Saturday, October 25, 2014
Sunday, October 12, 2014
It is useless to try to hold back the tide of weary, desperate people seeking a better life. Let's get real: no one is going to stop a hungry child from jumping on the top of a train and looking for higher ground. Why not just let them in? All of them ? Yes, all of them.
A Problem Correctly Defined is Half Solved
We don't have an immigration problem, we have a poverty problem. And the problem is not that we as a country don't have enough money to solve poverty. It's that we put our money into the wrong pockets Allowing anyone who wants to enter the country to enter is feasible if it is one several radical changes to how the government regulates economic fundamentals: labor, property and taxes.
Replace the all entitlements with a Basic Income Guarantee (BIG) and health care.
Shred Title 26: A New Tax Code for a New Economy. *
Triple Decker Housing Trust Fund
Throw Open the Borders.
You're Going to GIVE Immigrants Money?
After paying taxes for 7 years, everyone residing in the US should be eligible for a BIG of $21,000/year. For most "Born Heres" that means starting with an after-school job while in high school. On the other hand, if you started living off your trust fund at 16, you might never qualify. Poor baby.
How will you pay for that?
Replacing all entitlements with a basic income guarantee doesn't just mean eliminating programs like unemployment insurance, food stamps, fuel assistance, and Section 8, it means eliminating the bureaucracy that administers those programs. If no one has to apply for "social security"—because you already receive it (after paying taxes for 7 years)—checking eligibility is a piece of cake. Ditto for hundreds of other government programs that now soak up millions of dollars in administrative expenses. If on top of it you radically streamline Title 26, suddenly the money appears.
Current Immigration Policy
Besides militarizing the entire southern half of the country, protecting our border also prevents employers from hiring the best person for the job and within a capitalist system the best person for the job is the person that will work for the lowest wage. The economy and employers are better off paying Manuel Labor, father of ten who has three other jobs, than they are employing someone who thinks s/he is too good to wash dishes.
The Slacker Problem
The "immigration problem" highlights something that no one, liberal or conservative has adequately addressed: some people won't work. Ask conservatives about the shortage of "Born Here" dishwashers and they'll start babbling about whatever it is they babble about. Ask liberals about unionized deadwood and they'll claim it's not a problem. But it is and there is no better description of it than this classic New Yorker article about teachers being paid not to teach:
Liberals don't want to talk about this or the other ways that entitlements make it more sensible to game the system than to look for work. This is because at the heart of liberalism is a kind of paternalism that assumes that poor people don't know how to run their own lives. A better conclusion is that the government doesn't know how to run peoples lives.
(For the record, this editorialist doesn't believe in laziness. People who don't want to work usually have a good reason for not working, one that no one else can really understand or change.)
Mom and Pop
Gov: "You spent all your allowance? Too bad, you'll do better next week."
Gov: "What, spent it again? Talk to your mother."
Replacing all entitlements with a BIG doesn't mean the end of charity, it means cutting out the middleman. No matter what "The Dad" government does or does not do, there will always be people with large soft hearts who will give anyone another chance. G-d bless them. Everyone needs and deserves a mother.
Increasing the tax break for private charitable donations; eliminating the need for charities to apply for government contracts and having all donations go directly to the charity chosen by the donor will make private charitable organizations more effective. Let's retire the Nanny state and let Mom do her job.
It's the Economy Stupid
Putting enough money to live on, albeit not well, into the hands of people who then are free to make economic choices is a better way to help people and a better way run an economy than putting it into the pockets of government employees. Since there are no strings or income limitations on the BIG, people can slack when they can't work and make as much money as is humanly possible when they can (corporations are not people and thus not eligible for the BIG). Whether those people are Born Here or Born Somewhere Else is irrelevant to the economy and should be to everyone else.
Throw open the borders. In the age of globalization we are all citizens of the world. It's time to start acting like it.
For the Earth,
*For more on these initiatives go to: http://arialittlhous.blogspot.com/search?q=dissenting+opinion
Monday, September 1, 2014
Saturday, August 30, 2014
Sunday, August 24, 2014
The question is not whether the mayhem in Ferguson is being caused by a "small" group of discontents, or whether the other protestors are sincere in their wish for a peaceful solution. The question is why such discontent is no longer staying within the usual boundaries of home, bottle, and pipe. Why are the most desperate among us taking every opportunity to voice their discontent as often and as violently as possible?
The party is over. The well fed minority that have put this country into the hopper must back away from the trough. Address poverty and racism or bear the consequences; the violence that is endemic among the dispossessed survivors of eat-your-own capitalism will be in all our streets, all our homes, all our neighborhoods.
The time for halfway solutions is past. To break the cycle of drop out-to-gang-to-convict-to-criminal:
Extend Public Education Through College
End the Reign of the Golden School
Free All Prisoners Convicted of Victimless Crimes.
Nationalize the Healthcare Industry.
And to pay for it? Well, in the past the privileges of the minority came from the sale of human beings (now it comes from privatized prisons, the Judge is extra).
There is a better way:
Replace All Entitlements with a Basic Income Guarantee and Healthcare.
And who is Occupy or anyone to be making that kind of "demand." To which this editorialist says "There is no power like stating the truth: it's time to share the wealth."
Replace All Entitlements with a Basic Income Guarantee and Healthcare
was one of the 10 Objectives offered by the InterOccupy Strategy Group.
And, for the record the demands of the Black Panthers are below and here:
Michael Brown is dead. Stopping more such murders means trying a little harder than replacing a police chief.
Thursday, May 29, 2014
Thursday, May 22, 2014
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Friday, May 16, 2014
I'm writing to invite you to join us as we embark on making single-payer one of the top issues of the current Massachusetts gubernatorial campaign season!
"How?" you might ask -- We plan to attend campaign events between now and the primary election in September and the general election in November to ask each candidate - Republican and Democrats - to commit to implementing a single payer system in Massachusetts if they are elected. We call this birddogging. Several candidates already support single-payer.
Why this strategy? Showing up at these events lets the candidates know that people in MA support single-payer. Plus, while they are seeking votes and trying to get elected, they are more likely to make policy commitments than when they are comfortably settled into their State House office. Students used this strategy during the 2008 presidential campaign to secure $50 billion in federal funding for global health and AIDS funding. It's as simple as showing up, asking your question, and taking a picture with the candidate-- as long as we repeat until our goal is reached!
Is there more to it? There is a little more to it -- so we are inviting you to get trained and to meet other students and single-payer advocates on Thursday, May 22nd, at Harvard Medical School. We will also provide an introduction to what a single-payer system could do for MA, as well as background on the gubernatorial candidates. If you cannot attend the training, but are interested in future birddogging opportunities, please fill out the form below and we will keep you updated about the campaign.
What: Birddogging training and more on single-payer and the current candidates for Governor
Where: Harvard Medical School, TMEC 109, 260 Longwood Ave
When: 6:30pm on Thursday, May 22nd
RSVP: Use the form below please!
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