The national acceleration of economic inequity generates local consequences seen all around us.

Our neighbors suffer from the squeezing of their financial resources from income loss and stagnation or lose as employers shift ever larger percentages of health care premiums onto workers. Many are concerned that their children are being bequeathed a future with less opportunity.

The governor’s attempt to cut basic assistance to vulnerable elderly and disabled citizens is an example of local consequences. Radicals, like LePage, rise during economic turbulence with reactive answers appealing to some, appalling to many, but offering no genuine solutions to disparity.

The crashing of our national financial system by corporate interests and accelerating wealth concentration drives inequality that causes local economic stress.

Addressing national economic woes is vital, but unease about effective actions plagues us as we see corporations purchasing our government and intransigence driven by elected officials beholden to wealth.

We need to engage with national politics, but there are local actions we can take to help overcome inequality.

A notable model for change comes from the local food movement. Banking with local banks and credit unions is an advantageous measure. Shopping with bias toward local products and local farm-produced foods has positive local economic effects.

Using local services contributes to more local economic self-reliance. Consuming less imported fuel through conservation and walking and biking when reasonable has impact. We also must participate in community and state issues to push back against local disparity.

Economic inequality needs to be attacked through national political engagement and local economic engagement. The challenge to change our government’s direction back toward serving all people and not just those connected with wealth is significant. But over time, building a local fairness foundation can help reset the national stage for needed fundamental changes.

Bruce Bourgoine

Readfield


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