CRIME AND CORRUPTION:
There are better uses of taxpayer dollars than keeping more people in jail simply to enrich the shareholders of for-profit prisons or to maintain prison jobs. The cost of this ‘correction’ to the American taxpayer is high: $52,000/year for each prisoner, and hundreds of thousands are there when the laws under which they were convicted have been ended. The corrections industry is powerful, and exemplifies the worst aspects of monopoly capitalism: the exorbitant rates charged to families who accept phone calls from incarcerated loved ones is purely a matter of what prison operators can get away with charging (it can total hundreds of dollars a month) and two-thirds of them are in the can for minor drug possession.. If we disconnect inmates from family we undermine a key element of rehabilitation and increase recidivism. To avoid incorrect imprisonment, develop more extensive use of DNA to identify criminals.
In mid-November, the Federal Communications Commission initiated the process to consider setting price caps for prison phone service charges. The woman known to her grandson as “Big Mama” (Martha Wright) became the lead plaintiff of a year 2000 class action lawsuit against Corrections Corporation of America, charging that it conspired with phone companies to create monopolies. If we disconnect inmates from family we undermine a key element of rehabilitation and increase recidivism. To avoid incorrect imprisonment, develop more extensive use of DNA to identify criminals.
Demand that Congress tighten the anti-corruption laws applicable to members of Congress beyond outright kickback requiring proof of quid pro quo corruption.
Cybercrime supports a larger underworld than the drugs trade. Turn off the electricity from the other side of the world? Tamper with Wall Street’s trading system? Infect high-tech military equipment with computer bugs? Collapse air-traffic control systems? Derail freight and metro trains? Scramble financial data? Take down the eastern US electrical grid? Change guide by CPS satellites of bombs? Change databases of fighter planes and warships? These computer invasions could be stopped by inter-net service providers taking more responsibility for identifying infected computers and spotting attacks as they happen. The world could establish a “duty to assist” countries under cyber-attack, regardless of nationality or motive.
Take care of the largest threats. The most monumental non-nuclear explosion was in an oil pipeline. Use the ethics commission to monitor and control criminal and corrupt practices in the government. Prosecute the cases recommended by the impartial prosecutor; end no-bid contracts which ease spending taxpayer money to party favorites, hired corporations which overcharge the taxpayers on Iraq supplies (half the money sent for reconstruction has been used for overhead costs instead of construction, when overhead was already covered).
History repeats itself. President Reagan’s administration was followed by 76 convictions for having their ‘hand in the till’. And now, although it may not result in an indictment, former administration Attorney General John Ashcroft just got the largest, $52 million, contract of this kind, ever, to monitor the manufacturer of knee and hip replacements caused by a voluntary war.
Prosecute Blackwell, Secretary of State of Ohio, who purged city residents from voter rolls and obstructed new registrations. Thousands more lost the chance to vote due to long lines at the polls. As candidate John Edwards said about Iraq, “I’ve got to get this off my chest: “While we’re working on democracy over there, we’ve got a little work to do on democracy over here”
Follow the Chicago model for city crime control by using a team of outreach workers, perhaps with local ministers, and send ‘violence interrupters’ to street scenes. Operation Ceasefire.
Legalize drugs rather than decriminalizing them (so as not to leave the criminals with the cash).
Make Mexico a permanent strategic partner, offering to protect its growing middle-class. To reduce drug crime and its effects we agree with Rev. Pat Robertson who says imprisoning minor offenders is a plague on young people which ruins them and costs taxpayers a fortune while failing. Consider this: at least they don’t DRINK. Our broke states and cities cover most of that $500,000 cost. Taxing legal sale of marijuana could bring in $6.4 billion a year to those same, broke, states and cities and we’d take the Taliban’s chief source of money. Conservatives William F. Buckley and Milton Friedman support this approach, saying the current drug policy has been a dismal failure for years. We COULD give control of drugs to doctors and pharmacists.
In addition, we must strengthen coordination among the agencies, give development assistance, reduce American demand, target illegal funds, and recognize it is crime prevention. Colombia’s incipiently successful end to their drug conflict should be the model.
Mexican drug organizations have established operations in 195 American cities. We should not expect illegality to stop drugs since prohibition did not stop use of alcohol. The Pentagon’s senior military officials know that the war on drugs is bankrupt and that it is undermining their ability to succeed in other important missions, such as defending our country. Drugs and narcotics, which are, without question, the economic engine that fuels the resurgent Taliban so we must take it over, by law.  We COULD, even, fund health care for all with that wasted money.
Legalize it and impose taxes. 200 million people, almost 5% of the world’s adult population, still take illegal drugs. A public relations campaign will be necessary since 73% of Americans are against legalizing any kind of drugs (except prescription pharmaceauticals, of course) and 60% oppose legalizing marijuana. It’s clearly better to put more emphasis on public education and the treatment of addicts, less on harassment of peasants who grow cocoa and the punishment of consumers of ‘soft’ drugs for personal use. Legalization would not only drive away the gangsters: it would transform drugs from a law-and-order problem into a public-health problem, which is how it ought to be treated. Governments would tax and regulate the drug trade, use the funds raised (and the billions saved on law-enforcement) to educate the public about the crisis of drug-taking and to treat addiction. There is no correlation between the harshness of drug laws and the incidence of drug-taking; citizens living under tough regimes (notably America but also Britain) take MORE drugs, not fewer.
$5 billion was wasted in ‘Plan Colombia’ on defense contractors. Their job was to destroy the cocoa crop which the natives of Colombia have been growing for 2000 years, dumping chemicals on the natives failed to stop production of drugs. President Bush43’s administration should have moved to the D Plan Colombia plan to start a different crop and reduce the $4 billion/year which pays guerrillas and paramilitaries. That money should be used to build schools and promote human rights.,
Leaving safety to industry costs lives: FEMA ignored mine safety and their actions cost miners’ lives. President Bush43’s administration proposed a budget to help the injured, but raised the interest rates for the disaster loans.
President Bush43 neglected the transportation infrastructure while spending a trillion dollars on a voluntary war. Then the president threatened to veto the repair money even though the bill asked for the $55 billion his Highway Administration said it would cost to fix bridges.
Bad calculation by the Army Corps of Engineers funneled Katrina’s devastating storm surge into New Orleans by destroying cypress swamps that had provided a buffer against storms. Fraud in disaster relief must be cleaned up.
Injuries which prevent people from working to support their families should cause lawsuits so we taxpayers don’t have to pay to support them when someone is injured by mistakes.
Stop privatization of our water supply. Drinking water should not cost profits, too.
Too much water is wasted, mainly by practices left over from non-drought periods. Agriculture uses three-quarters of the world’s water (urban use is trivial). We must limit overuse of water; if present use continues, humans will use 90% of the fresh water supplies by 2025 and the already high cost of water will undoubtedly increase.
Move against global warming because water quality will be affected by global warming, sponsoring new dangers, limiting freshwater supplies in coastal areas, increased contamination and overgrowth of algae.
Scientists have established a conclusive link between fracking and water contamination found in Texas. Regulate or stop fracking.
End the pollution of waters by ‘endocrine disruptors’ in runoff. Further eliminate the runoff of face creams, deodorants, prescription medicines and household cleaners, and of PCBs from asphalt runoff. Develop new sources, use existing resources more carefully, plan where the to put the available water among alternative uses, conserve water, control pollution, protect pools of water and manage invasive overgrowth such as water hyacinth, zebra mussels and Asiatic clams.
The five companies owning 91% of American newspapers are GE (NBC), Disney (ABC), Murdoch (News Corp), Clear Channel, Comcast and Time-Warner). They do not fairly discuss the news that 1.450,000 people are now working as a direct result of the $80 billion bailout by government. Michigan’s unemployment level is at its lowest level in three years. General Motors is again the world’s biggest automaker and labor has made substantial concessions to help.
The media have failed successfully to ‘fact-check’ campaign statements and check their arithmetic on impossibility and contradiction of claims to reduce the deficit. Properly to remedy media’s failures to fact-check and expose failures in campaigners’ arithmetic we shall monitor media content, start a local Media Reform group, make presentations on media reform, file comments on Federal Communications Commission (FCC) rule proposals, report violations of FCC rules and publicize violations and failures on facts. We’ll brief religious groups, PTA groups, local political party organizations, book clubs, student groups, labor unions, neighborhood, senior and service organizations.
The law to prevent journalists from being imprisoned for protecting their sources should be modified to protect them and to protect needed whistleblowers.
Fix the press: end pure self-regulation. Create a watchdog (a renewed FCC, by giving it investigative powers?) that is “effectively independent” from government and political interests. The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) used peer pressure to police advertising, but can call on legal “backstops” official regulators with the power to punish stubborn offenders. Use arrests. Create a new civil wrong of infringement of privacy to match rules against defamation. Compel newspapers to sign a new press code. Give the regulator the power to suspend operating licenses. Set up a mediator offering succor to those being brutalized by the press, with clever sanctions. Boost genuine investigative and campaign reporting. 
TELL THE IMPORTANT TRUTH about what the people on both sides MUST KNOW to run their own democracy! Since President Reagan in 1987 wiped out the “FAIRNESS DOCTRINE” the media have become a vaster wasteland than it was. The FCC should enforce the law’s requirement that they serve the public interest in return for those free and exclusive publicly owned airwaves. When we required “public service programming” we knew the important stuff, not just entertainment. Pump more federal money into our public media infrastructure, as Germans and English do, and as we used to do at the founding of our country. That could fortify the eroding foundation of print journalism and, in turn, we might get NEWS instead of creation of drama and undigested press releases. With public subsidy we could insist on facts and issues, preserving attention on the President’s and Congress’s objectives, in order to end preoccupation with conflict. Enough ‘strobe-light’ journalism: it destroys democracy when Joe Biden’s health care plan gets a blackout, Fred Thompson gets to #2 ranking as a candidate without any campaign and 63% of the campaign stories focused on political strategy while only 15% discussed the candidates’ ideas and proposals. As soon as President Reagan quit democracy on OUR AIRWAVES the ‘news’ stopped telling us the most important facts INSTEAD OF what we MUST HAVE to vote in a democracy. Change that BY DENYING LICENSE TO BROADCAST to any station NOT telling us both sides. THEN we may restart democracy. The way to do that is to restore the EQUAL TIME RULE that, during election campaigns, which required broadcasters to provide equal airtime to rival candidates in an election. Stations may still broadcast entertainment. But, first, publish the news essential to a democracy. The NEWS cannot just be part of the ‘free market’ where you tell the news the publisher, editor and the money like. The ‘Left’, and Rush Limbaugh (who started IMMEDIATELY after Reagan destroyed equal time), and all the rest got a jump start from President Reagan. ‘News’ became owned by one side. We haven’t gotten fair, balanced news since then.
We ought to support public radio and public television.
We are nearly alone in democratic world in not providing our candidates with public-service television time. Instead we make them buy it---and so money consumes and corrupts our political discussion.
START ENFORCING THE SHERMAN ANTI-TRUST ACT, so we stop media oligoplies from buying up all ‘news’ and telling only THEIR choice of facts and opinion.
Press, non-profit and noncommercial media, as they did under the Funding Fathers, should get subsidies since they are essential to democracy:
1) dramatically increasing spending on local public and community broadcasting;
2) putting thousands of AmeriCorps people to work covering underserved communities nationwide;
3) speeding, with laws to help failing daily newspapers, progress into solvent nonprofit or low profit entities.
Then ‘our’ press could stop pretending they are objective. Global media, also, is dominated by U.S. (Internat’l Herald Tribune, owned by the New York Times, Financial Times, CNN, BBC, and take entirely western points of view). No wonder there’s a Muslim reaction.
It’s time for the media to call a charade a charade. Stories on oil dependence ignore the war in Iraq; the relationship between burning coal and global warming is still, contrary to overwhelming evidence, considered “in dispute”, and the spread of civilian nuclear energy is seldom linked to terrorists’ potential access to weapons of mass destruction…whereas few reporters have doubts. “Media continue to report without comment about clean coal as if it had something to do with protecting the climate…journalists are now trapped by the idea that their job is to report a debate---not judge it or even referee by calling obvious fouls.” “George Will’s February 15 column contained several false claims about global warming…one claiming that the United Nations said “there has been no recorded global warming for more than a decade” whereas said the past decade is the warmest in record.
High end journalism is dying.
Restore that fairness doctrine ended in by President Reagan. President Obama has rejected restoration of the fairness doctrine, preferring to prioritize press ownership issues but we shall do both. Public airwaves should serve the PUBLIC interest, following the federal rule from 1949-87, before President Reagan. Parts of both political parties want this. Republican Senator Trent Lott agrees that talk radio should not be able to shoot down the immigration law like it did. End denial of press access, delay of publication until after elections and use of veiled government sources of disinformation. In the media, they must avoid magnifying the ‘aginner’ feelings which grow quickly into a thicket of popular panic and hostility that reduces voting, ends good discussion and ends in poor policies. Regarding press expressing opinion on going to war the fairness doctrine should the diplomacy alternative to help bring us along to a reasonable decision about going to war. First is the domestic equivalent of the Colin Powell doctrine of requiring overwhelming force before the government undertakes a task: fact sheets, press releases, and presidential statements would have to blanket Washington. Testimony in Congress and meetings with constituent groups would have to occur. The President would have to take the case directly to the American people explaining the necessity of action for the benefit of our children. Second, stop the oligachic, undemocratic consolidation of the media proposed by the Federal Communications Commission because it reduces diversity in ideas by allowing even GREATER CONCENTRATION of ownership than the five corporations that now control 91%. Allowing locally owned media of divergent views will bring back reporters who investigate and provide more informed citizens and more accountable politicians if we can make read media profitable again. Residents of districts with more press coverage of their delegations are better able to name their representatives, identify their political ideologies, and say whether they like them.
