A Time for Action and a Time to Lead: Democratic Capitalism and a New “New Deal” for the US and the World in the Twenty-first Century
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Starting on September 11, 2001 and following both actions and reactions around the world, it may well be that we have arrived at a major tipping point in terms of socioeconomic development, political reform, as well as many other global issues—from financial and economic coordination to climate change as well as hunger and disease challenges in the developing world. Proper, coordinated, and sustained action and leadership on the part of the developed rich countries may indeed allow the world to move toward peace and prosperity through meaningful and effective change. Lack thereof may indeed result into an apocalyptic nightmare whether through short-term financial defaults not only of firms (such as banks) but also of countries (such as Iceland) or long-term global catastrophes such as global warming and other environmental disasters. The window of opportunity will not be open for long, so leaders and citizens of goodwill from all continents and countries need to get beyond narrow self-interests and overcome failures of courage and/or imagination to envision and architect a better tomorrow for all. The key realization that leaders in politics, the economy, society, and science need to endorse and make it the conscience and mantra of us all as citizens and economic agents is the systemic interconnectedness of the world. Therefore, to address challenge and opportunity today, sectors of priority where sustained action and inspired democratic leadership are needed and must be empowered by both top-down policies as well as bottom-up, grass-roots initiatives and intelligent use of technology are as follows: (1) financial/economic system, (2) environmental challenges, (3) feed and heal the world challenges, (4) energy challenges, (5) educational challenges, (6) political democratic reform across the world, (7) transformative government across the world, (8) equity and security across the world, (9) technology innovation and entrepreneurship as drivers of knowledge-based societies. These challenges are themselves logically and systemically interlinked in many and complex ways.