The following is a comment made within Facebook's walls that I want to share further.
At heart I am a socialist. I live in the USA but was raised in the UK. I firmly believe that it is our government's only obligation to protect its citizens, culture, and environment. To that end, education should always be available to all. Health care should be available to all. A functioning natural environment should be available to all. A robust and varied culture should be available to all. Everything else is a means to these ends.
But this is not the country we live in. Since the 1970's we have had a government ever more focused on "job creation". And this has been expressed time and time again as enabling corporate growth and capital gains growth. We have have 40 years of this messaging. That is 2 generations. The message is firmly planted in the citizen's psyche. The problem is that this is a lie. And worse, a bold faced lie if you just open your eyes and look beyond our territorial boarders. We are a insular people.
Since the height of US world dominance in the 1950s the US population has doubled. We had 150M citizens then and now we have 300M. Our focus has also changed from local solutions/problems to national solutions/problems. (We do, after all, have a national, homogenizing media.) A solution for 300M people is more than twice as difficult than one for 150M people. And, generally, whatever the solution is it is likely wrong. As Henry David Thoreau (kind'a) said "why do I care about the weather in Texas when I live in Rhode Island."
So, this is a long aside to my belief that we should not focus on solving our local problem at the national level. We can solve them locally for RI. There is no reason why RI can not have universal health care. There is no reason why RI can not have free higher education. There is no reason why RI can not give economic aid. RI has to make sure that this is all accumulated in an equitable way to past, present, and future citizens. But I feel this can be done.
To do it, however, we have to take action.