Monday, August 28, 2017

A Platform for the Democratic Party

How many times have we heard the last year or two that the Democratic party is a pack of elitists who don't stand for anything?  Of course, that is a preposterous lie brought to us by the mainstream press, with a big helping hand this time around from the Berniebots.  Hillary had detailed proposals on just about everything, in contrast to Trump's platform of hatred, greed and racism, but the mainstream press just ignored it all.  Well, anyway, all of this idiotic carping led me to spend a few minutes writing out the bones of a platform for the Democrats, or to speak more plainly, a collection of Green Eagle's lunatic ideas about how to run our government, and here it is.  I hope you enjoy it, if you are persistent enough to actually take a look at it:



A Platform for the Future

A General Statement

"Government of the people, by the people and for the people"

The government must openly acknowledge that the interests of the overwhelming majority of its people are very normally contradictory to the interests of large corporations and the tiny sliver of Americans who own them.  It must always be our policy that, when such conflicts arise, the government will choose the actions that benefit the people of the United States, regardless of the cost to the rich.


Jobs:

There are never again going to be enough jobs, if jobs are defined as working to make someone else money.  The short and long term answers to these problems:

Cut the retirement age to free jobs for young workers

Cut the work week from 40 hours to 32 hours (five work days to four.) This will be done by declaring a three day weekend every month; then in five years going to a three day weekend every other week, and in another five years, to a three day weekend every week.  In return, workers will accept a 10% cut in pay for the 20% cut in hours worked.  Those that need more money can work a second job one day a week or use the weekends to build their own business.

Guaranteed paid vacations of at least four weeks, as is the norm in Europe, will also help to spread the available work to the maximum number of people.

In the end even this will not be enough.  The nation needs to begin now to plan for the time when a guaranteed minimum income will be necessary to prevent social disintegration.


Wages:

We know that, in the last forty years, essentially all gains in productivity in the United States have been commandeered by the rich.  This is a recipe for further and further inequality, until society collapses.  The government must see to it that gains in productivity are equitably distributed to all.  Business owners will obviously not do this out of any sense of decency, so they must be forced to do it, through massive tax increases on corporations and their owners.  And it must be clear that this readjustment in the rewards of our system of government must date from 1980 or so, not today, so that a large part of the ill gotten gains of the hyper rich can be recaptured.


Medical Care

The nation must immediately institute a single payer system for medical costs.  The private sector has had decades to move toward a workable system, and has refused at every step of the way.  The only answer now is to effectively destroy medical insurance companies, and leave the payment for medical care to the government, which manages to provide it to seniors and veterans at a 3% overhead, rather than the nearly 30% that private insurance companies thieve from consumers.


Immigration

Immigration is a force as immutable as the tides.  As long as societies have existed, migrants have gone from relatively poorer societies to richer ones, and nothing has ever been found to stop this.  The only thing that can help is to raise the standard of living in third world countries, and to refuse to support repressive governments, so their people can live a decent life at home.  We propose dedicating 10% of our military budget to promoting unions in third world countries to give the people there a chance to have a sustainable existence.  Raising wages in third world countries will, in addition, reduce downward pressure on American wages, leading to a better life at home.


Energy

Global warming is real, and promises social disruption that could effectively destroy Western civilization by the end of the century.  All subsidies to fossil fuel companies must stop immediately, and in particular the government must put an end to the remaining fragments of the non-viable and destructive coal industry.  We must do whatever we have to in order to move toward a carbon free energy supply, including subsidizing development of renewable energy and penalizing further investment in fossil fuels.


Foreign Policy

The United States must start with an open acknowledgement of the malignant role it has played in the Middle East, Latin America and Southeast Asia, favoring the profits of a few international corporations above the interests of the inhabitants of these areas, leading to the deaths of millions, and the supporting of a web of dictators who have existed to force their populations into compliance with the will of the rich.  Laws must be passed to make such behavior illegal, and subject to extreme penalties.  Only through such action can we ever hope to gain a degree of trust in the large parts of the world that we have abused in the last century.  We must give up a leadership position in the world until we can find a way to guarantee that the savaged remnants of our democracy do not allow another leader like Donald Trump to assume the Presidency.


Military

It is a specimen of insanity as great as any in human history that this country spends as much on its military, more or less, as the rest of the world put together.  We must vastly reduce the amount of money that goes to the military, and realize that real peace can only come through living as equals with the rest of the world, not through force.

In a civilized world, not all things are fair in war.  There are some, the use of which is considered among the worst crimes a human can commit, such as the use of chemical or biological weapons, or the deliberate targeting of civilians.  We must add something to this list before it becomes so prevalent that there is no stopping it: the use of robots in warfare.  This must include the use of drones for other than observation or supply purposes.  If we license a major power to amass a robot army which allows it to wage war against lesser countries without any risk to its own people, it is inevitable that robotic warfare will be used for the most abominable sort of aggression.  Now is the time to take a firm stand against this.


Education

It is the responsibility of people in a democracy to support a high quality education not just for their own children but for all children.  This demands that the public education system be fully funded in this country, and that the government not spend one cent subsidizing private, for profit educational institutions, which in fact exist for two reasons: to siphon money from our public educational system into the pockets of a few heartless rich businessmen, and to isolate the children of the well-to-do from the consequences of the deliberate plundering of our school systems.


Religion

No government subsidies or tax relief for any religion.


Wealth

It must be understood that allowing the very rich to have more money to invest than there are available and productive investment opportunities, by the most basic law of supply and demand, is what creates bubbles, and the entire cycle of boom and bust which has plagued the world since at least the 1600's.  The aggregate wealth of the very wealthy must be restricted, through tax increases, so it is in line with the need for investment.  This is the only way to provide economic stability in the long run.


