We all know that our country is bleeding to death and going down the toilet. Nearly all of our jobs have gone overseas, and continue to go, with no end in sight. Our trade deficit with China was $250 billion dollars last year, and will get worse in future years. Property taxes continue to increase on middle-class homeowners, while property values continue to decline. Health insurance costs are out of sight, and the price of gas is now $4 per gallon and may soon approach $5 per gallon. Our roads and infrastructure are in pitiful shape. And our cities resemble those of third world countries.
Is there anything we can do to fix our American economy and create jobs? Yes, there is. In fact, there is quite a bit that we can do. Fixing our economy is not rocket science. We are not splitting the atom here. And the Barefoot Accountant presents herein his nineteen steps on how we can salvage our economy and middle class America.
- We need to undo at least thirty years (if not 50 years) of a tax policy that has been instrumental in the greatest transfer of wealth in human history. We need to raise the highest marginal tax rates on individuals; that is, the wealthy need to pay more taxes. The upper 10% of our citizens own 90% of our country’s wealth. So they should pay more in terms of maintenance fees. They are the primary beneficiaries of our country. A recent poll indicated that 72% of Americans are in favor of raising taxes on the rich, including 54% of the Republicans. This would provide the financial resources to the government to undertake bold fiscal policies and eliminate deficit spending. Of course, the estate tax needs to be raised back up to 55% from 35%, and the exclusion of property from estate taxation reduced to $1 million from as much as $10 million.
- We need to eliminate the 15% capital gains tax rate on stock and bond sales, and subject them to ordinary income tax rates, while restricting the capital gains tax rate to investments in physical capital assets, from which real jobs would be created since this would induce more real investment and less speculation.
- We need to uncap the limit on social security taxes. Presently those individuals earning more than $106,800 annually do not have social security taxes assessed on any income exceeding that threshold: that’s a 12.4% tax break on the wealthy, a tax break you do not get. Here’s a simple solution to the funding of social security without raising the retirement age to 69 years of age, when most of us will be almost dead anyway, if not already worm’s meat.
- We need to break up those mammoth multinationals controlling our economy. Capitalism requires a free marketplace; however, with the concentrated power possessed by these conglomerates, competition and a free marketplace have been smothered, if not entirely suffocated already. President Theodore Roosevelt knew that when the Sherman Antitrust Act was passed in order to break up the monopolies and oligarchies of the robber barons. Well, the robber barons have returned but the Sherman Antitrust Act has departed long ago. What is the difference between a totalitarian government state and a corporate state? Or do we now simply have a government shell providing cover for a corporate state?
- We need to get ALL money out of politics. Allow no campaign financing. Period. Our congresspeople and presidents are now “employees” of these multinational corporations since they need to raise millions and millions of dollars to run for office every other year.
- We have to revamp our trade policies. How can American employees compete with Chinese laborers paid $.25/hour, without any employee benefits, including over-time pay? Let’s have free trade as long as it’s fair trade. Level the playing field so that we can compete fairly.
- We can no longer afford to spend 20% of our budget on defense and billions of dollars on needless wars throughout the world. We are financing nearly one-half of the total world’s expenditures on defense and the military. Why? We are not being paid as an international police force by other countries. Let Exxonmobil, GE, and other multinationals pay for the protection of their investments and properties in hostile lands. And when we spend $1.5 trillion dollars on liberating the peoples of a country, do we ask those people to contribute to the cost of their own liberation? Not a chance: we pass the entire cost onto Americans, and primarily middle class America! Whatever happened to that assurance by President George W. Bush that the Iraqi oil would pay for cost of the Iraqi war, which will end up costing $1.5 trillion? The Iraqis got their liberation from a tyrant, new roads, new schools, new hospitals, new government buildings, prisons, etc.–many of which (approximately 1,500) will never be utilized–and the American middle class got stuck with the tab. What a great country…if you happen to be rich and own stock in Haliburton and other defense contractors.
- We need a single-payer healthcare system allowing control of costs. Every year medical costs increase 15% to 20% on average. Pharmaceuticals, insurance companies, medical service providers, and others are raping the American taxpayer.
- We need to control all immigration, not just illegal immigration. Institute huge fines and penalties on employers hiring illegals. Limit social benefits to aliens. Temporarily halt all immigration until unemployment decreases significantly. We have too many individuals unemployed here in America. Ask yourself where will immigrants find work? Will they take jobs from those presently unemployed and desperately looking for work, or, equally as worse, from those currently employed??? Mexico has a more stringent immigration policy than the United States. Go figure.
- We need to tax all corporations, including those with fictitious corporate offices on the 19th floor of a building on the Cayman Islands. Make all corporations, domestic or foreign, pay taxes on income.
