The economy is rigged against the working class. It is time we make an economy that works for the working class, not just wealthy individuals and corporations.
The United States has the most extreme inequality of any other industrialized nation. Over the last 50 years, there has been a massive transfer of wealth from the working class to the top one percent. The top one-tenth of one percent has almost as much wealth as the bottom 90 percent. Meanwhile, 40 million people live in poverty and half a million people are homeless. Both the Republican and Democratic establishments have facilitated this transfer of wealth because their donors are the recipients.
If you work 40 hours, you should not live in poverty. That is why we must raise the minimum wage to standardized living wage specified by geography, and generally referred to as $15 per hour. We must raise pay and provide better training for our teachers, firefighters, police officers, and soldiers. And we much change the ridiculous law that allows servers and bartenders who receive tips to be paid as little as $2.13 per hour.
I support reforming the tax code in a way that favors working class people and closes loopholes for millionaires and billionaires. I support a progressive income tax. I support eliminating loopholes that allow corporations to stash US Dollars in other countries and avoid paying taxes on 166 billion dollars in legally hidden profits annually.
I support closing loopholes that have allowed 20 percent of corporations to pay nothing in taxes. I support raising the capital gains tax. I support raising the corporate tax on large corporations. I also support raising the estate tax, the repeal of which provides almost exclusive benefit to the 328,000 richest people in America.
We also need to address homelessness in our society. I support providing all of our homeless with homes that come with a lock and key. This is the moral action to take and studies have shown that it is much less expensive to shelter our homeless than it is to leave them on the streets. We must invest in our people and afford them the means to succeed.
The failed foreign policy of the U.S. government, which engages in the reckless toppling of dictators and the destabilization of governments, has wasted trillions of taxpayer dollars and caused terrorist organizations to spring up all over the world. I strongly believe we must shift our foreign policy from a philosophy of offensive, interventionist, regime-changing and wealth-transferring wars, to diplomacy and defense of our homeland.
We must ban private corporations from getting involved in war zones. Military contractors have an incentive to create continuous warfare regardless of the impact on civilians. We must end this. We also must enact a weapons embargo on the Middle East, so that we are no longer facilitating the bloodshed.
Too much of our military budget is being funneled to military contractors instead of to soldiers. I believe a strong military means our soldiers are focused on the task at hand and not worrying about their financial situation. That is why we need to raise soldier pay to 50,000-75,000 dollars per year and allocate more money to items that will protect soldiers in the field such as bulletproof vests, helmets, and lightweight gear. We also need to shut down wasteful programs like the F-35 program that spent 1.5 trillion dollars on an aircraft that underperformed next to a jet priced under 20 million. This is a gross misuse of funds that could be going to making our soldiers safer.
If we wish to have peace, we can. It is within The People’s power to end the continuous warring we see worldwide. We see that war, which is sold as a national necessity, is actually nothing more than a continuous industrial business cycle. It is not necessary, its a life-ruining tragedy for a million people every day, and it can be stopped if we wish.
War profiteering – transferring the People’s wealth away from healthcare, infrastructure, first responders, vulnerable elders, education – the list goes on – and instead funneling trillions of dollars to the corporations of war, is a scourge on the spirit of our country. That we allow such a huge portion of our collective resources to be dedicated to the destruction of civilizations, right down to the basic infrastructures of food and water distribution, shelter, medical and education, and that we allow the maiming and death of countless men, women and children, sacrifices to the business of continuous global war, is the greatest moral dilemma of our time.
When we were young, weren’t we taught and didn’t we all believe that war was wrong and terrible and that we were trying to stop it? Weren’t we taught and didn’t we all believe that we were the good guys and we were at war because of national necessity, not for profits and prosperity? We are so saturated with streams of fearful news alerts and endless violent entertainment that the idea of ending war is not even a thing, anymore. In this way, these are chilling times.
As we move forward with positive change The United States will continue to be the strongest military nation on Earth. For the entire life of every person currently alive on the planet, this will always be the case.
Because of this, we have the ability to reduce the massive transfer of wealth that war facilitates, and the obvious suffering it causes to innocents worldwide. Our generation has perhaps the best opportunity in the history of civilization for The People to Marshall their governments and make a dramatic shift on this issue.
We must end the corrupting influence of money in our political system.
It’s no secret that Congressman are placed in their seats by big money interests. We no longer live in a representative democracy, but an oligarchy, where the corporate class controls our politicians. Today, a bill’s popularity amongst the American people has a direct negative correlation to the likelihood of it turning into law. This is unacceptable and why I support reversing Citizens United and passing legislation to get corporate and PAC money out of politics.
I support public financing of elections where every voter is given a stipend each election cycle to donate the candidate of their choice. I am running a grassroots campaign funded by small money donations from voters and I do not take money from Super PAC’s, corporations, or the economic elite. Politicians should work for the people that voted for them, not the people that paid for them.
Our broken democracy does not stop at money in politics. Despite the majority of voters identifying as independents, the two party system has kept a stranglehold on our political system – leaving choices between bad and worse. We need a ranked choice voting system in order to increase competition and allow for independent candidates to run. We also must abolish “First past the Post Voting” and ensure that each candidate wins the amount of delegates proportional to the number of votes. We must open up the primaries to the millions of disenfranchised independents so that candidates address all voters during their campaign. We must abolish the Commission on Presidential Debates and create a nonpartisan commission. Gerrymandering is also one of the most important issues in American politics. I support instituting a nonpartisan commission to draw district lines impartially. We also must institute same-day registration, create an Election Day holiday, and end the undemocratic superdelegate process that allows the establishment elites to swing elections – with no regard to the will of the people.
