards. The movement forces small businesses to incur the risks and costs of dealing with cash. While the change was to theoretically protect access for the impoverished, there are many providers of similar products and services available for cash paying customers. The forward-thinking approach would be supporting efforts to expand access to banking to those currently unable to attain checking or savings account.
Many progressive ideas are pure contradiction to common sense. Progressive leaders work to create greater social acceptance of public marijuana usage while traditional cigarettes receive the cold shoulder. Although the lung cancer risk are disparate, both still have health risk and create equal annoyance to those around them. The sanctuary laws imposed by these politicians not only increase risks and cost to communities, but it provides taxpayer funded shelter to violators of federal law. Proposed solutions to the opioid crisis creates situations where taxpayers funds will be used to support drug use, rather than reduce it.
Social change can be good for society, if it expands our freedom, civil liberties, and opportunity. Change can be good if it helps our economy produce high paying jobs or improves our national security. Change for change sake that simply strengthens government’s power over the people is not change any one wants to believe in.