- We need to award government contracts only to businesses employing American workers and buying American materials when available for purchase in this country.
- We need to create jobs for every American desiring employment. With real unemployment approaching 20%, we are wasting our most valuable resource: the human resource. Jobs not only contribute to our country’s GDP, but would provide the much needed discretionary income to stimulate our economy through consumer spending. In addition, a job is the best social program, providing training and a sense of dignity to workers, as well as benefits. We need to create these jobs now: that might mean a CETA or WPA program or whatever it would take to attain full employment as soon as possible.
- We need to tax all not-for-profit organizations, including Churches. Some of these organizations have amassed huge swaths of real estate and wealth. All benefit from being here in America; consequently, all need to contribute for these benefits and liberties. No exceptions.
- We need to legalize all drugs and victimless crimes. We are wasting valuable resources criminalizing behavior that would be better spent on education, medical care, and rehabilitation programs.
- We need to invest in new alternative energies. In 1973 we knew there was an oil problem, so what have we done about it over the forty years since then? Do you see any solar heating or fuel cells in the consumer marketplace? Why are battery cars just coming onto the market place at prices much higher than conventional automobiles? Wouldn’t this also address the greenhouse problem, too? In 2008, then-candidate Obama proposed $150 billion in federal funding for green technology, $15 billion a year for 10 years. Under budget pressures, the president pared the federal commitment to $10 billion a year in 2010. In the 2012 budget? Even less — maybe only $2 billion to $3 billion — will be spent after budget cutting negotiations for the Energy Department, Transportation Department, Pentagon, Agriculture Department, National Science Foundation, Environmental Protection Agency and others. We needed a new energy alternative forty years ago! Think of all of the new jobs that would be created by a significant investment in green technology.
- We need to stop providing tax subsidies to multinational corporations. The oil companies–the richest companies in the world and those experiencing huge increases in profitability this year–receive billions of dollars of your money every year in the form of tax credits. You pay more taxes than they do!
- We need to stop giving billions of dollars of your money from the Federal Reserve to banks like Bank of America and J P Morgan so that they can use those monies to buy treasury bills and earn 3% interest on our money by lending it back to us, instead of loaning out these monies to consumers and small businesses, so that they can pay their mortgages and keep their homes, and operate their businesses and meet payroll.
- We need to provide the availability of advanced education to all qualified and serious students. A competitive marketplace requires evolutionary advances in science and technology. Tomorrow’s economy depends on today’s research.
- We need to end the present system of collective bargaining of separate and multiple unions, including those of governmental employees. Municipalities and states are on the verge of bankruptcy and can no longer be held hostage to the self interests of any one group, including governmental employees. In its place for all working Americans we need a national department of labor or national union whose officers are elected directly by all of the working citizens of America. By having one labor voice directly accountable to its citizens, all Americans would be represented. Moreover, the American workers voice would be louder and more powerful. Under the present system of multiple unions, the American workers are divided and are pited economically against one another by the powers that be.
There are many other reforms that could be implemented to fix our American economy and create jobs. The list above was never intended to be complete and final. It awaits your invaluable insights and involvement. So please feel free to add your fixes. I need to get back to work and earn a living now.
For the solution No. 5, there is no way that Chinese laborers are paid at $.25/hour. As far as I know at least $1.25/hour. This was the rate paid for working at McDonalds in China several years ago.
Thank you, Emily, for contributing your information. I was informed some months ago that in Cambodia, some workers are working for 22.5 cents per hour.
Pingback: How to fix our American economy and create jobs: a 14 point progressive program | Connecticut Politics
thank you.. I love it . we need more voters to see this
I’m just a regular American definitely not Rich and to Proud to take food stamps but I follow all this and Politics and think I have a strong sense of what is right and wrong. So that being said I would love to comment on your plan and offer some ideas.
Point 1 You say to raise Taxes on the top 10% but to what? Obama wants to raise Taxes on anyone earning more then $250K if he hasn’t lowered that again, I say that is still to low a starting point and can hurt the middle class 250K is not a lot these days and the tax should be progressive, so move the benchmark to $500K and raise their Taxes 5% over what they are now, anyone making over a million raise their Taxes by 8% anyone making over 3 mill. 12% anyone making over 5 mill 18% anyone making over 10mill. 25% of what it is now and for every million after10mill earned raise it .33% with a cap not to exceed a total tax of 65% of earned income. and not forever either it is our right to earn money and keep it this should be for a set amount of time with all intentions of ridding our debts and making our country sound financially again so rate can be lowered it is not for congress to give out money to other countries cowboy poets or making cocaine addicts out of monkeys. Oh and Estate Taxes should be eliminated that is something that has killed and is killing whats left of the independent farmer and by chance that I in my lifetime make it Rich I was already taxed. Let me give my money I earned over my lifetime to whomever I want, I already paid enough TAX on it. Its a way of helping build wealth for the citizen and shouldn’t be taken by the government.
