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October 29, 2008

Thoughts on Moments of Change

This is a non-partisan blog, but that having been said, I think that come Wednesday the poverty law community might be in a situation somewhat analogous to the change in administration period between Bush Sr. and Clinton.  A wonderful article from that period captures this very well.  The article: Fran Ansley, Standing Rusty and Rolling Empty: Law, Poverty, and America's Eroding Industrial Base, 81 Geo. L.J. 1757 (1993).  Below are some excerpts that resonate strongly today (or at least perhaps by Wednesday):

"This is an important moment for anti-poverty advocates.  There are economic changes at work that threaten to exacerbate and entrench disparities that are already a disturbingly salient feature of American society. . . . The advent of a new administration in Washington, while holding out the hope of a welcome end to much that was brutal and wrong-headed in our recent national economic policy, is hardly the end of the story. . . . A strategy that used the power of the executive to give traditionally unrepresented groups an effective voice would greatly increase the executive's available options.  The nation's new leadership currently faces a set of exceedingly difficult constraints imposed by global competition, the world-wide recession, and the crippling debt burden inherited from the Reagan-Bush years, all situated in an impoverished political landscape dominated overwhelmingly by corporate interests.  The new administration does not have the tools to change that landscape alone if it wanted to, but a number of concrete steps that are within its power could help to unleash a popular energy and motion that could move toward real democratic change.  The question is whether the Administration will have the courage and the vision to follow such a strategy." 

For a decidedly partisan election related video that is great to send to friends, click here (this version attacks me but it can be customized). 

-E.R. erosser@wcl.american.edu

October 29, 2008 in Current Affairs | Permalink

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