While international negotiations and the White House continue to dither on ratifying an internationally binding climate treaty, at the international, the state and regional level, plans for solutions that move beyond the gridlock are already afoot.
Many of us, living in the U.S., have been gradually waking up to the fact that this self-advertising shambhala of prosperity is an economic sham, a pseudo-meritocracy where, as Joseph Stiglitz astutely points out, economic inequality equals political inequality.
We define "Creation Nation" as a country in which the private and public sector collaborate to develop and commercialize innovative products and services that create businesses or business opportunities that grow the economy and generate good-paying, value-added jobs.
The truth is that, as every Republican president in the modern era has acknowledged de facto, when times are tough, it's better for the government to engage in deficit spending than to choke off a recovery.
Its most graphic evidence is how much of our productivity surge has not been returned to those who created such wealth since the 1970s. That was when the philosophy of "government is the problem" took hold. A coincidence? Hardly.
The so-called "rags to riches" stories remain popular in the American imagination because they mesh well with other cherished aspects of our national identity. If these ideals were ever true, however, in 2012 they must be recognized as myths.
Will the Democrats speak for the people? Will they fill Clint Eastwood's empty chair with human beings of passion and dedication? Or will they pursue a false "centrism," cheating the country of the debate it so desperately needs?
Wealth inequality is bad for democracy, bad for our future as a nation, and bad for our ability to solve serious problems on national and international levels. Democracy works best when we have strong institutions of civil society and when all stakeholders are involved in decisions.