Low Hanging Fruit for the Progressive Movement

Low Hanging Fruit / Copyright © 2008 Borderrose Images

We have here the potential for a coalition of health reform as demanded by our public health organizations, immigration reform (this is also the cause of Mexican farmers being driven off their land), water preservation in the rivers and the sea.

By Janet Gilles / The Rag Blog / January 14, 2008

Perhaps the most progressive movement in US history was the populist, made up of farmers who were quite sophisticated about economics. Self employed, they were on their own and they knew, but formed a movement. The Green Revolution, by taking advantage of Americans’ respect for and lack of grasp of science, has destroyed this independent voice for sanity by subsidizing mega agriculture and driving the independents off the land.

Yes, there is more corn per acre with giant tractors, special seeds, nitrates, and planting to the edge of the stream banks.

Yes we are at far greater risk for crop failure with a mono agriculture.

Nutrition per acre has collapsed, resulting in diseases rare a generation ago, heart disease, cancer (see also pesticides, herbicides) and autoimmune disorders, especially diabetes from the high sugar contents.

Water use has skyrocketed as soil without humus cannot absorb the water, letting most of it run off, causing the Death of the Oceans.

Those environmental groups concerned with the oceans now say that nitrate runoff kills more fish than over fishing, and is the most serious threat to the oceans.

Remember, all this is caused by taxpayer support to corporate agriculture, which would be entirely unviable without the $50 billion dollar A YEAR subsidy. Spread that around the country, and the poor would be buying local produce instead of junk food.

We have here the potential for a coalition of health reform as demanded by our public health organizations, immigration reform (this is also the cause of Mexican farmers being driven off their land, leading to the biggest immigration in history) water preservation in the rivers and the sea. And no cost, just stop supporting the junk food agriculture.

Here is an easy issue, the money is there, the support is there, but the groups are all separately working to stop the farm subsidy.

Can progressives get on board?

The Rag Blog

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3 Responses to Low Hanging Fruit for the Progressive Movement

  1. Janet, this is some good solid stuff — the potential for such broad coalitions hasn’t been greater for many years, probably since the Great Depression. The Bush administration in particular has wreaked so much havoc in so many areas, while the world global economic frenzy spun a wider and wider path of wanton destruction, plenty of people have been seriously aggrieved. Putting the traumatized pieces together to build the coalition you describe is indeed the task at hand.

  2. Bert Garskof says:

    we may be able to create progressive solutions to the myriad of deep difficulties facing our species and our home. We might be at that place in history where we can forge the kind of coalition imagined here. However, we must recognize that the system (capitalism) generates, through its day to day activities, the continual flow of riches to the top and the inevitable increase of poverty – relative or absolute.
    Somewhere, sometime we must include in our vision, our writing and our actions the end of capitalism in toto. N-est-pas?

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