Point 2 would that count on houses as well?
Point 3 Raise it to a higher $ amount say $500K after which they are burdened with a higher tax rate anyway
Point 4 Agreed we are getting shafted by everyone
Point 5 I think that will never happen. However the government just saw to it that charitable donations are now taxed. That being the case Political donations must and should be taxed. All Political donations should be taxed 35%. Considering Obama himself this year is supposed to raise a BILLION dollars to try and get re-elected that would put $350 million dollars into the coffers. Also NO MONIES should be accepted from any foreign corporation or national by any means and if it is found out that it has been accepted a fine totaling 10X the amount should be levied against the politician that accepts it. Some might say that it infringes on there free speech I say they should be happy we allow them to Profit over here and that’s it.
Point 6 agreed
Point 7 They have proposed cuts to our military and any more would be ludicrous we must remain up to date and ready for all situations. As far as the Bush thing I can play you tapes of Clinton and Kerry saying Saddam had weapons of Mass destruction as well and really despise what the democrats did with all that they should have stood by there vote and been united with the American People who at the time there were 85% that thought Iraq was the right thing to do. There constant chorus of how bad it all was going emboldened our enemies, but without getting off subject to much agreed get them all home and countries that want our forces there to help maintain peace and stability need to cough up some dough Like S.Korea.
Point 8 No way! no single payer open up insurance to sell between states like car insurance and get rid of all these rules. We have the best Health care in the world that people all over come to get because there own country sucks and that includes places like Canada England France etc. We should enact Tort reform and discuss other options. You look at the mess Government has gotten us in with all this debt and you want to put them in charge of your health, that’s just nuts!
Point 9 I have been saying for years the one thing we should import from Mexico is there laws regarding immigration exactly as it appears in there Constitution all of it. If your reading this and you dont know do some leg work and find it read it and contact your representative to enact it. And no amnesty! We did that under Reagan with a Promise from Congress to enact laws to stop illegal immigration. Yeah right.
Point 10 11 and 12 Agreed
Point 13 Agreed and since most businesses fail within the first 4 years it would be in Governments interest to help them survive, and in the interest of getting people back to work make corporate payroll taxes exempt. This would be a tax break for them but it would also be a boost for business and that’s what we need.
Point 14 If you want to make drugs legal fine but then use at your own risk and eliminate all rehabilitation programs from any government funding and if you want it in insurance PAY for it yourself. If you commit a crime on Drugs whatever the sentence is normally double it. Be responsible.
Point 15 Our energy policy should be to use everything and STOP investing in FOREIGN companies. How is it our Government under this President is stopping off shore drilling in the Gulf Of American Companies and investing Billions in PETROBRAS. China will be drilling closer to the U.S. then some of our own companies. Russia Is laying Claim to the Artic and sending armed forces there to gain the oil reserves below. All these other countries know our quest for alternative energy where everything runs on it is more likely 100 years away and they are grabbing up valuble resources. Lets exploit our own DRIL DRILL DRILL and then throw an environmentalist to the Polar bears to eat. It will do two things Bring down the price of OIL and feed the Polar Bears.
Point 16 Those oil companies pay a lot more taxes then all of us combined you want to go after someone Go After GENERAL ELECTRIC as they RECEIVED MONEY from the TAXPAYER with out paying and are sending JOBS to CHINA. Thanks Jeff Immelt, wait isn’t he on the Presidents Team for Helping get Jobs here in America?
Point 17 Agreed absolutely but thats how the Government gets its money it borrows so it can spend…..hhmmm CUT SPENDING
Point 18 I recently went back to college. Its worse then when I went. our whole Education system needs an overhaul. Thats a topic I could write on for a while I would though suggest a 2 yr stint in the military for all students after High school.
Point 19 Agreed collective bargaining should go a JFK dissaster allowing Government employees to unionize on top of that they have become a block that contributes to political campaigns and that should be outlawed. If a government employee wants to contribute let him but on his own dime. By having the union donate they can get in there own officials and thats the big hoodwink thats happened for years on the American Taxpayer.
Well Thank you William Brighenti for allowing me to comment and for presenting your own Ideas
One other idea regarding Social Security, Bush was right and it should be privatized where you can take a portion of that money and invest how you want in whatever accounts you want. Something that can be passed on when you die as well and NOT TAXED. This is a way for the wealth to go back to the people who EARNED it and their Families. This was a smart idea he just didn’t sell it right.