In addition, seek bi-partisan media reform using Senator Durbin’s bill. It’s necessary because the media have become America’s entertainment instead of presenting the news (Bill Moyers). Limit the number and types of regional new outlets a single company can own.
The ability of the president to set the agenda has waned. And the standard method of daily press briefings to a small White House press corps reaches too limited an audience. The executive press operation needs to monitor and cultivate a whole new set of opinion shapers, both domestic and foreign.
In enforcement and regulation, use as a legal argument the truth that corporate marketing is a unique form of speech which is escalating in its harm to individuals, society and nature on a massive scale. Under these circumstances, argue that effective legal restrictions on corporate advertising are justified and necessary to protect democracy and preserve a free society. (Marketing of drugs is manifestly unprofessional since it is not done by trained health care people. Corporate marketing adversely effects peoples’ health and emotional well-being by routinely psychologically manipulating and contributing to the obesity crisis by junk food advertising. Treating journalism as simply another business has led to disastrous cost-cutting and slipping standards). Now we have corporations which lay off reporters to save money. The Economist, July 21, 2007, p. 35 That, in turn, makes reporters vulnerable to the “hidden persuaders”---PR firms, press offices and advertisers who offer their views.
CYBERSECURITY OPTIONS: mandatory reporting, net neutrality, source code liability, strike back, fall backs, resiliency, vulnerability, finding, the right to be forgotten, Internet voting, abandonment, and convergence,
1. Mandatory reporting -- YES/Tiered; Have a mandatory reporting regime for cybersecurity failures. Must report cyber penetrations of your firm or of your household to some branch of government or some non-government entity? criminal charges if you fail (48 States vigorously penalize failure to report sexual molestation of children.[SMC] The (US)
2. Net neutrality (an internet a telecommunications svc or an information svc) is no panacea, but the FTC may require that choice
3. Source code liability – CHOICE; Today the relevant legal concept is "product liability" and the fundamental formula is "If you make money selling something, then you better do it well, or you will be held responsible for the trouble it causes." A) Consult criminal code to see if damage caused was due to intent or willfulness;
a) If you deliver your software with complete and buildable source code and a license that allows disabling any functionality or code the licensee decides, your liability is limited to a refund. Make it possible for your users to inspect and chop out any and all bits of your software they do not trust or want to run. That includes a bill of materials "Disabling" means you do not need to give permission to change or modify how the program works, only to disable the parts of it that the licensee does not want or trust. Liability is limited even if the licensee never actually looks at the source code; as long has he has received it, you (as maker) are off the hook.
b) In any other case, you are liable for whatever damage your software causes when it is used normally. A business has its choice. If you do not want to accept the information sharing in Clause 1, you fall under Clause 2, and must live with normal product liability, just like manufactures of cars, blenders, chain-saws and hot coffee.
4. Strike back – identify targets carefully enough to minimize collateral damage; the issue is shared infrastructure, and that issue is not going away. There are some entities that can operate globally and strike back effectively (Microsoft and the FBI teaming up on the GameOver) but smaller entities cannot act globally nor can they act in certain ways without pairing with national agencies. They must put all their effort into having fast recovery.
5. Fall backs and resiliency – It’s too complicated for one policy, but, for software, try "algorithm agility," the ability to swap from one cryptographic algorithm to another if and when the first one becomes unsafe i.e. what do you turn off. OR use a remote management interface through which you can remotely upgrade the endpoints are embedded hardware.
6. Vulnerability finding – everyone on his own (May article in The Atlantic,[BS] Bruce Schneier). The U.S. Government could openly corner the world vulnerability market, that is we buy them all and we make them all public. Simply announce "Show us a competing bid, and we'll give you 10x" (vulnerability finding is increasingly automation-assisted)
7. Right to be forgotten – Use the Obama administration's issuance of a National Strategy for Trusted Identities in Cyberspace[NS] (routers and servers can be authoritatively authenticated but not an unitary, unfakeable digital identity, unless one wants to i.e. the EU's "Right to be Forgotten" is both appropriate and advantageous though it does not go far enough.
8. Do not use internet voting.
9. Abandonment -- If Company X abandons a code base, then that code base must be open sourced.
10. Convergence – Deny it because as a matter of policy everything that is officially categorized as a critical infrastructure must conclusively show how it can operate in the absence of the Internet. The 2008 financial crisis proved that we can build systems more complex than we can operate, the best policy counter to which has been the system of "stress tests" thereafter administered to the banks. We need other kinds of stress tests even more. Cybersecurity as Realpolitik,
The Computer Fraud and Abuse Act [CFAA] defines a number of felonies related to computer penetrations, and the U.S. Code says that it is a crime to fail to report a felony of which you have knowledge.[USC]. Forty-six States require mandatory reporting of one class of cyber failures in the form of their data breach laws,[CSB] while the Verizon Data Breach Investigations Report[VDB] found, and the Index of Cyber Security[ICS] confirmed, that 70-80% are discovered by unrelated third parties, so the victim might never know, so include third party obligation; if above some above some severity threshold that we have yet to negotiate. Below that threshold, follow "Surviving on a Diet of Poisoned Fruit," by Richard Danzig: [RD]: fund a data collection consortium that will illuminate the character and magnitude of cyber attacks against the U.S. private sector, using the model of voluntary reporting of near-miss incidents in aviation (will develop a common terminology and metrics about cybersecurity…inevitably generate resistance): An alternative path was forged in 2007 when MITRE, a government contractor, established an Aviation Safety Information Analysis and Sharing (ASIAS) system, providing anonymized safety, Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), 44 airlines participate in that program voluntarily. Use the combination of a mandatory CDC model for above-threshold cyber events and a voluntary ASIAS model for below-threshold events). Don't think this proposal is an easy one or one without side effects.
To be effective, policymakers must “get in the game” and leverage the opportunities created by the now, computerized, fragmented media market.
Let’s let everyone have ALL the news sources. Bring broad-net to the rural and hard to serve areas where high speed wire connections may aid them.
Senior members of President Bush43’ administration, after the World Trade Center attack, had a huge sense of having let the country down, having allowed a devastating attack on America take place of their watch.
By comparison of statistics, the economy grows faster under Democratic presidents. There have been just 31 Cases of voter ID fraud in 14 Years. Sixteen states have eased voting restrictions. On the other hand, new voting restrictions developed since 2010 are slated to be in place in 22 states this November. In 15 of these states, 2014 will be the first federal election with new restrictions in effect, according to a report released in August, 2014 by the Brennan Center for Justice at NYU School of Law. But court rulings against voter restraint have slowed this sign of the end of democracy. The state of Pennsylvania admitted in a recent court filing: “there have been no investigations or prosecutions of in-person voter fraud in Pennsylvania; and the parties do not have direct personal knowledge of any such investigations or prosecutions in other states.”, but it passed and defended a voter ID law in 2012 that was purportedly designed to stop in-person voter fraud. After winning majorities in the 2010 election a wave of voting restriction laws were passed the likes of which have not been seen since the Civil Rights era. GOP has now lost court cases in every important swing state that passed voter suppression laws since 2010 (WI, OH, FL, PA); evidence of opposition fraud was found in 11 Florida counties, as national Republicans try to contain damage. Fears of voter fraud prior to 2000 have been created out of thin air by particular groups who want to create time consuming, costly barriers to restore requirements amounting to an unconstitutional poll tax. Ban requiring money from voters before they will be allowed to vote., using the same theory previously successful against poll taxes, If election officials should have a photo ID, election officials may take the photograph in the required card and hand it, free, to the voter when he/she votes, just as is done at motor vehicles for a license. Substitute this for the Indiana law requiring their form of identification.(The Missouri legislature refused to act on the bill this session). For the last seven years the Republican partys federal government has done more to reduce voting than to increase it. Democracy used to make it possible for government to pay attention to farmers, suppliers, retailers, small investors and workers, so they could effectively look out for their own economic interests directly. supra, p. 42 That was the intended goal and it worked: between 1945 and 1970 when real incomes tripled.
Jenny Beth Martin, co-founder and head of the Tea Party Patriots, recently bankrupted to avoid $500,000 in back taxes. That’s a pretty damn good bailout.In fact, there are only 700,000 Tea Party members, just at the national level, but Tea Party sympathizers are 45-46 million people. 81% of voters who support the Tea Party say they will definitely vote in the 2014 election, compared with 67% of voters who don't support the Tea Party. But 81 Tea Party candidates lost primaries recently while only 16 have won.
Jeb Bush gave his name to InnoVida, a manufacturer of inexpensive building materials which faked documents, lied about financial health, misappropriated $40 million in company funds and went bankrupt in 2011.
California has set up an independent commission to set legislative district boundaries, and use California’s top two voting model.
On the other hand, in North Carolina, we must end partisan re-districting by amending the Constitution. Documents show that national Republican operatives, funded by dark money groups, drew the crucial lines that packed as many Democrats as possible into three congressional districts. The result: North Carolina’s congressional delegation flipped from 7-6 Democratic to 9-4 in favor of Republicans. The combination of party operatives, cash and secrecy also existed in other states, including Wisconsin, Ohio and Michigan. The Constitution must be amended to say: Districts represented by members of Congress, or by members of any state legislative body, shall be compact and composed of contiguous territory. The state shall have the burden of justifying any departures from this requirement by reference to neutral criteria such as natural, political, or historic boundaries or demographic changes. The interest in enhancing or preserving the political power of the party in control of the state government is not such a neutral criterion.”
Equality of opportunity is critical to voters and democracy. "By 63% to 35%, Republicans believe that the United States is a country where anyone can succeed, regardless of background. Democrats, by a 69% to 29% margin, disagree saying the widening income gap undermines that idea. Independents side with Democrats, 62% to 34%." NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll
Contrary to opposition claims, the Republican House committee has cleared President Obama‘s White House of any wrongdoing in Benghazi.
Give a ‘liturgy of absolution’ and an almost official cult of optimism, tell us that we came home ‘winners’ from our humiliating defeat in Vietnam (Reagan); or ‘faith and love’ (Carter); there is a centrist fantasy that bipartisan power brokers of good will can somehow come together and bridge the nation’s intractable political divisions56% think Speaker Boehner’s lawsuit against President Obama is must a political stunt; 56 percent say the lawsuit is wasteful spending, with just 36 percent saying it is a good use of taxpayer dollars.
“FIX DEMOCRACY FIRST”.Outside money is driving a deluge of very negative political ads. NYT, 8/1/2014, p. 1The Roberts court has changed the rules around campaign finance law entirely, striking down laws enacted by democratically elected representatives and laying the groundwork for the complete annihilation of all efforts to limit money in politics."Turning the pro-democracy First Amendment into a tool for use by the wealthy to dominate politics didn't happen by accident," says Adam Lioz, counsel at Demos, a liberal think tank. A large loophole in the 1974 Campaign Fiance Reform Act allowed independent political groups to raise unlimited cash as long as they didn’t “coordinate’ with any candidate’s campaign.
House Republicans are planning to spend as much as $3.3 million for this year's operations of the special committee they created in May to investigate the September 2012 Benghazi attacks, a bigger budget than the House Veterans Affairs and Ethics committees were given this year," USA Today reports.
Democrats should campaign on local issues.
The young electorate is socially liberal, and that’s more central for them, but very wary of government because they grew up in an anti-government era when government doesn’t work and economic policy is less central. They are very liberal on interpersonal racial dimension, but reject classic liberal notions about ways of achieving social progress for minorities, ” less hostile to socialism than their elders, less likely to recommend progressive taxation”. than older generations. The partisan commitment these voters made to the Democratic Party when they first came of political age will endure. A 77% majority beieves that you can get ahead if you are willing to work hard. 47% dblame ‘circumstances’ for poverty, 56% believes “government cannot afford to do much more.” Just 36% believeg that Wall Street hurts the economy. Older Democrats, opposite. On race, 68% say blacks “are mostly responsible for their own condition,” and only 28% said that the country needs to do more to give blacks equal rights.They say they are voting for Clinton. 70% chose “competition is primarily good; it stimulates people to work hard and develop new ideas”, profit is generally good because it encourages businesses to provide valued products to attract customers.” They support more spending to help the poor, even if it means higher taxes; government action to guarantee a living wage, enough for everyone to eat and have a place to sleep; and a government guarantee of health insurance, wealth should be distributed according to achievement,” although they may keep what they 81 people have set election campaign 2014 as the time to blame states failing to extend Medicaid.
Senate minority leader McConnell deceived the voters by refusing to say that Medicare is, in fact, a government program: McConnell’s gaffe: flat-out: He actually ‘took credit’ for health care reform, which is the ACA, also known as Obamacare, when he said "keep your Obamacare away from my Affordable Care Act!""
It’s the ‘Do Nothing’ Congress
"The lopsided negative reaction to Rove's commentary -- 46% disapproving of Rove broaching the issue."
The Supreme Court is questioning Alabama re-districting as it should also question Texas.
They are ‘will of the wisps’. Republican governors have reversed their previous policy of supporting the common core strengthening education mainly because President Obama came out in favor of THEIR state statutes.
A new Public Policy Polling survey (3/2014) finds Democrats have reclaimed the lead on the generic Congressional ballot, 43% to 40%, but sins of redistricting will reduce the proper result; young Republicans disagree with Republican policy on social issues such as same-sex marriage.
Completely contradicting Republican campaign speeches, Republican states are, by dollar measure, the most dependent on government. Scott Walker's ‘less dependence on government’ ad features recipient of over $1 million in government subsidies!
