President of the United States
I certainly hope no-one takes me seriously about this—the part about Dave for President—it just seemed like an efficient vehicle for conveying my thoughts. Anyway, here is what I would do (or try to do) as president, i.e., my platform. A couple items might sound like science fiction, specifically a sunlight-to-hydrogen economy and genetically modified babies, but I do believe the groundwork for such concepts has been laid. If it seems unlikely that such things could be acheived in even an eight-year term, I would point out we landed on the moon just eight years and two months after JFKs 1961 moon speech.
1 Ensure that government agencies such as the EPA, FCC, and CPB are working for us and not “them.”
2 Restore the Glass-Steagall act and continue pushing for the restoration of other consumer/economic safeguards that have been methodically removed over the last 50 years or so. Clearly there are those who would like to completely dismantle the safe haven for savers/investers which the Glass-Steagall act helped to create. Some of their deregulatory fiddling was reversed by Dodd-Frank (which is under attack), but I would push for more.
3 Outlaw all coupons and any sort of mail-in rebates, club cards or related "reward" programs: The latter are all obviously designed to harvest your information and track your purchases. It should be anyone’s prerogative to shop where they want without having to pay for their privacy. And coupons, nowadays, can too easily be used to overprice the poor. Making it necessary to own the latest expensive computing device to get “that discount” is but one example. A clause ensuring that the online price must always match the store price would also help solve that problem. Of course, penalizing (taxing) people for not joining the "collective" has become rampant. Rules to protect the individual are long overdue. rev 6/22/19, 7/14/19
4 Outlaw any sort of discounts associated with store credit cards, or any other type of card (as a precaution): Under my tenure, anyway, you can rest assured that a cashless society—which must be the worst idea ever devised by man (at his present stage of development, anyhow)—will never happen.
5 Outlaw the use of credit score to discriminate against any job applicant, and make sure its only legal use is as a tool for banks in the money lending process. A few states have already passed their own laws to this effect, but a national one is needed.
6 Beyond restoring Glass-Steagall, update the rules for banking practices. We all know the shady practices that some banks and credit unions do that penalize the poor: account maintenance fees designed to steal a person’s last dollar so they can impart an overdraft fee on top of that when the account holder writes that bad check, or charging outrageous fees to mail a monthly statement that probably does not cost the bank more than 1st class postage, with the only other option for receiving a statement being to purchase the latest computing device that supports a browser that supports the latest encryption algorithms—all of which requires an internet connection, of course; which exposes their new device to malware and viruses. And then you have some credit card companies and loan agencies still getting away with "murder." An update of Federal rules regarding such practices is long overdue. Such laws at the Federal level would level the playing field for all banks and business'.
7 Institute a personal tax structure more like the highly prosperous mid-twentieth century, when the wealthiest paid a much higher percentage than they do now.
8 Instead of attempting to appease US corporations with any more lower tax rates, tell them if they do not bring their profits back to the US, declare them, and pay their fair share of taxes on them, they will no longer be allowed to do business in the United States. (The United States is a huge market. If they want to take their business and product elsewhere, I’m sure there will be someone else more than willing to move up and take their place.)
9 Implement a single payer health system, using the tax revenues from the ultra-wealthy to help pay for it, and relegate the existing health insurance industry to a much less prominent role. Modern medicine has gotten very complex and sophisticated and continues to do so, while the population is growing older. The US needs a health care system that is as simple, streamlined, and efficient as it can possibly be; not the disjointed, complicated mess it currently is. As large a country as the United States is, it could be the best and most efficient in the world, by far, as opposed to the least efficient. rev 5/26/19, 6/22/19
10 In the near term, strengthen the US-Mexican border to stave off any rapid influx of people that may strain health care and other tax-based resources, affect wages and the job market for certain US citizens, include some very bad guys, and cause a very unfair situation for those who do respect international borders. Then set a date for any crackdown on any new violaters, as opposed to implementing some Naziesque retroactive campain against long-term illegals. (A more extensive border wall should have been constructed many years ago.)