Sounds like people are waking up… Alot of what is said on this list, would only get done if we elect Ron Paul. Now, i voted for Obama in 08′, at first i was looking at voting for Ron but the republican douchebags ignored him, laughed at him, mocked him, and called him crazy, so he didn’t stand a chance. When that happened i started listening to Obama like most of America was. I believed in Obama’s change but for me it never came… So now that i have educated myself on matters of our history, and what’s really going on, Ron Paul is the only one honest enough, brave enough, and smart enough to challenge the status quo and everything it represents. Guys, it’s not about left or right, they are BOTH the same and more people need to become aware of that. I hear all the time now “Oh the people who dislike Obama are racist, or they are just saying this or saying that because he’s black”… People seriously need to stop playing the race card, it has nothing to do with anyone’s skin color, religion, etc. It’s like people have it in their minds already determined that anything and everything anyone says “Negatively” about Obama, is a racist… When all they are trying to do, is simply point out that no matter how much anyone thinks Obama is a man of the people, he has NOT challenged the status quo one bit. He hasn’t even been brave enough to step up and say “Get rid of the TSA already and let’s bring our damn troops home!”. I am 21 years old, and everyday i see more and more of the obvious clues that are right up under peoples noses, yet they don’t see it because their perspective has never changed, that’s what REALLY needs to happen. Please wake up America, the rabbit hole goes way way way deeper than anyone could have ever thought, and you would be shockingly surprised at what you would find out if only you would do your own research and educate yourselves, instead of leaving your education up to some idiot who get’s paid by the government to teach you outdated misinformation that works on the old system that is not compatible in today’s society. And also, if we want jobs in America so much, we need to legalize Industrial Hemp farming and production, and there ya go. Most people look at Hemp like a crazy idea, but idk… Being able to make all the fuel for our cars, the fibers for all our clothes, as well as paper and wood, and material to build cars and houses, all from this one plant aka Hemp. Now, idk about you… But if we as American’s really cared about Jobs, or the corruption in our government, and the big bankers and corporations and big pharma and their not allowing the 100’s of all out cancer cures we know about that happen to be natural herbs and flowers and such that they can’t make a profit from because they can’t patent a plant?… Then of course the majority of Americans will do just as i said and research for yourself and educate yourself, it’s the only way people are going to know what’s really going on.
Only get your news online from Alternative media, the Mainstream Media lies through their teeth and is nothing but constant bickering opposite of each other at CNN and FOX.
Thank you for your comment.
You are so right: both political parties, the Republicans and Democrats, have been representing Wall Street at the expense of the working classes in this country. The rich have gotten filthy richer, and the middle class is about to totally disappear. Scary, huh?
The Barefoot Accountant
We people will be only people regardless our power, wealth and education. I believe if the people control the incentives, congress will take of the people.
I thought the SS wage limit was that taxes were paid on anything up to that amount, not that that limit erased the need for paying on the first $106,800. I don’t know if that change affects your percentage calculation.
I edited it to make it clearer.
Yes, that’s correct: there are no social security taxes imposed on earnings exceeding $106,800. For instance, an average CEO for a S&P company earns $9,000,000 per year. Instead of the corporation and the CEO paying $1,488,000 in social security taxes on those wages, they only pay $13,243, representing a tax savings of $1,474,757 to them. Consequently, instead of paying 12.4% social security taxes on these wages, they only pay .89%. Imagine how much we can fund social security if everyone paid the same rate of social security tax.
How can you remove the contribution cap without removing the benefit cap as well? How would that be “fair?” The multimillionaires will only get SS checks based on the capped income. Do we want to start giving tycoons monthly SS checks for $25,000 or more because they paid the full 12% FICA? I say let’s get rid of the FICA payment altogether, and stop pretending we are paying for our individual annuities with our payroll deductions, when most of us don’t fund it, and we rely on lots of people dying before retirement and getting nothing back, unlike a real annuity which can go to a survivor. Say we leave disability and SSI as they are now administered, and just work on stabilising the retirement system. Just make it a tax-funded program of retirement assistance, which would require some increase in the federal rate, with fewer people in the zero bracket. We could then fix a benefit cap similar to the present one, indexed for inflation, with a partial means test. Anyone with income of, say 4 or 5 times the poverty level would get no more than an SSI recipient gets for a monthly check–have to give them something if we are taking a bigger bite of their large income to fund the rest of us. Between 2x and 4x the poverty level, bracket the monthly SS check down 80%, 50%, 25% or something like that. I don’t know what the income tax rate will need to be to acomplish this, but I think it might work better for everyone than what we have now. No more separate FICA deduction, no employer share, no double share for self-employed, just tax-supported retirement assistance.