More generally, for identifying themselves in a word, Americans choose 'conservative' far more than 'liberal.' (for 70 years, and increasingly so since the early 1960s.") Ellis and Stimson, Ideology in America
We must amend the national constitution to correct the law of campaign finance. Eight of candidate Romney’s ten biggest donors were Wall Street firms and 90% of its $70 million in donations was raised from only 24 voters. The ‘Citizens United’ and McCutcheon decisions, by a 5-to-4 vote along political party lines, struck down 16 states’ campaign finance laws but did nothing to disturb the other main form of campaign finance regulation: caps on direct contributions to candidates and political parties." Fight corruption by making it harder to circumvent the limits on contributions to individual candidates! The Roberts court is an aggressively hostile force. Its 5-4 decisions in Citizens United and McCutcheon overrule 150 years of opposed Supreme Court decisions and requirements, the rule that the Court may ONLY decide questions which the case presents, not whatever question the justices CHOOSE to decide. The Supreme Court has deliberately empowered 21st century ”robber barons trying to take over the government”; $6 billion will be spent in the next election. The states’ prior campaign finance limits have been discarded, against the will of the states which enacted limits to preserve democracy against ‘dollarocracy’. Sixteen states, so far, have requested a constitutional amendment to bring back those states laws.The amendment should read: “Neither the First Amendment nor any other provision of this Constitution shall be construed to prohibit the Congress or any state from imposing reasonable limits on the amount of money that candidates for public office, or their supporters, may spend in election campaigns.”
Congress created a $5 billion temporary reinsurance fund in the Affordable Care Act, to subsidize the cost to employers for providing ongoing coverage for people who retire before Medicare eligibility. The Kochs, after opposing the ACA, of course, took a chunk of that. Kentucky, Arkansas, others southern states like parts of health care. On the other hand, just to show their nonsense, they apparently reject what they call Obamacare, which is the same thing by the name the opposition imposed on the ACA in order to win elections by deception.
Opposition Governor Scott’s voter purge in Florida was found illegal under a federal appeals court ruling. Arkansas opposition by requirement of voter identification lost in court. A Wisconsin Judge struck down Wisconsin’s voter ID law. Senator Harken has introduced a bill defending the right to vote in April, 2014.
"Historically, it is taken as virtual gospel among progressives that Democrats once had a lock on white working class voters, but that position quickly eroded in the 1990s and later as opposition party leaders pursued cuts to social programs.
Two statutes have been proposed in the Congress which oppose personhood for corporations, permit limitations on contributions and expenditures. These could pass the Senate but will not be considered in the opposition House). The recent domination of campaign finance by billionaires shows we no longer have a democracy.The proper campaign fight is to raise the minimum wage, including for women and youth, eliminate health epidemics (by amendments to the military budget), extend our new health policies all over the world (using those troops we’ve left abroad post-wars.). The only method is by constitutional amendment. 171,000 signatures were gathered proposing that Washington State become the seventeenth state to support a constitutional amendment by the U.S. Congress.
Campaign finance is absolutely a self-enrichment process for the consultants and the ad makers; your government is so broke and you can't avoid the opposition ‘no’ to every bill due to of campaign finance. It means you can't take a stand on an issue that might prove unpopular or you will lose a primary election in your own party. What happens at the state level when you have empowered millionaires and billionaires? in 2012, the ratio was 85 percent of the money spent was by conservatives and only 15 percent by liberal groups. Back in the day, President Teddy Roosevelt said, “We know now that Government by organized money is just as dangerous as government by an an organized mob.” We shall monitor media content Properly to remedy media’s failures to fact-check and expose failures in campaigners’ arithmetic, start local Media Reform groups, make presentations on media reform, file comments on Federal Communications Commission (FCC) rule proposals, report violations of FCC rules and publicize violations and failures on facts. We’ll brief religious groups, PTA groups, local political party organizations, book clubs, student groups, labor unions, neighborhood, senior and service organizations “horizontalize” campaign finance: The Citizens United constitutional amendment that would permit actual campaign finance reform so that our elections look more like those of Western Europe and less like those of Pakistan. We’ll stop states from limiting and biasing voting by newly requiring a paid-for state identification, which is a kind of poll tax. Sen. Sherrod Brown has proposed preventing government contractors and bail-out fund recipients from spending money on the elections as well as laws requiring corporations to get share holders’ permission for such spending. Make the FEC more effective.
End the long voter lines intentionally designed by Florida GOP staff and consultants to inhibit Democratic voters (a former GOP chairman now says that fraud concerns were advanced only as subterfuge for the law's main purpose: GOP victory." Federal courts have agreed. A South Carolina judge refused voter elimination in this election; a judge has officially blocked the Voter ID law in Wisconsin; "Republican leaders said in proposing the law that it was meant to save money and fight voter fraud, but no evidence presented.
End partisan re-districting: Documents show that national Republican operatives, funded by dark money groups, drew the crucial lines that packed as many Democrats as possible into three congressional districts. The result: North Carolina’s congressional delegation flipped from 7-6 Democratic to 9-4 in favor of Republicans. The combination of party operatives, cash and secrecy also existed in other states, including Wisconsin, Ohio and Michigan. The Supreme Court, 8-1, actually rejected non-disclosure in the first Citizens United case. “and the court firmly said, 8-1, that it is a basic principle of our democracy that if you choose to speak publicly about an election, you spend money in that election, that the government has an interest in making sure citizens know who is speaking.” Start with disclosure (filibustered by Rs) about the $6 billion spent on the 2012 election cycle. Increase transparency and accountability.
Appoint bipartisan citizen boards to re-district and draw the new districts instead of giving that job to either side who would always favor their side. Fight against partisan gerrymandering by requiring independent redistricting commissions in the states. Encourage citizen involvement on redistricting reform efforts in every state.
Elections are about patriotism: ‘patriotism’ requires not sending jobs and not depositing in Swiss bank accounts, and it's to avoid making their otherwise mandated contributions to the national treasury. Tax havens like Bermuda... and the Cayman Islands."
Close to 300 cities and towns, as well as sixteen state legislatures, have passed resolutions calling for a Constitutional amendment to permit limiting campaign contributions and expenditures.
President Obama finished more strongly in the South than any other Democratic presidential nominee in three decades, "underscoring a fresh challenge for Republicans who rely on Southern whites as their base of national support." Regarding 2014, 2016: in the South, Obama won Virginia, Florida, narrowly missed victory in North Carolina, but also polled well in Georgia, grabbed 44 percent of deep-red South Carolina and just under that in Mississippi -- despite doing no substantive campaigning in any of those states." Fox News now doubles as the face and voice of the GOP. Murdoch says Jump! They ask: How high?
In the 2012 election technology the opposition they spent all the money they had very inefficiently. The top people in the Romney campaign were paid $134 million in this election. The top consultants in the Obama campaign were paid $6 million. Hurricane Sandy helped the Democrats. Candidate Romney's vote may not even match candidate McCain's. The youth vote was 54% for Kerry, and it was 66% for Obama in '08. This year it was 60% for Obama.
We could reform the opposition by gaining a bill on immigration. For Rpublicans in 2016, Governor Jeb Bush could win the election if the economy blows. Promoting a higher minimum wage, telling health care results under the ACA and demonstrating the inequality of income and wealth could turn the election to the Democrats. Getting the middle class back in the game is probably not by reducing the deficit.
In West Virginia, a Supreme Court justice was elected with $3 million in campaign aid from the CEO of Massey Energy, a coal mining company. A year later, that judge provided the deciding vote in a lawsuit to absolve the company of a $50 million fine, even though the jury found illegal corporate behavior. Because of this outrageous case, the U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to decide when judges should be required to recuse themselves..
Colin Small, at the Republican National Committee, was trashing registrations. Voter ID wouldn’t have stopped that.
Legally bar campaign overlap of elected officials and campaigns (George W. Bush got a second term in 2004 thanks to the manipulation of the electronic vote count by Ohio's then-Secretary of State J. Kenneth Blackwell. Blackwell served as the co-chair of the state's committee to re-elect Bush/Cheney while simultaneously administering the election. The widespread use of electronic voting machines from ES&S, and of Diebold software maintained by Triad, allowed Blackwell to electronically flip a 4% Kerry lead to a 2% Bush victory in the dead of election night. ES&S, Diebold and Triad were all owned or operated by Republican partisans. The shift of more than 300,000 votes after 12:20 am election night was a virtual statistical impossibility. It was engineered by Michael Connell, an IT specialist long affiliated with the Bush Family. Blackwell gave Connell's Ohio-based GovTech the contract to count Ohio's votes, which was done on servers housed in the Old Pioneer Bank Building in Chattanooga, Tennessee. Thus the Ohio vote tally was done on servers that also carried the e-mail for Karl Rove and the national Republican Party. Connell died in a mysterious plane crash in December, 2008, after being subpoenaed in the King-Lincoln-Bronzeville federal lawsuit focused on how the 2004 election was decided. Diebold's founder, Walden O'Dell, had vowed to deliver Ohio's electoral votes---and thus the presidency---to his friend George W. Bush. That it was done in part on electronic voting machines and software O'Dell happened to own (Diebold has since changed hands twice) remains a cautionary red flag for those who believe merely winning the popular vote will give Barack Obama a second term.
Push back against attempts to destroy public sector unions. Moreover, we must create a legal framework for the protection of the right to unionize in the private sector, a right that has been gutted by corporations such as Walmart.
Stop tax-exempt groups from shielding corporate donors to campaigns.
The Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission corrupted decision has butchered democracy and turned the vote of the people over to corporate money. Contrary to the historical guide, the case did bring up the question the court chose to decide. 52 legislators have signed objections. Contrary to a hundred years of precedent the court decision made up what was presented in the case so it could, as though it was a legislature, make a democracy-destroying decision turning a democracy over to non-person, corporate, interests which already provide 75% of the campaign finance funding. The decision threatens to use advertising and organization methods to rule elections against the will of REAL PEOPLE BY MADE-UP PEOPLE created not by birth but by corporation-dominated people created only by law. The Founding Fathers feared precisely this corporate influence. Corporations were designed, by law, in the charters permitted by law, to pursue social rather than merely business ends. They have exceeded their charters, brought recession the world in 2008 by their excesses and are now attempting to limit REAL PEOPLES’ right to vote by creating barriers to voting by requiring voter identification, polling requirements and limited access to voting. Corporations should not have the same rights to privacy and political freedom as a citizen but should have only as much of a right to confidentiality and political participation as is helpful for the efficient functioning of business (including letting firms contribute to the public debate on the regulation of business.) It must be removed by constitutional amendment unless passage of FENA (Fair Elections Now Act) would suffice, evading the USSC 1/22/10 decision deciding that corporations may not be stopped from contributing. FENA would JUST MATCH their contributions, not deny them. S 752, HB 1826, if properly found constitutional act “will end the Supreme Court’s radical ruling in Citizens v. FEC (2010) that corporate special interests, NOT for the PUBLIC interest, only for THEIR OWN corporate interest, may contribute others money (their shareholders, creditors, bondholders) to support NOT THE PUBLIC INTEREST but only THEIR ALLEGED CORPORATE INTEREST. This is not individual speech. It is corporate lobbying which reversed the law and decisions since 1907.
First, amend the 14th Amendment to the Constitution by the proposed 28th amendment to specify that corporate entities shall not enjoy constitutional protections as natural persons, to recognize that corporate entities are entitled by law and charter, to specify that money in electioneering is not protected as free speech and to specify that public financing of campaigns is specifically authorized and may be enacted by Congress and the states by law, to reduce the disproportionate influence of money in campaigns and election outcomes. Preserve the state laws in Maine, Missoula, Montana, and others to restrain disproportionate corporate electioneering and deny laws requiring excessive voter identification, poll taxes, literacy tests and access to voting. Stop partisan ‘reform’ of elections by breaking Texas and South Carolina attempts at ‘preclearance’. It is an unconstitutional infringement to install NEW REQUIREMENTS TO VOTE which low income people are less likely to survive. Congress should pass a new Voting Rights Act, national in scope, to move beyond the stale debates and install fair, non-partisan, standards for election administration that ensure that all eligible voters, and only eligible voters, get to vote and that minority voting rights are protected.
Pass the Disclose Act to conform our law to the suggestion of the Supreme Court in Citizems United.
Accept Lawrence Lessig’s proposal on public financing of campaigns that allow every voting-age adult to receive a $50 voucher from the federal government that could only be used to contribute to qualified candidates for office agreeing to limit their contributions to vouchers or a maximum $100 per for home state individuals.
Pass a bill to provide for equal, public, campaign finance for both sides, comprehensively covering spending by outside groups and the political parties, limiting individual contributions to $100 and barring acceptance of donation from corporations and special interest groups, as in FENA. Be ready to update the campaign subsidies to meet inflation.“
Revitalize the system of public funding for presidential candidates, and pass public financing for all congressional races.
Count prisoners allowed to vote as residents of their home districts for re-districting purposes (as in Maryland, New York, Delaware and California) so that urban districts aren’t shorted in re-districting. ,  Keep recall but require all initiative and referendum petitions to include a non-partisan, expert statement to be presented at the beginning of each one.
Require pre-clearance of new voting rules with the Justice Department or a federal court.
Turn to voter financed election campaigns because the high expense of TV campaigns has turned targeted funding support (or opposition), into a crucial instrument for gaining influence. Worse, the increasing inequality of income has been accompanied by an even more ruthless penetration of big money into national politics.
Appoint non-partisan, effective commissioners to the FEC; reverse those Bush proposals retaining old practices, like bundling. 
