The Bramson Manifesto – Censorship, Lies and Videotape or, the New Tyranny is Here – Now!

Written By: John D'Alois

manifestoIt was that time again, time for a developer to sit down with city council and explain why they won’t deliver any product for another year or so. It’s taken 14 months to hear Forest City tell New Rochelle the same old we got nothing. This latest manipulation comes as no surprise to anyone who has followed the saga of Echo Bay. Afterall, Lou Cappelli received 13 or 14 extensions over nearly a decade and you see where that got us. The rhetoric of how the economy is bad, financing is tough etc, has led the developer to scale back the project and divide it into 3 phases. Phase 1 would encompass all of the property that can be secured with little or no cost to the developer (as in city owned property only). Phase 2 and 3 will have no guarantee of ever happening. This is key because the whole scale, scope and impact of the project has been completely altered and council was called on to extend the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) without any input or comment from the citizens at large. Let alone the residents of the East End and Sutton Manor, who stand to be most affected by the project.

So, you might ask, how does the title of this story fit in here? I’ll tell you. If you happened to see the Feb 15th city council meeting dog and pony show, much more was revealed than the voting record of a city council on a particular night. As the questions about assurances of open space, costs of moving the city yard, lack of commitment to phase 2 and 3, and so on were brought out, it became abundantly clear this project needed more review rather than a rubber stamp approval. To this end Councilman St Paul attempted to move the vote to next months meeting to allow further conversation. As you watch the videotape (excerpts are HERE, to view the whole session click HERE ), the attempt to stifle Councilman St Paul is evident. The mayor makes accusations of “playing games with council”, suggests they “take a look at the rules of the way the body operates” (as in limiting the rights and expectations of a duly elected official), and goes so far as to attempt to slander the name of a council member by erroneously drawing a connection between a lawyer and the charges against his client. In claiming to have never before witnessing this type of heated argument you wonder if the mayor is lying or just confused (do you remember Cnclmn. Boyle and Mayor Idoni?). Did he lie when he raised his hand and made a promise at the East End Civic Association that there would be NO more tax abatements? So off the scale, the mayor winds up getting publicly chided by two other council members. Shameful behavior to say the least on the mayor’s part. Some would say the mayors rush to vote has less to do with bullying a councilman and more to do with the thousands of dollars in political contributions made by the principal owners of Forest City.

I would expect elected officials to have decisions challenged, argued, and questioned in a public setting. Do we really live in a world where the decisions can be made behind the scenes and the elected officials stand in front of the public to proclaim a predetermined outcome that presumably suits their own agenda? The truth lays not in the answers, but in the questions raised regarding the issues that affect us most. We wake up in a city with troubles, but that city is still in America, where free speech and the strength of the public voice is not only granted, but it is expected if the notion of a government “by the people, for the people” is to flourish. A mayor attempting to quiet an elected officials voice, a councilwoman chastising a public radio station for allowing unpopular views to be raised, what’s this world coming to?

Tyranny is nothing new, although it has changed its face and threatens us if we don’t pay attention.

Consider this;

“…that America will devolve into a new form of tyranny, one never seen before, kinder, gentler, wanting only your happiness, as long as they could define what your happiness should be.” Competitive Enterprise President Fred Smith on the John Stossel Show aired 1/7/11

Or;

“A network of small, complicated rules.It does not break wills, but softens them. It does not tyrannize, it hinders, represses, stupefies, and finally it reduces each nation to being nothing more than a flock of timid animals of which the government is the shepherd”. From Alexis de Tocqueville’s “Democracy in America” 1835

This is from a man who observed some special qualities in the American Spirit. One of which was the ability of Americans to help each other at the most grass roots level, without the encumbrance and caveats imposed by large government. For this, and many other reasons he was fearful, and rightly so, of a government’s ability to eventually control that spirit. So it’s not so new, but it will flourish in the absence of open debate. Overzealous taxpayer subsidized development, GreeNR, censorship and control of the press, excessive taxation, manipulating the “the rules of the way the body operates” -it starts to add up.