That’s an alternative. And I know you will put money away for your own private retirement fund; however, many individuals will not, and we will end up paying for their entire care in old age.
Regarding benefit payments for the rich, if we raise the highest marginal tax rate to where it was before 1980, as we should, then we will be taxing and getting back much of those social security benefits anyway on the rich; and we can make the benefit payments decrease significantly for their higher income levels. The rich have had a tax holiday for decades. It’s payback time.
You are right on in your first sentence; and it happened within the time frame you mentioned.
The rest of point 1 is counter productive. Maybe you can convince me otherwise. Here is my reasoning. This country has been beating the mantra of tax the rich for as long as we have been redistributing wealth; I don’t believe the rich are not taxed enough. They have the means of not paying their share because congresses is part of that 10% rich you talk about. The old fox guarding the chicken house.
Next, you are correct in saying the rich are invested in this country, that is where my job came from. States have in the past done various things to invite business to their states, while Washington DC has done the opposite, maybe because it doesn’t have the same incentive as the states; it has the income tax.
So, I guess I am saying that everyone should be treated equally under the law and the tax code. We should eliminate the corruption in the tax code by eliminating loop holes exemptions or whatever has been used by nifty accountants to protect their lords, by not allowing congress to change the tax code. Or better eliminate the code by requiring a flat 10% for everyone. We have no problem believing the poor should not be panelized for being poor, so what is about the rich that makes it easy to panelize them for being rich, Envy?
To set the context, my annual income is $20,000 a year and I am a grandfather.
Thank you for your comment.
The rich own 95% of our country’s wealth. It is their country. We have a military defending their investments overseas. We have a government educating their work force.
I disagree that the rich should be taxed the same. In fact, the rich should be paying the majority of the tax since it is their government, their assets, their country. Soon we will not even own a home, have health insurance, social security, medicare, a pension.
This is class warfare, as Warren Buffett has said many times; and they are killing us. It’s time to fight back, not defend the rich.
Sorry, but I have seen what the tax code benefitting the rich has done to our country: it’s bankrupt our country.
Thanks again for sharing your opinion,
The Barefoot Accountant
Perhaps not well written but some more ideas
The functions of Government
(It may be that some of these ideas are poorly conceived or could have negative consequences. The point is not that it is right or wrong, good or bad, the real point is that all of these things need to be discussed and resolved or we are all going to be “S.O.L”). The idea that we will have another election in 2012 and we will be faced with all this time-worn outdated trivia that seems to attract such a mob of losers and crooks. We need someone to make hard decisions who can come up with a semi workable solution or should we all just brush up on our Chinese?
Background: At this juncture it is clear that the problem is not only with the President or with Congress or the Supreme Court. Each of these three pillars of the so called “checks and balances” government has failed to keep faith with the aspirations and hopes of the people. There are no checks and balances. Each of the three are working to support the rich at the expense of the poor. Instead they have become the spokesmen, spies and enforcers for the privileged class. The privileged class has thru the military industrial complex infiltrated and subverted the national level intelligence and security apparatus and has quietly taken over. Laws are not passed to ensure the “life, liberty and pursuit of happiness” of the common people, the 99.9%. Instead the entire government structure acts to protect and enlarge the fortunes of the .1% at the expense of the 99.9%. It is not a matter of left or right, conservative or liberal, free market or fair market, well to do or poor it is a matter of how we as the 99.9% want to live. The question has become are the 99.9% going to sit idly by while the .1% make life on this planet a living hell. So it is not a matter of a fix to the present system that has a proven track record of abject failure running along a right of way (some would say the wrong way) littered with wars of aggression and conquest spreading economic enslavement and divisive waste and pollution, threatening not only human life but life itself. Why has government become the protector of scam artists and ponzi schemes? Why have our news outlets and intelligence services been transformed into corporate propaganda mills?
What should we set out to do? It is perhaps time to ask “what is the proper function of a Government”?
Protect Citizen Rights to life, liberty and pursuit of happiness.
Ensure the sustainability of resources, national defense and the commons (air, forests, parks, water, energy).
We don’t need to fix the present system of government. We need a new system built from the ground up on a sustainable, humane and workable set of values and principles.
No provision is made for the protection of or favoring of any religion or belief system, no tax breaks for religion and no special status for religious law or custom. Complete separation of religion and government.
No human weather citizen or not should face discrimination because of race, religion, sexual orientation or disability including mental capacity.
