Following is your free copy of Common Sense, a short book written to help encourage a peaceable Second American Revolution.
Periodic updates will be inserted, including your edits, constructive comments, new ideas and criticisms…all all of which will be greatly appreciated. Just send an email to Our-Nation@usa.com or Taxenders@usa.com.
Common Sense says: The Future is Ours to Create
By: Bob Zimmerman©
Trump reads little and tweets lots,
his tweets effortless and thoughtless,
he’s like an angered snake,
his instincts those of psychopath.
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Table of Contents:
Preamble The Venomous Radical-Right-Wing-Coalition is Waging War against Every Middle Class American………………………..….…3-7
Chapter 1 Act Now to Reverse the Obscene Political, Economic and Social Damage the Radical-Right has Wrought…………………………..…………8-13
Chapter 2 Common Sense Solution 1: Rescinding the Abominable Income Tax …………………………………………………………………………………14-20
Chapter 3 Common Sense Solution 2: Doubling Social Security and Lifting Every American Out of Poverty…………………………………..…..…..23-24
Chapter 4 Common Sense Solution 3: Transfiguring Obamacare into a Single-Payer System……………………………………………………………………25-26
Chapter 5 Common Sense Solution 4: Restructuring Our Educational Systems…………………………………………………………………………….…. .27-29
Chapter 6 Common Sense Solution 5: Lead with Peace Instead of War……………………………………………………………………………………….……30-32
Chapter 7 Common Sense Solution 6: Combating Corporate Welfare and Crime……………………………………………………………………..….…….33-37
Chapter 8 Common Sense Solution 7: Declare Victory in the War on Drugs……………………………………………………………………………..…….38-39
Chapter 9 Common Sense Solution 8: Implement Real Liberty and Justice for All………………………………………………………………………..……40-42
Chapter 10 Common Sense Solution #9: America’s Future is Ours to Crea..….……………………………………………………………………………………..43-45
Tyranny, (like living in hell), is not easily conquered; yet we have this consolation with us; the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph. What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly; it is dearness only that gives everything its value. We have it within our power to begin the world over again.
─Thomas Paine (1737-1809), the political theorist who wrote the original Common Sense that sparkedy for the first American Revolution.
We desperately need a second American Revolution. Why? Because the venomous radical-right is waging economic, political and social war against every thinking American.
Believe it or not, none other than James Madison, our fourth president and the Founding Father who drafted our Bill of Rights and much of our federal Constitution said: “Government should prevent an immoderate accumulation of riches.” Madison was joined in that strikingly prescient sentiment by three other Founding Fathers and former presidents, George Washington (the father of our nation), Thomas Jefferson and Alexander Hamilton, and years later by President Abraham Lincoln. All of these venerated American leaders could see the handwriting on the wall. They could all see the day when big money would corrupt our politics and sink our fragile representative democracy.
The Center for Responsive Politics (at OpenSecrets.org) has reported that in 2012 over half of the 535 members of Congress are millionaires, several of them having amassed over $300 million. And if that weren’t appalling enough, something even worse has taken root. These days most of our 535 members of Congress are themselves controlled, much like marionettes, by super rich multi-billionaires who sit on the sidelines and throw money at them in return for doing their bidding. Given the vast sums (bribes) these elected officials and judges receive, nearly all of our federal politicians, including all of our recent presidents except Jimmy Carter, leave office multi-millionaires.
While we, voters and non-voters alike, have long slumbered, our fragile representative democracy has been transfigured into a revolting plutocracy. Some 99% of us are now ruled by the super-rich with seemingly few options for getting out from under. The once existential threat to “We the People, prophesied by our Founding Fathers, is now a nightmarish reality.
It is nothing short of galling to hear the hordes of corrupt right-wing politicians and their cohorts give praise to our rickety political, economic and social systems. Chosen for their ability to peddle snake oil and raise money, these right-wing pitchmen and women, proselytizing apologists all, never fail to bend our ears, and our credulity, as they praise the workings of our democracy, a democracy that never was never fully democratic, and is now in freefall as “We the People” twiddle our thumbs, doing little to prevent our destruction.
The social, political and economic mess we find ourselves in is rooted in the horrific anti-middle class initiatives of Ronald Reagan’s presidency (1981-1989). Under the aegis of trickle-down economics (now thoroughly debunked), Reagan Republicans, with only modest resistance from Democrats, clobbered our unions, outsourced millions of American jobs to low wage countries, produced the first in a continuing string of triple digit federal deficits, added trillions of our tax dollars to the military budget and gave already wealthy Americans huge tax cuts. The richest 1% of us received 20,000 times more in tax cuts than low-income families. These tax breaks for the 1% greatly accelerated the now much talked about chasm between rich and poor Americans.
The result: Today over 50 million Americans, many of them homeless veterans, women and children, live in abject poverty with little hope for a better life. These typically faceless Americans survive on the scraps they find in dumpsters and garbage cans and grab what sleep they can in alleys and under bridges. If we don’t act now to end the rule of the radical-right-wing-coalition, by the year 2025 fifty million one hundred million more of us will find ourselves suffering the same dire circumstances.
Believe it or not, the upper reaches of America’s richest 1% own everything, even our home mortgages and the loans on our automobiles. Make no mistake about it, what we are witnessing in America is a radical-right-wing led class war, one that will return us to a master-slave economy, with the one-percenters the masters and the rest of us their slaves. Since 1997, the average yearly income of the 400 richest Americans has more than tripled to an average of $345 million. Meanwhile, their tax burden has plunged by 40%. Today, the average billionaire pays income tax at a rate 5% less than a bus driver earning $26,000 a year. Even one of the founders of Microsoft, monopolist/philanthropist Bill Gates, thinks our tax codes’ emphasis on taxing labor while not taxing wealth is absurd. No single factor in American life serves to impede the social and economic development in America more than our infernal federal and state taxation systems, every corrupt aspect of which has been created by our corrupt federal politicians and then sanctioned by our equally corrupt federal judges.
Clearly the radical-rights domination of our federal and our state governments must be stopped now. Tomorrow may be too late.
Way back in the 19th century, North Carolina’s U.S. Senator Simon Cameron spoke truth when he said: “An honest politician is one who when he is bought, stays bought.” Nowadays we’ve got thousands of politicians and judges serving in high and low places that will say and do anything for the right price. And once they are bought, they stay bought.
An entrenched system of bribery (euphemistically called contributions) and the inattention of our long-slumbering electorate are responsible for our millionaire-dominated, plutocratic controlled Congress and their counterparts in the federal judiciary. After tolerating this form of insidious corruption for centuries, “We the People” are now asked to overlook a new form of political bribery, namely the emergence of super-secret political slush funds called “Leadership PACs,” which many who serve in Congress now use to finance their personal expenses, including automobiles, housing, deluxe vacations and dalliances with expensive escorts. These bribe-takers have also taken to lending their campaigns money from their own pockets and then charging their campaigns upwards of 18% annual interest on unpaid balances. And who pays the tab? You guessed it, you and me. And when these bribe-takers leave or are thrown out of Congress where do they go? Right again. Some 50% of them become corporate lobbyists and then use their political connections to gain even more favors for the 1%. Is it any wonder why the gap between the 1% and the rest us grows and grows at an ever-increasing rate.
