What do we do if we are to save the experiment in American Democracy? I continue to look for ideas that make sense to me, that I agree with and will list those that move me the most.
My list with the first 2 items prioritized (a work in progress):
- Climate Change: Building a civilization on liquefied fossils and then thinking it will last forever makes no sense. We need to become the ultimate example in moving to renewable energy and cleaning up the mess already created. See 350.org
- Corporate Personhood: Corporations are not people – update the 14th amendment so that human rights are for humans.
Other Changes (indention is intentional since these changes are not “critical” compared to the 2 above)
- Revise elections (federal down to local) to reflect the will of the majority – proportional representation or instant runoff election (Thom Hartman’s #3). Also, mandate election laws to be consistent nationally with penalties to states that do not comply.
- Mandate the restructure of the corporate boards to accurately include all interested parties for all corporations doing business in the US (similar to what is done in Germany). Divide them evenly: 33% Investors, 33% Labor and 33% Government (where government represents the interests of “We The People”, U.S. commons, natural resources, environment and particularly water systems).
- Change all US trade policies to protect the interests of the US (labor, economy, commons, etc.). Other countries should do likewise. Tariffs should be automatically implemented (excluding political manipulation) to influence trade with other countries by rewarding those that have goals, practices and policies (labor, natural resources, environment, etc.) that reinforce the standards set for US businesses and discouraging those that don’t.
- Require that all citizens and corporations have proportional and active role in US military actions (wars, policing, etc.). Stop calling everything “defense” and call them what they are: a “Iraq War Tax”, an “Afghanistan Policing Tax”, etc. There will be different types of costs and participation but they cannot continue to be felt by the few but instead must be shared by every US citizen and every corporation that does business in the US. If everyone has a stake it, is much less likely that arbitrary or erroneous involvements will occur.
- Stop selling the military weapons or technology that we develop to other countries. US Military technologies are developed for the defense of US interests and should never be a commodity for sale to friend or foe. They employ the utmost in proprietary technology and should be protected to remain that way.
- Replace the US individual tax system with one that is simple, transparent, easy to explain and applied identically to everyone and all income . Changes in rates, exemptions, etc. must be predetermined and automatically adjusting based on the economic performance of the US economy and beyond the manipulation of political interests.
The following are lists of ideas by others (as I find them):
Thom Hartmann – one of my favorites – here are his top 10 (slightly paraphrased by me):
- Corporations are not people – update the 14th amendment so that human rights are for humans.
- Control corporate influence in all levels of US government – citizens (human beings) own the US government and our commons.
- Revise elections (federal down to local) to reflect the will of the majority – proportional representation or instant runoff elections
- A strong middle class is vital to democracy – restore inflation-indexed income tax and inheritance tax rates.
- Building a civilization on liquefied fossils and then thinking it will last forever makes no sense.
- We are part of nature – we must protect it from those who would do it harm.
- Education is a human right, regardless of station of birth.
- Health care is a human right and necessary to sustain freedom in a democracy.
- America is not a kingdom, and we don’t elect kings – beware of the “imperial presidency”.
- The US Government is an instrument of secular democracy, not a religious theocracy, and has no right in our churches, homes, or bedrooms.