Ensure competition and safe delivery of health and human services. Every human has the same basic human rights. Low cost quality health care is a fundamental responsibility of society and government. (Why do nations like Taiwan, Japan and South Korea have better health care systems than the US? Each of these countries had to rebuild itself after the devastation of World War II, yet their system provides more equitable health care than ours. The governments of each of these countries after WWII were not democratic by any stretch of the imagination. How did this happen?)
No patents on living things. No release of GMO organisms into the wild. Genetic research and development must be done in a controlled environment with adequate safeguards. No trans-genetic material is safe until proven safe.
Protect and maintain the common elements of society and the environment. These are the things that belong to all the people of the world.
Roads, schools, parks, communications and information systems, banking, food supply and air and water.
No special categories of humans (“illegal alien”, “Illegal combatant”, “enemy combatant”) may be used to deny a basic human right. No extra-constitutional or secret renditions, prisons or interrogations.
All communications infrastructure belongs to the commons. No corporation or cabal of individuals should have control over the means of communications. Communications and free speech are essential individual, human rights and must not be owned or dominated by government or private organizations. The role of media is to inform in a timely manner so that citizens can make informed judgments and cast votes to shape and implement public policy. The content of all media must be viewed not only on the basis of its intellectual, historical, or entertainment value but must also be evaluated on the basis of its propaganda value. As someone once said, “propaganda is not everything, but everything is propaganda.”
Government must solicit input from the citizenry not only on who works in government but the very priorities, goals and method of execution of laws. To do so requires citizen input. Government is a collective cooperative tool formed of the people, by the people and for the people (not just the rich individuals and cooperation’s).
Encourage a healthy economy by facilitating efficiency and competition thereby ensuring employment, safe working conditions, just wages and freedom of the people from the tyranny of big government and big corporations. All infrastructure should be the property of the people. All transmission bandwidth, roads, cable, wireless, water, sewer and waterways, air ports and routes and all other means of information transmission, transportation and regulation thereof become public property to be administered by the people through their vote. New infrastructure will be developed by the government on a service basis not a profit basis. A modern nation needs information flow to enable an informed electorate to vote for the common good.
The economy must serve the national interests and must be responsible for a clean environment, sustainable future and prosperous and informed citizenry. The economy is a vital segment of our national strength and steps should be taken to ensure that it is secure and free from manipulation. (Close down wall street gambling with other peoples money, naked short selling, bear raids, dark pools, credit default swaps, ponzi schemes or any artifice that does not involve a product (physical thing). A business that needs to borrow money to make a payrole should not exist.
Banks should be community operated cooperatives baised on community values not wall street greed. All transactions must be traceable and open.
Insurance should be community sponsored and closely monitored by citizen appointed regulators.
Items not suitable for sale in the United States shall not be exported to other countries.
Function over fashion. All manufacturers must offer generic products. (E.G., car maker x can offer fassion car a, b and c, but it must offer a generic no frills car that has standard, tires, headlights, engine, transmission etc. ) Not just medications, cars, televisions, computers, rugs, beds, foods. The role of government is to standardize the essential elements of things used by citizens. Headlights should all fit all vehicles, etc. Citizen / consumers should have the right to efficient low cost products that meet practical needs.
Education should emphasize creativity and cooperation among citizens. Public funds, student loans may not be used to prop up diploma mills and create a class of economic slaves.
All product advertisements presented to the public become public property and are to be archived by the FCC. These ads will be made available online to all citizens, free of charge. Citizens have a right to know what is in these advertisements and a duty to hold the companies and products accountable for quality, reliability and safety.
Copyrights for music, video, motion pictures, poetry and literature shall be granted for 3 years after which they are public property. An archive copy of all works will be made publicly available to allow the public free of cost to assess the content for analysis of advertising or propaganda. No organization or individual may hide behind patent or copyright law to exercise influence over society in general or members or evade responsibility for misrepresentations, or hide psychological coercion of members or society at large.
Any organization that solicits or collects goods, money or services from its members shall be classed as a business and taxed accordingly. Tax schedules shall be graduated by a sliding scale based on the perceived public good performed by that business. Thus a large holding company that contributed no value added to the aggregate of its sub components could be taxed at a proportion inverse to its value to the common good, while a larger corporation that filled a valid social need, the same inverse proportion rate.
All media outlets must provide free time for rebuttal to any advertisement, movie, poem, song or other public display or presentation of any material. Art is essential to a full life but all art has a component of propaganda that must be examined for its utility to society.
Financial transactions that do not involve the production of goods yet involve risk will be taxed as gambling. (The intent here is to severely restrict and regulate Wall Street.) Insurance may be provided for tangible, physical assets but not for intangibles or pure “investment”. Insurance may not be used to back up gambling. Insurance can only be issued to someone with ownership of the item being insured and only once.