11 Make sure the US has a well funded and unhindered genetic research program (unhindered by any goofy restrictions on stem cell research, or embryonic stem cell research, etc.) with the goal of designing people who are—on average—more intelligent, healthier, have longer lifespans, are less superstitious, and are less violent. This may require genetic samples of many thousands or even millions of people, and the collection of personal data, all of which should be completely voluntary.
12 Make any such discoveries and the gene splicing technology (potentially the greatest tool mankind could ever utilize - if used wisely) necessary to implement it available to the entire planet, and indeed to every person on the planet, so that any couple on earth—regardless of social status—can select the latest and best DNA sequences for their child. (The DNA sequences—a very small percentage of the human genome—would be added to their own to create a unique embryo.)
13 I completely forgot to include this in my original post; I’ll have to have a talk with my “campaign manager” about that, but anyhow: I will stand up to the oil and coal industry and make energy independence for the US a top priority with emphasis on solar energy to hydrogen research. Once there is no need whatsoever for the US to run trade deficits (which have "taxed" the American people since 1975 to the tune of some 6.25 TRILLION dollars as of July 2018) and perpetuate dollar hegemony, tariffs will be implemented to correct trade imbalances, counteract unfair trade practices and offshoring etc. A key part of this is to ensure that the bulk of solar technology is manufactured here, and not China, to help offset job loss. added 8/03/18
14 This last one would probably have no significant economic impact, other than salvaging a few meter reading jobs, perhaps, but I would try to enact a federal law requiring that any electronic device or appliance capable-of-sending-or-receiving-information function without the need of external communication; and any device or appliance equipped with an internal antenna also be equipped with a switch to in order to disconnect said antenna. For example, the so called smart meters that are being installed by power companies are intrusive and are a fourth amendment violation, no question about it, because they are forced upon people, with their privacy held for ransom. Once it is mandated that all new appliances be equipped to communicate with the meters, your house will potentially be opened up to anyone on the planet, and you will have no control over it. But that is just the tip of the iceberg, of course, as more devices equipped with microwave antennas are being sold every day. rev 5/26/19
15 Push for a constitutional amendment to abolish corporate personhood once and for all and ensure absolute transparency regarding all “dark money” currently being funneled into the US election process. There are those who argue that it is up to the individual to separate fact from fiction, and any such laws would be condescending, but truth tellers can also be drowned out by big money interests. Some degree of balance must be restored. And then, of course, there is the disparity in lobbying resources between big money and the average citizen, which never seems to get fully resolved. added 7/14/19
16 Restore and enforce the constitutionally guaranteed rights against search and seizure that have been steadily eroding ever since Ronald Reagan’s communistic drug czar, Carlton Turner, began his assault on them. Under my watch, if any US citizen, or that citizen’s personal property, including vehicles and land etc., who has lived in this country for 50 years or more, or who was born in the US to parents who have lived in the US 50 years or more, is ever searched without probable cause, at any location inside the US, a US territory, or at any point of entry, the employment of the person who executed or ordered the search will be immediately terminated if a US government employee. 4th amendment violations by the private sector, as well as all levels of law enforcement, will result in fines or possible prosecution. added 7/14/19
Note from the future: Congratulations, I was elected and managed to accomplish my entire list. You, the lower eighty percent of the US population, who voted me in office have now reclaimed much of the wealth that you were tricked (again and again) into handing over to the top 20% (with emphasis on the top 1%). Your elected officials are now much more likely to listen to you and affect policies that will benefit you, as opposed to only benefitting the corporate elite. While humanity is still divided among races and creeds, there is not near the racism that once persisted. No one can now point to a specific race and claim it to be any more devious, or more prone to violence, than any other. Population control can now be calmly and intellectually discussed; a social credit scheme, based on GDP, has been implemented to offset rapid job loss due to automation and other factors; a strong border is becoming less and less important because all countries of the world are elevating their own societies; and the US no longer has a trade deficit, allowing a return to the gold standard—a tool to combat inflation, and (ironically enough) a deterrent against trade deficits. Environmental pollution is decreasing rapidly, as fossil fuels have largely been replaced by a sunlight-to-hydrogen economy. And lastly, the threat of nuclear war is something taught only in the history books.
