Key issues in the Nov. 4th election

From, referenced by panel

Here are information, links, and the podcast for the Weekend Voices election special featuring the University of Maine panel presentation, “What are the Key Issues in the Nov. 4th Election?”

This program explores some big ideas that ought to be part of our national discussion–if we think we have a democratic society–even if they seem to be missing or distorted in major party campaigns.

Among the most distorted ideas now running wild in the campaign is that of socialism. While this term is almost universally batted around as a pejorative, our panel make a powerful case in favor of democratic socialism–for the weakened forms we already have, for the stronger forms found in other developed countries, and for comprehensive democratic socialism that would be of great benefit to the American people.

This radio special/podcast is produced by Eric T. Olson. It was recorded at the University of Maine on Thursday October 30, 2008 and broadcast on WERU Weekend Voices for November 1. Panelists include U Maine faculty and Bangor/Orono area community organizers. They are

  • Professor Amy Fried, Political Science
  • Professor Michael Howard, Philosophy
  • Ilze Petersons, Program Coordinator, Peace and Justice Center of Eastern Maine
  • Professor Doug Allen, Philosophy

The event was part of the Fall 2008 Socialist & Marxist Studies Thursday Controversy series.

Here are links to online resources mentioned in the program.

Bailout! A Case for Economic Democracy And Clearing the Path to Socialism
By David Schweickart – Progressives for Obama

“Washington can act with breathtaking urgency when the right people want something done. In this case, the people are the Wall Street titans, who are scared witless at the prospect of their enormous implosion. Congress quickly agreed to enact a gargantuan bailout, with more to come, to calm the anxieties and halt the deflation of the Wall Street giants. Put aside partisan bickering, no time for hearings, no need to think through the deeper implications. We haven’t seen ‘bipartisan cooperation’ like this since Washington decided to invade Iraq.” –William, Greider, The Nation, August 18, 2008
“Wall Street has actually convinced a lot of us that what’s good for the Dow Jones Average is good for us real people. But for eight years while bankers raked in billions, ordinary Americans have seen their real wages drop, jobs sent overseas, health insurance rates skyrocket, and now thousands are losing their homes.

We need our government to actively work for US in fixing this mess, so let’s tell Congress it’s time to start over and pass a New Deal for Main Street.”

National Priorities Project
“According to a new report from National Priorities Project (NPP), the United States is spending between $97 and $215 billion dollars annually on military action to defend access to oil and natural gas reserves around the globe. The Military Cost of Securing Energy provides a critical analysis of the military cost of defending U.S. energy concerns overseas. The report estimates that the military spends up to 30 percent of its annual budget to secure access to energy resources internationally.”