Sunday, September 4, 2011

It's Broke, Fix It, Part 2

At what point should a country—any country—take stock of itself and admit that its political system no longer really works—not because its citizens are unhappy, but because they’ve become so smug, so complacent that they’re no longer interested in making the nation function effectively?

Or, to put it another way, is it possible that the grand experiment that was America might be failing? Is it conceivable that democracy, as outlined by the Founding Fathers and described in the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, simply does not work?

I bring this up because it appears the country is foundering. Potential voters do not vote, abandoning the elections to special interests. Elected officials no longer represent since safeguarding a non-voter’s interests does not lead to re-election. The confederacy of dunces now in positions of power have little to do save protect their offices.

Add to this the fact that large and profitable businesses are leaving the country and employing overseas workers to the detriment of this nation’s workforce. Ninety percent of the wealth is owned by a tiny minority of the population whose main function in life, it seems, is to avoid taxation.

Our infrastructure is falling apart. Roads are Third-Worldish in most of the States. Bridges are on the verge of collapse, the power grid is beyond comprehension and past fixing. Neither law enforcement nor the penal system can keep up with criminal activity. We are the most murderous country in the worlds, with the highest percentage per capita of jail and prison inmates. Mail delivery will soon cease on Saturdays and the USPS foresees a massive lay off and a postage rate increase.

The economy is tanking. Food prices are up, real estate is down, the stock market flounders. Many have lost their savings and homes. The people and entities to whom we have entrusted our moneys have proven incapable of wisely managing it, and often dishonest to boot.

We are, to all appearances, becoming a second-rate country mired in absurdist political power games that totally overlook dire consequences.  What we need right now is a period of economic Marshall law.

In the long run, if the country is ever to regain its superiority, things will have to change.
  • Elect the president and all members of congress, at both the state and national level, to a single seven-year term. This will allow those voted in to devote themselves to the running of the country and not the running of their next election.
  • Have Congress legislate an across-the-board tax rate for the majority, and a super-tax for those who earn in excess of three million dollars a year.
  • Bring all the troops home, except those under the stewardship of the United Nation.
  • Legalize and tax heavily the sale of drugs. Use the tax proceeds for drug education and the prosecution of illegal dealers.
  • Release from people all people convicted of selling small amounts of controlled substances.
  • Create a Job Corps based on the Works Program Administration and give the unemployed fairly-paid work on the nation’s infrastructure. Rebuild roads, bridges, railway lines.
  • Hold all workers whose jobs it is to invest and safeguard citizens’ moneys to the highest level of professional ethics. Prosecute to the full extent of the law those who betray public trust.
  • Freeze fuel prizes at 2002 levels.
  •  Institute a three-strikes-you’re-out policy on crimes involving firearms.

Think these suggestions are draconian? They’re not. The future is starring at us and we can’t afford to blink.

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