Realizing Our Vision for America

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Realizing Our Vision for America

This page contains a collection of working ideas for realizing Our Vision for the United States of America. It contains further links to where you can find frames for discussing our vision and projects for continued work to further this vision.

General Steps to Realizing Our Vision

Some steps we can take help to liberalize our world and foster progress, while other steps work on specific areas, such as the economy. This section covers things we can do that will have a broad impact.

Sensible Policies for a Better Life

Progressive ideas will take hold not by force, but by growing the better progressive ideas. These are the ideas that will lead people to see the wisdom of these policies because they will be improving the quality of life for most people. Current anti-progressive policies aid only the small percentage of families that have the most wealth. By electing progressives, policies that can help the majority of citizens can be enacted, and regressive benefits to the wealthy can be eliminated.

Realizing a Better Life

This section contains discussions on specific policies that contribute to the betterment of society. These ideas work more narrowly, but the ideas put forward will help the majority of Americans.

Jobs and Wages

See Framed: Economic Policy. See Framed: International Trade Agreements. See Framed: White Collar Unemployment.

Workplace Conditions

See Framed: International Trade Agreements.

Health Care

See Framed: HSAs (Health Savings Accounts).

Retirement

See Framed: PRAs (Personal Retirement Accounts).

Education

Aware that education cannot take place in a vacuum, and that teaching materials are often both a valuable and a costly resource, the United States government, in alliance with progressive administrations worldwide, fostered the production of royalty-free educational materials, provided financial aid for the translation of these basic teaching materials into the languages of countries that had limited resources to apply to such translation efforts, made the materials available via the WWW and other readily accessible channels, and pushed the materials by other means into the areas that were even more remote.

Within its own borders, the United States reversed the federal policy according to which textbook materials held from year to year by publishers are taxed as active inventory items, and reverted to the earlier policy that encouraged publishers to make larger press runs at more economical rates and distribute the results to the public over a number of years. It also created other incentives for the production of high quality teaching materials with long shelf life and moderate prices.

Personal Freedom

See Framed: Prosecuting Officials for Crimes.

Justice

Good Government

Peace and National Defense

The primary means of national defense in the integrated modern world is a strong economy. Too much military spending endangers that. So does any use of the military that creates too great an economic disturbance. This is different from the past in which a strong military was seen as the best national defense. Continued old thinking is dangerous because of this discontinuity.

At the same time, the most important initiatives are multilateral and diplomatic. This means a total turning away from the Bush Policy and everything that requires unilateral action.

In addition, the U.S. needs to move away from policies that allow all wealth-creating jobs to flow out of the country. This cannot mean protectionism because that would disconnect the global economy and lead to severe depression and possibly war. Instead, the U.S. needs to use its economic power to renegotiate terms of global trade, so that in order to sell in the U.S. a supplier must adhere to basic first-world standards on pay, workplace conditions and environmental protections. The current policy is draining wealth-creating jobs out of the country, weakening its economic position. This is dangerous to national defense.

Our leaders should enter into a cooperative effort with all religious leaders to pursue peace. The relationship that was structured for this effort provided that those who participated would agree to pursue the wellbeing of individuals worldwide, and would seek ways in which they could cooperate despite their doctrinal differences. In particular, the groups were asked to seek out the causes of hatred and violence, to ask whether it was meaningful to assert that God seeks the well being of all humans and even of all creation, and then to ask (assuming that God truly did not seek internecine violence among his creation) how cultural features that foment hatred and violence could be modified both from within and without the respective religions.

See Reframing Terrorism.

The Environment

The U.S. will need a public initiative to replace fossil fuels with renewable energy. Private initiatives, scattered and opposed by market forces, will not be sufficient to change course before the effects of global warming destroy the icecaps and bring on widespread flooding of coastal areas. This will require the equivalent of the Manhattan Project, but directed at increasing the effectiveness of solar, wind and geothermal power production, as well as the efficient use of energy for our needs.

Infrastructure

Aware that global warming would inevitably produce rises in sea levels before the damages to the atmosphere could be sufficiently corrected, the United States government spurred research and planning into ways to make marginal areas such as the city of New Orleans better able to survive short-terms increases in water levels due to natural catastrophes. Part of this planning was devoted to making dwellings better able to withstand water incursions on the ground level. Incentives were provided to encourage that homes be built with assets that could not be easily moved all being located on the second or higher floors, ground levels that could tolerate days of immersion in flood waters, etc. Part of this planning was devoted to providing ample means of evacuating populations in times of inundation or other catastrophes. The results of these efforts were gradually "ported" to serve the more general need to provide for speedy evacuation of large urban centers in the event of terrorist attacks, earthquakes, or other disasters. The research and planning results were further "ported" to nations such as Bangladesh that regularly suffer wide-scale disasters due to cyclonic storms and other disasters. In turn, research efforts on these problems were coordinated world-wide.

See Hurricane Katrina.

Realizing a Better World

The United States should cease subsidizing American agriculture because doing so puts American agricultural products on the world market at prices that ruin local producers and ultimately contribute to world hunger. Instead, it uses its soft economic power to make local or area purchases grain and other agricultural produce as it is needed by international famine relief organizations. In so doing, it fosters agricultural production worldwide and supports gradual equalization of the wage scale worldwide at the same time that it brings aid to areas suffering the scourge of drought, flooding, and intense storms that increase in power due to global warming.

In a return to the "Ever Normal Granary" policy of past centuries, the United States (again in cooperation with like-minded nations everywhere) purchased surplus production in years of great plenty to preserve a relatively constant and stable pricing system. These food products were stored in reserve for times of need, and whenever surpluses exceeded the likely need for disaster relief the remainder of the surpluses were put into storage in Antarctica—both for eventual use and for carbon sequestration.

Since overpopulation is the key driver of major environmental and economic problems, the U.S. should eliminate the so-called “global gag rule”, which prevents us from providing help with family planning around the world. Keeping population growth to a minimum is a very important part of public policy, so the U.S. needs to make all legitimate efforts to reduce population growth. This includes enhancing medical and health systems in poor countries, enhancing education, and contributing to the establishment of sustainable living conditions so that people feel free to reduce family sizes.

Historical Notes on Issues

Education

Even one of our founding fathers, Thomas Jefferson, had to fight long and hard to provide our national community with universal educational opportunities. Even that far back there were short-sighted people who asked, "Why should I pay for the education of other people." The result of denying equal opportunities to all citizens is an inevitable reverse-culling phenomenon. The rich pay for the education of their own children, some of whom are below average in potential, but effectively prevent the education of children of greater talent whose parents happen for whatever reason not to be wealthy. It is the national community that loses in the long run.

The paradox is that the lives of the people who consider themselves to be in the upper crust will also improve. One need look no further than the success of business people during the Clinton years compared to the failures (for many reasons besides rampant greed and even criminality) of people in the business community during the Bush years.

Personal Freedom

The culture in the United States grew out of a long history and tradition of struggle against autocratic power that led to gems of world culture such as the Magna Carta. That is why our founding fathers added a Bill of Rights to the Constitution and why the Statue of Liberty so eloquently states the appeal of the United States political culture to people world-wide.

Further Discussions on Vision for America

This page is the result of a long history of effort by many people. The discussions for what should be included here are recorded at the Discussion:Vision for America page.

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