Stay informed, get involved, and speak up. We’ve done it for 235 years, don’t stop now.

3 thoughts on “The Bramson Manifesto – Censorship, Lies and Videotape or, the New Tyranny is Here – Now!”

  1. John D 2011-02-21, “…Censorship, Lies and Videotape…”
    I have written to comment on the TOTS post of ‘John D’ dated 2011-02-21, entitled ‘The Bramson Manifesto – Censorship, Lies and Videotape or, the New Tyranny is Here – Now!’

    I will not critique here, Mayor Noam Bramson nor Councilperson Richard St Paul, but rather critique the hyperbole of John D’s comments in that article, and also on the absurd image of Mayor Noam Bramson besides a defunct USSR flag. In itself, John D’s comment and that image are far worse than any behavior of Noam or Richard.

    It might be fun, for those who dislike a politician, to paint such a person, in the broadest of strokes, with the worst of insults, but when the metaphors represent something having nothing to do, or opposite to, whatever is being criticized, the result is that there is no useful information provided, and disinformation is the result. One can see such unintelligible gibberish, every night on Glenn Beck, one of the biggest fools and dangerous persons to ever appear regularly on TV. John D (and Robert Cox) could do better and be more effective in criticisms, if metaphors and historic references were associated with things they actually relate to, and not just refer to a grab bag of unassociated metaphors and historic references.

    I’ll start off with the image of Noam besides a USSR flag. I must ask, what does anything Noam or Richard, or the City Council or City Manager have to do with Communism? If Noam was advocating Communism or even Socialism, he wouldn’t be so involved with private enterprise or with the capitalism of Forest City or Cappelli. I am not accusing Noam or Richard of anything here, but for clarity I must state that a Government overly involved with private enterprise or capitalism is Fascist not Communist, as Fascists love privately owned business, whereas Communists despise it Are Communist Chinese businesses really privately owned or is that a façade covering the actual Chinese government ownership?

    I must admit, I have never heard of Competitive Enterprise or its president Fred Smith, and have never watched John Stossel, and therefore know little about either, so I had to Google each. Fred Smith seems to have meaningless credentials to back up whatever it is he advocates, nor, from what I have found out about him, does his statements make sense. As an example, Fred Smith seems to be a person, who is unsure whether there is Global Warming (despite the obvious scientific facts of its existence), but tops that off with his irrational opinion that Global Warming is a good thing; and as insane a belief that is, I would be wary of accepting any conclusions of Fred Smith’s, no matter what facts or falsehoods Smith might believe in. John Stossel is much more complex and intelligent than Fred Smith appears to be, so I have to research Stossel further, but it is obvious that if he has a regular show on FOX News, he is likely to often misrepresent or invent facts like virtually everyone else of Fox News except Shepard Smith. But let me get down to the quotes of ‘John D’, a person who is embarrassed to reveal his actual name in support of his own advocacies.

    ‘John D’ quotes Fred Smith, absent Smith’s context whatever that might be, “…that America will devolve into a new form of tyranny, one never seen before, kinder, gentler, wanting only your happiness, as long as they could define what your happiness should be.” ‘John D’ implies ‘they’ as some evil force, implying the American government, but perhaps ‘they’ represents something other than government, such as the Catholic Church or the Tea Party or a professional association of Psychiatrists – would ‘John D’ condemn such entities for advocating to improve ‘your’ happiness?

    Even if ‘they’ does refer to American government, does ‘Fred Smith and ‘John D’ recognize but despise the US Constitution Preamble, in defining our government as “We the People of the United States”, declaring that one of the prime purposes of our government is to “promote the general Welfare”. What does general welfare mean, if not a kind, gentle, happy People. As our constitution defines our Government as run for “We the People”, what Fred Smith refers to as “They” should actually be referred to as “We.” So actually, it is not some nefarious “They” that Fred Smith is worried about, but rather it the opinion, beliefs and advocacies of a majority of the American People that Fred Smith despises. Why ‘John D’ doesn’t like our government representing the American Voter needs to be explained, but it is certainly clear to me that both Noam Bramsom and Richard St Paul were fairly elected.