In return for that ever-increasing steady flow of wads of cash into the hands of our corrupt politicians and judges, the 1% expects and receives special treatment from those they have bribed. And they get it in spades. The 1% receive a bountiful stream of tax-saving changes to the tax code including billions in mortgage tax relief, special interest legislation and favorable judicial rulings (welfare for the rich); cash subsidies for the giant farming enterprises (welfare for gentlemen farmers); and lucrative non-competitive government contracts (corporate welfare) to name but a few of the most obvious Congressional and judicial favors for the 1%.
Very recently an even more virulent form of political cash bribery has become commonplace. Given impetus by a right-wing dominated U.S. Supreme Court, the court’s decision in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission is rapidly becoming as infamous as Hitler’s invasion of Europe and Russia and the Japanese sneak attack on Pearl Harbor. Citizens United, as antidemocratic as any U. S. court decision ever was, has given a handful of radical Republican plutocrats the unimpeded right to contribute vast sums of cash to the candidates and causes of their choice, thus short-circuiting our delicate system of political checks and balances and furthering the conquest of right-wing extremists.
Deep-pocketed right-wing master-bribers like the Koch brothers and Karl Rove are already spending hundreds of millions of dollars on the 2014 and 2016 elections trying to influence us to vote for their hand-picked anti-democratic haters. Did you ever wonder how our politicians gain endorsements from other politicians? Well wonder no more. Recently, the family values Governor of Virginia and his wife were convicted of multiple counts of bribe-taking and face long prison terms. Another Republican governor is facing the outcomes of several criminal and civil investigations for an array of unseemly activity including the vengeful closing of the George Washington Bridge. And a state senator from Iowa pled guilty to two felony counts. Apparently, he pocketed $73,000 for switching his endorsement from Michelle Bachmann to Ron Paul during the 2012 presidential race. The man who had managed Ron Paul’s 2012 campaign and one of his top aides are currently managing U.S. Senator Mitch McConnell’s re-election campaign. These high profile instances of conduct unbecoming representatives of the people are but the tip of the proverbial iceberg. The criminal and borderline criminal activity of our elected representatives is more the norm than the exception. While claiming poverty, the enormously popular Clintons have amassed a personal fortune estimated at $100-$200 million while and since serving the public.
The rest of this short book offers tangible ways and means for crushing the radical-right and taking our country back. As you read on, please keep in mind that all of the prescriptions for the social, economic and political reform that follow have been championed by the greatest thinkers in their respective disciplines; early on by people like George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison and Andrew Jackson, and later joined by Abraham Lincoln, John Stuart Mill, Franklin Roosevelt, John Galbraith, George Shultz, John Rawls, David Hume, Bertrand Russell, James Tobin, John Stieglitz, Paul Krugman, Thomas Piketty and many others. Now if we go all in, bringing all of the courage and commitment we can muster to the battle against the radical-right-wing-coalition, we can revitalize the American Dream and fulfill the progressive vision of our Founding Fathers.
Chapter One: Make Yourselves Sheep and the Wolves like Trump Will Eat You
−Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790), Founding Father, inventor, political theorist and statesman.
Benjamin Franklin was surely omniscient when in 1773 he warned that if we act like sheep, the wolves will strip the flesh from our bones. For decades now, we have behaved like grazing sheep as a radical-right-wing-coalition has been cannibalizing us. Who could have imagined that the American ship of state would sink so rapidly? Who could have imagined an America so degraded we are often referred to as a “banana republic,” a nation where the rich grow obscenely richer while the majority of our middle class and our working poor grow deeper and deeper into debt, only a few paychecks from homelessness.
In the 17th century, French philosopher and mathematician Rene DesCarte said: “Everyone claims to have a sufficient amount of common sense (bon sens), but it is rarely used well.” In the 18th century, Thomas Paine helped free us from the British Empire by authoring and distributing a call to revolution in a pamphlet entitled Common Sense.
Here we adopt Common Sense as the title for our short book (or pamphlet) in part to honor Thomas Paine and to help provoke a peaceable political revolution, one that will rid us of the rule of the radical-right-wing coalition that has seized control of our federal government and many of our state governments. In 1776, “We the People,” fed up with the overly burdensome taxes levied on them by their British rulers, took up arms against the British. As they fought the American revolutionists shouted: “No Taxation without Representation.” The injustices they had suffered under foreign rule energized their victory over the Brits in the American Revolutionary War.
Today in America we find ourselves dictated to by a new set of rulers, a radical-radical-right-wing-coalition whose anti-democratic goals are as alien and ruthless as any foreign dictators ever were.
Today in America we have the pretense of a democracy, when in fact what we have is “Representation without Representation.” Our self-interested politicians spend the bulk of their time enriching themselves by catering to the whims of the highest briber, most notably radical-right-wing plutocrats and the giant multinational corporations they control.
And who do we have to blame for our thoroughly corrupted government? Surely, we must blame ourselves. Vast segments of our electorate, yes you and me, have lacked the spirit and courage of our Founders. Instead of voting, instead of organizing to throw the bums out of office, we shamefully waste our time watching spectator sports or diddling away our time on our smart phones. If we are to fulfill the vision of our Founders, we must conquer our inertia. A stay at home disinterested electorate simply won’t cut it any longer. A well-heeled, radical-right-wing-coalition is dismantling our democracy and replacing it with plutocracy, rule by the rich, by and for the rich, leaving the rest of us stripped of our dignity, begging for scraps of mercy.
Today in America we have become spoiled and selfish, effectively lobotomized into political inaction by the satisfaction of our basic human needs. Meanwhile what little economic security we can now count on is under continuous assault. Meanwhile our children are used as cannon fodder, sent off to fight one unnecessary war after another, only to be ignored when they return home. And as thanks for their service, they are not offered meaningful employment and their wounded minds and bodies are ignored. Think about it, twenty-two of our veterans commit suicide each and every day.
Today in America a radical-right-wing-coalition, a toxic mix of Tea Party extremists, neocons, right-wing-plutocrats and giant multinational corporations, rules with greater disregard for “We the People” than the Brits of yesteryear. Each day these Republican-anti-democratic-right-wing haters connive to find new ways to:
- rescind a woman’s right to control her own body;
- deny our wounded soldiers access to medical care;
- vaporize the middle class and gay rights;
- repeal Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid and Obamacare;
- reduce our already modest social safety net;
- elevate corporate rights over human rights;
- build more prisons and execute the innocent;
- ignore our First, Fourth and Fourteenth Amendment rights;
- destroy the environment and laugh at global warming;
- pollute our air, oceans, rivers and streams;
- repeal the Clean Air and Water Acts;
- eliminate food stamps and school lunches;
- monopolize the major media;
- privatize public schools and dictate school curricula;
- gut most forms of gun control;
- expand the failed war on drugs;
- send our kids to fight useless wars;
- merge church and state;
- enrich themselves at our expense;
- lower taxes for the wealthy and giant corporations;
- reduce the worker wages and salaries;
- close public libraries;
- suppress voter turnout;
- export jobs and shutter unions.