Disastrous trade deals including NAFTA and CAFTA, signed by both republican and democratic presidents, have caused millions of American jobs to be shipped overseas. These trade policies have left Americans behind, forcing them to work longer hours for lower wages if they are able to find a job. Trade deals should never be written by multinational corporations and should always be focused on creating jobs here in America.
We must invest in our people in order to compete in this new global economy. That is why I support free tuition at public colleges and universities. We must allow our young people to get an education regardless of their income. I support cancelling all student debt because our young people should not be punished for investing in their future, and it would free them up to spend more in the economy, saving up to buy a house or saving to start a business. I also believe that we need to invest in early childhood education, creating a universal pre-kindergarten program. The most important time in a person’s brain development is early and middle childhood. This is the easiest and most important time to learn, which is why we need to ensure that every child has the education they need to empower themselves as adults.
We also must reform the way in which we fund public schools. Much of the racist housing laws of the past have led to extremely poor or extremely rich neighborhoods. Funding schools through property taxes creates a system where poorer neighborhoods have substandard school facilities. That is why we must enact equality of funding in public schools: funding based on number of students – not property taxes. I support higher salaries for teachers who work in underserved areas in order to reward them for empowering our disadvantaged youth.
I also believe that for-profit private schools and tax-exempt religious schools should not be funded by the taxpayer. Our public school taxes should go to the public school system only. Our current situation, in which the Executive and Legislative branch of the Florida government continue to work toward circumventing the Florida Constitution and Supreme Court by channeling public tax dollars to private schools, shows the degree to which our governmental process has become contorted.
We must transform our energy system to renewable energy in order to combat climate change and create millions of decent paying jobs.
Global warming is causing devastating droughts, fires, floods, and hurricanes around the world, regardless of its cause, and the situation will only get worse. We need to transition away from coal, oil and natural gas towards renewable energy sources such as wind, solar, and geothermal. I will support legislation such as the Off Fossil Fuels for a Better Future Act (H.R. 3671) and the Keep it in the Ground Act (H.R. 2242) and other legislation in order to completely transform our energy system over the next 25 years. I support repealing subsidies for fossil fuel industries and instituting a carbon tax to discourage the use of fracking and water-polluting oil pipelines. We will invest in retraining programs for coal miners and other fossil fuel industry workers in order to help them obtain the skills needed to obtain jobs in the renewable energy sector.
I support raising fuel-efficiency standards for all new vehicles as well as encouraging energy efficiency through the renovation of old, low-insulation buildings. I also support subsidies for electric automobiles and small business in the renewable energy sector. Transforming our energy system will create millions of new jobs while ensuring clean air and water for our descendents.
CRIMINAL JUSTICE REFORM
We must reform our justice system and end systemic racism and oppression. We must deprivatize our prison system which has incentivized the jailing of our citizens for nonviolent drug offenses. I support the legalization of Marijuana. Too many lives are ruined because of a nonviolent marijuana offenses. I support ensuring every American has the right to the mental health care needed to overcome the disease of addiction, instead of being treated as criminals.
I support a prison system that is more focused on rehabilitation rather than punishment. We must ban prison slave labor, and allow prisoners the option to work for minimum wage. We must also restore voting rights for felons who have completed their parole who were not convicted of murder or a sexual offense.
We must hold our police accountable when they shoot unarmed civilians. We can do this in part by installing an independent civilian oversight council as well as mandating that any death at the hands of police must be investigated by the FBI or the Attorney General. I support retraining officers with de-escalation tactics, requiring a 4-year college degree, demilitarizing their weapons and vehicles, encouraging community policing, and requiring body cameras on every officer which streams footage to a civilian oversight council. We must abolish civil asset forfeiture which allows the government to seize private property without due process of law.
Every American deserves the freedom to choose the best course of action for their family. This includes whether or not to have a child in the event of an unplanned pregnancy. Women have a right to choose what they do with their bodies – not the government.
Women deserve equal pay for equal work. I will support legislation that narrows the pay gap between men and women. I support paid family and medical leave for both men and women for a minimum of 24 weeks, with job security upon return. It is stressful enough to have a child, women deserve to not have to worry about losing their job or their income. Approximately two-thirds of minimum wage jobs are held by women, so raising the minimum wage will help them out of poverty.
Citizens who choose to identify themselves as other than male or female deserve equal treatment under the law.
Marriage licenses available to men and women must of course be available to non-men and non-women. Furthermore, such labels and categories are private choices of the individual, and not assigned by the State.
The State’s obligation to grant and a citizens right to receive a legal marriage license to form a legal union with the person of their choice is not affected by the religious beliefs of any individuals employed by the government, right on up to the Governor.
I will support legislation making it a federal crime terminate or deny employment to someone on the basis of gender or sexual orientation.
I support allowing non-males and non-females to serve openly in the military because our brave soldiers should not have to hide who they are, especially when defending this nation.
I support legislation that allows law-abiding citizens to use the most logical public restroom available if a family restroom (as it is frequently referred to in the public square) is not accessible.
The United States is a proud nation of immigrants and our diversity is one of our greatest strengths. I support an inexpensive and expedient pathway to citizenship for the 11 million undocumented immigrants living, working and paying taxes in the United States. Undocumented workers, particularly in the agricultural industry are exploited and subjected to some of the most inhumane work environments imaginable. A pathway to citizenship will bring undocumented workers out of the shadows, treat them with dignity as legal members of society.