What is a Progressive

What is a progressive to me.

A progressive is a person who believes and works for the welfare and happiness of all human beings.
Progressive principles:

1. Universalism
A progressive outlook is universal, not self centered. It takes into account the needs and requirements of all people regardless of their race, religion, nationality, economic status, geographical location, gender, sexual orientation, etc.

2. Social Justice
Every human being requires the basic necessities of life such as food, clothing , medicine, education and shelter. This should be provided through minimum standards such as a living wage and access to employment. A progressive economy strives to reduce the gap between the wealthiest and poorest members of the community by increasing the numbers of the middle class.

3. Economic Democracy
Economy should be decentralized so that economic decisions that affect people’s lives can be made on a local level rather than in corporate boardrooms. Local economy should be enhanced supporting local agriculture, small businesses, and manufacturing using local resources, both natural and human.

4. Environmentalism
The principle of universalism requires that we broaden our perspective beyond the needs of human beings to that of all living creatures on earth. Progressives should strive to improve the environment of all living creatures while taking into account the impact on human society.

5. Rationality
Progressives should apply rationality in all aspects of life. Rationality means carefully weighing all the positive and negative aspects of any question and subjecting any decision to a test of whether it is beneficial to human welfare.

6. Leadership
It is the duty of progressives to lead society in a progressive direction and work to minimize its regressive tendencies.

7. Morality and Ethics
Progressives should conduct their personal lives in accordance with these principles. Progressives should all be accountable to each other and to society for the highest standards of conduct. To this end progressives should always act in a transparent manner.


Nice post

Thanks for adding this to the conversation.

Welcome to BlueNC.

Vote Democratic! The ass you save may be your own.

Very nice! This is like the Seven Habits of

Highly Progressive People. :) Thanks, Mark F. This one is going on the fridge.

"It is amazing what you can accomplish if you do not care who gets the credit." - Harry Truman

"They took all the trees and put them in a tree museum Then they charged the people a dollar 'n a half just to see 'em. Don't it always seem to go that you don't know what you've got till it's gone? They paved paradise and put up a parking lot."

What if I don't want to be "middle class"

Quite frankly, I'm happy that my grandparents were dissatisfied enough with their lot that they left Appalachia and my parents had the diligence to leave the blight of the Rust Belt.

Similarly, I'm working hard to give my kids advantages I didn't have when I send them on their way about two decades from now. So, according to your philosophy how much salary am I allowed to earn? Who dictates that? Is John Edwards still allowed to be rich?

Just wondering, because the last time someone pushed a "from each according to his abilities, to each according to his needs" it didn't go very well.

Cabarruscheapseats.com: Reasoned Discussion of Cabarrus County, NC News & Politics

This isn't about you

This isn't about you, Justin. You are doing just fine in whatever class you choose to be in. This is about people whose odds of getting out of abject poverty are slim to none, whose parents may be in jail. This is about the sons and daughters of people who will end up cleaning your house and picking your tomatoes and maybe even educating your kids as teaching assistants or day care workers. This is about people who are mentally ill, who are one illness away from medical bankruptcy.

You were lucky enough to have grandparents and parents who took action. Lucky, that's all. You did nothing to deserve what you got. Nothing.

Because if grand-daddy had slipped on the ice or spun off the road into a telephone pole, you could be scrambling for life like millions of others are doing today. The wrong drug in your mama's body when she was pregnant, and you could have been in an institution right now, or maybe even dead.

Make all the money you want, no one is questioning your right to do that. No one is even questioning your right to not give a shit about those who aren't as lucky as you.

My lucky grandfather...

...was seriously handicapped in an industrial accident when he was 18. He continued to work until he was 65.

And I did nothing to deserve what I have now? It'll take me some time to reconcile the six years I spent working my way through school were wasted when all I had to do is find the magic storehouse of entitlement.

Finally, why is it the best that progressives/liberals/whatever-you'll-call-yourselves-the-next-election cycle can do is trying to paint the critic of Marxism-warmed-over comments like "we'll close the gap between the rich and poor by making more people 'middle class'" as some trust-fund millionaire whose consumed with greed. When as a Registered Republican I probably give a greater percentage of my income to charity than most "Progressives" do.

Cabarruscheapseats.com: Reasoned Discussion of Cabarrus County, NC News & Politics

You got born into a family of hard workers

And yes, you did nothing to deserve that. It sounds like your grandfather was quite a person. Like I said, you were lucky.


PS Justin, you probably want to back away from the "I give more than others" argument. The flaw of averages is a powerful and dark force, and Arthur Brooks' treatise on philanthropy has been widely criticized as confounding religious giving (tithing) with general charitable contributions and volunteer work - and does not reflect political contributions at all. Nor does it identify "Progressives" as a subset for analysis in any way, shape or form.

What about the slackers in my family...

...and we've got plenty. According to your rather deterministic outlook, they should be doing as well as I am.

Since my success was a foregone conclusion - what tragedy befell the neredowells on other ends of my family tree. Should I just skip the bureaucracy and send them checks out of shame?

The point is that anyone who wants society to fall into some neat statistical distribution is disconnected with reality. For example: "helping the poor" - my family has been poor: the most substantial help we got was from family and the "tithers" whose contribution you just discounted.

Bottom line: Income redistribution doesn't work and those who try to attempt it should be stopped at all levels.

Cabarruscheapseats.com: Reasoned Discussion of Cabarrus County, NC News & Politics

I know you're smarter than this, so

you're either being intentionally dense or argumentative for the hell of it.

