One of the few things defining and holding back our society today is our lack in belief of controlling our own lives and our destinies. Many people feel powerless when faced with corporations that have no problem yank the rug and their life’s work out from underneath them, all of the while the government endangering our lives while doing nothing to help the people and everything to help these failing systems as they collapse further. People are picking sides and placing blame on each other, putting no thought into what the other side thinks or feels, and in some cases, never thinking that they could be wrong.
All of this ties back to the government, who, if left to continue at this rate, will ultimately screw the country and possibly the world for generations to come. The sad thing is that it doesn’t have to be this way – that the people of this country our letting it be this way, instead of acting to do something about it.
So what would I do differently?
1. I’d fire every federally elected official, and give temporary control to the Supreme Court justices. The problem isn’t so much with individuals as it is with the ability to trust anyone currently elected – and just picking out people will ultimately keep the problems between the people divided. The only real way to get the majority of people on board with this is to accept that everyone has to get replaced, and to make sure none of them can return to any elected federal office. You can’t say, “It’s person X/Group Y’s fault” if they’re equally gone, right?
2. Strip the Constitution down to the Bill of Rights, and rewrite them so that all of them are up-to-date, clear, inclusive of everyone, and redefining of where power exists. We have a lot of laws that contradict or shoot down other laws, and so many that are poorly worded, or leave the rights of people out. Modernizing it may sound silly, but problems we have exist because no one is trying to make people equal. Likewise, we have many state vs. federal battles over things that should never have been issues, such as the rights and regulations of people. We need to get back to simplified terms, and of understanding what roles should be where – leaving the state governments to handle what the federal government doesn’t, while the federal government defines the rights for people, as well as regulating the country’s industries and finances.
3. Define Term Limits, Rules and Salaries Clearly. Probably the biggest bit of toxicity in our government stems from people being in power far longer than they should – or far shorter than they need to be. For the president, this is a bad thing: some of a president’s long-term goals need to stretch beyond the limits of that president, and the next person elected may decide to eliminate those goals, either for their party or their own personal goals. Likewise, many of the career politicians have lost base with the people who elected them, have no long-standing goals, and are there to play their party’s hand. The solution I propose is simple: 20 years max for each elected position, with elections every two years to allow much more frequency to decide who’s doing their job. I’d also propose a new rule: Any time the elected officials fail to keep a functioning government, they’re all terminated with lifetime bans from federally elected government. This way, even when they’re divided and can’t get much done, they’re forced to keep the rest of the government running so that other innocent people aren’t affected – and punished for that failure when they do fail.
4. Return to the days of the losing candidate(s) becoming Vice Presidents, and make those who lose in the other elected positions team mates to the winner. These would be for major elections, and would need some definition, but we as a country keep playing this 2-party mentality without doing much for the people. If I’d have been able to, I would have chosen McCain VP over Biden, and allowed every level of government to work together between the parties for these solutions. Likewise, I’d expand the idea to the Representatives and Senators – the final losing candidates would still have influence over the state they represent, and would give second and third voices for that state/area. (This would also appeal to the term limits set above, as those who lost wouldn’t be penalized unless the elected official has to step down due to inability to do their duties.)
5. Force certain industries to be socially available without punishment to the consumer. The biggest problem with Capitalism in the U.S. isn’t the greedy people in power, it’s the lack of regulation forcing unnecessarily high debts on people, essentially turning everyone into slaves. Certain functions need to be regulated as to be fair to the people: in addition to law enforcement and the military, healthcare and education should be regulated so that it’s accessible and non-damaging to all people. No one should be forced in to debt to have their kids finish high school, and no one should be forced into heavy debt for good higher education. Likewise, you shouldn’t have to pay your life savings in medical bills, and between those two outfits alone, plenty of people are in debt for what many would consider to be gross mismanagement of prices. A strong consumer product base should not come at the expense of those consumers.