    ‘John D’ and anyone else is on better grounds when quoting the great Alexis de Tocqueville’s ‘Democracy in America’, published in 1835. Although Tocqueville had an excellent, insightful understanding of the culture of the USA, and some of what he observed of the American People back then, is still true today, we must recognize that the America he described was 176 years ago, and that our country is fortunately, now a much better place than back when slavery was legal, property ownership was necessary for a man to vote, women couldn’t vote at all, and only direct elections to Federal government was to the House of Representatives, and back when the US Constitution’s ‘Bill of Rights’ could not be applied to State Law.

    But in considering the ‘John D’ quote from Tocqueville, again I must question the context in which Tocqueville made that statement. It is a large book, of which I have a copy, and I think ‘John D’ is obligated to more specifically footnote the source, at least by chapter, so I and others can read the context that partial quote was extracted from. If the context is consistent with John D’s understanding, it would strengthen his argument, whereas failure to properly footnote weakens his use of the quotation.

    But on the surface, reading John D’s Tocqueville quote, it seems that Tocqueville is referring to the complexity of the American Federal government system, with its interlocking, redundant and contradictory usage of both a single US and multiple State Constitutions, Statues, Regulations, legislatures and chief executives, “…A network of small, complicated rules. It does not break wills, but softens them. It does not tyrannize, it hinders, represses, stupefies…” The American system of decentralized government, with much power residing in the State government, but with the ultimate power residing in the US Constitution, is certainly a “…network of small, complicated rules”, with the focus on network.

    What is the implication to John D, in Tocqueville’s reference to our federal and state governmental networks reducing “…each nation to being nothing more than a flock of timid animals of which the government is the shepherd”. Does John D believe that when Americans vote, they are not choosing government officials and giving those officials representative power to create and effect laws? I would agree with John D, that a City Manager form of government is undemocratic (and therefore un-American) regarding the source of power of New Rochelle’s chief executive; and I believe we need to elect our New Rochelle’s Chief Executive rather than appoint him. But Noam Bramson as Ceremonial Mayor, is not an executive at all, but was fairly elected as Mayor to be the one At-Large voting member of the legislative City Council.

    So, if the American People have become a nation of sheep, led by a governmental shepherd, it is not the government to blame, but rather the American People themselves, for being as Tocqueville describes “a flock of timid animals”. If the People of New Rochelle take minimum interest in their own government, it is their own negligence that is at fault. Perhaps this has long been the nature of the People of New Rochelle, considering that during the American Revolution, New Rochelle, like NYC, was a hotbed of Royal Loyalists. Nonetheless, during the American Revolution, the American People determined it was their right to create a democratic, representative form of government, and did an admirable job of it, in creating the USA, a nation that is currently far more democratic, free, and representative than it had been for most of its history, having reached its present height of democracy, freedom and representation within the last 50 years, and with our democratic peak probably recently occurring in the 2008 General Elections.

    But even a nation of sheep, can at any time, take control of its destiny, as the USA did in 1776, or much of the Soviet Block did in the late 1980-early 1990’s, or the Egyptians and Tunisians have appeared to do in 2011. But we don’t need a revolution in the USA, nor in New Rochelle. What we do need, is a better educated population, with better teaching of civics in our schools, and with more people participating in our political processes on Election Days, and on every other day.

    John D is approximately correct, however in his conclusion that “Overzealous taxpayer subsidized development, GreeNR, censorship and control of the press, excessive taxation, manipulating the ‘the rules of the way the body operates’ – It starts to add up”, except for the GreeNR part. Whether one believes in New Rochelle’s GreeNR plan, is an issue onto itself, but certainly we should all be concerned about government negligence and corporate malfeasances when it comes to the environment. After all, our environment, like our government is for and by the People, and must be protected by ourselves and by our government from those corporate interests who would profit at the People’s expense.

