the warring elements of the Democrats at least accept two progressive populist platform
proposals: 1) "Jumpstart America"
(with greenbacks) and 2) "Power for Peace"? Infrastructure, in the broadest
sense, includes not only big projects, but a lot of local needed work. This
includes restoring, repurposing, securing, or demolishing hundreds of thousands
of abandoned homes and factories, building needed small, local facilities such
as day care, senior-care centers, remote clinics, and environmental adaptations.
A part called "Up to Code" is for salvaging houses, abandoned factories,
stores, to put them in usable condition. Another is for environmental
adaptation: rain and rooftop gardens, storm-water disposal, etc. Eminent-domain
law will need to be modified to restrict "just compensation" to private owners
to repayment of the scrap value of buildings taken over while the "owner"
retains ownership based on land value (taxation) alone.
proposal for infrastructure would at most fund a few large showcase efforts
where private funders can make profit. Jumpstart America intends that Congress use its constitutional power (Art.
1, Sec. 8) to create as much money as needed (electronically for transfer) without
borrowing or taking money by taxation! This is genuinely progressive populist policy
that bypasses private banks and bond financing, fake debt-ceiling drama and
fake austerity. Jumpstart will empower Congress to allocate $ trillions for
jobs and infrastructure without increasing the national debt. Enabling legislation, Dennis Kucinich's
NEED Act, H.R. 2990, has been in the
House Financial Services since 2011.
These dollars must be distributed (not "redistributed") by
Congress slowly, to control inflation, to pay several million living wage, full- or part-time supplemental jobs. Project-funding requests for work must be required at lowest governmental level:
thousands of boroughs, townships, and counties. Even the localities must have
some affiants' statement that this work is necessary. I envision this process
driven down even down to individual initiative, in which an affiant takes a
couple photos and swears to his government: "House 123 Street Name is abandoned
and I propose we demolish it" or "There's a swale needed against runoff at
placename. We should make one." This
work would be done on a straight payment for service basis with no benefits or
It would be required of the governmental authority to hire only
for work that can not be reasonably undertaken in timely fashion by permanent
staff. People who need to pay doctor bills, college debts, whatever, would
start as independent contractors under skilled supervision by local municipal
crews, and local small businesses, safety equipment provided, doing labor-intensive work with hand tools and "Armstrong motors." The very rise of
Bitcoin, etc., shows the need for more money and different methods of accounting
for it (such as the decentralized ledger system Blockchain). Payment can be
immediate, after the fact, by transfer to a workers' EBT card or 'phone. "Proof
of [physical] work" can be somewhat lax, by local government project supervisors.
Federal taxability as income would partly defeat the purpose, until these
dollars percolated up a point of purchasing financial assets, when they would
meet a financial-transaction tax. After a few years, the Jumpstart work force
would funnel down to fewer skilled full-time jobs appropriate for workers'
associations. Jumpstart will get dollars distributed for boosting effective
demand, debt reduction, and non-federal tax paying.
Jumpstart is no panacea for "free trade" lack
of incomes and industrial policies. But note another use: when accepted, these
United States notes ("greenbacks," whatever) could be deposited to Social
Security and Medicare accounts, obviating the endless complaints that these
accounts are running out of money and benefits must be cut. They could be used
for a return to "moon shots," like curing cancer or dementia.
for Peace is a declaration of victory. America and the West have
essentially beaten one-off mega-terrorism against our homeland. We've made it
increasingly unlikely that massive, spectacular, 9/11-like attacks can occur
again. We have neutralized most high-placed terrorists. We have removed Middle East dictators. The Middle
East is now split in religious civil war. Colonial occupation of
Middle East nations, Iraq,
should give way to disengagement from these religious civil wars. The only way
to reduce strikes by the "poor man's air force," Buda's wagon bombs, is by peace-seeking actions. Maybe after 50 years of peace, revenge mini-terrorism would all
but end. So I propose calling for an all-parties Stand-Down Truce, followed
by voluntary, assisted evacuations and partitions, cutting down on U.S. support for Baghdad
and Kabul governments and complete U.S. troop withdrawal. Leave all parties
there to fight or settle amongst themselves with only our humanitarian
for your consideration of these proposals.
I'm NOT Bernie Sanders older brother, but could be by similarity. I was born in Manhatten, 1940, he, about a year later, in Brooklyn. I too am a white male American but a retired college professor of philosophy. We both cane from Jewish (more...)
|The views expressed herein are the sole responsibility of the author
and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.