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

Occupy Wall St.: Interview with David Kristjanson-Gural

Here is a link to a recent interview on WKOK with Mark Lawrence.

After you click on it, you will see a screen that says “no preview available.”  Never fear.  There should be a link in the upper left that says “download.”  You can download the file and listen to it on a computer, transfer it to an iPod or other mp3 player, burn in it on a disc and voila!  a good Chanukah or Xmas present.  Ask if you have problems.


Notable Political Blogs? Part 1 of an Irregular Series

As part of the effort to make our blog more visible (and hence relevant), I am looking for other blogs that we can target to interact with and hopefully bring traffic our way.

There are two ways to approach this.  First, the local/regional/state angle.  Let’s find people who care about our issues and also have a stake in this area.  Second, the issue angle.  In that case, we might target blogs or other social media on any geographic level but that are interesting for their political or topical focus.

Now, I am working on the local angle.  First, I went to technorati, a site that tracks blogs.  I searched for Pennsylvania Progressive and Liberal and found the following possibilities.In no order:

  • Agent Ska: Covers many topics in Pittsburg.  Politics, feminism, art, music.  The link is to the posts on politics.
  • Gil Smart’s Smart Remarks Describes himself as a Steelers fan and an avid anti-conservative.  I am not sure what lancaster online is, but he may represent a cross over from homebrew blogging and commercial media.
  • Beaver County Blue: Describes itself as a chapter of PDA (Progressive Democrats of Maerica).  Like us, a multi-author blog.  Where is Beaver County?
  • Scatablog: Six friends who post on many topics, one of whom is in PA.

Finally, Daily Kos, one of the biggest progressive/liberal outlets made up of thousands of users and a cadre of writers who make it to the front page.

  • DAILY KOS on PA: This link takes you to anything by any regsitered user on Daily Kos who added a tag of Pennsylvania to their diary.