    John D would have made a more powerful direct argument, rather than misapplying or using out-of-context quotations of the great Alexis de Tocqueville, or of the mediocre, misinformed Fred Smith. I hope John D, Noam B, and others reading my Post, recognize I am offering constructive advice here.

    1. Thank you Mr Sussman
      Mr. Sussman, thank you for the affirmation. Your thoughtful and in depth ramblings towards my posting are exactly what I consider to be the hallmark of our system. You see, this is the kind of dialogue that’s needed to get to the bottom of things. Whether we agree or not isn’t the issue, it is far important to have all views represented in an open forum to either validate or refute the path that needs to be taken when we reach a crossroad. The decision making process that lead to the formation of our Constitution wasn’t marked by parties sitting together singing kumbaya. The raucous and heated debates that ensued brought forth a document simple in design, and yet it managed to encompass the ideals and pillars that have supported a great nation for over two hundred years. Pretty impressive I would say.

      For too long, this debate and discussion has been lacking at the local level. To paraphrase your comment, we do get the government we deserve, however, this only serves to underscore the need to kick these issues out into the daylight so they can be debated. This becomes more and more difficult as the media retreats into the role of press release stenographer and fails to produce the content needed to inform the public. This has been happening through the years (for many reasons) and one only need to look at the correlation between resource reductions in the media and the increase of communication directors at the government level to appreciate the consequences of this trend. Does this necessarily mean there is an evil plot to deride the press? Hardly, but it is a natural devolution that requires the public to be ever watchful of the goings on of our elected officials. As we become more vocal, more involved, and more informed, then perhaps that government “we deserve” will rise to our level of expectations.

      Now, as far as the flag representation is concerned, I’ll take a guess and say you didn’t like the Tora Tora Tora story on the mayor last June. More hyperbole? Opinions are formed around the actions taken (or denied) by our officials. These are opinions and have the same weight and validity as yours. What some consider bad taste others find to be right on the mark. As the local government continues to chase taxpayer subsidized development with no commitment to return on investment aren’t we turning over control to the “state”? The IDA makes decisions without accountability to the taxpayer – period. So, when Councilman St Paul continues to raise the issue of making IDA decisions require approval of a council vote, wouldn’t that ultimately give the taxpayer the final word come Election Day? And yet, the mayor and his “party” continue to stall and obfuscate the dialogue on this matter. GreeNR you say. I have to say that we are probably more in agreement about environmental responsibility than you might admit. Unfortunately, we part ways on how to achieve that. How is it possible that with the amazing local talent pouring out to contribute to the cause, we are still compelled to get in bed, so to speak, with ICLEI, and by extension, the Tides Foundation and George Soros? Adopting a system whose true cost to the taxpayer has yet to be defined. A system that allows pushing us to take on low interest financing to comply with mandated upgrades while Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac publicly state they will not underwrite any mortgage encumbered by one of these loans. Could you agree that New Rochelle could define and adopt a voluntary New Rochelle standard to protect and sustain the environment? I could see it.

      Lastly, I would critique your comments on the passages submitted and some of the other missteps made along the way. By taking issue with the source and context, you begin to muddy the waters. (A common trait of our mayor and others). It was merely a quoted statement that I believe sums up a concern of many. Whatever Fred does outside of that comment is meaningless in this discussion so don’t worry too much about it. The accreditations given to Fred Smith aren’t a testament to his validity or purpose. His statement is what’s important here, I mention him only because it’s his quote. The government is drifting in that direction regardless of what you think. Is it just a matter of degrees? Do we wait to reach the tipping point, or work to correct it? This is where Tocqueville comes in. He witnessed the work Americans did to improve things at the private, not government level. So impressive it was, he was compelled to comment on it and warn against the over involvement of government. I for one have listened to people from all sides and have found insight regardless of affiliation. Be it Fred Smith, Teddy Roosevelt, Obama, Clinton (Bill that is) and so on. Free to speak, free to listen, and free to think. To think one can only have the opinion of one discipline would be naïve, to say the least.