Race

This nation must acknowledge, particularly after the events of the last couple of years, that racial hatred, predominantly among whites, as well as systematic racial disparities, is far greater than virtually all of us realized.  This cannot be tolerated if our society is going to persevere in the long run.  Actions intended to deliberately prolong this racial disparity must be recognized as serious crimes, and severely punished.  Membership in open racist groups such as the KKK or various self-styled Nazi groups must be made illegal, and the judicial system must have the will to severely punish such behavior.


Constitution

The Federalist Papers, or at least the most pertinent ones, should be required reading for all college students, so a significant part of the country will have some understanding of what the Constitution means, and not be led astray by the lies of right wing propagandists.  Notable among the things that must be common knowledge are the fact that the Electoral College was created to prevent demagogues and tools of foreign countries from being elected President, and that the second amendment applies only to militias run by the government; in fact there is nothing in the Constitution affirming the individual right to own a gun.


Taxation

It is not only the responsibility of citizens in a democracy to adequately fund these programs, it is an absolute necessity, if democracy is not to degenerate into an oligarchic dictatorship, of the type that we see forming in this country as we speak.  We know that the citizens of every European country that approaches what is described above are far happier in the aggregate than Americans, despite the fact that they pay higher taxes.  The propagandists of the rich in this country work around the clock to deny this, but we know it is true.  It must be repeated until people in the United States realize how victimized they are by the current state of things here.

___________________________________________________________________________


Well, if ever there was a pie-in-the-sky set of proposals, this is it, I guess.  Except for the fact that if something along these lines is not adopted in the near future, our country is doomed, it would do people well to just forget the whole thing.  And if dictatorship sounds good to you, that is exactly the course you should take.

8 comments:

Carol said...

"workers will accept a 10% cut in pay"

Like hell they will.

Anonymous said...

Pie in the sky indeed lol. If the Democrats just used some of these proposals
I think they could take over all 3 branches of government with ease

Glad you're still here

Green Eagle said...

Sorry, Carol, when the alternative is complete social breakdown and a massive, violent revolution, they will. And that is what is going to happen if the growing disparity between rich and poor is not addressed.

Jerry Critter said...

Your proposed 10% pay cut is actually an increase in pay in terms of $/hr since hours is being cut by 20%.

Green Eagle said...

And again, Jerry, may I point out that I am not talking about paychecks here, I am talking about the survival of our society as anything resembling civilization as we have come to know it. Our economic system as it now exists is primed to disenfranchise more and more people as time goes on, until the majority of the country is essentially without hope of employment, or is offered nothing but slave-like working conditions. This is a guaranteed recipe for violence on a scale that will make France in the 1790's or Russia in 1917 look like minor incidents. Reversing our course toward this inevitable future is one of the two most colossal issues facing us; the other being global warming, which, unchecked, will also destroy the civilized world. But addressing either of these problems will require some minor diminution of the wealth of the top thousandth of one percent of us, and is therefore apparently politically impossible.

To be brief, our choice is not between living in a six bedroom 4500 square foot mini-mansion or living like a Brooklyn hipster; it is between living like a Brooklyn hipster and living like someone in Somalia or Syria.

Carol said...

Someone working 40 hours a week, 52 weeks a year, at minimum wage, with no vacation, is earning just $15080 per year. A 10% cut knocks it down to $13572. Yeah, they'll accept that (Sarcasm). Even at $10 bucks an hour, they're currently getting $20800 per year, and will end up with $18720.

Right now, a lot of employers have 29-hour weeks just to avoid paying the benefits required with 30-hour weeks. If you work TWO such jobs at minimum wage, it's just $21,866 a year. With your adjustments, they're STILL working 46.4 hours each week, and just getting $19679.40. At that income, losing 10% per year is a catastrophe.

Let's say you're in that bracket. All of your co-workers are in that bracket, too. Mobility between social classes is low, and neighborhoods are increasingly segregated by income, so it's likely that most, if not all, of your friends and family are earning somewhere around $20,000 per year, too.

Here some party comes along, and says it'll not only reduce your pay by 10%, but it'll reduce the pay of all of those other people by 10%, too, even though they're barely scraping by already. How would you be likely to react?

If you want to drive all those low-income people to the Republican party, there's no better way than for the Democrats to propose a 10% pay cut for the poor. I guarantee you every Republican will be running on "We don't want you and your family and friends to lose all that money."

Not all of us are Hollywood types.

As for complete social breakdown? In rural Appalachia and rust belt cities, they're already living in complete social breakdown. At about $20,000 per year, society has already broken down for you. You're going to fight for to keep that $2,000.

"Workers will accept a 10% cut in pay." Like hell they will.

shkwiver said...

Carol's right. OTOH,your "jobs" and "wages" contradict each other. Productivity has at least doubled since 1980 while wages have stayed the same, meaning, I produce twice as much and my wages should be double what they are. If I get $10/hr it means the 1% is stealing $10/hr from me, and I want it back!

I'm fine with a 20% cut in hours if it's combined with doubled wages--and I won't shed a tear over the complete social breakdown of the investor class.

Green Eagle said...

A little note from a week or so later:
I am reserving the right to add things to my platform as I think of them. I know it is long past the time when anyone will see the original post, but this is one thing I have written that I hope to improve upon and use again. I hope that doesn't offend anyone.

I made my first addition today, committing the government to refuse subsidies or tax breaks to any religion.