Note from the present: Sorry, but the scenario described above is never going to happen in a million years because there are enough bought-off elected officials at both the state and Federal level to ensure that none those items listed in my platform will ever happen. Due to the collision of population and climate swing, human society will descend further into chaos and authoritarian rule.
End note, some advice: Watch out for false prophets—those who would read articles like this and pretend to be a champion of the people, when all they really plan to do is trick you out of the little actual wealth you have left. (Gee, who could Dave be referring to?) No one has a crystal ball to see in the future, of course, and I did not vote for either Presidential candidate last election, but if Mr. Sanders had been on the ballot, my vote would have gone to him.
5/25/18: Whenever you post something on the Internet, you never know if anyone is going to read it or not. I was therefore a bit taken aback by the sudden surge of interest in the recent advances in genetic engineering such as CRISPR so shortly after posting this page. In the original introduction, I used the words designer babies, which I quickly changed to genetically modified . . . I regret using the word designer, as it implies couples ordering up specific genetic traits for their child such as blue eyes or blond hair. I do not support the concept at all; in fact, quite the opposite: I think any genetic changes beyond what is critically necessary to improve health, and mental health, should be avoided to ensure genetic diversity. Secondly, I think it very important that the latest treatment package be available to every human being regardless of social status. In other words, the richest person in the world and the poorest Siberian eskimoe alike would have access to the same genetic upgrades for their child at any given time. I think any other scenario could, and no doubt would, be socially devastating.
2/18/19: State of the Union: On my “Trump has got to go” page (since discontinued), I mentioned that there was one Trump policy that I fully agreed with: his decision to strike the Syrian air base. But I left one out: his call to make our NATO allies pay their fair share of defense spending. Since then, the President has taken on trade and the US southern border. Anything else of questionable character aside, still would not vote for him, but I have to hand it to him for taking on such daunting issues, both of which have been gaining in “ridiculousness” over many decades; both spurred on, in my opinion, by corporate interests. rev 5/11/19
Regarding trade: As I see it, there are two big problems to overcome to eliminate the US trade deficit: One is retaliation by other countries, and the other is the relative ease (as compared to times past) of moving production out of the country and shipping the product back. Which, in effect, holds all US citizens hostage to corporate demands. All hypocracy aside, I also have to applaud the President's reprimand of Hareley Davidson for their offshoring plans. Other presidents have made similar statements in the past, though. The problems is, the companies seldom give a damn.
One thing to consider, though, I suppose, is that if it does not involve job loss or a serious trade deficit, any tariffs imposed on US goods by another country only hurts its citizens. For many years, broadcast news had been featuring economists that claim any tariffs the US might impose will only start WW III. I'm not sure if they were reffering to a trade war or an actual war, but personally, I don’t understand how one country can fault another for trying to maintain a trade balance. Trying to tip the scale any further is another topic of discussion.
Regarding the southern border: Illegal immigration began to pick up steam back in the 1990s, of course. Back then the arguments were the same—a border wall was too expensive. “We will hire a few more border guards and put up some track hurdles.” (Okay, I might have paraphrased that last one). Yet a few years down the road, the US government suddenly finds planeloads of cash to ship over to Iraq. Do I think it is a national emergency? probably not; more like a shipwreck on the sea floor, begging to be raised from an ice-water grave, like US trade and a few other items.
Why would corporations and certain people wish for an open border? Simply put, it is easier to make money when a population is increasing—more souls to exploit, drive down labor costs, vote for the sympathetic party, perhaps. Land bought cheaply becomes more valuable etc. Never mind any extra burden to tax payers.
Claims of persecution have always been a claim of at least some of the border crossers, but what confounds me is why they desire so strongly to travel to another location where those people that are causing them such grief can follow right along behind them. And the whole idea of a smart fence sounds to me like trying to block mosquitoes with a fishing net (Not that I think illegal immigrants are mosquitoes, mind you). In the end, a stout high border wall with seismic sensors is the only thing that makes sense to me. If more resources were devoted to it 25-30 years ago, it would not be the huge task and expense it is today.