Ensure that our laws do not encourage the creation of predatory groups. Behaviors that encourage only the accumulation of wealth and resources at the expense of others should be officially discouraged. Government should intelligently address victimless crimes and actively monitor and discourage the formation of predatory cabals and corporate entities that work to despoil the environment and enslave the people. Reign in Wall Street.
Legalize Drugs and prostitution. Prohibition was a smoke screen to create the income tax. The rich mobilized one segment of the underclass (largely females) and enticed them into believing that prohibition was the “cure” for their plight. At the same time revenues lost on the sale of alcohol necessitated an income tax which was “enacted” without ratification. Additionally prohibition encouraged the creation and proliferation of a criminal industry which in turn subverted our national police and intelligence apparatus.
Re open investigations into JFK assassination, Robert Kennedy Assassination, MLK assassination, 911, Iraq War, and roles of Saudi Arabia, Israeli and Pakistan in 911. Investigate election tampering by the supreme court. Dig deep and fix the problems discovered. Completely re work all Intelligence and Security organizations to re-structure, re-direct and re-envigorate them to work against not for the enemies of humanity.
Each and every word, phrase, sentence, paragraph of the constitution and all amendments should be publicly discussed and voted up or down by the population at large. Moreover the ratification process for all amendments should be examined to determine if amendments were properly ratified if not they are null and void. (This would put income tax and the Federal Reserve System out of business restoring the governments’ role in tax matters and in the management of the creation of money.) If this is too cumbersome a constitutional crisis committee should be formed, vetted and begin the process of developing a new constitution.
Original intent must be spelled out clearly in any new laws enacted, and for each sentence, phrase and paragraph of the existing / new constitution. Why force the supreme court guess when we can nail it down. Without stating intent we enable greed and corruption.
U.S. Human rights and laws apply to all people, not just US Citizens. (No torture, no invasions, no “errand boys for the rich”, (remember Smedley Darlington Butler (July 30, 1881 – June 21, 1940).)
All aspects of the US Government and the functions of media, intelligence, information, military and police must be periodically audited by the people. No more secret government. All government employees of military, police, executive, legislative judiciary, and intelligence are prohibited from any kind of direct or indirect investment or sharing of any insider information. Transparency in government is necessary if citizens are to make informed decisions.
The functions of government to regulate, inspect, enforce, defend, police and punish may not be contracted out.
The right of the people to bear arms collect facts, and monitor the performance of elected officials and public employees shall not be infringed. Clarify the language so that this is absolutely clear. Information, cameras, recordings are also weapons in the hands of an informed citizenry, perhaps more important that weapons of violence as access to information can prevent the abuse that makes violence necessary. (A vigilant, and aggressive news gathering system in which all aspects of governance, commerce, culture and religion are open to public inspection comment and censure is essential to a real value based society.) All aspects of government, police, military, intelligence are open to public review. Government employees who feel that they are being asked to perform illegal or immoral tasks must report such actions or face criminal penalties commensurate for the damage or costs of those illegal or immoral tasks.
No infiltration or use of job or religion or voluntary or professional organization may be used as cover for government agencies, private propaganda or intelligence collection. Explicitly spell out the rights and duties of citizens to monitor, record, film, videotape public officials in the performance of their duties.
All police interrogations of suspects must be video taped and witnessed by independent observers. Omissions of even the slightest time or questions will invalidate the investigation and perjure the prosecution.
All investigative files must be made public within 10 days of their creation. All accusations of improper acts by public officials must be made public within 15 days of their reporting. Public officials at all levels must report misconduct committed by public officials or face similar charges.
Whistleblowers must be given protection and must be adequately compensated for their prompt reporting of criminal or foolish activities. This should extend to lifetime full taxed exempt pay should they find themselves unable to continue working in their established profession. The pay and benefits they receive should be taken from others in their working environment who did not report but were aware of the reported action.
Wikileaks should be institutionalized and made part of a world body of knowledge about misdeeds of all corporate and government activities that violate basic human rights.
Public employees who misuse their office will be terminated. (not fired, I’m talking capital punishment for taking a bribe over a parking ticket.) Abuse by police, fire, medical, health and safety, building inspectors or welfare officials will be investigated in public by the public. Violators will be dealt with without mercy.
The voting system must be fair and accountable. Each voter in each election must be able to track his or her vote from the time it is cast to the final count. No voter may be denied the right to vote. All votes must be published along with their identifying Voter election ID (known only to voters). No private corporations may count or manage any aspect of the election process.
Legislative, Judicial and Executive Office employees may not vote themselves special privilege, tax cuts or pay raises without ballot approval.
