Issues

These are my core issues and how I intend to tackle them.  Many of these link to large, wordy, and perhaps incomplete papers on the topic provided for those interested.

Economic Equity

We all deserve a chance at opportunity—to work, to improve, and to care for ourselves and our families.  None in our Nation should go homeless or hungry, or be deprived of the chance to achieve a better life.

I propose a fair and equitable tax and income strategy to replace our current cost-of-living approach with one that aims to provide a fair share to all Americans and to set tax rates based on proportion of our nation's wealth.

Fair Income Tax

We must determine people's income tax rate based on their share of our nation's per-capita income (GNIPC).  When your wage increases more-slowly than productivity, your tax rate should decrease accordingly.

Fair Corporate Income Tax

American Enterprise is entitled to a fair and reasonable profit.  The Corporate Income Tax Rate therefor must increase when the profit margin earned by a business is excessive—and decrease when a business is struggling or investing heavily in job creation.

A Fair Minimum Wage

Minimum Wage must always be no less than one-quarter of the per-adult income, ensuring that even the lowest-paid worker earns a fair portion of the absolute average wage.  This wage grows slightly faster than inflation, rather than leaving the poorest to be ever as poor.

A Universal Dividend

We must provide each adult with one-eighth of the per-adult income, unconditionally and without tax.  This ensures our welfare system can keep every person in our Nation in their homes, supplied with those basic needs of human health and dignity.

Universal Education

Every American from a family earning under twice the GNI-per-Capita and without large financial assets should have access to college, trade schools, and apprenticeship programs with no fees.

Our Nation's Economy

Many of the Economic Equity programs are enormously-beneficial to our nation's economy.

Full Employment

The Universal Dividend will increase the take-home income of every consumer, with the biggest impact on the least-wealthy.  This creates jobs directly where those jobs are most needed, and fights back against the encroachment of recessions whether they be local, national, or even global.

A Strong Social Safety Net

Every advance in trade or technology necessarily displaces someone—temporarily—from work.  We must ensure, via the Universal Dividend and strong welfare services, that those in the path of progress are carried securely to their next opportunity, rather than left out to financial ruin, so that they may share in the benefit from the great wealth created by these advances rather than be the sacrifice to bring that benefit to the rest of us.

Greater Economic Development

Stable employment and a more-powerful economy creates more taxable income, giving our Nation's State and Local governments the revenue to improve their schools and roads, and our Federal government the capacity to provide greater infrastructure grants—all without increasing tax rates.

Worker's Rights

As employers become larger and technology becomes more ubiquitous, workers need more protections from unfair labor practices the Fair Labor Standards Act never envisioned.

Stronger Right to Organize

We must modernize the National Labor Relations Act to protect worker's rights to organize and bargain for wages and better working conditions, and especially to protect striking workers from permanent replacement.

Comp Time

We must provide a Federal minimum comp time standard for salaried workers.  Today's workers average 47 hours of work for only 40 hours's pay, and many work in excess of 50 per week; this practice must end.

Shorter Working Hours

Each advance in technology allows us to produce more with less labor time.  We must translate some of that greater wealth into greater free time to enjoy our wealth, giving workers six hour days or four day work weeks.  Shorter working hours have been shown to immensely improve worker mental and physical health.

Just-Cause Employment

At-Will Employment remains the standard for employees not under a labor contract, except in one state which passed a statute prohibiting discharge if not for good cause.  Just-cause should be the standard of the Nation, unless expressly overridden by State law.

Healthcare

Our nation's healthcare system struggles at 17% of our GDP, whereas other nations—even Germany, which has high government regulation over a purely private-insurer market with 119 insurers supporting a national healthcare system—spend under 10% of their GDP, use more healthcare per person, and provide every person with healthcare.

A Stronger Affordable Care Act

We must expand the Affordable Care Act to ensure more employers provide affordable care—both an affordable premium and a plan with out-of-pocket costs affordable by the employee.

Stronger Small Business Healthcare Credits

Expanding the small business healthcare tax credit to cover more employees, cover 50% of the employer's plan costs, increase the allowable employee compensation, and delay the phase-out periods for any employees covered by a Union contract will bring affordable care to more employees with less burden on small businesses.