      You sir, are again misdirecting if you think I am of the opinion that Americans have become sheep, but it is a call to step up and push back against the stranglehold of a government too big, too invasive. To sit back and say “this is the government we deserve, we’ll have to accept it” is, well, Un-American. I choose to not accept your notion.

      If you can single out Glenn Beck and not a host of other talking heads, on both sides of the equation, as being dangerous you have done yourself a disservice.

      Again you miss the point as you reference “the Catholic Church or the Tea Party or a professional association of Psychiatrists “. There is a vast fundamental difference between these organizations and the American government (in case you missed it). Private entity vs government. You and I have a choice to associate or avoid a church, tea party, democratic party or psychiatric group, but we are compelled as part of the right and duty as a citizen to be involved with our government and I proudly do so. I will not sit back and accept all without question, and if it is right, it will withstand challenge or question. That sir, is the American way.

      I have been a contributor to this site for over 2 years. Everyone (except you perhaps) knows who I am. I purposely use the name John D to focus the conversation on the issue at hand not about who I am. You would be cheating yourself if your acceptance of an idea required a name rather than a solution. At the end of the day we may agree to disagree, but it’s the continued dialogue that will do more to shape the future than a quiet citizenry ever will. Just some constructive advice.

      Be Well

      1. My Reply to John D’s Reply to My Reply to John D’s Comment
        Thank you for your reply. I will make a few comments in response.

        What motivated me to write my earlier posting, was the graphic next to your posting, of Mayor Bramson next to the flag of the USSR. I realize that graphic probably originated from Robert Cox, not yourself, but it was associated with your writings. I was astonished at the surrealism of that graphic implying that Noam Bramson was a Communist along with the allegation that Noam is too connected to capitalists such as Cappelli and Forest City. I pointed out that there was an inherent contradiction in that graphic, because communists despise capitalism and capitalists despise communists.

        In finding myself commenting on that, I decided to spend quite some time composing the rest of my posting, which was a critique of your posting itself. I disagree with you as to your assertion that a quote out of context is as powerful as one in context. I disagree with you as to your assertion that a quote out of context is as meaningful as one in context. I disagree with you because an out of context quote is misleading and leads to further falsehoods, especially when re-quoted by others in a false context. There is a good reason why historians, scientists and other writers of non-fiction extensively use footnoting, and that is to demonstrate the factual basis of such writings.

        Writers of fiction, of course, have no need for footnotes. Political Pundits such one finds on Fox News, clowns like Bill O’Reilly, Sean Hannity and Ann Coulter are constantly spouting vicious and destructive fictions as if fact, but to their credit, such Pundits at least realize they are manipulative liars, out to make big money by further confusing the poor, ignorant people of the southern and western USA, a culture of lemmings.

        In comparison Glenn Beck is very special. He is clearly close to psychotic, as he actually believes what he says. I saw him a few weeks ago stating the Muslims were going to turn England into a Caliphate. To that I must say, “Oy Vey, that guy is Meshugge.” There is very little reality or factual or truthful in anything Glenn Beck says on TV.

        But ultimately it makes more sense to support facts with context and reality, than with disassociated allusions or delusions. To take a slice of a quote, out of context to its original meaning and setting, might be portraying the quoted person in an inappropriate way. This is kind of similar to the graphic photopainting Noam into a commie for being too much a lover of capitalism.

        All that is accomplished by an image of certain persons not liking Noam, and misassociating him with an out of context Communist flag, and an out of context quotation from Tocqueville (which remains unfootnoted). I must ask you John, did you read that quote in context from Tocqueville, or did you quote from a chain of quoters? Even if you did read your quotation in context, once you have posted it on the internet, the quote (absent your own purposes) might spread out of context around the world for decades, resulting in confusion, not clarity.