If you use voting machines, address the backlog in testing the voting machines’ hardware and software so the manufacturers may make the important software modifications meant to address security and performance concerns.
Since 75% of campaign finance comes from private corporations, elected officials have been thinking less about voters and more about fund raising from private sources. Big business capitalism has replaced democratic capitalism, where everyone has an important part.
Private corporations do not equally support candidates, choosing only to support the candidate who favors their commercial interests. We must: 1) publically finance elections (only $4voter/year, less costs which will become unnecessary); 2) require broadcasters who use the public airwaves to contribute equal, free campaign advertising to candidates in a general election; OR 1) prohibit lobbyists from soliciting and bundling big-check donations from their business clients; 2) ban gifts to lawmakers by corporations or executives; 3) prohibit privately financed junkets for legislators and aides; 4) ban parties staged to “honor” politicians with corporate contributions; 5) prohibit former legislators and public officials from lobbying for at least five years after they leave office; 6) require lobbyists to disclose all lobbying expenditures and require that all expert witnesses in legislative and regulatory hearings reveal their financial relationships with economically interested parties;7) Neutralize the campaign funding problem by fixing a number of free airtime vouchers to any candidate for federal office who raises some minimum amount in small donations; 8) Challenge outdated, inefficient and unfair election systems, the practice of keeping the number of voting machines in black districts disproportionately low and devising new versions of the poll tax dressed up as efforts at preventing black voter fraud, or setting up arbitrary procedures that hinder the actions of voter registration workers in the courts. Support citizen action to enhance election systems; 9) Stop any STATE’S CHIEF ELECTION OFFICER FROM SIMULTANEOUSLY HEADING A PRESIDENTIAL CAMPAIGN (Blackwell in Ohio, Harris in Florida); 10) Work to pass additional campaign finance reform measures, including current legislation to ensure proper compliance by 427 organizations; 11) Stop the arrested and sentenced employees who hired companies to deliberately get in the way of voting by calling and clogging advice lines; 12) Require religious leaders to obtain permission from each listed member before they may turn over their church directories to a political interest; 13) Stop outright lies that ‘he voted for legislation’ when he was not yet in the House (by Congressman Reichert).
Regarding the mechanics of elections, insist on a paper trail so each voter can see how his vote was counted have professionals examine every piece of software, respond to claims the machine mis-voted, prevent ‘electronic ballot stuffing, and put in strong auditing laws. Use Florida’s newly adopted paper trail law.
If not a paper trail, the best devised method is the low-tech, Rivest/Smith method. A serial number would be assigned TO EACH BALLOT. The paper ballots would be tallied by optical scanners as the voter watched. In addition to seeing his/her vote counted, each voter would be handed a RANDOM ballot of some other, unidentified, voter. Then any voter could check the site to make sure that THAT ballot, of someone else, was correctly recorded. He/she would not have his/her OWN ballot which might be used to prove he/she might have been PAID to vote. Rivest and Smith have shown that only a tiny number of people checking the web site would be sufficient to catch any substantial fraud with near certainty. During the two years to put this system in place, ballots may continue to be counted by hand (as in Washington and 3 other states).
In 2004, 77% of Maine’s House and 83% of its Senate were elected using only public funds, not the money of private interests with legislative goals who would then demand votes from the candidates ‘they’ would claim ‘they’ had elected. These Maine office holders were from both parties, about evenly split.
In another state with public financing of election campaigns, Governor Janet Napolitano of Arizona, after the election, said I could spend my time talking with voters, not with contributors. We were able to campaign in a fundamentally different way.” Once she was in office, she said, “lobbyists were not swarming around me (for payback)”.
Adopt “instant runoff” voting in counties to avoid the need for run-off elections
The decisions don’t appear fair when the Ohio Supreme Court justices voted in cases on the side of their campaign contributors. So, state by state, we should follow Maine and Arizona to pass full public funding options for state races. Connecticut, New Mexico, Tennessee and California their lead has been followed.
Recognize the current administration has actively fought fair elections, deploying in battleground states to press for restrictive ID laws and to oversee balloting, turning the Civil Rights Division upside down with legal policies that narrowed rather than protected the rights of minorities and encouraged selected U.S. attorneys to bring voter fraud prosecutions despite studies showing that election fraud isn’t a widespread problem. It is clear that vote suppression is a part of current political strategy
Farm Bill Budget Cuts Will Mean Millions of American children, seniors and families Go Hungry
Fight poverty and help the needy in America. More children grow up in poverty here than in any other industrial nation We must help reduce world food prices, which have increased 83% since 2005.
The Philippines, now, in both public and private projects designed to support marginalized sectors of society, have made initiatives from the 100% government-owned and controlled gaming firm, the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation to address education, nutrition, health, humanitarian and environmental concerns.
A June 2014 NBC/WSJ poll notes that when asked what is the bigger cause of poverty today, 46% cited "circumstances beyond people's control," versus 44% who said it was due to "people not doing enough”. Fund Ameri-corps with Habitat for Humanity to provide working families who are poor with an affordable home
Assure equal chances to start a small business: Governor Evans, Bill Gates, General Shalikashvili, Attorney General Ruckelshaus and Norton Clapp were all small-time entrepreneurs who have lifted themselves out of poverty by starting businesses, sending their children to school, and gaining access to health care, all with comparatively small amounts of money.
Any unemployment may be assisted by portable health care, continuing when laid off, unemployment compensation that increases the wages of laid off workers who had to take jobs paying less, more progressive tax policy to provide necessary infrastructure for new business and more investment in peoples’ skills.
Restore the bankruptcy option re health care expenses, to help seniors against huge health care bills (1/2 of all bankruptcies are by health insured, middle-income, hard-working people and …gaps in coverage leave large out-of-pocket expenses).
We should end the decrease in agricultural programs for the world’s poor by decreasing our expenditure of billions of dollars on release of MORE carbon, subsidies for farmers, weapons and bio-fuel production. Lack of food is not a natural catastrophe. It is a man-made catastrophe, and we can fix it.
In 2013, U.S. exports goods and services amounted to $2.27 trillion and imports goods and services amounted to $2.74 trillion, with a trade deficit was $450.3 billion. The United States had a $231 billion surplus on trade in services, and $703 billion deficit on trade in goods in 2013.
Subsidies (shipping aid, construction of ships, unneeded supply of ships) injure fair trade by unbalancing the market effects. Japan’s market share would have been around 30% higher but for China’s subsidies.
Only a minority of Americans favor global trade since they believe it does not benefit the U.S. economy.But the global workforce increasingly having steadily-improving skills and increased productivity, and immigration and trade assisting top executives and professionals to find cheaper labor and larger markets for their own skills and insights all are part of the new views. But the minority want the U.S. out of the World Trade Organization, believe China is at fault. Neither immigration, nor trade, nor China’s currency manipulation is the cause of America’s high unemployment. All three predated the crash of 2008, before which unemployment was only 5 percent. It’s true that many aging people boomers are understandably anxious about their retirement, while America’s young face years of joblessness. The jobless rate among people under 25 is already over 17 percent. For young people of color it’s above 20 percent. For young college grads - who assumed a bachelors’ degree was a ticket to upward mobility - unemployment has reached 10 percent. Yet these percentages are likely to rise if our seniors decide they can’t afford to retire, and thereby block the jobs pipeline for younger people seeking employment. Opposition is set up in a declining economy: elderly communities already resist property tax hikes to pay for local schools. After the enactment of Medicare in 1965, poverty among the elderly declined markedly, but Medicare and Social Security cost more than $1 trillion a year and account for about a third of the federal budget. We need Title I funding for low-income school-age students; Head Start; food stamps; child nutrition; children’s health; and vaccines. Medicaid - Medicare’s poor stepchild, half of whose recipients are children – has been ‘cut’ by Republican governors even when provided by the ACA. They reject this extension of health benefits provided by ACA. But poverty among America’s children will continue to rise since they lack expensive, effective lobbying presence in Republican states.Support the Trade Justice Coalition as it re-asserts international moves to control unfair trade. The extreme nature of the Trans Pacific Partrnership (TPP) corporate wish list that is its greatest vulnerability-and our greatest opportunity. The 1-percenter TPP agenda would harm most of us in the United States and in the other countries involved. It can only survive if left shrouded in darkness. Citizen activists in many of the TPP countries are building an inspiring global movement implementing the "Dracula strategy" to drag the TPP into the sunshine so those who will have to live with its consequences can know what's coming and take action.
So stop TPP, for these reasons, to stop the apparent attempt to exclude China and because this is not the only way to obtain trade in the Pacific. Most of the TPP's proposed provisions are a corporate power and profit grab, not a judicious trade deal. The TPP would include extreme protections for foreign investors, which would help corporations to offshore American jobs to low-wage countries. These terms would require governments to provide foreign investors a guaranteed "minimum standard of treatment" when they relocate, including special privileges and rights that domestic firms and investors do not enjoy. Foreign firms-or foreign subsidiaries of U.S. firms-could extract unlimited amounts of taxpayer money as compensation when investors claim that U.S. government actions undermine a corporation's expected future profits. They give EQUAL status for corporations and country. The investor rules would elevate individual foreign firms and investors to the same status as the sovereign nations that would be party to the TPP. Corporations and investors would be empowered privately to enforce the agreement by suing a signatory government before the World Bank and other foreign tribunals. In this "investor-state dispute resolution," three private-sector lawyers, who rotate between suing governments and acting as "judges," could order governments to pay large amounts of our tax dollars to investors who do not want to follow the same laws as domestic firms. Under similar, if less grandiose, provisions in NAFTA, investors have been paid hundreds of millions of dollars in cases attacking bans on toxic chemicals, land use rules, and more. Phillip Morris Asia has attacked Australia's cigarette plain packing law-which requires that health warnings be included in cigarette packaging-before such a tribunal. Australia announced in April that it will not agree to be bound to the investor-state regime in the TPP. Negotiators from the United States have declared that all TPP nations must submit to this regime. Either by winning an investor-state dispute or by preemptively putting a chill on government actions to address critical public needs, the TPP's investor rights would impose an outer bound of the possible for communities and countries setting policies related to health, the environment, water, or other natural resources. There is almost no progressive movement or campaign whose goals are not threatened, while vast swaths of public-interest policy achieved through decades of struggle are poised to be undermined as these attacks proliferate. The TPP would also ban existing and future "Buy Local" and "Buy American" procurement policies. These are rules that direct federal and state governments to reinvest our tax dollars to create American jobs by buying domestically made cars, steel, food, and more, and by giving contracts to local construction firms or call centers firms. The TPP also would expose to attack green and sweat-free procurement rules that specify that only recycled paper, non-old-growth wood products, renewable-source energy, or products made under fair labor standards can be purchased with government funds. Under these terms, democracies would no longer be able to decide that we want to invest our tax dollars to create jobs at home or to create markets for green energy or morally produced goods. Instead, the TPP would require our governments to send our money offshore and spend it with firms trashing human rights and the environment. Turning to the financial institutions which nearly destroyed world finance in 2008, the TPP would limit financial regulation by forbidding bans on risky derivatives and other dangerous financial products, as well as the use of capital controls to counter wild surges of speculative investments in and out of countries, which destabilize the global economy. The massive financial firms that caused the financial crisis could use these terms to roll back the new financial regulations implemented in the U.S. and around the world. As far as health care goes, the TPP would grant new monopoly privileges to Big Pharma that would jack up medicine prices and cut consumers' access to life-saving medicines in the developing countries involved in the TPP. There is a proposal to allow pharmaceutical firms to challenge the pricing decisions of cost-saving drug formularies, which are used by developing countries and, increasingly, by the United States, to bargain for better prices with drug firms. One chapter of TPP would even attack Internet freedom by imposing through the backdoor damaging aspects of the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA), which citizen activism derailed in the U.S. Congress.
That's only the tip of the iceberg. But it's precisely the extreme nature of the TPP corporate wish list that is its greatest vulnerability-and our greatest opportunity. The 1-percenter TPP agenda would harm most of us in the United States and in the other countries involved. It can only survive if left shrouded in darkness. Citizen activists in many of the TPP countries are building an inspiring global movement implementing the "Dracula strategy" to drag the TPP into the sunshine so those who will have to live with its consequences can know what's coming and take action.
American laws show a gross mismanagement of globalization. Excessive and inconsistent regulations (non-tariff barriers) are a response to democratic demands, not just reductions of efficiency. We should get regulatory harmonization by strengthening regulations to the highest standard everywhere, not race to the bottom. Keep the Clean Air Act, the Clean Water Act. Ease the introduction of generic drugs. End corporate friendly trade deals that facilitate off-shoring. Regional trade deals in the EU and Asia boost insiders in a trade area against outsiders, stripping 3% a year away from America and replacing it with intra-EU and intra-Asia trade, and advantaging big traders who manage to set the rules for themselves.
Begin with Asia, in open and interconnected trade based on mutually agreed upon rules. Trade liberalization with China should come to a stalemate. Then, we should reach a consolidated agreement. Turn recycling money toward expanding trade. We must increase exports and innovate, providing the necessary additional staff to local manufacturers to find new export markets. To do that we must make banks open lines of credit and reduce U.S. export-control requirements. In the third quarter, 2011, for the third month running, the trade deficit declined due to rising exports. In the future the China/Japan agreement to start direct trading may indicate that the high-riding Chinese yuan may decline in value and facilitate American trade with China. Multi-family residential units, attractive to renters, may end the year up over 50% from 2010. Residential building improvements are touching record highs.
Continue with trade from South America: wines from Chile, beautiful flowers from Colombia, nutritious avocados from Mexico and well-engineered Embraer jets from Brazil).