- deport children born in America;
- eliminate student loans; and
- militarize our local police departments.
If left unchecked, the list of the radical-right’s anti-democratic interventions into our lives will soon consign our heroic experiment with representative democracy to the dustbins of history. Catering to the master-bribers at the National Rifle Association, the radical-right blocks every effort to enact rational gun control laws. The Result: numerous massacres in public schools and other public places. Most recently, at a family-oriented firing range some 80 miles south of Las Vegas, Nevada, a nine-year-old girl accidently shot and killed her weapons instructor when she lost control of the rapid-fire-Uzi she was holding.
Thanks to economic genocide waged by the radical-right some 150 million of us are either homeless or a couple of paychecks away from homelessness. Meanwhile, 50% of us stand on the sidelines refusing to vote. That’s the bad news. As Thomas Paine said, the good news is: We have the power to reverse the damage inflicted on us by the radical-right. We have the power to take back our land from the self-proclaimed radical-right-wing neo-monarchy.
The remainder of Common Sense describes some of the methods employed by the radical-right and introduces progressive legislative initiatives that will not only reverse their despicable anti-democratic interventions, but will also place us solidly on the path to becoming the “just society” our Founding Fathers had envisioned.
In conclusion, Chapter 10 suggests what we must do to expel every corrupt politician and judge, including John Roberts, Samuel Alito, Antonin Scalia, Anthony Kennedy and Clarence Thomas, five U.S. Supreme Court appointed-for-lifers whose recent decisions are currently doing more damage to our experiment with representative democracy than any group of terrorists ever could.
Once we have restored sanity to government, working in unison, “We the People” must work extra hard to:
- Scrap our dysfunctional federal and state income tax laws.
- Enact the three-pronged tax system being promulgated by Taxenders (Seexxxx).
- Enact a minimum family incomes policy.
- Reconfigure Obamacare into a Canadian-type single-payer system.
- Double Social Security retirement benefits.
- Eliminate corporate welfare, punish corporate crime and environmental polluters.
- Treat drug addiction as a sickness and not as a crime.
- Vastly reduce the role of money in our electoral processes and strengthen consumer rights.
- Restore the manufacture of the things we need right here in America.
- Work hard to achieve a stable full employment economy and equal pay for equal work
- Reduce military expenditures and adventurism, while vastly increasing investment in basic research and development.
- Guaranty forever a woman’s’ access to contraception and abortion.
- Restructure public education.
- Guaranty access to higher education and vocational training to all.
- Reform our legal systems so that equal justice for all is transformed from myth to reality.
- Implement a humane foreign policy while expanding our own human and civil rights
- Increase citizen participation in all areas of community life.
- Find ways to reduce the violence that permeates our land.
- Bring sanity to our ill-conceived gun control laws.
- End voter suppression.
- Register and then drag every non-voting person you know to the ballot box.
- Limit political office holders to two terms and political contributions to a maximum of $100 per person.
- Reform redistricting.
- Guaranty equal marital rights for all men and women.
- Reform Congressional redistricting..
Common Sense (2017) is a condensed version of The American Challenge (2005) and Metacapitalism (1985), longer books that set forth a broad array of progressive strategic legislative initiatives that once enacted into law will help transform our nation into the “Just Society” our Founders had envisioned. Freed from the treacherous grip of the radical-right, America will transfigure herself into a peace-loving land, a nation that provides life-assuring sustenance for the needy and equal opportunity for all.
Please remember this: If you are ever tempted to vote for a Republican, even one that appears moderate, think twice, go to bed, and think again. Ronald Reagan tricked millions of working Americans into voting for him and then set in motion the destruction of their unions and the middle class. Yes, there are a few moderate Republicans, but when push comes to shove they nearly always cast their lot with the radical-right.
Chapter Two: Common Sense Solution # 1: Abolishing the Income Tax
It is a signal advantage of taxes on articles of consumption that they contain in their own nature a security against excess. They prescribe their own limit; which cannot be exceeded without defeating the end proposed, that is, an extension of the revenue. When applied to this object, the saying is as just as it is witty, that, “in political arithmetic, two and two do not always make four.” If duties are too high, they lessen the consumption; the collection is eluded; and the product to the treasury is not as great as when they are confined within proper and moderate bounds. This forms a complete barrier against any material oppression of the citizens by taxes of this class, and is itself a natural limitation
─Alexander Hamilton (1755-1804), a Founding Father’s argument favoring a tax on consumption over an income tax (1877), in Federalist No. 21.
America’s middle class now pay more in taxes than for food, housing, transportation and clothing combined. Moreover, we are burdened with a taxation system that honors and protects wealth from any taxation while it taxes the income of working families to the max. Everyone who thinks about such things knows our current taxation systems are riddled with tax-avoiding loopholes for the 1% and the failure to tax surplus wealth has been instrumental in transforming the American political system from a representative democracy into a plutocracy (rule by the rich). A recent Gallup Poll indicates that 77% of American workers are dissatisfied with their jobs and the economy, and only 14% report that they are engaged in a meaningful employment.
Unconstitutional until 1913, there are 70,000 pages that now comprise our federal income tax code. By comparison, Hong Kong’s income tax code is 400 pages and the “Prosperity Revenue Act,” hereafter described, will be less than 100 pages. Virtually, every one of those 70,000 pages contain loopholes that enable the wealthy to evade paying their fair share and are singularly inflicting more economic damage on our working poor and our middle class than any other conceivable factor or combination of factors.
Moreover, making matters much worse, radical-Republican-plutocrats and their cohorts have asked the IRS to spend more time auditing low-income earners and less time auditing millionaires and billionaires. Charles Rossetti, formerly head of the IRS declared: “The agency is not able to perform credibly, and cannot keep up with the numerous tax evasion scams peddled by the ostensibly reputable public accounting industry.”
From 1977 to 1999, the average after tax income of 60% of Americans stagnated. Meanwhile, the 400 richest Americans increased their average net worth from $230 million to $2.6 billon. This trend continues to this day. In the last decade the average middle class American has suffered a decline in net worth of 36%. And, making matters even worse, since 1999 the income inequality gap between America’s wealthiest 1% and the rest of us has grown even larger. Obviously, the “Trickle-Down” theory of income creation successfully sold by a small group of dimwitted conservative right-wing economists to the Reagan administration and Congress has failed miserably. Even so, “Trickle-Down” is still used by the radical-right-wing-coalition to rally their base of enthusiasts who, by now, ought to know better..
Another elaborate myth circulated by the radical-right goes something like this: Our federal system of taxation is too progressive and unfairly overtaxes those who are our jobs creators. That myth is nothing more than unadulterated rat crap. The truth of the matter is that the working poor pay 51% of their modest wages in taxes, a tax rate identical to those earning $200 an hour. That 51% tax rate on their labor means the likelihood of the working poor ever climbing out of poverty without first cashing in on a large lottery payout is zero.
