Regardless of your political persuasion, most agree that our populace has become so politically divided that we’re often unable to hear or listen to opposing views, much less engage in constructive conversation. Enter ASP – A Starting Point: A Starting Point is a video-based civic engagement platform created by Chris Evans, Mark Kassen, and technology entrepreneur Joe Kiani. ASP’s mission is to create a bipartisan channel of communication and connectivity between Americans and their elected officials with the goal of creating a more informed electorate. It is non-partisan and addresses the large issues of the day, and to each topic, there are 3 Democrats who respond, and 3 Republicans who respond, all in videos. This is refreshing, to put it mildly, and is being hailed on both sides of the isle. Check it out when you get a chance: https://www.astartingpoint.com/. Cheers!
It’s called the Golden Rule. Every major religion and/or philosophy embraces it:
do unto others what you’d have them do unto you. It’s more than practical, it’s karma.
The misguided among us would have you believe that there’s no place for caring about your neighbor in capitalism or the free market economy. This is decidedly not the case. In fact, a healthy, consuming neighbor supports capitalism and the free market by the very act of consuming. Moreover, history has taught us over and over that capitalism and the free market require controls to keep it from self-destruction. No, the real enemy of capitalism and the free market economy, and the thing that prevents our caring for our neighbor, is simply this: greed.
This is, of course, no revelation. We see it every day. The “S” word (socialism) is the consummate evil (next to communism) in the American lexicon. It’s the easiest thing in the world to call anything that limits acquiring “more” as being socialist.
Let’s take health care, for example. The idea of everyone having reasonable health care is currently being labelled as “socialism”. Really? Is anyone suggesting getting rid of capitalism? Or not paying more for a superior product or service? Forgetting for the moment that most of the developed countries and economies in the world have adopted universal health care because it PAYS to do so (remember our healthy and consuming neighbor above?), and that the U.S. pays the most for the least beneficial healthcare among these countries, and that a constitutional argument could be made that there IS no freedom for the pursuit of life, liberty, and happiness if you don’t have your health, why then do so many swallow this falsehood? Simple, we have the consummate snake-oil salesman selling the theory. If you tell the misguided (ignorant) something often enough, they will start to believe it.
So the next time someone tells you that universal healthcare is socialism, gently remind them that it is nothing more than following the Golden Rule, and is an investment in promoting capitalism and a growing economy. It won’t be easy or simple, but nothing worth doing ever is. It will require constant review of policies and adjustments to them, but it will be well worth the effort in every way that counts.
Thanks for joining me!
Good company in a journey makes the way seem shorter. — Izaak Walton
WorthyVisions is a voice that advocates the principles inspired by those opening words in the U.S. Constitution, “We the People…”, written by people who were themselves inspired by worthy visions. At WorthyVisions we encourage policies that are both socially progressive and fiscally conservative.
Some points we’d like to recommend:
* No one should have to go without healthcare, food, clothing, and shelter who is a citizen of the United States of American and willing to EARN their way. That does NOT mean free rides; all able bodies unemployed persons would be expected to work 40 hours/week for the good of their community. The CCC (Civilian Conservation Corps) of the 1930s might serve as a model, and other opportunities should be made available as needed.
* The minimum wage for people shall not be less than $15/hour OR sufficient to enable a person working 40 hours/week to live outside of poverty.
* Campaign Finance Reform begins with overturning the Citizens United vs. FEC (Federal Elections Commission) which allows Corporations the same status as the individual WRT (With Respect To) campaign contributions. I believe we’re now over 20 states of the 36 state legislatures needed for a constitutional amendment to overturn Citizens United.
* The IRS will be reduced to a maximum of 100 people, or as close to that number as technology and common sense will allow, because the tax code will be replaced by a flat-rate tax. Outsourcing to U.S. companies will be allowed to facilitate this conversion. It will not happen overnight, nor will it be allowed to take an unreasonably protracted amount of time.