Trade is an immense opportunity for America which should not be jeopardized by requiring unfair advantage for domestic companies nor decimation of foreign country domestic economies’ real production. “The emerging economies are helping to lift world GDP growth at the very time when the rich world’s aging populations would otherwise cause growth to slow.” (Yum! Brand’s KFC “made almost as much money in China today as it makes in the U.S.” while Starbucks thinks only North America will be a bigger market than China.) China’s cell phone market at 460 million plus dwarfs that of the U.S.. Even General Motors made profits from soaring sales of its cars (up to 32%) in China while its sales in the U.S. dropped (down to 8.7%) in 2006. The same in agriculture: U.S. agricultural exports to China tripled from 2000 to 2004 to $5.5 billion. Both China and India have bought billions of dollars worth of American airplanes. Toward the end of 2006, Westinghouse Electric, the U.S. nuclear power company owned by Japan’s Toshiba Corporation, announced that China had awarded it a multibillion-dollar contract to build nuclear reactors in China, in a deal expected to create some 5,500 American jobs. China may be the most open large economy the world has ever seen.
One objective is to end China-caused exclusion of Taiwan from the 272-free-trade agreements including with ASEAN.
The President wants to close corporate loopholes, shut offshore tax havens and restore balance and fairness to the tax code. He should steer clear of the Panama trade pact, and condition any future such pact on eliminating excessive banking secrecy, ceasing to accept illicit drug-cartel cash, re-regulating the financial sector, forcing banks and multinational subsidiaries to pay taxes, and signing international tax-transparency treating. Panama should sign the U.S. Tax Information Exchange Agreement and the standard U.S. double taxation/fiscal evasion treaty before any consideration is given to an agreement.
Improve the “Trade Act of 2009” (SB 1141, HB 3012) so it does not bar trade by making requiring “adequate labor and environmental regulations”, “effective steps to combat and prevent private and public corruption” “transparency” and “due process of law”.
Offering in trade agreements the rules and institutions that benefit the full range of states ---the states rising and falling, weak and strong, emerging and mature---assures the western SYSTEM’S dominance as an international order. So the world should not be broken into competing U.S. and Chinese spheres. Build cooperation with rising developing countries into key global institutions (Brazil, India and South Africa, Russia, India). These institutions will make a system that protects a country’s interests regardless of whether it is rich, poor, weak or strong. We should do it using aggressive efforts to promote economic development abroad.
Trade provides cheap imports and markets for exports, spurring productivity and raising living standards; we may regain large trade revenues by taking creative initiative like we did after Sputnik.
Due to fluctuating commodity prices, threats to the economic security of middle-class workers, financial instability and environmental insecurity a multilateral discussion of trade barriers---on imports and exports--- and bio-fuel policies, including tariffs on imports, changes must occur. New multilateral trade rules should target cartels, outlawing supply quotas, but without impairing a state’s ability to stabilize prices or conserve its natural resources. World trade has grown rapidly, 6% a year, tariffs have declined to 10% but in the last five years the increase in food prices has threatened and will continue to threaten, to push as many as 100 million people into poverty. Mistaken trade policies constitute 70% of the increase in food prices worldwide. Some of the problems arise from restrictions on agricultural exports in a number of developing countries and by bio-fuel policies in industrial countries. The WTO has been of little help as the crisis has unfolded, because it permits taxes and quotas on agricultural exports.
The negotiation should control undervalued currencies because they are, in effect, both an import tax and an export subsidy. The countries which maintain them hurt the profitability of industries in states with which they trade, causing capital in the ailing countries to relocate elsewhere. The IMF lacks an effective enforcement mechanism against countries that don’t need its money. Cooperation of the WTO and IMF would permit application of the WTO’s more effective enforcement tools.
Multi-lateral control should apply to the sovereign wealth funds (SWFS) as well. The WTO is the appropriate forum. It could require countries importing capital, such as the US and EU, not to impose undue restrictions on investments. In return SWFS would commit to transparency, an arms-length relationship with their national governments, and the pursuit of purely commercial objectives.
After the current crisis, the WTO could be more circumspect about pushing financial sector liberalization and, especially, greater openness to short-term capital inflows.
There should also be some form of multi-lateral cooperation to coordinate national regulation. The Bank for International Settlements and the Financial Stability Forum could deal with financial regulation.
Environmental protections, not protectionism could be established at the Copenhagen summit, ensuring the participation of all the carbon-emitting countries, including developing nations. President Obama has shown signs of shedding the protectionist policies. The threat of trade sanctions should be excluded as a tool. Participation and compliance should be secured through transfers of finance and technology. Trade sanctions could serve as enforcement tools, but only after cooperation is secured, not as sticks to induce cooperation in the first place.
Creation of more common interests would reduce China and India’s temptations to secure supply sources through costly bilateral deals.
We must make sure goods received in trade are safe. Congressional Democrats have started funding full staffing of the Consumer Product Safety Commission so we may PR0TECT OUR CHILDREN FROM DANGEROUS TOYS; staffing was denied by President Bush43 so we couldn’t check foreign toys at or before retail stores. President Bush43’s 10% reduction there has cut their efforts to prevent children from drowning in swimming pools and bathtubs; assist China’s Toy Industry Assn to routinely test its products to make sure they comply with our federal safety standards, thus reducing inspection costs here.
End free trade which easily permits ineffective counterfeit drugs import to the U.S., but follow the Danes, who are passionate free traders with clean and transparent markets, by establishing only minimal barriers to imports. They have the most flexible markets in Europe, multinational corporations which are dynamic and largely unmolested by industrial policies. They have the EOCD’s second lowest unemployment rate of 2.8%.
Allow foreign countries to choose for themselves the best methods to develop their economies rather than requiring acceptance of IMF advice in the Washington Consensus. Unfairness to developing countries results from the IMF rules.(Stiglitz) Strengthen the Western system’s effective trading operation, reinforcing the features that encourage cooperation and restraint.
Require in trade treaties that all participating nations allow their citizens to organize unions and establish minimum wages that are half their median wages. Eliminate unfair results from trade, including tariffs, import duties on steel and subsidies which make international trade more difficult for countries that desperately need trade for their economy. Fall away from protectionist tariffs and subsidies except in weaponry. Assist in development of growing business when we receive production from extractive industries because we would benefit foreign workers, and reduce their desire to emigrate to developed countries when our extractive industries are economically static. Similarly, do not subsidize our agriculture, military, pharmaceutical and numerous other advanced technologies which undercut foreign business essential to other countries’ economic viability. Only protect STARTING agriculture or industries, and for a stated limited time, to make free market capitalism attainable for foreign countries.
Require labor and environmental protection provisions in all AFTA AGREEMENTS to mutually advantage each involved economy. Stop overbalancing alleged “free trade” to favor developed economies. Expand the rights of multi-national corporations and investors to operate in more locations, under fewer regulations, with less commitment to any specific location.
Modify the current rules of the WTO to stop ruining foreign attempts at economic self-sufficiency. The WTO ruins farmers since it requires that they cannot insist on hiring, and therefore enabling, local people, local products, or local investment.
Reduce the danger of injuring the value of the U.S. dollar and increasing our trade debt by ending the borrowing which will unfairly tax our children in the future. America’s trade imbalance is not structural; it reflects the fact that other nations practice a kind of mercantilism, favoring their own industries. We should stop damaging support of our private business over others. An international crash of the dollar will cut the American families’ ability to buy goods and services.
Cease U.S. additions to the cost of importing steel to make our cars, auto industry purchases of steel and other needs cost less. The U.S. now faces paying $2.2 billion + as the Europeans’ punishment for adding those costs.
Control the aggressive dismantling of barriers against trade by the WTO which has disadvantaged developing countries by the WTO over the last 50 years. Fairly protect the affected interests to even the balance in international trade. Don’t let the WTO drag its feet on dismantling barriers against trade in agriculture and textiles, where poor countries have an advantage. Allow them to become self-sufficient. Advance environmental resiliency, increase educational requirements and alter the social and cultural role of women to succeed in helping underdeveloped countries.
Give up “artificial markets” in which the U.S. buys domestic grains and ships them abroad in a far more expensive and inefficient method of delivering nutrition compared to what the EU and Japan do.
House Republicans voted against the Export-Import Bank in June 2014.
Continue Americorps for housing, environment, public health instead of the 2005 budget cuts.
President Obama has brought a ‘smart and proportional’ foreign policy. He has ended Osama but provided for opposition to the new al Qaeda that President Bush43 inadvertently created by his statement that America was ‘returning to the Crusades’ against the whole, international, Muslim religion. President Obama is moving toward diplomatic efforts, and avoiding future military action unless we’re threatened or it’s necessary. Diplomacy works country by country, issue by issue. It could help that $1 trillion in new funds went to the IMF for ‘the rest’ but we shall work to provide that money for real, hopefully permanent general popular benefit.
Time and experience, not war, create political moderation. Rising levels of wealth and education will continue to create demands for political participation and accountability. Growing middle classes won’t accept closed politics. Change from their previous ways will require court systems and the rule of law. For example, China’s food production and distribution system has outstripped traditional forms of legal accountability, a mismatch that is now creating pressures for reform. The recent failure of unregulated, Reagan, capitalism, has required that we turn, as before deregulation, to MANAGED capitalism. China must manage similarly. China has been celebrated by WHO for reducing infant and maternal mortality rates.
Understand that the world may not be westernized; there will be many successful societies and civilizations in several corners of the globe which conform more to their own histories.
The best approach to serve a billion people is to help with growth, against the limits of low-wage manufacturing, inflation, pollution, and energy and water shortages.
Bilateral dialogues with the world’s main non-Western powers, including Brazil, China, India, Indonesia, Russia, South Africa and Turkey shall occur on stopping nuclear proliferation (which, per Brazil and China, will require significant progress, first, from the US and Russia), mitigating climate change, combatting terrorism and preserving an open liberal international economic system.
Use sanctions, per President Obama, NOT military attack. The Code for Unplanned Encounters at Sea was signed, with China’s joinder, to keep sea contestants apart. The American Navy’s 11-1 predominance will assist that goal where it is applied.
Change the American view that 25% of the budget is foreign aid. It is 1%, so foreign aid is not the cause of the deficit that the half of our budget for military spending is.
What we face now in the world is not decrease of our power, but just ‘the rise of the rest’. We should bring in the new rising nations and give up whatever we DON’T need to keep the lid on. It will help us if we help the restless developing countries get others’ funds. China could pull into the lead there because it does not require following the ’Washington Consensus’ rules we’ve pushed incorrectly by using ‘no questions asked’ approach. Their approach has obtained needed oil from the few countries that DO have it. If we invest some of the budget on non-military national security spending for diplomats and initiatives for the common, and American, good we could entirely skip our stingy, trigger-happy image and get better cooperation toward our goals, more cheaply, for.
Follow a practical, inclusive, not ideological, policy, aimed at peaceful resolution of disputes and eventual global nuclear disarmament, (with which George Schultz and Henry Kissinger agree). We should have policies, as we did before John Foster Dulles, not just ‘interests’. Pursuing one ‘interest’ in oil, President Bush43 has thrown away the world’s good will toward America. His failure in Iraq has cost America the troops lost in an ineffective, ten year, war.
Defeat jihadism by withdrawing military from world military bases except where our country is currently threatened. Prevent nuclear terrorism. Give global government authority to do intrusive inspections on weapons of all parties, including the U.S., Israel, Iran and North Korea. President Bush43’s mistake was to seek weapons inspectors as a feint then invade anyway. We should follow President Truman‘s advice to stay humble, and seek transparency, not regime change. The result will be more culturally authentic paths to democracy than what flows from invasion or American-backed coups d’etat.
Favor every country’s efforts to develop renewable energy in order to end the world’s addiction to oil. Food, water, health, climate change, ecology, rights of women, children, workers, prisoner treatment, refugees, political minorities and the International Criminal court (IC) are all moral issues which should be considered.
Stop indebting our kids by borrowing to make war and tax cuts. In addition to the deficit on which the taxpayer has to pay interest that has also weakened the dollar from 2002-2004. This weakening has been increased by huge U.S. trade deficits (which helps exporters to Europe, but will cost Americans their savings when they are forced to spend more on imports to live). If the decline stops, Americans could help save the dollar by reducing consumption and saving more. Foreign countries’ increased consumption would reduce or end the decline in the value of the dollar. Weakening of the dollar disrupts international trade, which, under the principles of comparative advantage, is the most efficient means of supplying the world.
Stop “dollarization” of currencies. It has just helped banks while hurting poor consumers. 
We should pay our ‘dues’ to the U.N.. Now, China is second only to France as the largest contributor to U.N. peacekeeping and police forces among the U.N. Security Council members. The U.S. was $3.5 billion behind.
MEXICO: Mexico benefits from a falling birth rate compared to China’s ‘disadvantages’ of rising wages, larger transport costs and distance from our market so China is less competitive. Mexico is cheaper than China in credit and in oil which is about to flow [it is one of the ten biggest producers], universal health care, a murder rate falling in the drug ‘war’, free trade deals with 44 countries, export of about the same value of manufactured goods as the rest of Latin America put together, graduation of more engineers than Germany and success as the fourth largest exporter of autos (Aguascalientes). Anti-trust policy is active to the point that billionaire Carlos Slim has voluntarily broken up his telecommunications empire (America Movil) into smaller companies (and profited from it). Mexican unemployment is half that of the U.S.. American phone calls to Mexico are more than to Western Europe. Mexicans send $22 billion home to ‘mama’. American Social Security MAKES money on Mexican immigrants since they infrequently ‘retire’ here. Voters in Mexico want greater accountability (60,000 deaths) and less corruption, adherence to the rule of law, an end of impunity, reduction of poverty, social equality, reduction of monopolies, oligopolies and large public deficits. They want globalization, free trade and economic integration with the rest of North America, so Presidente Pena Nieto should aim for liberalizing the labor market, permitting private investment in the energy sector, closing tax loopholes, and raising tax rates to finance a new social safety net.