A Prosperity Revenue Tax Code to Replace Federal and State Income Taxes
More and less recently, three proposals for replacing for the federal income tax have surfaced: (1) a flat tax on income; (2 ) a value added tax on the production of goods and services; and (3) a national sales tax. Each proposal offers certain benefits, yet each utterly fails to address the central failure of the current income tax laws, which have enabled amassing of enormous untaxed wealth. The wealthiest 1% of us now accumulates wealth at three times the rate of growth of our national economy. If this rate of wealth accumulation is allowed to continue unchecked, it is likely that the ugly master/slave relationship that once dominated the Western world will reappear and dominate economic relationships in America.
While the Prosperity Revenue Tax Code addresses the problem of the over-accumulation of surplus wealth head on, it does not punish those who have been gaming our current income tax systems. Once enacted into law the Prosperity Revenue Tax Code will immediately accomplish five important things: (1) it will level the economic playing field for individuals and small businesses vis-à-vis the multinational giants; (2) it will provide a continuing massive stimulus to our national production and consumption of goods and services; (3) it will improve America’s competitiveness in the global marketplace; (4) it will reduce the burdens on families and businesses who must now each year confront the unsettling and time consuming process of paying federal and state income taxes; and (5) it will balance the burden of paying the cost running our federal and state governments by taxing equally consumption, business revenue and accumulated wealth.
In sum, the “Prosperity Revenue Tax Code” will replace federal and state income taxes, including FICA, with a three-pronged revenue raising system:
Prong 1…a nominal national sales , say 5-7% on the purchase of most personal goods and services, new and used, similar to existing state and city sales taxes.
Prong 2… a progressive tax on business revenue instead of profits, with an exemption for small businesses, certain charities and social services, say 5-15%.
Prong 3… a progressive tax on surplus personal wealth: 0% on accumulated wealth of less than one million dollars, 1% on 1-5 million, 2% on 6-10 million, 3% on 11-25 million, 4% on 26-50 million, 5% on 51-99 million, 6% on 100-499 million, 7% on 500-999 million, 8% on 1-10 billion, 9% on 11-19 billion and 10% on over 20 billion.
What follows are the some of the many benefits the Prosperity Revenue Tax Code will provide:
- Family and Corporate Income Rises and Prices Fall. With the elimination of the federal and state income taxes and employer withholding of the Social Security tax (FICA), paychecks will grow, discretionary spending will rise. Low and middle income earners will see immediate benefits approximating $2,500 to $15,000 a year.
- Simplicity. Soon after the Prosperity Revenue Act replaces the income tax, families and businesses will no longer have to engage in the time consuming processes now necessary to file their federal and state income tax returns. Businesses need only pay a small percentage of their gross revenues.
- Fairness, Honesty and Transparency. The Prosperity Revenue Tax Code will spread the tax burden fairly and transparently. Presently, approximately 50% of our nation’s tax revenues are never collected. Tax accountants and lawyers openly peddle ways and means for giant corporations like GE and Microsoft and super-wealthy individuals to evade and paying their fair share of the tax burden. A study of who is paying what conducted by the IRS identified 82,100 businesses and individuals using offshore accounts to evade paying their fair share and later declared that they lacked the resources to retrieve most of the lost tax revenue. The implementation of the Prosperity Revenue Tax Code” will enable the IRS to collect well over 90% of taxes owed, which will substantially reduce our fair share.
- Promote Retirement with Dignity. Social Security and Medicare, the cornerstones of our now meager “social safety net” for retirees, will become financially stable. More than enough revenue will be raised by the Prosperity Revenue Tax Code to double Social Security and lift for elderly retirees and lift every American out of poverty with payment of the “productivity dividend” described in the following chapter.
- Reduce Political Corruption. The thousands of special interest groups who now grind our politicians down with bribes will vanish.
- Promote Health and Education. Expenditures for health care and education would be exempt from taxation under the Prosperity Revenue Tax Code.
- Tax Evasion Penalties will be given Teeth. Those businesses and individuals who continue to evade paying their fair share of the tax burden will have their wealth confiscated.
- Stress Reduction. No longer will we feel income tax preparation anxiety. For individuals and most businesses April 15 will be no different than any other day.
- Efficiency. Close to a trillion dollars a year will be saved by wiping out the cost of collecting and not collecting federal and state income taxes.
- Corporate Competitiveness. Under the Prosperity Revenue Tax Codet,” the simple tax on corporate revenue instead of the now complicated tax on corporate profits will save corporations billions of dollars and help position their product offerings in the international marketplace on a more competitive footing. Instead of constantly weighing the tax considerations of this or that decision, executives will instead spend their energies on producing quality products at competitive prices.
- Profits. The implementation of the Prosperity Revenue Tax Code will free business to make decisions based on marketplace considerations instead of tax considerations.
- Ease of Implementation. Most of our 50 states already collect some form of sales tax; these sales tax collection systems are easily modified to collect a national sales tax (Prong 1).
- Capital Formation and Investment. Taxing consumption instead of income will encourage saving. Elimination of the tax on interest income and capital gains and the double taxation of dividends will massively increase the rate of capital formation and business investment.
- Tax Revenue Stability. Tax research shows clearly that the consumption of goods and services is far more constant than income and thus offers greater tax revenue stability
- Reduced Bureaucracy and Increased Economic Productivity, Approximately 60% of the 250,000 people now engaged collecting federal and state taxes will be free to pursue more productive careers.
- Reduced Governmental Meddling. All of those many politicians who have been busily creating tax loopholes for the highest bidder will have to find other means to line their pockets
- Economic Growth. The Prosperity Revenue Tax Code will provide an apt model for the rest of the free world and serve as an engine for rapid economic growth and job creation for many decades to come.
Con: Some people will object to the progressive tax on surplus wealth, calling it confiscatory, or worse. But the simple truth is much of surplus wealth in America was confiscated from the American people by means of massive tax cuts for the wealthy, tax loopholes and other tax evasion schemes. Moreover, a progressive tax on surplus wealth extracts funds from the wealthy that they will never miss. Moreover, the long-lasting economic boom the Prosperity Revenue Tax Code will stimulate will make the wealthy even wealthier.
Harvard Professor Dale Jorgenson, past president of the American Economics Association, in testimony before the House Ways and Means Committee said that a national sales tax would provide a 10% stimulus to our domestic economy. The Prosperity Revenue Tax Code will do much more. It will provide an even larger continuing long-term stimulus to our domestic economy and provide funds to pay for the Productivity Dividend Act, described in Chapter 3below, which will lift every American out of poverty.
Chapter Three: Common Sense Solution # 2: Doubling Social Security.
“An income security program will temper the human tragedy resulting from the unemployment that is the unwanted byproduct of anti-inflationary fiscal and monetary policies (and the march of the machines and globalization)…If we fail to undertake such reform, the spiraling growth of existing categorical programs for the poor will, in the end, break the federal budget without ever achieving effective delivery of (monetary) resources to the poor.