6. Flat taxing, Eliminate all debts, and hire accountants to refinance and repay debts overseas. No one likes debts, money mismanagement, etc, and we have an ugly situation for those of us (like myself) who will never be able to retire. Sixteen trillion dollars in debt doesn’t come overnight, isn’t going away overnight, and until it’s resolved will help to stress all Americans out. We need to fix it, and to do that, we need to discuss the taxpayers needs. I’d suggest taxing everyone equally at 20% of their pay – no property or other taxes, no loopholes or returns. Make it simple for everyone. In return, all debts not related to a crime involving foul play or theft get wiped clean, with the government using said tax base to pay back those debts over time. At the same time, we shouldn’t owe other countries overseas any money – if anything, they should owe us. We need to get back to that point, and I’m sure with the right number-crunchers working for us, we could figure out how to repay these debts without putting a heavy burden on taxpayers or the countries we owe. Don’t screw over anyone, just keep it fair and keep it simple.
7. Tie Minimum Wage to the Consumer Price Index and Cost of living – at a rate that is beneficial to all. The biggest cause for stress and disbelief in America stems from how many are working below what they need to move forward, if they’re lucky to be working at all. While some of what I suggest should help bring jobs back, something tells me this won’t go down without a fight – and without companies leaving for cheaper places to manufacture and better ways to rob people. However, hose that stay and form in the aftermath, if managed right, will eventually drive those who choose to run away out of business, bring work to those lacking it, and help to rebuild America to where it never should have left. Tie everyone’s base pay to those two factors, use a factor to set minimal COL percentages for months and years of service, and require minimum percentage raises for everyone yearly. If minimum wage goes up, so does everyone else’s raise – up until you’re earning a million or more yearly. (Remember those accountants I talked about earlier? we’ll need them to figure out percentages and whatnot, though the corporations and companies would still decide starting point and additional raises on top of things – which will be required to be based on performance.)
8. Prioritize what the country needs, eliminate what it doesn’t. There should be some baselines for our country to move forward: A focus on an educated public, regardless of how menial a task is; a focus on a healthy country that is fully capable of production; and a strong, united country capable of protecting an enabling its people. We need to lose focus on what doesn’t work, such as the war on drugs and the monetizing and incorporating of what should be available to all, while focusing on the continued improvement of all of the citizens here. Regulation is needed to keep people honest and greed under control, but it does not need to kill capitalism or punish the poor and middle class recklessly. A democracy that empowers and enables the people to be their best is still possible, BUT that power must be kept by the people of this country – not a select few or the rich or any specific group of people, but ALL PEOPLE.
9. Write in Rules Establishing When the People of America can Call the Government On Its Mistakes. No one believes this is possible anymore, thanks to the corruption, the regulations, the loopholes and complete mess of the legal system today. This is wrong. When power gets abused, when people suffer because of your bad decisions, things need to change, and all people should be able to call it for what it is. In most jobs, if you screw up and break the rules, you get fired, but way too many politicians don’t ever have this happen. Power should be equally divided to prevent corruption, not in one hand to allow it.
ONE LAST THING: I don’t care if an idea is socialist, communist, feminist, asshole-ist, or any other -ist you can apply a label to – if an idea allows our country to become the strongest nation in the world in the next 10, 20, or 30 years, we should be working towards implementing that idea and running with it, not doing everything we can to run things into the ground. I know many of these ideas will be what’s unpopular – but I also left many of these wide open to interpretation because we need to decide on the factors involved as a country. I may be pointing to specific points and have general suggestions, but I know that we need experts in all areas of life to weigh in and help change and adjust those suggestions, or find solutions that are better overall, than what I have. Who suggests it, how similar an idea is to someplace, and all of these other factors that you probably have to kill these ideas, are only going to continue holding all of us back from becoming our best, our brightest, and our healthiest.
We’re still one of the most powerful and influential countries in our world – nations and organizations wouldn’t fear or compete against us if we weren’t. However, influence shouldn’t come from fear alone, and something we’ve lost along the way is mutual respect. Greatness can be achieved, respect can be regained, but only if and when the people of our country feel capable and empowered to be that way. I hope you’ll agree and push for this, but I also hope that those who disagree don’t argue with me alone – I hope they seek to improve upon it.