Start regional dialogue about the illegal drug trade, clamp down on the southward flow of weapons and reduce demand for drugs here.
RUSSIA: Regarding the Ukraine and Crimea, remember that, historically, each time Russia has undermined the territorial integrity of a neighboring state in an attempt to maintain its influence there, the result has been the opposite (Azerbaijan, Georgia and Moldova). By deploying its miIitary Moscow has repeatedly damaged its economy and earned itself international condemnation. It costs, also. Russia’s rubles have gone to Crimea. Keeping Ukraine free will require: 1) IMF financing massive rebuilding and fuel needs (roughly $14 billion for starters), knowing that this money is going to a Ukrainian government that ranked 144 out of 177 on the ‘Transparency International’ list of most corrupt countries in the world; 2) an EU-US serious renewable energy and economic sanctions strategy (Russia IS a ‘regional power’ so the US/EU must decide where Russia will fit into the international system rather than pushing it back with NATO expansion (George Kennan found that push back destructive); 3) any promise by us to defend a whole series of countries even though we have neither the resources nor the intention to do so in any serious way would fail). We must help the Ukraine undermine Putinism now. There is no basis in the Ukraine affair to return to the ‘cold war’ with its immense cost in taxpayer dollars. Instead we must compete with Russia’s oil and gas production piped through the Ukraine with our knowledge of alternate energy.
Russia’s economic progress will be that of prior oil-dependent states, up and down with oil prices. After its move in Georgia, Russia has resumed its role as a significant regional power with lot of nuclear weapons and a economy that is less shabby now than in the past as well as compelling every sgtate on its periphery to reevaluate its positions relate to Moscow.
Premier Putin also has a Social Security, health care cost problem and his economy worsens even before sanctions hit…action in Crimea contributes to that decline.
The former U.S.S.R will become more Turkic, as in Chechnya where women must wear headscarves in public and the sale of alcohol is prohibited.
Continue our previous partnership (hundreds of thousands of Asians have graduated from American universities offered by the Asian Financial Crisis in July 1997); the EU ditched Asia at the first sign of trouble but we should follow the opposite model, of Clinton’s salvation of the Mexican peso (at no cost).
Seek social justice (instead of foreign aid spending in which self-interest trumps helping while Asian countries improve social justice).
The pivot to Asia calls for a substantial increase in U.S. engagement with the multilateral institutions of the Asia-Pacific region.
Continue our previous partnership (hundreds of thousands of Asians have graduated from American universities offered by the Asian Financial Crisis in July 1997); the EU ditched Asia at the first sign of trouble but we should follow the opposite model, of Clinton’s salvation of the Mexican peso (at no cost).
Seek social justice (instead of foreign aid spending in which self-interest trumps helping while Asian countries improve social justice).
The pivot to Asia calls for a substantial increase in U.S. engagement with the multilateral institutions of the Asia-Pacific region.
Asia will have moderate growth and lower inflation in 2009.
Note that American basketball is so popular in Shanghai that the N.B.A‘s subsidiary there is valued at $2 billion.
CHINA: China is already the world’s leading economy, even if the American economy is twice as large. More cars, cell phones, televisions, refrigerators and cognac are now sold in China alone than in the U.S.. China accounted for half the global growth between 2007 and 2012. But China’s pace in the more difficult, second stage, of growth will be slower. Although it has become the biggest manufacturer and exporter by accounting for two-thirds of commerce among the major developing economies in the BRICS, its mineral resources still come mainly from outside China. Its now market economy shares yawning wealth and influence gaps with other market economies. Foreign investment into China remains well ahead of Chinese outward investment.
The correct way to to respond to China’s concerns is through sustained and deepened engagement to change eco-political realities, through the multi-lateral Asian-Pacific institutions. Relations with North Korea and Iran are moving toward agreement. Approach, issue by issue, their concerns of education, poverty alleviation and response to natural disaster. We need a reliable commitment of money, personnel, and bureaucratic resources i.e. advance of trade and business interests, more engagement with partners and greater use of the Indian Ocean as the largest route for global trade. China has not, must, and is spending to approach America’s naval strength so as to control increased military budgets in Asian countries (India has begun testing a new ballistic missile that could hit China).It must, effectively, increase costs of, and deny, interference in Asia to become more a world power, probably after containing its domestic insecurity. American-Chinese military relations are on track, moving toward practical cooperation, emphasizing non-military elements, in areas such as humanitarian assistance and disaster relief. To demonstrate cooperation 50, then 1200, Chinese Machinery Engineering Corp employees trapped in Iraq have been taken to safety in Iraq. A related question is how long America may sustain its excessive military budget if it continues the decade long, trillion dollar, debacles in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Do not consider China a threat. In fact, we should celebrate China’s anti-trust initiatives which benefit the world. China is very dependent on other countries and it faces huge problems. China has fewer land mines than reluctant USEach of the currently six major powers literally owns pieces of each others’ economies. All these six powers are dependent on open trade and global stability for their economic growth, and the fact that our enemies are shared increases the chances for accommodation. Interdependence is no guarantee that peace will prevail, but mutual, deep dependence liked to prosperity raises the stake of any contest.
Favor the ‘deliberative’ politics that allow individual citizens and groups (popular elections now in 700,000 villages) to add their views in uncorrupted party choices and elections. In order to ease political reform (‘The Fifth Modernization’?), accepting their insistence on authoritarian rule, nevertheless advocating a less corrupt, more independent, judiciary and local supervision. Advocate continued development of a national code which includes protection of citizens from governmental wrongdoing and others ‘guanxi’. Attempt, for their benefit, allowance at least Singapore’s limited free press, journalists foreign travel, creation of increased transparency in corporations, stronger and more independent boards of directors and management by mutually agreed rules while hoping for a more rules. Privatization of SOES (state owned enterprises) has all but ceased.
Develop a strategy for competing with China in emerging markets, reducing excessive regulations in order to obtain high-return investments and access crucial natural resources. We may successfully compete since Chinese companies take much longer to extract resources than we and because Chinese welcome and re-writes of agreements are wearing thin with other countries.
Despite the mere scandalizing of the press, China is not an aggressive, expansionist power as to us. Expansion results mainly from its own feeling of vulnerability. That would be better dealt with by diplomacy than by military buildup, which would induced greater military spending, greater reaction and further inflame our differences. Continued assistance could evade their impression that the U.S. is a militaristic, offense-minded, capitalist-expansionist and selfish country trying to take its separatist provinces (Taiwan, Hong Kong, Tibet). We shall make clear that America has done more than any other power to contribute to China’s modernization.
Make clear that China’s “air defense identification zone’ in the East China Sea is incompatible with stable U.S.-Chinese relations, much less with the”new type of major country relationship” that president Xi Jinping has proposed to Obama.
China’s economy has changed and grown massively but must continue the ‘negotiated’ economy over the planned and administered economy, handling unemployment and decreasing social and geographical inequality. The government will need to commit massive funds to cope with the combined problems of dealing with domestic debt, rehabilitation of their banking system, restructureof the SOEs, addressing critical environmental issues such as the water shortage in North China, establishing a social safety net, and making local governments whole financially, all as tens of millions of farmers leave the land. China is keeping key areas of the economy under state ownership/control, using government subsidies and currency manipulations to promote exports, setting up sovereign wealth funds to buy companies and influence in the West, and making backdoor deals with equally dictatorial states to insure access to oil and other natural resources. China has a dynamic, competitive economy within the confines of a one-party state. Others have also shifted toward state capitalism in the economy as does a majority of the developing world.
We live in a world where China is now approaching the level of mass emphasis on self-expression values at which Chile, Poland, South Korea, and Taiwan made their transitions to democracy. China has joined all the major U.S.-nurtured institutions and is promoting stability but must now turn to moderation to make it easier for small firms in labor-intensive services to challenge protected state-backed firms, unlocking the saved cash and spreading it around the economy to allow spending. This is a U.S. and Western triumph. A world where the poverty of two billion people in China and India is being eliminated at the cost of some slowing of wage growth in the West is one of the greatest triumphs of the human condition in all of world history. The 2008 recession resulted primarily from failures to regulate capitalism, not from loss of jobs to Chinese manufacture. Nevertheless, China may get old before it can approach number one.
We must assist China to address lack of water and rebalance its consumption toward domestic consumption. China should reduce subsidies so as to enable more direct pay to workers. It is an achievement that China has the busiest railways in the world. (per the World Bank) and that 70% of its banks lend when free-enterprise banks do not.
The relationship between America and China should be taken to a new level: meetings of the ‘G-2, where Kissinger and Brzezinski believe the parties could attack the global financial crisis, tackle climate change, limit the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, and maybe even help resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. But we should work against Chinese excesses with European, Japanese and South Korean colleagues.  On the other hand, China is lending Africa $10 billion at low interest, would cancel much of the debt owed by African countries to China, and would help set up a fund worth $1 billion to lend to small and medium-sized African companies.
Remember that 400 million Chinese climbed out of poverty between 1990 and 2004 and that a wealthier China and India also mean higher potential rewards for Americans who trade and invest in innovation that may benefit them.
Continue its progress by helping China out of its middle-and upper class love affair with peasant agriculture.  China should be encouraged to invest more at home in social safety nets and infrastructure and allow currency exchange rates to adjust more freely.
We should support the growth of a large middle class in China since many studies have shown that their political moderation will follow.
Propose friendly competition with China in creating wind turbines to solve our mutual problems obtaining oil and controlling pollution. To obtain Chinese reform toward a market based currency use a broad international effort to integrate China, only by a skillful combination of structural reforms, into the global economy by including it in G-8 and G-7. China and coordinated multilateral efforts will create a more balanced economic relationship between Washington and Beijing.
Now, the Chinese only seek regional dominance, particularly keeping America at bay in any future conflict over Taiwan. They emphasize cheaper production of simple goods to blunt America’s technological superiority. China hopes to deny American barriers to its growth by having a defensive navy to neutralize American spy and communications satellites.
VIETNAM: China possessed Vietnam until the 10th century and had invaded Vietnam 17 times. More recently, Ho Chi Minh fused Marxism, Confucianism and nationalism into a weapon against the Chinese, French and the Americans. He laid the groundwork for Vietnam’s successful resistances against three world empires. The Vietnamese have not forgotten that 20% of their country is uninhabitable because of unexploded American ordnance, or that, because of the defoliant Agent Orange, nothing will ever grow again on significant parts of the landscape.
INDIA: Assist in handling India’s stubborn problems, high child-mortality rates, violence against women, caste-based discrimination and religious strife.
President Bush43’s nuclear cooperation deal of U.S. and India is wrong. Don’t allow nuclear material FIRST, THEN do non-proliferation. Non-proliferation first. The India-Pakistan 1992 crisis is the closest we have come to nuclear war. It’s inconsistent when we now seek to restrain Iran and North Korea from developing nuclear weapons.
PAKISTAN: Note that northwest Pakistan is almost impregnable. The treatment of Pakistan will determine the stability of South Asia as a whole. Start now.Support its transition to a mature, civilian-led democracy.
AFGHANISTAN: Middle East, Afghanistan and Africa Multilaterally fund a Marshall plan for Afghanistan, the Middle East and Africa. Since it is not Islamist ideology but scarcity of water which produces much violent conflict, rainwater harvesting, boreholes that tap underground aquifers, use of seasonal surface runoff, up breeding of livestock, scientific management of fodder, and providing all-weather roads, storage facilities, cell phone coverage, power, and technical advice can reduce the conflict. The UN’s call for a green revolution in Africa has increased productivity faster than population can consume it and decreased poverty.
Leave. Since military victory is not possible,neutralize the charges of defeatism by containment, deterrence and diplomatically encircling the terrorist threat (a strategy much better suited to American capacities than nation-building).. Offer the Pashtun tribe (40-50% of the country) an appealing deal which will separate them from the Taliban. Continue economic and military aid. The first step, since the Taliban used to have no interest in exporting terrorism, would be to provide significantly increased economic support, arms and training to friendly Afghans as American combat forces gradually depart. Stop the flow of funds from the Arab world to the Taliban. Create a ring with a coalition of neighbors to show the Taliban they have no place to seek help (India, NATO allies and Iran would help us and China and Russia would join as the American military presence recedes from their Afghanistan’s sensitive borders. Each of those countries do not want terrorists on their borders. India in particular wants to control its borders and could assist by withdrawing troops from Pakistan’s border (thereby allowing Pakistan’s moderates to focus their attention on the growing terrorist threat within).
The main challenge is to overcome years of chronic neglect of economic development, government services and security which have allowed the Taliban free access to large parts of the country. Only 4% desire Taliban rule, but they are undefended. We could help expand the Afghan security forces from 134,000 to 250,000 and add everything from armored vehicles to night-vision goggles. We must improve the Afghani court. The US will become more powerful by leaving as it did in1978 in Vietnam.
Help to reduce deforestation.
Members of Europe’s parliament must evade their usual soggy corporatism’ belief in regulation and intervention to take the next great step in reform (after evading the current debilitating veto power).Focus on the large countries with greater geostrategic influence.
Reduce American military strength in Europe while retaining work in the NATO Response Force to continue responsiveness. 
The EU founded federal currency before creating a federal state to back it, are being punished by that move, so it must become more federal, sharing banking risks of the banking sector and issuing debt jointly, at least until there is strong central control of national budgets and big banks.