─George Schultz (1920- ), former U.S Secretary of State, Treasury and Labor and well-known as a conservative fiscal policy proponent.
“A certain small income, sufficient for necessities, should be secured for all, whether they work or not, and a larger income should be given to those who are willing to engage in some work that the community recognizes as useful.”
─Bertrand Russell (1872-1970), esteemed British philosopher and mathematician.
A Minimum Incomes Policy Will Benefit Every American. What time is better than now for our legislators to face the cold reality that much of what was available work in America has been automated or exported to foreign lands where labor is cheap. What better way is at hand than to see to it that every American has enough money to meet their basic human needs. Surely, our nation is rich enough to make this happen.
The idea of a guaranteed incomes policy has bounced around here and abroad for nearly two centuries. In 1967, Nobel Prize winning economist James Tobin published an article on the topic that convinced George McGovern to promote the concept in his 1972 quest for the presidency. The very idea itself was first conceived by Charles Fourier in France, and expanded upon by Brussels-based thinker Joseph Charlier, who published Solution of the Social Problem in 1848. Charlier argued in favor of a “territorial dividend” that would be paid to citizens by virtue of their equal ownership of the nation’s property.
A year later, the idea migrated into the newly emerging economic mainstream championed by none other than John Stuart Mill, the father of modern economics. In his enormously influential Principles of Political Economy, Mill stated without any qualification that: “In the distribution of national income, a certain minimum is first assigned for the subsistence of every member of the community, whether capable or not of labor.”
The Radical-Right’s Objections to the Productivity Dividend Act.
The radical-right claims:
- It is socialism.
- It is unfair to take from the rich to give to the poor.
- It will discourage work and encourage dependency.
- It will create yet another governmental bureaucracy.
- It is not affordable.
- It will reduce our ability to compete in world markets.
- It is morally wrong to pay people not to work.
These are the objections most often offered up by those who make spouting hogwash that is the core of their ideology.
Conversely: Every thinking American knows:
The Productivity Dividend Act will Promote Social Justice, not socialism. A guaranteed minimum incomes policy will give real teeth to the rights and freedoms we already cherish. Without some semblance of incomesecurity, tens of millions of Americans are unnecessarily denied theirconstitutional right to the pursuit of health, wealth and happiness. Socialism,unlike social programs, promotes governmental ownership of the means of production, whereas the “American Productivity Dividend” will grow of the private economy, not government.
The Productivity Dividend Act will Help Generate Jobs and Spur Economic Growth. Think about it. What it better for the American economy is better for the American economy? When someone goes grocery shopping or when that same someone dives into a dumpster to salvage a meal? Economies are consumption driven, not production driven. The less products are demanded, the less need there is to produce them and the less profit will accrue to the producers of the products. This is about as elementary as elementary economic theory gets.Yet, those who oppose the Productivity Dividend Act cannot even fathom this simplest of aspect of free market economics. Even the University of Chicago’s hardheaded, fiscally conservative, economist Milton Friedman understood the power of consumption when he proposed a “negative income tax,” which is similar to the Productivity Dividend Act.
The Productivity Dividend Act is not Unfair nor is it Morally Wrong. While it is true that the guaranty of a minimum income for every American will more do more for the poor than the rich who receive it, in no way does that fact in any way make it unfair. And who out there except the mindless radical-right-wing-coalition would say that lifting the poor out of poverty is morally wrong? In fact our Judeo-Christian ethic teaches quite the opposite.The Productivity Dividend Act Incentivizes Work. Most people with incomes want higher incomes.
The Productivity Dividend Act will encourage the unemployed and underemployed to do better, to move away from areas of impoverishment to areas of opportunity.
The Productivity Dividend Act will not Bankrupt America. There are no costs, only benefits. As they are spent, productivity dividends will promote strong long-term economic growth, a classic example of the economic multipliereffect in full bloom.
While the wealthiest 1% of Americans own almost everything of substantial value, most of the rest of us are in debt and live two or three paychecks from homelessness. Is this any way for a nation that claims to be exceptional to behave?
Chapter Four: Common Sense Solution # 3: Evolving the ACA into a Single-Payer System
What Can Be Said About Obamacare a/k/a the Affordable Care Act?
While there are many good things wedged into Obamacare, such things as the deference given to pre-existing conditions, the expansion of Medicaid, parental inclusion of their children on their health insurance until they are 26 years old and the elimination of lifetime caps on benefits, no one can predict where Obamacare is headed. As its legal and financial prospects now stand, Obamacare’s long-term viability is uncertain.
In countries considered industrialized (developed), 33 at last count, though that number is debatable, three types of national health payment systems are in place. Sixteen of them have opted for the single payer system where government pays the tab using tax revenues. Nine have chosen a two-tiered system, where governmental payments are supplanted by private insurance. And eight, including America, have adopted a hybrid system of mandated private insurance supplemented with governmental subsidies. Norway led the way adopting a single payer system in 1912, followed by the United Kingdom in 1948 and Canada in 1966.
The tens of millions of Americans who have favored a single payer system see Obamacare as a cop out, as just another massive handout to the health insurance industry. With a substantial assist from the price gouging policies of every segment of the American healthcare industry as sanctioned by our special-interest dominated political system, the American healthcare delivery has become the most expensive in the industrialized world and far from the best. Currently, America spends over 17% of total domestic spending on healthcare, some $3 trillion a year, about $10,000 a person. Meanwhile, our Canadian neighbors spend half that and achieve far better results. For example:
A few decades back when the Clintons occupied the White House, we had a decent shot at enacting a single payer system. With over 70% of Americans favoring a single payer system, President Clinton assigned the task of getting it done to his wife, who had zero credentials for accomplishing anything of that complexity and magnitude and failed to get it enacted. That failure on the part of Bill and Hillary has cost us dearly, hundreds of thousands of lives lost, and many trillions of taxpayer dollars down the drain and still counting. Only Bill and Hillary know for sure if what has been conjectured is true, that Hillary was given the job as a quid-pro-quo for keeping her mouth shut about Bills’ sexual escapades.
Using the general tax revenue, our government already pays over 50% of our aggregate healthcare costs. Thus, evolving from the ACA to a single-payer system like “Medicare for all” or something akin to the healthcare payment systems our Canadian neighbors, the Europeans and the Scandinavians enjoy.
It’s still way too early to provide a critical analysis of the ACA. While the future of Obamacare winds its way to glory or the dustbins of history there are some things that can be done to substantially reduce the costs of healthcare in America. We can:
- Reduce the mandatory two-year residency for most physicians to one year.
- Expand the roles of nurses and physician assistants.
- Allow those who choose to do so, after passing a qualifications test, to write renewal prescriptions for themselves and their families.
- Push hard for a single payer system.
