We're Done with Greed...

I have read an article in Reader's Digest about some ways of how to channel our outrage with the government. The article basically is about how the leaders in America have let it people down.. The article contains ways on which people could use there voice in other countries, to fight for their rights or to let the government know about them.

I think the ways Michael Crowley wrote in Reader's Digest could also be used by people in other countries to make their voices be hear.

The only way to get your country back on its feet for regular folks to speak up.

Here are five ways to channel your outrage.

1. Speak up.
  • When ordinary citizens don't use their voices, special interest groups and their expensive lobbyists fill the void. That means we all have an urgent obligation to follow how our members of Congress are voting and let them know how we feel about it. Sure, the sausage making in Washington can sometimes be hard to understand. But technology is making it easier than ever to decipher and monitor the machinations of the backroom deal cutters and help keep them honest.
  • One website, congress.org, lets you sign up for updates on how your representatives and senators have voted and what key votes are coming up. It also offers ready-made forms you can use to e-mail them your opinion.
  • The nonprofit Sunlight Foundation posts the text of major bills, like the stimulus plan, as well as information on special interest contributions and a map of where congressional earmarks go.
  • But you can go further than this. Why not talk directly to your representatives in Congress? Most hold regular open meetings with constituents and allow time for you to ask questions and raise concerns. Call your representatives and senators and ask when the next one is scheduled, then go speak your mind to someone with true power.

2. Fight the spin—fact-check.
  • Get ready for masses of misinformation to fill the airwaves. Our country is weighing major changes in a number of areas, ranging from health care to energy policy. Special interests have billions of dollars at stake, and many of these issues are the subject of fierce political infighting.
  • Expect everyone from partisan loudmouths to well-funded lobbyists to dominate the discourse in the media and to shell out millions to bend public opinion to their will.
  • Be wary of pundits—on the right and the left—who act like they have all the answers. Be especially skeptical of advertising that doesn't make clear who's paying for it and what their larger agenda might be. If you see a tough ad about legislation on television, use Google as a weapon: See what key facts might have been left out and then decide for yourself. We can't afford to be passive anymore.

3. Be a watchdog.
  • Don't just let the politicians know how you feel. Tell them what you're seeing.
  • Washington recently passed a $787 billion stimulus bill, which offers unprecedented opportunities for waste, fraud, and abuse. The Obama administration has pledged to be the most transparent in history, so look to see if it follows through. Keep an eye on recovery.gov, the official website for information on the stimulus bill. Citizens Against Government Waste tracks abuses and is a tough critic of government spending. And monitor local news sources to see how the money is being spent.
  • If something looks wasteful to you, contact your elected officials or watchdog groups like the Project on Government Oversight, which specializes in monitoring federal contractors. You can even keep up with the work of the special oversight panel Congress has created to monitor the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP), the $700 billion financial industry bailout it passed last October. The panel's website, cop.senate.gov, lists its reports and public hearings and features a page where regular Americans hit by the financial crisis can tell their stories. If Washington knows millions of eyes are watching our money, it's much less likely to get wasted.

4. Keep it local.
  • Although the massive stimulus bill originated in Washington, hundreds of billions of dollars in stimulus spending will be handled by state and local governments, far from the eyes of the White House and Congress. As readers of this column know, statehouses and local government bodies are often rife with corruption. We can't afford to let a few favored contractors get sweet deals or stand by as dollars are wasted on stupid pet projects that don't create jobs.
  • Fortunately, it's easier to have an impact on the local level. So contact your state legislator and ask how your tax money is being used and what he or she is doing to ensure that big-business excesses aren't repeated in your home state.

5. Join with others.
  • A group of concerned citizens can have more power than one voice. Even a dozen people calling or, better yet, visiting the local office of a congressman or a city council member to discuss a specific issue can make a big impression. If you care about an issue, start a group on Facebook and invite others to join, swap news and tips, hold events, and take specific action.
  • It's not just politicians who will take notice of a committed group of concerned citizens. You can get the attention of corporations. One way is to check in with the some organization, which can connect you with state and local groups that are working on issues—electricity prices, hidden credit card fees—that hit home for you and your neighbors.
  • There's no silver bullet. But the only way to get your country on its feet without compounding our problems is for regular folks to speak up, get involved, and make it clear that we won't stand for the culture of greed anymore.
Keeping Them Honest

Wost the website that magazine gave is for USA...If you lived from another country, and you want to channel your outrage on your dislike about the government in your area, follow the 5 ways, and look for some organizations / groups that will help you know more about how your country performs, may be it through the passed laws, bills, and etc...Don't just know what's happening in your country, make yourself part of it by action.
From Reader's Digest - June 2009
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