European countries must make major structural reforms designed to make themselves more competitive, coupled with some investments for future growth. Austerity is clearly not working. Monetary expansion must be established in Europe, as in the U.S. by the Fed’s expansion of the money supply. That expansion LOWERS the value of the euro so previously incurred debt may be paid off at a cheaper price. There are four potential ways out: 1) toughing it out, in which Europe waits for wages to come down so international competitiveness will be restored: 2) debt restructuring (reduce the amount the country will pay on debts); 3) the Full-Argentina (default on the debt and dis-engage from the dollar); 4) revived Europeanism (put all countries’ debts into a ‘transfer union’, ending the race of funding to other countries by putting ALL in a COMMON set of bonds).
Since wars aren’t ‘won’, the increase of international transactions and rule-makers plus emerging mutual dependencies for resources and good environmental interdependencies will reduce international conflict and instability among democratic nations (France, England, Germany). Germany has already ceded parts of their sovereignty to EU institutions.
Practical approaches to problems works much better than pushing them to change their governments faster than they want. We must consider writing off the world’s debt to give it a chance to grow economies.
Defeat terrorism without war. This is a different job than ending one. Russia, America and Europe could create an agreed global community against violence, acts of terrorism and the spread of nuclear weapons. China would join, since they feel they have their own terrorists. America going it alone will never work since military power, alone, is enough even to the forty new Al Qaeda sects ‘created’ by President Bush43 by his war calls like ‘defend against the ‘axis of evil’.
We should be able to reduce our military spending (currently half the size of our GDP) to 3-4% of our GDP. There was no potentially successful ‘defense’ reason for our 81% increase in military spending since 2001. We were on ‘offense’, unsuccessfully, despite the valiant efforts of our troops. For the next twenty years the steadying effect of American power to enlarge the zones of global stability will be necessary for a stable world. That steadying effect will disappear if we misuse our power.
We should make small, local banks the mainstay of not only our but also the small countries financial systems and stop the rich countries from exploiting poor countries for profit. We should encourage using local funds over foreign capital and foreign aid because that helps keep a country’s exchange rate down, promotes export growth and keeps them competitive. 
These times require a new strategic framework, updating the IMF so peoples can be more free to find their own solutions without requiring political change, adopting the receiving country’s choice of development rather than imposing the “one correct answer” of free markets used on Nicaragua, Argentina, and Zimbabwe, the shock doctrine used on the Soviet Union, or loans and advice used on the Middle East. That will avoid the resentment and bad function of “globalization from above”. Allow high growth countries to follow their choice of a wide variety of paths to development, using the experts of IMF, World Bank and the U.N.. The East Asian tigers chose outward orientation ON THEIR OWN in the 1960s. China came its own way, unchained by foreign control. Their individualism and decentralized markets were good enough to give rises to penicillin, air conditioning, high yield corn, the automobile, better living standards, lower mortality and the iPod, so let it work their way.
Lead the world with a man-on-the-moon type effort to improve energy efficiency and to commercialize clean, alternative technologies. We must work out an ambitious national system to cut our, and others’, fossil fuel consumption dramatically. Negotiate an equally ambitious and binding global agreement to get others, most urgently China and India, to follow us into a sustainable-energy future. While China is increasing fines for pollution, reducing subsidies on fuels and scrapping tax breaks for heavy industry, it will triple oil imports by 2030. We should make deals to stop China from channeling cheap capital to grubby industries and spare Chinese depositors and taxpayers the subsidization of the polluters.
We’ve got to build stability and a middle class in the Middle East by dealing with existing conditions, not pretending It is the Middle East we want. That work has been started by their youth. It will only stick if THEY change their government, just as we did when we separated from England in the revolution.
The UN has now taken initiative in straightening out Libya and in solving resource and environmental problems in ways that increase the stake of the rest in the right answers. The WTO, WHO, NATO, UN and many others have a strong track record of furthering U.S. interests. Support them. They reinforce other countries contributions with THEIR money. When they have power we could step back to our previous role of reasoned leader.
We must overcome the arrogance of power which drew the World Trade Center attacks by bin Laden. Those criminal acts took over 1300 American lives, apparently caused by the perception of American military occupation of the Middle East. President Bush43’s naïve attempt to ‘establish democracy’ there cost those American and many Iraqi lives. Elected President Morsi, in Egypt (which historically leads the Middle East, has lost office after presenting a constitution which won the approval of the Egyptian people.
Palestinian factions have set ten requirements for peace: 1) mutual cessation of the war and withdrawal of tanks to previous locations and the return of farmers to work their land in the agricultural border areas; 2) release of all the Palestinians detained since 23 June 2014 and improvement of the conditions of Palestinian prisoners, especially the prisoners from Jerusalem, Gaza and Palestinians of the interior [present-day Israel]; 3) total lifting of the siege of Gaza and opening the border crossings to goods and people and allowing in all food and industrial supplies and construction of a power plant sufficient to supply all of Gaza; 4) construction of an international seaport and an international airport supervised by the UN and non-biased countries; 5) expansion of the maritime fishing zone to 10 kms and supplying fishermen with larger fishing and cargo vessels; 6) converting the Rafah crossing into an international crossing under supervision of the UN and Arab and friendly countries; 7) signing a 10-year truce agreement and deployment of international monitors to the borders; 8) a commitment by the occupation government not to violate Palestinian airspace and easing of conditions for worshipers in al-Aqsa mosque; 9) the occupation will not interfere in the affairs of the Palestinian government and will not hinder national reconciliation; 10) restoration of the border industrial areas and their protection and development. Ali Abunimah, Palestinian Factions Reportedly Set 10 Conditions for 10-Year Truce with Israel. Electronic Intifada, July 16, 2014.
Stop selling arms BOTH to Arabs and Israel. Stop the many American policies pursued on Israel’s behalf on problems that do not jeopardize U.S. national security: unstinting U.S. support for Israel and Israel’s prolonged occupation of Palestinian territory has fueled anti-Americanism throughout the Arab and Islamic world, thereby increasing the threat from international terrorism (witness 9/11) and making it harder for Washington to deal with other problems, such as shutting down Iran’s nuclear program. Since the U.S. is how so unpopular within the broader region, Arab leaders who might otherwise share U.S. goals are reluctant to help us openly, a predicament that cripples U.S. efforts to deal with a host of regional challenges.
We should allow continuation of relationships with Hamas and Hezbollah and work with these groups to integrate them in the Middle East. We should work together with Europeans, Russians and China to form a new diplomatic package to give the Iranians. Note that Iran, like China, is now approaching the level of mass emphasis on self-expression values at which Chile, Poland, South Korea and Taiwan made their transitions to democracy.
Cease leading former Arab socialists (Egypt, Tunisia, Syria, and Algeria) to crony capitalism by our bad example. Instead, attempt to create a strong, moderate Arab force.
Saudi Arabia and America are pursuing starkly different goals re Iran, Syria, Egypt and Muslim world. We must tend to the differences. The death penalty assessments in Egypt on protestors must be opposed by whatever diplomacy is available.
A moderate and manageable policy should be enacted to moderate “Islam anxiety”. We should only hope to favor the policies that do not enable authoritarianism. Other approaches may undermine a legitimate opposition group by making its members appear beholden to Western ideas and it may deprive the US and Europe of reliable partners in counterterrorism. Yet we must respond, as President Obama has January 28, 2011, to avoid the corrosive effects of political and economic exclusion in the region of the pent-up, angry young men, Islamists and otherwise.
President Bush41 missed his opportunity at the end of the Cold War to use America’s unique political; influence and moral legitimacy strategically to transform Russia and pacify the Middle East.
ISRAEL: We must fix the Palestine/Israel tension even before insisting on a two-state solution, by identifying fundamental Israeli and Palestinian goals and then placing them first. This would alter how a US-supported solution is conceived and presented to get away from proposing ‘the American solution’. Instead Palestinians would have to see it as the outcome of THEIR national struggle and Israelis see it as the end of the fight rather than as the byproduct of others’ strategic pursuits.
President Obama will stand firm with Netanyahu, attempting to require a firm commitment to rein in settlement construction in Jerusalem, restrict Israeli troop activities in Gaza, free Palestinian prisoners and further efforts to bolster the Palestinian economy. Netanyahu’s 5/27/11 arguments will not deter settlement (Israel’s troops may be replaced by an international force on the Jordan River, isolated Israeli settlements are not strategic assets, those ‘indefensible’ 1967 borders, which are merely where the Israelis started their only completely successful war there.
Simultaneously we should thank Olmert, retiring Israeli prime minister, for stopping financing of illegal Israeli settlement in the West Bank. We’ll state our position to Premier Netanyahu that Israel should fulfill its promises to stop expanding settlements, dismantle the outposts deep in the West Bank and set up a two-state resolution of Palestinian problems. An expert believes that the U.S. should stand up to Israel when it complains of political trouble at home for restraining settlements. The US should work with the EU to come up with major new incentives that would convince Israel that the benefits of peace outweigh the costs. The US should press its NATO allies for conditional assurances that an Israel-Palestine agreement would open the alliance’s doors to the Jewish state. Closer coordination with and greater support for Israel on the part of key EU countries on Iran policy should also follow. Recognition of Israel by the members of the Arab League and the normalization of relation between them could occur.
In Israel, draw a clear border roughly along the lines that existed before the war of 1967, share Jerusalem as Israel’s capital of both states, withdraw from nearly all, if not all, of the occupied territories, giving the Palestinians the same percentage of territory elsewhere which cannot safely be returned from there. Accomplish a solution of territory for peace and a strategic realignment taking Iran from active combination with Hezbollah and Hamas. Continue discussions on the Golan Heights which would reduce Syria’s association with Hezbollah (the Lebanese Shiite group), Hamas and the jihadists and attempt to stop Iran’s funding of terrorism. Calming of Hezbollah might reduce Israel’s problems regardomg provision of arms, the water, reparations for the Israelis in the Golan Heights and the right of access to the land. President Obama could effect this change about territory for peace and strategic realignment. It cannot be done without American joinder. A Golan Heights solution seems more easily obtained than a Palestinian agreement. We must stop Israelis settlement on Palestinian land, adjust the security barrier that bites out further chunks of Palestinian land so it runs closer to the 1967 line, and obey Israeli courts when they order this. Don’t encourage divisions among the Palestinians. Free Marwan Barghouti, potentially the most effective Palestinian leader as part of a prisoner exchange.
What SHOULD happen is denial of the right wing Orthodox officer corps who disrespect the Israeli government, and the relentless settler minority. Deny their incorrect belief that Israel may swallow whole the territories it gained in the six day war and flourish in perpetuity as a law-abiding democratic nation with a Jewish majority. The military and that minority have mistakenly sanctified the acquisition of land to the detriment of all other Jewish values. Israel should also deny the haredim, ultra-Orthodox, people who deplete the Israeli treasury while rejecting any notion of responsibility to the state. Otherwise Israel will continue, as it has since the six-day war victory, to tear itself apart. Allow resident Palestinians the right to vote for ‘their’ government.
Palestinian Chairman Abbas should sign an agreement that incorporates formal Palestinian acceptance of Israel as the nation-state of the Jewish people to start negotiations. President Obama and Secretary of State Kerry have attempted to settle the Israel-Palestine problems and Shiite-Sunni opposition by negotiation but Shiite/Sunni conflicts are currently making the solution untenable. It’s all beyond American control, militarily. Chairman Abbas must sign an agreement that incorporates formal Palestinian acceptance of Israel as the nation-state of the Jewish people.
Negotiate with moderate Muslims of the Taliban to establish an international friendship. Ask President Karzai and his successor to talk with the Taliban to reach some agreement.
IRAN: President Obama’s desire to re-start with Iran is delayed by 1) their desire to have a foreign enemy for domestic political purposes (same problem in US); 2) our coup in 1953 of their popularly elected Mohammad Mosaddegh; 3) our positive relationship with the substitute we put in (Shah Pahlevi) and the training of his troops; 4) Israel; 5) no comment by President Bush43 to offer to enter settlement talks with Afghan terrorists; President Bush43’2 shocking inclusion of Iran in the ‘axis of evil’; and 6) intervention in Libya. To accomplish the goal of a new policy toward Iran we should propose: 1) restriction of enrichment of uranium to the lowest levels; 2) use for legitimate peaceful uses; 3) existing stocks transferred out of Iran; 4) commitment not to use force to change the borders or form of government of the Islamic Republic,. Accept that Iran will continue enriching uranium for peaceful purposes, and allow it to have an increasingly sophisticated nuclear fuel-cycle program that is carefully safeguarded to manage proliferation risks. The Persian civilization of two thousand years is valuable and should be honored. The U.S. should look beyond the veil of Islamic theocracy to try to develop a deep understanding of Persian culture and civilization. Iran may move toward more international ways just as China has been.
Follow the lead of Iran’s structural reform, relieving the government of a huge financial burden, slashing local energy demand, reducing chronic pollution and leaving more oil for export. It has dramatically raised disposable incomes for the poorest without placing extra burdens on the rich, spreading social equity while boosting consumption and bolstering the banking system. Also, subsidy reform is a model for top-down social change, not unlike successful schemes pioneered by Mexico and Brazil.
America succeeded for over two centuries because of its common sense, leaping ahead because of its willingness to challenge conventional wisdom and trying new approaches. Fortunately these common-sense traditions still exist in America. The U.S. should engage directly with Iran and Syria in order to try to obtain their commitment to constructive policies toward Iraq and other regional issues. In engaging Syria and Iran, the U.S. should consider incentives, as well as disincentives, in seeking constructive results.