All jurors must be informed of their duty to judge not only the facts of a case but the law and its application. Once empanelled jurors may recuse the judge if it is agreed that he is biased. Jurors have the duty to seek clarification of facts and ask questions of witnesses and the accused thru written questions passed to the judge thru the jury foreman. The Judge must read the questions out loud in court and they become part of the trial record. Similarly before summation of arguments anyone present may present questions to the by passing them thru the bailiff to the Jury Foreman. No one is allowed to view the question before the Jury Foreman. All questions asked must be read aloud and be entered into the trial record by the jury Foreman.
Any comments by a judge prejudicial to the image of the court, its proceedings, the litigants, attorneys warrant the removal and fine of the judge. (Snide comments and personal prejudice of individual judges will not be tolerated.)
Solutions not Personalities:
So our current system of government in which two of the current three pillars of a checks and balances system depend on voting in a personality contest with the executive nominating the “wise men” of the third pillar. Is this effective does it produce solutions that work? The votes that are given are weak and often meaningless after the election as the personality contest winners do not honor their campaign pledges. The elected judges do not stand on any principle except protecting the system that put them in power.
Perhaps the people should vote on the issues and solutions and the personality contest can be a thing of the past. What if instead of a presidential or legislative election we had an election that decided on the issues that need to be resolved, then another election on how those issues would be fixed and another election to decide if the proposed solution was effective enough to pay the individuals or corporations that carried out the fix.
If instead of a once every four year thing elections were held every four days or every week after stirring debate over which of the issues had to be fixed in what priority and how.
Would such a system focus voter energies on problems that are more important than those generated by the present personality driven contest. Would the priorities shift and nothing get done? Would voter apathy kill off any chance for meaningful reform and due diligence over public safety, law and order, sanitation, utilities, hospitals and other public facilities? Surely there would be a need for an executive branch to ride herd over the execution and completion of the contracts to fix or build what needed to be built. This would elevate voter participation to a level that would leave little time for football games and Friday nights at the local bowling alley or bar. Perhaps the average person would just as well leave all this hard work and hard choices to a mob of professional crooks, liars and scumbags.
If this sounds like class warfare then I will not be the one to fire the first shot but I will not sit on the sidelines with my arms folded across my chest. Its either the soap box, the ballot box or (the sky god forbid) the ammunition box.
Your comment is very well written. Thank you for such a detailed, thoughtful, eloquent response to my article. A+++.
If you ran for political office, I would not only vote for you, but stand alongside in the trenches and fight for those reforms.
The Barefoot Accountant
So what I got out of that Sun is that you would replace our Democratic Republic with a modern hybrid combining Socialism and Communism but minus any civil morals and taking the worst from both systems.
Aside from that about 99% of what you said either has nothing to do with governing people or simply could not be accomplished in reality
You make statements like “humane and workable set of values and principles.” but then outlines ways to underline the very morals and values of the people of the country you are proposing the change for.
I would not only not vote for you I would openly fight against you, I can see a lot of things wrong with most governments but it almost always has to do with scope and size.
Your idea of government would do away with any pretense of moral beliefs and would basically be a pointless control center taxing a populace that would not agree with its reason for being nor would they gain anything from the governing body.
Good luck selling that because not even in the most extreme socialist countries like Britian or Germany could you close that deal
Ps – “Why do nations like Taiwan, Japan and South Korea have better health care systems than the US?” They don’t their health care is a joke compared to the US, stop believing what the liberal media is selling you. Visit them first hand and see, same as Britian, Germany and just about any other country in the world that has some form of social medicine
“This would elevate voter participation to a level that would leave little time for football games and Friday nights at the local bowling alley or bar”
No actaully it would end voter particpation completely because if people wanted to run every aspect of the country they woudl do it not elect someone else
No, I would not replace our government with a Communistic system: that is a totalitarian system of government, similar to what we have now. Instead of a Communistic state, we have a Corporate State, the collusion of huge multinational corporations buying and controlling our government.
I advocate Jeffersonian democracy and Adam Smith’s economic philosophy from his Wealth of Nations. Jefferson asserted that there could be no democracy with concentrations of power (i.e., wealth) in the hands of the few. He believed that democracy could only survive in a country of small farmers; today, it would be small businesses, who, incidentally, create 80% of the jobs in our country and do not export them to Taiwan, South Korea, China, and elsewhere.
Adam Smith warned of the collusion of business and government, too, and the disastrous effect it would have on a free enterprise, capitalistic system.
Perhaps you failed to read the Federalist Papers and Wealth of Nations, and obtain all of your information from Fox News, Rush Limbaugh, and Sean Hannity, accounting for your misunderstanding of the economic reality currently in the United States.
The Barefoot Accountant