Chapter Five: Common Sense Solution 4: Restructuring Education
History is not kind to idlers. The time is long past when America’s destiny was assured simply by an abundance of natural resources and inexhaustible human enthusiasm,, and by our relative isolation from the malignant problems of older civilizations. The world is indeed one global village. We live among determined, well educated, and strongly motivated competitors. We compete with them for international standing and markets, not only with products but with the ideas of our laboratories and neighborhood workshops. America’s position in the world may once have been reasonably secure with only a few exceptionally well-trained men ands women. It is no longer. −National Education Commission in A Nation at Risk (1983)
Why are We Wasting our Most Precious Resource?
Omniscient as the words of the National Education Commission (above) are, not nearly enough has been done to correct our ineffective and inefficient systems of secondary and post-secondary education. Many of our best, brightest and most motivated people are denied by their impoverishment access to a quality education. Meanwhile, many of our least deserving teens fill our college campuses learning little, wasting our educational resources, financed by parents happy to be rid of them.
We Must Innovate or Evaporate
Elitist and incompetent educational policy making have led to a enormous waste of our precious human resources. Much can be done to improve the way we go about educating our children and young adults. Experimental schools, an expanded and enlightened curricula and online courses are all in the works and all for the good. But until we undertake a fundamental restructuring of the way we finance secondary and post-secondary education and the way we match students to educational opportunities best suited to their aptitudes and career choices, we will continue to underutilize our human resources and ultimately our standing as the most innovative and entrepreneurial nation in the world will vaporize.
In the last 35 years the cost of tuition has soared over 1,200%. The cost to send a single student to many a private university for 4 years is now exceeds a quarter of a million dollars. State universities average $80,000. These costs are bankrupting American families and sending millions of college graduates into the workforce saddled with intolerable debt. To help reverse these gruesome trends, reinvigorate our educational processes and guaranty equal educational opportunities for all we should:
- Eliminate Property Taxes as the Source of Secondary School Funding. Instead of placing the burden of financing public secondary education on homeowners, many of whom do not have children in secondary schools, that burden should be shifted to the federal government and financed by revenue raised by the ‘Prosperity Revenue Act.” Currently, in the poorer neighborhoods where property taxes are low, the funding of secondary education gets severely shorted. Equal federal funding on a per student basis will fix that ugly reality.
- Eliminate Parental Funding of Higher Education. Instead of parental financing of higher education, all costs should be paid by the federal government and repaid by students out of lifetime income, pegged at not more than 1%-2% of annual income.
- Introduce a Term of Mandatory National Service after High School. Far too often young adults embark on a course of higher education without the maturity to take full advantage of it. A short term of paid national service, say one or two years, will help prospective students acquire the confidence and maturity necessary to take full advantage of their higher education opportunities.
- Use Computer Databases to Match Students with Educational Resources. Not much discussed, a very real factor working against students getting full value from our colleges and universities is the archaic way we go about the admissions process. This can be reversed by building a National College Admissions Center which would match college applicants’ educational aptitudes and career choices with a national database of educational resources and career opportunities.
Chapter Six: Common Sense Solution 5: Lead with Peace Instead of War
War is Hell. −General William Tecumseh Sherman (1820-1891), Commander of the Army.
War is the Last Option:
For real patriots going to war is the last option. Much of the ill-will directed at America from abroad accrues from America’s hundreds military incursions into foreign lands and our worldwide network of military bases and prisons. It will take some doing, but this hostility can be reversed. Instead of serving as the world’s policeman, the central idea driving American foreign policy in the21st must be the transfiguration of our militaristic attitude into that of a benevolent nation, reaching out with helpful hands instead of cruise missiles. We must partner with other freedom loving nations to eliminate global poverty, disease, conflict and exploitation. An old saying is as true today as it ever was: “Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach him how to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.”
Principles to Guide a Humanitarian Foreign Policy:
- Eliminate All Weapons of Mass Murder.Much good work has already been accomplished. America and Russia have already substantially reduced their stock of nuclear weapons and the number of nations with nuclear material has been reduced from 38 to 25. We must keep at it. It is legitimate to argue that nuclear weapons have played a significant role in warding off WWIII. Even so, there must be a better way. There are many powerful thinkers out there. All new ideas are welcome.
- Build Coalitions of Cooperation. Bush II pursued an ill-conceived unilateralist foreign policy that severely undercut our credibility abroad. The Obama administration by not immediately terminating our excursions into Iraq and Afghanistan compounded our loss of standing. More recently, though pounded by the neocons for doing so, Obama has reversed course and has sought to rebuild our credibility abroad with a discourse of peace instead of war. Our current negotiation with Iran for ending their quest for nuclear weapons is a prime example of such cooperative coalition building.
- Work Even Harder to Reduce Global Poverty, Disease and Intolerance.
Many Americans, including former presidents Bush II and Clinton are working hard to accomplish these important goals. But America isn’t doing enough. We rank woefully low amongst the worlds wealthiest nations in our aid to the world’s poorest people, not to mention our near total neglect of tens of millions of destitute Americans, mostly our veterans, women and children. Moreover, putting an end to the brutalization of women throughout the world is an urgent priority. Some 500,000 die each year giving birth; some 100 million are aborted or killed after birth because they are female; over 130 million girls have been genitally mutilated; millions more are sold into sexual slavery; the life expectancy of the poor is half that of the non-poor. These ugly statistics are but a peek at the harsh realities facing so many of the world’s peoples.
- We must commit fully to peacemaking by learning to apologize and accept apologies, by providing defenses for the defenseless, by working hard to reduce worldwide violence, dismantling our foreign military bases and shunning militarily aggressive nations and those that mistreat their own people.
- We must partner with other Peace-loving Nations to Vanquish All Forms of Genoide. Proactively track where genocide is occurring or likely to occur and garner the ways and means to prevent it before it occurs and quickly stomp it out when it does.
- We must encourage the Spread of Human Rights and Discourage the Sale of Weapons, Especially to Corrupt Dictatorships and Religious Fanatics.
Democratic governance that yields real human rights and freedoms is a goal that most Americans hold dear. Yet America leads the world in weapons sales to corrupt dictatorships. These weapons help prop up governments that are hated by the people they rule, which results in much bitterness and hatred towards us, and at times leading to terroristic attacks on us and our allies. The history of civilizations shows that no nation or empire can maintain a hegemonic position in perpetuity. Nations and empires rise and fall, sometimes gracefully, more often with an unseemly crash. Throughout the recorded history of eastern and western civilizations every nation and empire that has expressed its superiority ultimately and ignominiously fails.
Chapter Seven: Common Sense Solution # 6: Combating Corporate Welfare and Crime
I see in the near future a crisis approaching that unnerves me and causes me to tremble for the safety of my country. Corporations have been enthroned and an era of corruption in high places will follow, and the money power in the country will endeavor to prolong its reign by working upon the prejudices of the people until all wealth is aggregated in a few hands and the Republic is destroyed.−Abraham Lincoln (1809-assassinated 1865), America’s16th president.
An infectious greed grips much of our business community…It is not that humans have become any more greedy than in generations past. It is the avenues to express greed that have grown so enormously.−Alan Greenspan in 2002 testimony before the U.S. Senate Banking Committee.