UNITED NATIONS: We shall attempt to transform the UN by streamlining administration, making it more democratic better to integrate rising powers into a state order, to protect the stability of global financial markets and to fight global environmental and health threats.
Join the international court.
LATIN AMERICA grew at an average rate of over 5% and the proportion of people living in poverty fell from 44% in 2002 to 33% in 2008. Reversed by the worldwide economic crisis, they must respond to the last two months drop in commodity prices, the worldwide credit crunch, reduced export revenue and increased caution by their banks. One way is by retraining programs for laid-off works and temporary employment schemes, such as repairing rural roads. We shall join them to prevent climate change since it would reduce their GDP from farm revenues. We shall encourage them to hire the previously ignored middle-class young who are excluded by the structural rigidity of the region’s economy. Hiring high-tech competence with the available funds denies too many of their citizens. Improve access there to education for lower social strata for employment absorption and social integration such as Chile Joven, use CAF (Corporacion Andina de Fomento), as a bridge between international capital markets and the region (p. 7 insert), supporting current new social policies and growth without inflation. Only Venezuela and Bolivia are on the nationalist left and only Ecuador and Argentina still flirt with the extreme left. Work with all of them.
Between 1996 and 2005 poverty in Mexico was cut in half, and between 1995 and 2004 Brazil’s measure of economic inequality 71,000,000 Latin Americans are still living below the poverty line. Infectious diseases, malnutrition, and educational deficiencies are causes. Remittances help but have the additional side effect of reducing pressure on the foreigner’s country to improve poverty conditions.
BRAZIL: Brazil is now the leader in reducing logging. Curtting down on cutting down, The Economist, 6/7/2104 p. 83Assist Brazil to resist deforestation. Aid only by community organization, their economic betterment (providing world class health but at the cost of accepting population control to the max) but not attempting to include them more than they already are. Our foreign policy ought to start from the knowledge that their issues are largely beyond our control as we have invested exclusively on domestic concerns, building democratic institutions and promoting local social and economic opportunity. And our domestic agricultural subsidies diminish their economies. Chinese exports also undermine their manufacturing. Linking our actions on regional trade such as the Trans-Pacific Partnership, very carefully to avoid unfair long-term, anticompetitive results would put us at the forefront of promotion of economic ties between Latin American and Asia, expecting Mercosur to play a large part. Here, we would recast the G-20, the IMF and the UN Security Council in a way that reflects Brazil’s and Mexico’s rise but is also favorable to U.S. interests, establish tax and investment treaties with Brazil and other states that aim to deepen investment and commerce, which will be especially important as China’s economy slows down. Last, energy cooperation would build a powerful motor for economic and regulatory integration and reduce the U.S. dependence on the region’s more volatile exporters, such as Venezuela. Do notice those Brazilian rigs.
Brazil will become the world’s fifth largest economy. Brazil’s Bolsa Familia and Mexico’s Progresa programs giving small stipends directly to poor people on the condition that parents send their children to school will be much more enduring than Chavez’ oil-financed top-down programs. Support Brazil’s expansion of agricultural production as the second largest food exporter. But beware potential drops in booming commodity prices and deforestation.
Early land reform and heavy investments in basic education will cause a duplication of East Asia’s success. They now have growth with low inflation and are protected against economic reverses by stabilization funds, all possible because the U.S. stopped interfering with left governments. Next, improve rule of law, re-direct social spending from upper class university education to universal primary and secondary education.
Cuba: President Obama lifted some restrictions on Cuban-Americans traveling and sending money to Cuba. We should do what we can to encourage development. Since it no longer leads Latin America to the future, it has gone to self isolation, which is counterproductive, So lift the embargo, promote economic development and foster social engagement because that’s what historically enables democracy.
AFRICA: Turn from military spending (which is, in fact, a large proportion of ‘foreign’ aid) to improving education in Africa by following Kremer’s randomized trials of what works, use initiatives to reduce absenteeism by warning teen-age girls about ‘sugar daddies’ (costs less than $1/girl), getting uniforms and de-worming.
In the end, dictatorship countries will move toward moderation. Their recent success has depended on their access to moderates. They remain dependent on moderates. The short term persistence of authoritarian China and Russia can be moved by Western powers. They are authoritarian because they have threatening minorities which tend to fall off. The more willing and appealing moderation is, the quicker and easier they will turn to political reform. In the meantime, their state capitalism is fitting well with capitalism.
Campaign to convince African mothers to breast-feed their children rather than substituting water. Continue providing high yield seeds, fertilizer and small scale irrigation which has boosted food productivity beginning in the mid-1960s and start the same policy in sub-Saharan Africa. Finance better farming inputs, extension services to advise farmers on the new technologies, community nurseries to diversity production, and investments in infrastructure. Add market-based techniques of financial management to offer weather-risk insurance. Find funds for the Rift Valley geothermal energy sources. Climate change is already wreaking havoc on crop yields. The population has out-stripped the food supply, so condition these changes on population control. It would cost roughly $10 per person in the donor countries.
Increase democracy in the world not by war but by “doing the hard, slow work of aiding courts, legislatures, political parties and journalists wherever dictators try to suppress them.”
With some prominent exceptions, the recent democratic gains have come primarily in smaller and weaker states. Studies show public opinion believes democracy is the best form of government but only one-fifth of the Latin American populations trust political parties, one-quarter trust legislatures and merely one-third has faith in the judiciary. Economists have concluded that elites everywhere monopolize power rather than restraining it through the development of transparent laws, strong institutions, and market competition. The elites then use their consolidated power to limit economic competition so as to generate profits (and create high executive salaries) that benefit them rather than society at large. The result is a predatory state, in which corruption is widely regarded as the norm. We must provide a better example.
Accept continuing World Bank loans to “middle income” countries (China, India Brazil…) because 70% of the world’s poor live in them: help them with environmental damage, energy shortages and other internal problems that breed instability The World Bank should also attack poverty, help countries torn by war, foster regional cooperation to combat disease and climate change, aid the Arab world, and provide technical assistance to guide development. Correcting prior bad management will restore the contributions from Europe, and others, now setting up their own loans…meanwhile fill the contributions gap by giving loans from the repayments from prior loans.
Create 1.2 million American jobs. Keep our “lead” in technology and science by cutting taxes for capital and research investments, increasing federal spending on scientific and technological research, paying for it with the $30 billion raised by speeding transition to digital television and auctioning off the space we should create on broadcast airwaves. We should develop these high wage jobs for our citizens. President Obama proposes $11 billion on smarter grids; $6 billion to expand high speed internet; 900,000 jobs in the first year; and concentration on science and engineering, in jobs which cannot be outsourced.
Extend the employee payroll tax cut and the federal Unemployment Compensation benefit, striking the proposed amendments that would strike the clean air rules and allow the oil sands pipeline.
Give tax incentives that help small business to be competitive, but limit them to the time they are fairly needed rather than creating a permanent subsidy.
Change the heavier state business and occupations tax to a tax on net income.
An era of unchecked executive power arose during the Nixon administration (expanding secrecy, spying on political enemies, firing the special prosecutor investigating Watergate, and continuing the Vietnam War for two years after Congress revoked its authorization. Then President Reagan invented the “Unitary Executive Theory” which undercuts the authority of Congress to regulate the executive branch. Recently, President Bush43 has asserted a power to imprison Americans without charges and to bypass laws such as those stopping government wiretapping and torture. He has set aside the Geneva Conventions and scrapped other major treaties without consulting the Senate. He has also used “signing statements” telling OUR government what Congressional LAWS NOT TO FOLLOW. Presidents of both parties, during the Cold War, cowed both Congress and the Supreme Court by exploiting the idea of permanent crisis.
President Bush43 has amped up presidential power other ways while trying to undermine Congress’s powers of oversight and the independence of the judiciary. Mr. Cheney’s energy task group forced records to be kept secret from Congress and the public to expand the zone of secrecy. After 9/11 these efforts accelerated with astonishing speed---often in secret from Congress and the American public. It was a continuation of the theory of ‘permanent crisis’ and rule by fear. A Sept. 25, 2001, memo written by Mr. Yoo asserted that ”the president’s powers include inherent executive powers that are unenumerated in the Constitution,” including a right to use military force as he sees fit, regardless of the views of Congress. Congress, of course, has the constitutional power to declare war. A January 2002 Justice Department memo asserted that “customary international law” has no binding legal effect on the commander in chief. The President’s ‘signing statements’ essentially amounted to a series of line-item vetoes, previously denied by Congress.
Let’s ditch the, new 4th branch of American gov’t: intelligence. In the post-9/11 era, in a phony “wartime” atmosphere, fed by trillions of taxpayer dollars, and under the banner of American “safety,” it has grown to unparalleled size and power. Building Boom “Top Secret America,” Dana Priest and William Arkin: “33 building complexes for top-secret intelligence work are under construction or have been built since September 2001. Together they occupy the equivalent of almost three Pentagons or 22 U.S. Capitol buildings -- about 17 million square feet of space.” And in 2014, the expansion is ongoing. just the sort of edifice that President Eisenhower warned Americans about in his famed farewell address in 1961. just the sort of edifice that President Eisenhower warned Americans about in his famed farewell address in 1961. In the meantime, the original military-industrial complex has only gained strength and influence under the rubric of “privatization,” (“corporatization,”) the Pentagon took a series of crony companies off to war with it…“capitalist war”, thanks to its wholesale financial support of, and the shrugging off of previously military tasks onto, a series of warrior corporations. 17 major intelligence have been growing, some at prodigious rates, outsourcing to private contractors in staggering numbers, so that we now have “capitalist intelligence” as well, “watching” everyone -- including, it seems, other branches of the government, with its own secret body of law and its own secret judiciary, largely on the principle of legalizing whatever it wanted to do. “Misleading” Congress The CIA, hacking legislative committees, then secretly removing previously released documents from the committee's "secure" computer system. CIA Director John Brennan met with Feinstein, lied to her. Violaes Executive Order 12333, which prohibits the CIA from conducting domestic searches or surveillance.”We shall return to the Constitution’s requirements by returning the power to the Congress to make appropriations. The Constitution says “no money shall be drawn from the Treasury, but in consequence of appropriations made by (Congress)”. Neither the President nor the Treasury may make appropriations. Under President Bush43, the executive has grown in stature and authority after failure to convince Congress to respond to its wishes.
The American people have lost confidence in government, actually believing that the government is ‘the problem’ when it was set up to help and does so in many countries. Borrowing, passing the cost to our children, as the answer to greedy failures of financial institutions? Giving market-distorting subsidies and regulations to, effectively, pick the winners in business? The $1.3 trillion exemptions in the U.S. tax code would be significantly trimmed without damaging the economy.To end the Anti-Commandeering Rule, add “and other officials” to the Constitution’s ‘supremacy clause’ after ‘and the judges in every State to stop state’s violation of Congress’ national policies.That would prevent states from evading federal duties like background checks for gun ownership, obedience to the Fair Labor Standards Act, protection of the environment, distribution of electric power and regulation of interstate transportation. Medicare has to be fixed by the fast track so that the proposed fix becomes law if Congress doesn’t vote on the changes to be proposed by the independent panel of experts. The EPA may now and must regulate carbon if the Congress fails to do so by abuse of the filibuster.
To end sovereign immunity, amend the Constitution to provide: “Neither the Tenth Amendment, the Eleventh Amendment, nor any other provision of this Constitution, shall be construed to provide any state agency, or state officer with an immunity from liability for violating any act of Congress, or any provision of this Constitution.”
When they fail to retain overview of effects and offend previously selected ‘best practices’ in government, abandon or re-write direct voters’ dysfunctional popular initiatives, apply IT (information technology) to presentation of public information. Our current problem is that we have the British parliamentary government (due to political inability to compromise) but without the majority rule that saves Britain (or any parliamentary government) from ruling effectively. This change in the filibuster should bet set to take effect in six or eight years so no one will be able to tell in advance which party’s power will be diluted. We should also bar ‘holds’ by which a single legislator may stop appointments until a recess.
In America, the Supreme Court of the United States, under Justice Roberts has this court has upheld a ban on ‘partial birth abortion’ despite the absence of an exception for abortions necessary for the health of the mother required by a previous opinion, recognized an individual right to bear arms (contradicting the view of ALL the federal courts), denied the freed speech claims of prisoners to receive newspapers and books, of students to speak out in favor of drugs, the right of human rights activists to advocate for peace and human rights, came within one vote of striking down ACA, deemed unconstitutional a public sector union’s authority to collect fees from those it represents, invalidated a nearly 40 year old limit on campaign contributions, permitted Christian prayer at official town meetings, held that Hobby Lobby, that a privately held corporation had a religious right to be exempt from a federal requirement that employer-based insurance plans cover the cost of contraception and made it nearly impossible to bring class actions against unwritten discriminatory practices. They have also made it impossible to pursue a case, claiming a lack of standing because no person could show they were affected by an entirely SECRET process. It is the anti-court court. NY Review of books, Summer, 2014, p. 10
In the world, state capitalism rises: the world’s ten biggest oil and gas firms are all state-owned. Look at almost any new industry. A new kind of hybrid corporation has become dominant, backed by the state but behaving like a private-sector multinational. China is the leading practitioner. China learned it from Singapore. The Economist alleges that state corporations use capital less efficiently, grow more slowly, favor well-connected insiders over innovative outsiders, result in cronyism and inequality and are better at infrastructure development. Their ability to make huge strategic investments puts private companies at a severe disadvantage.
The crisis of liberal capitalism as been rendered more serious by the rise of a potent alternative state capitalism, especially prevalent in emerging countries. Military use of corporations is more difficult, and a fair trading system is more difficult to regulate if it is owned or controlled by the state.