        Regarding last Spring’s Tora Tora posting, I had to just now read it. I don’t think I had read it earlier, and if I have, I would have talked directly on the matter, with George Latimer, Amy Paulin and Suzi Oppenheimer, but in the future will do so. As you probably realize I have always been against a variety of so-called development projects in New Rochelle, including destruction of the Armory and moving City Yard. I am glad you pointed me to that Tora Tora posting, because I can now comment, I thought that graphic was also in poor taste, despite context, because Hitler and Tojo allusions should be reserved for special people such as Muammar el-Qaddafi.

        Regarding your point that “the IDA makes decisions without accountability to the taxpayer – period”, this may all be true, but not well for democracy. That example is a grain of sand in a beach of corporations replacing our government, as well as well as determining our electoral and policy choices in government. As I stated earlier, that is a symptom of Fascism, not Communism. Our country has been going more towards Fascism for the last 40 years, pretty much since Nixon, and including every presidential administration since, regardless of political party, with the main exception probably being poor old Jimmy Carter.

        We can see growing Fascism in a variety of ways, such as Nixon’s No-Knock Warrant or GW Bush / B Obama’s Patriot Act and Guantanamo. But we also see growing Fascism in the privatization of government, such as New Rochelle’s 1970-90’s New Rochelle Neighborhood Revitalization Corporation (aka NRNRC aka NRC), or the current IDA. We also see it, in a variety of State and Interstate entities, such as MTA, Triboro Authority and Port Authority. On a NY State level, neither the Governor nor the State Senate and Assemblies have power of the purse over much of New York State’s government because of quasi-corporate entities of government. The same thing is no doubt true throughout the USA, and one must consider the Federal Reserve as such an entity.

        This is not to say that such quasi-governmental corporate entities should not exist all, but they certainly should be limited, and have greater governmental and public oversight. But I agree, that such quasi-governmental corporate entities should not probably exist in New Rochelle, but that as they do exist, there must be both governmental and public oversight.

        To a large extent, the source of such privatization of government has been by Republicans, and in general privatization is not popular with Democrats, who the Republicans often accuse of preferring socialism.

        New Rochelle is an amazing little city. As we all know, in some ways it exists in its own universe

        One of the surreal wonders of New Rochelle, is the tendency of New Rochelle Republicans to appear more sympathetic towards liberal causes, while the New Rochelle Democrats often appear to be the conservatives. It is the Republicans who gave New Rochelle our first female City Manager (Betty Meagher), our first Black Councilman (Joe Evans), and who seem more interested in protecting the environment at David’s Island (Xanadu), and currently our shore at the Armory / City Yard.

        Why Democratic politicians, such as Noam Bramson, Barry Fertel or Marianne Sussman support politically conservative policies, such as so-called development, or quasi-governmental corporate entities or building a park on the toxic waste of City Yard, while moving City Yard uphill from two ancient cemeteries, amazes me, and I have repeatedly told them so. I am also amazed the Democrats have no movement to change our New Rochelle government to one with an Elected Chief Executive, which is democratic if anything is.

        Of course, on the level of County, State and Federal government, New Rochelle’s same Democrats are the liberals, and the same Republicans are the conservatives. But the reverse polarity within New Rochelle and its issues have long been a source of amusement for me and others. Of course, I am referring to the politicians and politically active persons. New Rochelle’s Democratic voters are probably more consistently liberal, and New Rochelle’s Republican voters are probably more consistently conservative, than are their politicians and politically active persons.