In the 19th century, when corporate robber barons like Rockefeller, Gould, Morgan, Vanderbilt and others ruled the corporate range, politicians were openly bribed. At the close of that century, a naïve U.S. senator proposed a bill to unseat politicians whose seats and votes were purchased. Then a more sophisticated colleague suggested to him that if all of the corrupt politicians were rooted out, there would not be enough left to reach a quorum. Then President Calvin Coolidge excused the bribe takers and the bribe maker saying: “Business is the business of America,” and proceeded to lead America straight into the Great Depression.
Multinational Corporations are the New Sovereigns: The Following Gruesome Facts Tell Only a Small Part of the Sad State of Affairs Now Afflicting America.
According to a United Nations study, giant multinational corporations conduct over two-thirds of global trade. Moreover, the wealth of rich nations over poor nations is 30 times more now than in 1820.
- One thousand corporations are responsible for over 70% of America’s GDP.
- Nearly 100,000 American corporations and individuals use offshore accounts to evade paying federal and state income taxes.
- The wealth of Bill Gates, Warren Buffet and the Koch brothers exceeds the combined wealth of over 75 million American families.
- To make ends barely meet, more than 50% of American workers toil at two jobs.
- The average hourly wage rate for American workers has been steadily falling since 1973.
- The richest 1% of Americans control over 95% of the wealth in America..
- Giant multinational corporations spend billions of dollars bribing our elected officials.
- Unsafe products kill over 30,000 Americans a year and injure another 130,000.
- Over 100,000 American workers die each year from workplace hazards, some 5.5 million are injured, 3.3 million are hospitalized and 400,000 suffer a work-related disease.
- Monopolistic pricing and deceptive advertising cost American consumers hundreds of billions of dollars every year.
The Priorities that Drive the Giant Multinational Corporations.
- Enrichment of their senior executives.
- Growing sales and profits at any cost.
- Destroying competition and controlling markets.
- Social, economic and political control.
- Tax evasion.
- Monopolizing raw materials.
Democratic Values Most Often Ignored by the Giant Multinational Corporations.
- The needs of working people and communities.
- The environmental and aesthetic impacts of their actions.
- The global ramifications of their actions.
- Public and employee safety.
- Product quality and safety.
Recipes for Restoring Faith in Corporate America:
- The Financial Reporting Problem: Lax accounting standards and principles make it easy for criminally minded CEOs to manipulate revenues and profits. The Cure: Our public accounting firms need to get cracking and tighten up the expensing of stock options, carrying good will as an asset, the way inventories are valued and asset depreciation, accounting for research and development, off balance sheet assets and derivative valuation. Boards of directors should be held criminally and civilly liable for the release of bloated,earnings reports.
- The Use of Insider Information for Personal Profit Problem: The use of unpublished information to for personal profit whether it be selling that information or using it to trade a company’s stock is illegal but widespread. For example, the San Jose Mercury News reported that Silicon Valley executives profited to the tune of $3.4 billion while stock in the company they worked for was becoming worthless. The Cure: Punish profiting from selling or trading on insider information as you would embezzlement, as a serious crime.
- The Monopoly Problem: The monopolistic practices of our giant corporations have restrained product innovation, thwarted corporate competition and produced numerous instances of price fixing, all of which have led to higher and higher prices for America’s consumers. The Cure: An over-politicized Department of Justice and the corrupt federal judiciary have looked the other way as our nation’s antitrust laws are repeatedly violated. The Cure: Depoliticize the Department of Justice and the federal judiciary by firing and impeaching everyone who has ignored the enforcement of our antitrust laws and stiffen civil and criminal penalties for abusers of those laws.
- The Securities Exchange Commission (SEC) Failure of Oversight Problem: The SEC is woefully underfunded and understaffed, and usually headed by political appointees who care as much about prosecuting corporate crime as radical plutocrats care about the problems of middle class families and the working poor. The Cure: Depoliticize SEC appointments, increase its staffing to the level necessary to get its job done and increase the fines it levies on corporate malfeasants.
- The Corporate Tax Avoidance and Evasion Problems: Tax avoidance and evasion are now the major cornerstones of corporate decision making. This instead of what makes strategic sense in the long run. Former IRS Commissioner Charles Rossetti bemoaned the agency’s inability to keep up with the tax avoidance scams openly peddled by tax attorneys and the public accounting industry. The Cure: The “Prosperity Revenue Act” (Chapter 3) by taxing corporate revenue instead of corporate profits will go a long way towards cleaning up the tax avoidance and evasion problems.
- The Corporate Welfare Problem: Each year hundreds of billions of taxpayer dollars are doled out to the giant multinational corporations and gentlemen farmers. This vast corporate welfare enterprise takes many forms. There are direct grants, unmonitored contracts, foreign embassies and consulates, and hundreds of overseas military bases. The Cure: Reduce military spending and farm subsidies by 50% over ten years and make small businesses the focal point of government contracting.
Conclusion: Many other corporate abuses persist. There are problems with executive and employee compensation, with equal pay for women, with corporate boards of directors, with the public accounting firms, with excessive corporate litigation and with pension management, to name but a few. It seems like each day we hear of another horror story, pension funds being looted, jobs shipped overseas, small towns decimated by the likes of giants like Wal-Mart and every conceivable form of greed, corruption and fraud. Since more and more we hear a clarion call for corporate personhood, perhaps a macro cure for corporate abuse is to limit their life to fifty years instead of the unlimited life they now enjoy.
Chapter Eight: Common Sense Solution 7: Declare Victory in the “War on Drugs”
America’s misguided drug policy has put millions of people behind bars, cost (hundreds of) billions (to enforce,) encouraged crime and spread corruption, while failing completely to reduce drug abuse.−The Economist Magazine
The most serious, most sober argument for legalizing drugs…is not an argument rooted in principle but in practice. It is not that some grand moral precept confers a civil right on people to snort their brains out. The better argument is one of prudence than of principle. Experience has shown that attempting to control people’s drug consumption through the criminal law is far more costly than it is beneficial.−Daniel Polsby (1945-) Professor of Law, George Mason University
The good news is that Americas’ lawmakers are finally starting to recognize what The Economist stated so succinctly above. Since the inception of the War on Drugs nearly 40 years ago, the federal government in collaboration with the 50 states has succeeded in transforming what was a relatively small public health problem into a giant global industry with annual untaxed profits that exceed the combined take of the automobile, steel and computer industries. Illegal drugs once available primarily on the ghetto streets of large cities are now found is most every school corridor and bathroom, in communities large and small, from the melting pots to the heartland, from the prairies to the Gulf of Mexico. Despite its total failure to reduce the illicit drug trade, the War on Drugs still has many passionate and entrenched proponents, mostly those who reap vast profits from it, those who dismiss Darwin’s Theory of Evolution in favor of creationism those who still believe that the earth is flat.
The War on Drugs Gruesome Destruction of American Lives
Building prisons is big business in America and America’s drug laws provide the human beings needed to fill them up. Real crime has been declining in recent years, especially violent crime, by perhaps as much as 50%. Meanwhile, drug related imprisonments have soared. In the 25 years since the passage of the Anti-Drug Abuse Act in 1988 America’s prison population has soared from 300,000 to over 2 million.
