Fair and Free Economy- Draft of Message and Policies

Note: This is a draft of a policy paper for a PA Progressive House candidate.  I want to capture the ideas of a fairer economy in language that resonates with American values of hard work, fair play, and compassion.  The policy ideas are negotiable…

The economy should work for everyone who works.

We have lived through an upside-down economy where Wall Street prospers on Main Street’s misery.  Just as millions of hard-working home owners found themselves upside-down in their homes- paying for a mortgage worth more than the house- all of us have been in an upside-down economy.  We are paying for the idea of an economy, one that favors wealth over work, one favors a quick buck over an earned dollar, one that favors glitz over grit, when the real economy is loosing real value.

The real economy is where stuff is made, relationships matter, value is clear, and a handshake instead of a stock option starts a deal.  The real economy needs the strengths and talents of all of us.  It also needs the infrastructures to connect people and companies.  It also needs rules of the road that we all agree to.

We can fix the economy.   We can give it what it needs: better people, better infrastructures, and better rules of the road.

Better People Ideas:

1) Healthy People: decouple health insurance from employment
2) Prepared People: invest in worker re-training
3) Child care systems so that working parents can work

Better Infrastructure Ideas:

1) Invest in transportation networks
2) Invest in healthy ecosystems
3) Invest in people through daycare, schooling, community college, state 4 year
4) More access to the Internet for people, towns, and entrepreneurs

Better Rules of The Road Ideas:

1) Too Big to Fail is Too Big to Be- re-instate Glass-Steagal separation of retail from investment banking and also cross-ownership of financial institutions.
2) Reward Work and Wealth- change taxes so that wealth (retained interest, capital gains) does not get a huge tax break compared to work; encourage better alignment of compensation to long term wealth
3) End Foreclosure Abuse by Banks and Mortgage Holders
4) Allow workers to represent themselves
5) Tie minimum wage to economic indicators like inflation
6) Require all free trade agreements to integrate wage, safety, and environmental minimums so it is far trade and not a race to the bottom

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4 thoughts on “Fair and Free Economy- Draft of Message and Policies

  1. Opportunity for the 99% instead of bail outs for the 1%…

    Didn’t keynes say rescuing capitalism from capitalists?

    There is this vein of interesting finding sin public polling too: capitalism is not seen that positively.

    “Yes, “capitalism” is still viewed positively by a majority of Americans. But it is just by a bare majority. Only 52% of all Americans react positively. Thirty-seven percent say they have a negative reaction and the rest aren’t sure.”

    That was in 2010, BEFORE Occupy….

  2. I so totally agree with everything you said I just wish more people were saying it. I believe that all we have to do is to get government out of the way. It was bribes in the form of political contributions that promted government intervention that caused the housing crisis, it is government tax policies that couple insurance and employeement, government regulation that prevents the opening of private affordable day care, cronie capitalism standing in the way of truly efficient mass transent, EPA cracking down on home owners for cutting a bush while allowing giant oil companies to crack the Earth to peices that is destoying our environment. What we have now is not capitalism or even socialism it is cronie corportism where about 100 of the world’s largest corporations are able to buy control of governments. We must shrink the size and scope of government because we the people can never afford to purchase a part in it.

  3. Thanks for your comment, “fool.” I am on board with “effective” government. That is not necessarily about size. When pundits or politicians talk about “shrinking” government, I think they are very selective. They usually mean cut programs that help people. Meanwhile, unnecessary weapons systems are protected as are the many forms of corporate welfare.

    So, for example if regulation strangles private daycare, we should look at that without sacrificing some effective oversight because if you let anyone hang their shingle to watch kids it is not long till you are going to have some horror stories about neglect and deaths. But the whole “no government is good versus big government is bad” is a smokescreen as far as I am concerned.

    I’d rather make the government responsive to people and not special interests than simply “slash it.” At the same time, if bureaucracy or regulation is too cumbersome, let’s fix that. So, I am not easy to pin down in typical media stories of “big guvn’t” liberals versus “small guvn’t” conservatives.

  4. Geoff’s two cents:

    If I were a democrat right now, I think I would focus on how the system is rigged for the super rich–they pay less in taxes, get all the loopholes, and their kids get the best schools and health care while small businesses and the middle class are struggling to get by. The key would be to contrast Crony Capitalism (Crapitalism) with real opportunity. Slogan: Rescuing the American Dream from Crapitalism. or something like that.

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