If you are like me, you were raised believing that the Green Party was a party of Socialists and Communists; and if you were taught in school like I was taught in school, then you were taught to believe that if the Green Party was a party of Socialists and Communists, then, by default, they were a party of Fascists and Dictators. I have just finished doing extensive research on them (including reading their entire 65-page platform), and I can assure you that you probably aren't getting the full Green Party story.
Started in New Zealand and brought to prominence in Europe, the Green Party came to the United States in the 1980s. Then, it was known as the Green Committees of Correspondence, a decentralized network of green organizations formed by members of the North American Bioregional Congress. In 1984, the electoral branch of the Green Party was founded by 60 people at the Macalaster College in St. Paul, Minn. In 1991, the name Greens/Green Party USA was adopted after the electoral and non-electoral wings of the organizations merged. In American electoral politics, the Green Party gained prominence in 1996 and 2000, when they ran Ralph Nader for President. As of 2005, the Green Party had 305,000 registered members in states allowing party registration, and tens of thousands of members and contributors nationwide. Currently, there are 133 elected Greens across the United States, and in the 2008 Presidential election, they were on 31 state ballots, plus the District of Columbia, which translates to 70 percent of voters and 68 percent of Electoral College votes.
"Community-based economics constitutes an alternative to both corporate capitalism and state socialism" seems to be the best and easiest way to summarize the Green Party platform, and is a direct quote from the previously mentioned platform.
The Green Party does not take, accept or use any corporate money and opposes the bailout of corporations, big banks and the automobile industry. They believe in increasing taxes on corporations and the super-rich, including taxing pollution. They want to end tax incentives for sending jobs overseas. They also want to enact a wealth tax of 0.5 percent per year on an individual's assets over $5 million.
Low, Middle and Working Classes
Conversely, the Green Party wants to exempt people earning less than $25,000 per year and families earning less than $50,000 per year from federal and state income taxes. They also believe that food ,clothing, prescription medications, other necessities and second-hand goods should be exempt from sales taxes. Along with affirming the importance of access to a livable income, the Green Party also stresses the importance of a universal basic income (also known as a guaranteed income) regardless of health, employment, or marital status, saying, "The amount should be sufficient so that anyone who is unemployed can afford basic food and shelter."
Decentralization of Government
The Green Party is not for a centralized government, but rather support more individual participation and communal coalescing. They believe that everything -- schooling, health care, agriculture, energy and business -- should be handled at the most local level possible. They also believe that students, children, the homeless, prisoners, felons, patients, small farmers and business owners should all have a seat at the table and be included in the discussion.
They also oppose organizations such as NAFTA, CAFTA, IMF and the World Bank, calling them out for being detrimental to the individual, the community and the planet.
The Green Party, of course, has a very environmental platform. They are against nuclear energy, as it is expensive and hazardous. Instead of pursuing the traditional routes of coal, oil and natural gas, the Green Party would like to see us pursue energy systems based on solar, wind, geothermal, marine and other clean renewable energy sources. It is often said that these sorts of things are costly, and the Green Party has considered that, which is why they suggest "state-level financing policies [that] can help homeowners install expensive renewable energy where the county pays the up-front cost and the system is paid for via the homeowners' property taxes."
When it comes to Immigration, the Green Party doesn't believe in a fence, a border, a national ID system, the E-verify system, the use of the National Guard as border patrol, or the focus of police as immigration control. "We must resist proposals that use illegal immigration as an excuse to put us all under further government monitoring and control by means of a national ID card or other identification and tracking systems," the party says.