Clearly, the prohibition of drugs, like the failed experiment to out the consumption of alcoholic drinks, has proven counter-productive; it drives up prices and profits, while creating an atmosphere that encourages youthful rebellion. Legalizing drug use, while vastly increasing the dangers of drug abuse, will remove the profit from the illicit drug trade. Illicit drug producers and peddlers will evaporate from our streets and schools and help empty our over-stuffed prisons. This formula has worked miracles in reducing tobacco consumption and will enhance the lives of all Americans, not to mention the tens of billions of taxpayer dollars that 0will be saved each year.
Chapter Nine Common Sense Solution # 8 Implement Real Liberty and Justice for All
“Why is it that scarcely any are executed but the poor?”
−Thomas Paine (1737-1809), American political theorist and writer whose pamphlet Common Sense influenced the American Revolution and primed the way for our Declaration of Independence.
“What a judge has for breakfast is more important than any principle of law.”
−Robert Maynard Hutchins (1899-1977), Professor of Law, President of the University of Chicago and Head of the Ford Foundation.
“You got criminals in high places, and law-breakers making the laws.” −Bob Dylan (1941- ), lyricist and singer.
Law and order are as essential to freedom as entrepreneurs, working people and capital resources are to capitalism. Law sets the boundaries between tolerable behavior and chaos. Yet, the stench of legal fear is increasingly pervasive. People fear being sued and incarceration for minor criminal infractions. We must face the fact that In America today our criminal and civil systems or law are badly broken. We have over one million lawyers practicing and making law with a near total absence of oversight or accountability. This unfortunate circumstance has led to an our overly litigious society, a society `where lawyers not only make and own and administer the law, but where they are increasingly using their power to wage class warfare on women and children, on the middle class and on the disabled and the working poor.
Deeply Disturbing Facts about our so-called Legal Systems.
- Over 2 million people are imprisoned in America…that’s 700 for
every 100,000 inhabitants. In the European Union less than
100 people are imprisoned for every 100,000 inhabitants.
In Finland 52 people are imprisoned for every 100,000 inhabitants.
- By far, America is the most litigious nation ever. The annual cost of
litigation is approximately $400 billion.
- In the last 15 years well over 300 people convicted of rape and murder
were released from prison after serving long prison sentences when
DNA evidence established beyond any doubt their innocence.
- Because they fear lawsuits, physicians are compelled to practice
“defensive medicine,” unnecessarily wasting hundreds of billions
of dollars a year.
Endless volumes could be written about the injustices handed out by our substantially corrupted legal systems. With few exceptions our civil and criminal systems of law are growing more and more incoherent. Those, and there many of them, who stand in their defense typically argue that while they are not perfect, they are the best in the world. Utter hogwash for sure. Not equal justice for all as it is supposed to be, but rather the furtherance of racism, elitism, class warfare, war on women and corruption are the current cornerstones of American jurisprudence.
On December 12, 2000 a radically conservative U.S. Supreme Court stole the 2000 presidential election from Al Gore and gifted Bush II the presidency (Bush v. Gore). Shortly thereafter Bush II announced that he favored judges like Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas, the very two men who figured prominently in anointing him president. Bush then appointed Justices Samuel Alito and John Roberts. These radically activist justices then teamed up with Justices Scalia and Thomas and hand us the most despicable antidemocratic judicial decisions in our nation’s history. With their rulings in Citizens United v. FEC and McCutchen v. FEC the U.S. Supreme Court has `elevated big money over people and by so doing placed the future of our fragile democracy in the hands of a few radical plutocrats and the right-wing-coalition that does their bidding to do with as they please.
Chapter Ten Common Sense Solution # 9 America’s Future is Ours to Create
“Who are to be the electors of the federal representatives? Not the rich more than the poor…not the haughty heirs of distinguished names more than the humble offspring of obscure and unpropitious fortune.” In Federalist 57, 1788.
−James Madison (1751-1836), a Founding Father, our 4th president and drafter of our Bill of Rights and our Constitution.
How We Can Crush the Radical-Right-Wing Coalition Before
They Finish Crushing Us.
- Never resort to violence. History has had its fill of violent revolutions. Some worked, others did not. In America today, the radical-right-wing menace controls all of the heavy weapons. Far better to be a living voter and protester than a dead martyr.
- Communicate, Communicate, Communicate. Set aside time each day to write letters to the editor; send emails to your elected representatives; sponsor small groups and town meetings; and do everything you can to promulgate the progressive political agenda as widely as possible.
- Distribute, Distribute, Distribute. Go door-to-door and to the entrances of events and distribute as many progressive pamphlets as you can.
- Ignore the Crazies. From time-to-time disruptive right-wing nutcases will get in your face. Do not argue with them. Their mindset is fixed. Best to just move on and ignore them.
- Think Very Hard before Voting for any Republican. On the vast majority of political issues even so-called moderate Republicans vote with the radical-right-wing-coalition.
- Organize, Organize, Organize. Create a “Get-Out-the-vote Club” and help others to do so. Locate everyone in your local area who has never voted and those who have disengaged from voting and explain why voting now is so important. Give them a copy of Common Sense, pointing out the sections that explain the despicable Republican political agenda. Then show them what progressive Democrats and Independents stand for and how they stand to benefit if they vote for progressive candidates. At the very least first register and then drag your non-voting friends, neighbors and acquaintances to the ballot box.
NewGeorgiaProject.com describes their statewide voter registration drive, which is a grassroots effort similar to the “Get-Out-the-vote Club” described above. Their mission is to register over 500,000 non-voters, enough to switch Georgia from red to blue.
- Give, Give, Give. Your donations are crucial for promoting progressive legislation and electing those who think and vote progressively. Dig deep and often.
- Sign, Sign, Sign. Place your name on every progressive petition that comes your way. Try using Change.org to create your own petitions.
- Support Even your Least Favorite Progressive Political Cause. Too often we have been defeated because we only supported those causes dearest to us.
- Support Your Local Businesses. Even if owned by a Republican, a small business does far less damage than the giant multinational-national corporations.
- Never Let the Radical-Right-Menace Get You Down. Every dog has its day. With your help, the radical-right-wing-coalition’s days are numbered.
Please keep in mind: Primarily because of the many dysfunctions vested in our current income tax codes, the most grievous of which is the failure to tax excess accumulated wealth, there are those who have never labored for even a single day who reap millions of dollars daily. Meanwhile, countless millions of Americans (mostly women, the disabled and the elderly) toil endless hours and yet still suffer the horrors of living in poverty.
A much younger America freed herself from the vice-like grip of foreign rule, rid herself of human bondage and then created the conditions that led to the vast expansion of our middle class. If our forebears could do all that, surely fired-up 21st century Americans can rescue our nation from the radical-anti-democratic-right-wing-haters. Working in unison, protesting, organizing, striking and voting with purpose, we can and we will emerge victorious.