Though we are the oldest self-proclaimed democracy we lack the basics of real self-government: access to the polls for many citizens, accountability to the voters from politicians, competition among candidates to discern the people’s will, and real options for those who feel their voices aren’t being heard.
This is all fixable – if we are willing to acknowledge what is true, learn from others, and make real change. I stand with those who describe our country as “an evolving experiment in democracy.”
Nor do we have to give up being a capitalist economy – but, we can make changes that will enable our democracy to be more representative and our capitalism to serve the workers as well as the corporations.
Democracy and capitalism have worked effectively in other countries – most especially in Norway, as reported by Ann Jones in the latest issue of The Nation.
Norway has a commitment to both equality and democracy believing that “you can’t have one without the other.” It is a parliamentary democracy where power flows from the top down; though “Norway celebrates society whereas in the United States we celebrate the individual.” (The Nation)
In Norway capitalism serves the people. Negotiations between trade unions and the Confederation of Norwegian Enterprise determine the wages and working conditions of most capitalist enterprises so that income disparity is minimized.