Big business, the banks and the super rich are being increasingly relieved of paying taxes. The resulting deficits in state budgets, exacerbated by the hundreds of billions awarded to the banks in government rescue packages, are now being addressed through a combination of increased consumption taxes, which fall most heavily on the working class, and savage cuts in social programs and public sector jobs and wages.
We’ve lived so long under the spell of hierarchy—from god-kings to feudal lords to party bosses—that only recently have we awakened to see not only that “regular” citizens have the capacity for self-governance, but that without their engagement our huge global crises cannot be addressed. The changes needed for human society simply to survive, let alone thrive, are so profound that the only way we will move toward them is if we ourselves, regular citizens, feel meaningful ownership of solutions through direct engagement. Our problems are too big, interrelated, and pervasive to yield to directives from on high.
—Frances Moore Lappé, excerpt from Time for Progressives to Grow Up