On Saturday, thousands of people will converge on Washington to proclaim we are One Nation Working Together "for jobs, justice and education for all." There are lots of groups involved -- and lots of organized constituencies: labor, civil rights, immigrants, progressive activists, LGBT people and the list goes on. Probably the broadest statement on the event website reads:
With the economy still in the tank, jobs miserably scarce, and one and half faraway wars dragging on, too often we are told we can't have the changes we voted for.
On Wednesday, a hearing before the House Veterans' Affairs Committee laid out all too clearly one of the obstacles to getting what we have worked for (or even to balancing the federal budget if that's your worry.) The United States has a long term moral and practical obligation to the women and men who have served in our current military adventures. And the cost of giving our veterans the care they deserve will be enormous.
Two economists, Nobel laureate Joseph Stiglitz and Linda Bilmes of Harvard University, testified.
The economists urged Congress to realize that, costly as the wars appear now, the ultimate costs over the lifetime of their veterans will continue to rise. Stiglitz has previously calculated that
I hope all those people on the mall on Saturday understand this. We can't undo the injuries and traumas that our senseless wars have already inflicted or escape the costs whose burden we assumed when we dispatched some of our people into harm's way. But we can stop further bleeding. If we want jobs, good education for all, increased justice at home, we will have to stop fighting unnecessary wars. And we will have to get that across to the politicians.
One Nation Working Together has a "peace table, a set of groups and shared aspirations that focus on peace.
One Nation Working Together aims to hold together through the November elections -- but more importantly, beyond the elections. The coalition website proclaims
We can only do that if we stop making wars around the world.