Universal Access to Healthcare

We must provide a Public Option automatically covering anyone who cannot otherwise obtain affordable care.  Any claim for covered service must have a hardship override:  the Public Option pays, and we follow up later to identify qualification, any owed out-of-pocket cost, and a payment plan without penalty except for continuous abuse.

Not-For-Profit Insurers and Hospitals

All private insurers and hospitals should be not-for-profit, requiring stricter reporting and regulation as well as a limiting of their retained income and, crucially, no shareholder profit sharing.

A Healthcare Investigation

Every reason given for our Nation's high healthcare costs falls flat on inspection.  The NIH must perform a study of our healthcare system, involving experts from Nations such as Germany, Norway, and Canada—nations with National healthcare systems based both on highly-regulated, private-insurer Medicare plans and public-funded healthcare—and Congress must act on the results.

Criminal Justice Reform

The United States has the worst criminal justice system in the developed world.  We treat our prisoners like animals, lock them in cages, and release them at the end of their sentences in a worse state than in which we found them.  Over 75% of Americans leaving prison will re-offend and be re-incarcerated within five years of their release.

Full Nelson Mandela Rules

I advocate, in full and without hesitation, the full implementation of the Nelson Mandela Rules as a National policy and as policy in every State.  This includes strict liability and criminal charges for violations by any privately-operated prisons in our Nation.

Dynamic Security and Prison Intelligence

As with the Nelson Mandela Rules, it must be the unified policy of the United States to implement Dynamic Security and Prison Intelligence in all Federal and State prisons without exception.

Strict Liability for Private Prisons

Many State and Federal prisons remain under private management.  We must include strict liability and criminal charges for those prisons and prison officers who fail to meet compliance with our National standards for prison operations.

Bring Prisoners to Society

The Nelson Mandela Rules require prisoners be kept in contact with society through visitations and access to news.  We must go farther:  where public safety is not put at risk, prisoners must be brought to society, rather than bringing society into the prison.  The liberty of work at an employer and occasional visits to friends and family outside the prison helps both to rehabilitate the prisoner and to reduce the stigmatization of the prisoner when released back to society.

Eliminate Prison Fees

Public safety is a core responsibility of government, and is responsible for intervening when a person needs help.  Failure to help these individuals by and large drives them toward crime and greater need for corrections.  They should not be held responsible for paying their own incarceration costs, parole fees, or $10-per-minute phone calls.

Maximize Parole Usage

Wherever parole does not create a threat to public safety, it should be the policy of the United States to use parole as the preferred method of supervision.  We must abolish probation and parole fees:  incarceration incurs over twenty times the cost of parole, and yet failure to pay a small fee often sends well-behaved members of the community back to prison.

Eliminate Barriers to Parole

We must create an inmate diversion program to move non-violent and non-dangerous convicts directly to parole in lieu of prison, and practice discretionary parole such that a prisoner may be paroled at any time.  The purpose of prison is only to segregate the dangerous and unruly from our society, and only so long as necessary to rehabilitate them and return them safely to society without risk of re-offense.

Recognize the Human Need for Liberty

It is the nature of every human being to seek freedom and liberty.  The prison rules we follow should confer freedom and liberty to prisoners; and when we are inadequate in this pursuit, we risk prisoners escaping.  We must therefor not recognize the escape of a prisoner without commission of other crimes—aside from incidental civil matters such as the theft of prison clothes which the prisoner is wearing—as a crime.  Such behavior might negatively impact the prisoner's chances for parole in the near future, but shall not extend the sentence.

Abolish Resisting Arrest

The nature of every person to seek liberty extends to resisting the loss of liberty.  We must end the extreme power dynamic created by the criminalization of resisting arrest, should a person not create a direct danger to the officer or public in the process.  Failure to surrender might negatively impact a person's bail or parole.

Abolish the Perp Walk

The Nelson Mandela Rules require prisoners to be moved without restrains when restraints are unnecessary, and to not be shown to the public when unnecessary.  The Perp Walk violates the human dignity of the prisoner to make a public spectacle.


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