        Getting more to the issue at hand, the video of Mayor Bramson and Councilperson St Paul, at a recent City Council meeting, of course Bramson should have let St Paul make his motion. Politically, this would have made a lot of sense, as the 4:3 Democratic majority guaranteed the failure of St Paul’s motion. Mayor Bramson’s effort to table a motion would have only made political sense, if the Republicans had the majority. Furthermore, pragmatically, this is an election year, and Noam shouldn’t be giving away YouTube opportunities to the otherwise likely-to-be-defeated.

        I thank you for referring to the Tides Foundation and George Soros. I wasn’t aware of the Tides Foundation, looked them up at http://www.tides.org/
        and found it to be a site worth looking at. Perhaps I will seek a grant. Is there a connection between George Soros and Tides? His name is not listed there.

        I have no idea why Republicans are constantly bringing up George Soros as a boogieman. Most Democrats are unaware of him or his belief’s, and merely see him as a wealthy self-made man, who immigrated to the USA, as did many European Jews after the holocaust. No doubt, he is not a fan of fascist government, which is why he would be contributing to liberal causes.

        Regarding your following statement, I will comment after quoting you: “Do we wait to reach the tipping point, or work to correct it? This is where Tocqueville comes in. He witnessed the work Americans did to improve things at the private, not government level. So impressive it was, he was compelled to comment on it and warn against the over involvement of government.”

        Was Tocqueville complementing Americans for privatization, or rather for having the benefits of decentralized government? After all, what is unique about the USA is its decentralized federal system of USA and State control as well as separation of powers (except in New Rochelle) between Executive, Legislative and Judicial branches on Local, State and Federal governments.

        I suspect (without benefit of footnotes), that Tocqueville was actually comparing the USA’s decentralized government to the overly centralized series of ineffective government that has plagued France since the 16th century continuing into the present.

        But private enterprise, in Tocqueville’s time and now, has never been an especially American thing. The UK had it, France had it, the kingdoms and principalities that later became Germany had it, Bohemia (Czech) had it, they all had private business and capitalism in Tocqueville’s time.

        In Tocqueville’s day, only the northern part of the USA, and California, had extensive free enterprise and capitalism, so the USA was further behind in our business methods than much of western Europe. After all, almost half the USA consisted of Slave States. The antebellum Southern Slave economy was certainly not one of free enterprise, because the labor half of the economic equation was not free to bargain privately, let alone collectively. The USA prior to 1865 was a period to be ashamed of, not to be proud of nor to emulate.

        Actually, what built the USA, was not so much capitalism as it was a variety of things, with governmental policy and investment being in the forefront. I will cite a few examples: Government financing of development of Steamboats, Canals and Railroads in the 19th Century, and in particular at the time of Tocqueville. Government financing of development of subways, bridges, aircraft, spacecraft, interstate highways, nuclear energy, and the Internet in the 20th century. And hopefully the Government financing of development of high-speed railways and commercial rocketry in the 21st century.

        Other than government influence, the main other source of American economic growth, was accomplished mainly in the 19th century, by slave labor in the south, and open immigration in the rest of the USA, where unlike the slave-bound south, there were employment opportunities in the north and west. And it were immigrants who were the innovators of 19th and 20th century science and private enterprise.

        And it was very much the labor movement of the late 19th century thru mid 20th century that very much built America. And it was the pro-labor laws written from the 1930-60’s that greatly contributed to the USA’s economic greatness. It is no coincidence that as the labor movement has weakened, the American economy has weakened with it.

        Another thing that made the American economy great, was the regulation of business by the government, from the 1930’s through the 1990’s. Presidents Reagan, Clinton and GW Bush increasingly deregulated business, resulting in the ongoing economic Depression that began in 2007 or 2008, probably continuing for years to come.

        Ultimately there are important places in our economy: for government to do things without private business, for the government to do things with private business, for the government to regulate private business, and for private business to operate without governmental interference.

        And ultimately, it is the American People who are the source of their destiny, but who must be informed with facts rather than unsupported assertions, and who must involve themselves politically, throughout the year, and not on election days, in the processes that affect our government, our economy, our environment, our health and well being, affecting ourselves and in others.

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