* The government will adhere to the separation of Church and State and abstain from dictating our morals and stay out of people’s bedrooms and homes. Teaching morality is the job of religions and parents; a person who has reached majority may choose their own morals. Jesus once put it nicely: “Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s”.
* Marijuana will no longer be a Class 1 drug, the same as heroin. For too many years, we have been incarcerating people whose most violent behavior is to drool on themselves; incarcerating these people and wreaking havoc on their families does NOT serve our communities or our country. If we’re smart, we’ll continue to legalize and tax it, thereby reducing criminal influence and obtain needed revenues.
* Prisons should self-sustain themselves as much as reasonably possible AND provide restitution to victims. This is NOT anti-union; it is union neutral. Prisons are for those who have violated the compact that we, as citizens, have made with each other in sharing the principles laid down in the U.S. Constitution, the Bill of Rights¸ and the golden rule adhered to by all known major religions. We should allow light manufacturing and/or services for profit in order to support the expense of incarceration and/or rehabilitation. Prisons are unique, and unions will just have to deal with it. For too long, the victims of crime have been ignored, and the taxpayer is among the victims.
* English is the official language of this country; if people can’t read it, they should not be allowed to vote.
* Social Security should not be privatized and it should be grown to cover those in need. How will that be paid for? See Warren Buffet’s Congressional Reform Act of 2017 below.
- The United States does not exist in a vacuum, neither should it presume to play a messianic role in the affairs of other countries.
- The security of the American people, and institutions needed to preserve it, is critical. However, we should also seek collaboration with our allies, at every opportunity, to share this burden.
We support and laud the visions and hard work of dozens of worthy organizations that seek to promote these policies. Among the principle tenets of the platform we support is Warren Buffet’s proposed “Congressional Reform Act of 2017″:
The BUFFETT Rule:
“We must support this – pass it on…
Salary of retired US Presidents .. . . . .. . . . . .. . $180,000 FOR LIFE
Salary of House/Senate members .. . . . .. . . . $174,000 FOR LIFE This is stupid
Salary of Speaker of the House .. . . . .. . . . . $223,500 FOR LIFE This is really stupid
Salary of Majority / Minority Leaders . . .. . . . . $193,400 FOR LIFE Ditto last line
Average Salary of a teacher . . .. . . . .. . . . . .. .$40,065
Average Salary of a deployed Soldier . . .. . . .. $38,000
I think we found where the cuts should be made! If you agree pass it on, as I just did.
Warren Buffett, in a recent interview with CNBC, offers one of the best quotes about the debt ceiling:
“I could end the deficit in five minutes,” he told CNBC. “You just pass a law that says that anytime there is a deficit of more than 3% of GDP, all sitting members of Congress are ineligible for re-election”.
The 26th Amendment ( granting the right to vote for 18 year-olds ) took only three months and eight days to be ratified! Why? Simple! The people demanded it. That was in 1971 – before computers, e-mail, cell phones, etc.
Of the 27 amendments to the Constitution, seven ( 7 ) took one ( 1 ) year or less to become the law of the land – all because of public pressure…
Congressional Reform Act of 2017
1. No Tenure / No Pension. A Congressman / woman collects a salary while in office and receives no pay when they’re out of office.
2. Congress ( past, present, & future ) participates in Social Security. All funds in the Congressional retirement fund move to the Social Security system immediately. All future funds flow into the Social Security system, and Congress participates with the American people. It may not be used for any other purpose.
3. Congress can purchase their own retirement plan, just as all Americans do.
4. Congress will no longer vote themselves a pay raise. Congressional pay will rise by the lower of CPI or 3%.
5. Congress loses their current health care system and participates in the same health care system as the American people.
6. Congress must equally abide by all laws they impose on the American people.
7. All contracts with past and present Congressmen/women are void effective 3/1/17. The American people did not make this contract with Congressmen/women.
Congress made all these contracts for themselves. Serving in Congress is an honor, not a career. The Founding Fathers envisioned citizen legislators, so ours should serve their term(s), then go home and go back to work…”