Reform is for those with connections. Revolution is for The People.
- Malcolm X
Societal reforms in America have historically amounted to the reorganization of power and wealth, never to the benefit of the working class – the creators of said power and wealth. Hence Malcolm’s sentiment. And as I agree with the Brother Minister, I also appreciate the beautiful efforts of those proletarians working to reform different facets of the current paradigm, helping to ease the pain and suffering of society’s most vulnerable. However, I’m hearing too many cheers – from working class people no less – for the new law reforming health insurance in history’s richest nation.
I can understand why the capitalists are thrilled. The Patient Protection and Affordable Healthcare Act guarantees that insurance corporations will make more profits from American sickness than ever before. Which means workers will continue to be exploited; thus is the historical pattern of “reform” in these United States.
Though even when reform yields tangible gains, they are usually short-lived as said gains are easily reversible. Only by way of militant, revolutionary action has the proletariat experienced sustained improvement in our daily lives. That having been said – here’s my suggestion for a worthwhile reform.
Instead of healthcare.gov, we setup a different website – one that allows the tax payers to manage the wealth that is stolen from every one of our paychecks. Through this site – let’s call it TaxDollars.gov – the citizenry will have the opportunity to decide directly how their tax dollars are spent. Following the same format for managing one’s 401K, the tax payer would designate for which endeavors their money is allocated. For example – sixty percent, thirty percent and ten percent of one’s taxes could be directly allotted for clean energy, education and healthcare, respectively. Local, state and national priorities would be established in a more horizontal, decentralized way than this nation has ever seen.
We often hear figures, percentages and costs thrown around by politicians and pundits. More than 80% of Americans against the occupation of Afghanistan. Only one in five Americans believe the War on Drugs has been worth the costs. Billions spent killing working class people abroad while millions of proletarians languish at home. With a tool such as TaxDollars.gov, people will finally be able to directly decide how these issues are rectified. Many agree that things such as corporate subsidies and bailouts should be replaced by investments in jobs, education and infrastructure. The problem, though, has been representation. The people (s)elected to represent the masses have never done so. TaxDollars.gov would allow the masses to “represent” ourselves. No need for politicians.
On the issue of healthcare in particular, this project can facilitate the reduction of trillions in military spending, redirecting those funds toward the Medicare-for-All, single-payer healthcare system we desperately need.
With the potential to empower the working masses, as well as further the cause of economic justice, an instrument such as TaxDollars.gov can also prove itself a significant stepping stone on this journey of liberation.