I'm often asked about my political leanings. I have never really had a satisfactory answer because I don't feel that my ideas fall on the typically outlined spectrum. I needed to get my brain working today so I thought I would try. Here is my politic:
1) Free Education from pre-k through PhD: If you have the drive and keep up with the rigors of academia, then you deserve to have the opportunity no matter what your social class.
2) Free Healthcare for All: Period. No remainder.
3) Community Empowerment Project: Slavery didn't end with the emancipation proclamation. That was a political move; I'm talking about a social one. Segregation, Jim Crow, and the modern day prison pipeline have created socio-economic conditions that are equivalent--if not in name, then in purpose--to bondage. To even begin to right that wrong there needs to be a comprehensive well-funded effort to support those who are working to educate and empower the oppressed to make their dreams realities. No amount of speeches, marches, or laws will change those conditions if they are not confronted head on by an effort as systematic as the ones that have kept them in poverty—on purpose—for centuries. Therefore, there needs to be a fund set up to encourage those who have fallen out of the tailpipe of unfettered capitalism. The community needs certain functions: street cleaners, community patrols, organizers to set up community events, job fairs, political rallies, block parties, parks service, artists. However, these professions are usually not predisposed to wealth. The opposite is true. These community functions are not prone to profit and are therefore not invested in. Why should we not pay a decent living to those who would seek to make our communities stronger, safer, and more inspiring? People can still work normal jobs but they wouldn’t have to. They wouldn’t starve or need to turn to crime because they would have food, shelter, clothing, and access to information and entertainment through the Internet. A system needs to be devised to implement a fair tax, organization of a CEP, and full funding.
4) End Homelessness: Create (corporate) taxpayer funded construction crews who can work to restore the many abandoned and derelict row homes in Philly alongside the homeless and disenfranchised who can help them build it who will also get ownership of it after completion similar to the Habitat for Humanity project. The homeless can even have wages on their work because they are being contracted by the government. Empowering people, not handing them toys. Then the people from point #3 can come in and help build community.
5) Sustainable Development: Work with Harrisburg to begin developing a wind and solar infrastructure project that can harness and store energy. Fund this project with taxes on the natural gas wells (severance tax and a % on every metric) and corporate taxes.
6) Community Policing: It seems to me to develop community people need to talk and work with one another. That way, if something happens either positive or negative, then the rest of the community can empathize. If shifts were organized of young able volunteers to patrol the streets in place of the police then trust could be developed on many different levels. 1) It would be hard for an evildoer to penetrate the walls of familiarity because everyone would know each other and 2) there would be very little reason for a person to get shot by a police unless actually provoked with deadly force.
7) End The Drug War: What a waste of money. If people are going to do drugs there is no SWAT team looking stormtrooper nightmare that will scare them into doing otherwise. There is a common sense aspect to this. A well-funded police war is going to provoke a well-funded underground. Hence, the gangs and drug lords. If products were able to be consumed safely yet as a public health issue, then we wouldn't have people dying of hypothermia in the streets because they shared the wrong person's needle. And all that money can be funneled into the above mentioned projects.
8) Basic Income: In the projects above, there is an aspect of people getting paid to work in their communities. Working families and the homeless are working on their very own homes; people are organizing themselves into street patrols; energy projects are creating windfalls. Think about all of the innovation that will come from such an undertaking. But people will still need food, clothing, computers, school supplies. Well, if they work on one of these projects (keep in mind even the differently abled can help out via digital tools), then they can be compensated with a basic income which is enough to provide a house, food, clothes, healthcare, and educational needs. It's far cheaper to invest money into a community at barely double the minimum wage than it is to build prisons that look like they belong in Game of Thrones designed to dungeon people who were probably having a hard time and just decided to escape for a while. The income could come from the CEP.
9) Corporate Taxes: should be a flat % with no exceptions. If your tax code can't be posted on ELI5, then you're doing it wrong. Citizens deserve to understand what their representatives are doing. They are accountable to even the most destitute of citizens. They should be able to understand how much Comcast is giving for the common good when it was Comcast who tore up holy land to build monoliths to progress. That comes at a price and the price is the common good. They should be taxed in a way the is simple and understandable. I would assume that 50% of profits would be a good number but I don't have any economic data to back it up. I am just trying to imagine a world where people are cared for and not treated as simply expendable and interchangeable consumers. That money will go toward the energy and community projects outlined above.
10) Publicly Funded Elections: Funds should be provided based on merit, not favor. From local up to federal the amount of money that one receives to campaign should be tied to the average wage of operating a small business at whatever level. So a Mayor's race would be funded like a business that serviced every citizen of Philadelphia, for instance. A Presidential race would need to be a national corporation etc. But operating an Olive Garden for a year is still cheaper and cleaner than the billions of dark money than fund Presidential bids.
11) Fair Tax Rate: The above projects are designed to accumulate great talent in great numbers in the service of sisterandbrotherhood, progress, and the common peace. It is not a cheap enterprise. On the contrary it is a very expensive one but it provides for a great feat of humanity. The first feat of humanity whose people would say to themselves that they would rather contribute to the greater good of harmony and civilization than the pop buzz of celebrity and cable news. It will be costly but it will be fair because people can spend their time not fighting back against a system designed to crush them but embrace it because it is designed to empower them, both morally and economically. So the corporation, the street sweeper employed by the Community Empowerment Project, the lawyer, the CEO, the NFL quarterback, the nightly news anchor, the Wall Street banker, Steven A. Cohen, and Joe the Plumber all pay the same tax rate. It's fair.
12) Free Internet for Everyone: The Internet has created a digital space that, while still in its infancy, still rivals the importance of the lightbulb. It is an empowering thing because in cyberspace there is no race, class, or creed. You are free to be whoever you want to be, no matter what the expectations that are placed upon by those who condition you. People should have access to this material. The Internet is not a Nintendo. It is not a luxury in this modern world. It is a necessity to connect the everyday person into the Matrix where everyone is equal. I also think that a standard education should come with these computers simple enough that you open it and *bing* it says, "What do you want to know?"
13) Abolish Factory Farming: How we treat our non-human kindred reflects the best and worst of who we are as humans. The current system of exploitation and blind profit that treats a living, breathing creature and ecosystem like a money machine and enslaves, pillages, and brutalizes entire species must be replaced with one that promotes compassion, harmony with the ecosystem, and efficient transportation. We should treat even our food with the respect that we would treat ourselves. After all, we’re just food for the Earth when we die. How would you want to be treated?