In either case, enjoy your well-deserved upward mobility. I'm done wasting my time with you.

Upwardly mobile?

Try solid middle-class. Dead-center.

The deal James is that I watched good, working-class folks buy this "you're getting screwed" from the unions and the politicians they owned, and they only place to equalize this is to take it from the hides of the "rich" who supposedly had so many more advantages in their life.

The fact of the matter is that the people who did best were the people who rejected that tired nonsense and invested in themselves. So, excuse me if I get a little worked up when I see that Bolshevik blather sprout it's nasty head again.

Cabarruscheapseats.com: Reasoned Discussion of Cabarrus County, NC News & Politics

Income redistribution

is what this country has been about for quite a long time. That was the purpose of the graduated income tax. And it worked quite well until Ronald Reagan started lowering the rates. Even when the tax rates were higher, we still had a lot of wealthy people. The problem was that an educated middle class is a threat to the aristocracy of wealth, a lesson learned in the 1960's. So to maintain power, the American aristocracy had to dismantle the middle class and force it into economic subjugation through debt.

It wasn't Marx that said from each according to his abilities..., it was Lenin. But the fallacy of communism is that it tried to make everyone equal. Everyone may be equal under the law, but not in the economy. But the principle of social justice demands that we try to reduce that inequality. A healthy economy should be able to provide rising standards of living for rich and poor alike while still reducing the gap between them.

Taxes are actually a stop-gap mechanism

to deal with economic disparities, but ideally it's better to create economic opportunities and living wages so that people don't find themselves in the situation of being in working poverty. Wealth creation is what should be taxed, not income.

Wealth is not created out of thin air, Justin

Even extremely small-scale businesses generate profits from the labor of their employees, often providing low wages and zero benefits in return. There are also quite a few of these "wealth creators" that got their start-up loans via government subsidies and/or underwriting, and that help came from the rich and the poor, and all points in between.

Now, if you want to talk about the major difference between a rich kid and a poor kid, as far as "realizing potential" is concerned, look at the challenges of obtaining a college education. A marginal rich kid still has a huge advantage over a brilliant poor kid, and both of them know it. Should that poor kid have to work twice as hard to catch up with his rich counterpart? Should that poor student have to make up for what his/her father or grandfather failed to achieve? When these kids fall short of this challenge (as most of them do), have they failed society or has society failed them?

Given that...

Even extremely small-scale businesses generate profits from the labor of their employees, often providing low wages and zero benefits in return. There are also quite a few of these "wealth creators" that got their start-up loans via government subsidies and/or underwriting, and that help came from the rich and the poor, and all points in between.

Is it wrong when they start generating much more tax revenue than the original investment because their income is so great?

Ditto for a subsidized college.

I'm not trying to make the Laissez Faire Libertarian argument. Far from it. The point that I'm making is that taxes should be taxes - nothing more. Government should be in the business of governing - not wide-eyed social engineering. Anytime governments step too far outside of those boundaries - it gets ugly.

Life isn't fair and I'd be scared of the government that were powerful enough to make it absolutely so.

Cabarruscheapseats.com: Reasoned Discussion of Cabarrus County, NC News & Politics

I agree, which is why

Government should be in the business of governing - not wide-eyed social engineering.

I made a comment on another thread on the dangers of such.

But there's a vast distance between inequality and social engineering, and we should not disdain attempts at progress there. As long as barriers to success exist for some and not others there is work to be done, yes?

Tax them all said the King! I have a massive Court to maintain!

A healthy economy
is achieved by taxing the people who actually create the wealth?* Capitalist Pig Justin

Really? You had no Income Tax in this country for 145 years and suddenly it is the paradise of humanity? You appear to be from the fascist wing of the Lord Maynard Keyes London School of econmics that believe in massive government and private debt spending.

Randomness Rules

The title of a book by Leonard Mlodinow, physicist and author of "The Drunkard's Walk: How Randomness Rules our Lives."

Kai Ryssdal: This is gonna come as a shock to all the type A personalities out there, but all that control you think you have over your lives? Yeah, not so much.

You can analyze and plan all you want and maybe you can nibble away at the margins of whether your investments will win or lose or whether you'll get the promotion you think you so richly deserve, but a new book from Caltech physicist Leonard Mlodinow says many things come down to a disturbing degree of chance.

listen to npr here

Nobody knows what tomorrow will bring. I daresay there are many people sleeping in cars tonight who never dreamed they would be.

Progressive Democrats of North Carolina

Absolutely right

From my forthcoming novel, Jesus Swept:

Liz stretches out on her side of the bed, leaving an open space for her missing man. She’s talking on the phone to Faye in Richmond. “I guess I feel like I’m not in control anymore,” she says.

“You want to know what I think?” asks Faye.

“You’re going to tell me anyway.”

“Well, for starters, of course you’re not in control. Which makes you exactly like every other human being alive on this planet. We live. We die. And in between we have so little control it hardly matters. Shoot, we can’t even control what we think.”

“You don’t have to be mean about it.”

“I’m not trying to be mean, just clear.”

“Oh, that’s clear enough,” says Liz. “We live and then we die. Boy oh boy. What fun.”

“And along the way, we try like hell to sustain the illusion of control.”

“That’s ridiculous.”

“You’d never say you’re in complete control of everything, right?”


“Well, if you’re not in complete control, then you’re not in control at all. It’s like pregnant. You either are or you aren’t.”