Suggested Policies for a New World
Obama has called for a much-needed change in the way the United States deals with itself and the rest of the world.
Regardless of the hope I have for his abilities, there are fundamental issues we need to remain vigilant over for our nation
and the human race to survive. Among these are an embracing of the concept of 'sustainability', most importantly in the use
and conservation of resources. Elsewhere on this website I have cited the sustainability issues we face; so below, I will
focus on some potential policy considerations we can make to move in this direction.
Tax gasoline, diesel and other petroleum-based fuels to ensure the cost to the consumer never falls below a specific point
(say $3/gal. initially, incrementing annually thereafter). The revenues collected should be directed towards renewable energy,
mass transportation, electric vehicles and integrated communities.
Redesign the national electric grid to ensure the capacity exists as we begin to employ as a universal energy carrier. Where new
transmission lines must be built, encourage the use of existing publicly-owned highway right-of-ways for both transmission lines and high-speed rail.
Since these are in the public domain, fees paid to use these right-of-ways should be used to offset the declining fuel taxes collected to
maintain the same.
Provide for the decentralization of electricity production. Specifically, the creation of Community-Owned Utilities (or aggregations).
Community-owned utilities provide local energy security while providing local, good-paying employment. In addition, it provides a new revenue stream
for local governments (offsetting sales, property and other taxes), with a percentage of such revenues going to programs to help fixed and low
income families with energy needs.
Renew the focus on education. This includes limiting the raiding of education funds during budget crisis. A well educated populace is the
foundation of any society. We need to re-emphasize science and mathmatics, while minimizing the conflict between science and religion.
Establish a universal health-care system. Our current health care system benefits only the middle men (i.e. the insurance companies). In the
process it is crippling families as well as businesses alike. Let's get back to supporting a healthy population and building trust and respect for our
medical professionals by giving them (directly) the time and tools to do the job right.
Tax the so-called illegal drugs. When Viagra and its cousins were allowed on the market (following the allowance of pharmaceutical companies to
directly advertise and influence the consumer), we effectively undermined the fine line between medicinal and recreational drugs. While still spending billions
a year on the so-called 'drug war', we are seeing an exploding problem with the abuse of prescription drugs. One cannot change basic human
curiosity so let's tax drugs and remove the profit (and hence, violence) factors. The monies saved (from the cut in drug interdiction and prisons) as well as the revenues
earned in the taxation could then be used to readdress the shortfalls to education and social program funding.
Support birth control, STD protection education and women's rights throughout the world. Un-controlled population growth affects us from the nation to the family. Religion and
male dominance are two factors opposing birth control education and use. Limited resources and the ever-growing threat of pandemics require maintaining neutral (world) population growth.
Enforce separation of church and state. Religous factions have undermined education (creationism, etc.), health care
(birth control, etc.), supported intolerance and the resultant conflicts. Church-supported political efforts should be met with removal of their IRS non-profit status at the least.
Allow assisted suicide. With a burgeoning world-wide population (and exploding resource use), if someone wants to commit suicide, they should be allowed.
Enact policy guidelines to reduce, not increase the laws on the books. Specifically, every law considered should contain a preamble as to why the need
exists for it, along with a sunset date. At the 'sunset' date, the law (if it was passed) is re-evaluated as to whether it is still relevant and whether it was effective.
If not, the law is removed or re-written (to address deficiencies) and re-submitted for approval.
Stop tolerating tantrum-like policies such as we hold against Cuba. Government policy positions such as those we hold for Cuba (and marihuana)
are seen as baseless by the majority of our nation's population, and only serve to undermine other (rational) policies.
Make arms sales between countries illegal. Why should we allow one country to support the killing of another country's people for financial gain?
If a country wants to go to war, let them use only what they can produce. War not only kills, it also maims the next generation.