Tag Archives: Senate

Give the House Back to the Commoners and Get on With Solving America’s Issues….

I surely write the following piece with a substantial amount of provocation, perhaps beyond the realm of responsible punditry. However, with slight deafness toward the gnarls of the offended, I proceed beyond my normal restraint.

Ancient Rome had a bicameral legislative body, similar to that of the United States. Rome’s Senate of approximately 300 men was appointed by the Consuls, their answer for our President. However, as opposed to America’s wealthiest 300 citizens, who supposedly own more wealth than our bottom 100 million and who use their considerable wealth to control our Senate, Rome’s Senate actually consisted of her top 300 wealthiest citizens. Picture Warren Buffet in a toga.

No laws were passed without the acceptance of the Senate. Therefore, the rights of the property owners and capitalists of their day were protected. However, no laws were proposed unless they came from the Tribal Assembly. By law, the Assembly was composed of a cross section of 35 regions and 10 different wealth classes in each region so that all manners of working people would be equally represented. Perhaps the Romans were more enlightened in creating five layers each of “Republicans and Democrats”. Whether or not this financial distinction of who could hold each assembly seat was truly a representative manner in which to differentiate the social, fiscal, and monetary demands of different factions, it was, however, what held the Republic together for centuries.

Understanding the desires of the wealthy in America to protect their assets while giving the common man the right to participate in governance, our founders adopted a similar legislative strategy to Rome. Originally intended to be chosen by the state’s representatives, typically wealthy land owners, our Senate was to be the body that would represent our gentry. Our House of Representatives would represent the other strata of society. By this means, the wealthy of our country could not dictate solely to the masses yet the masses could not confiscate from the wealthy.

While it may seem odd that one percent of the population would be given the super authority of one half of the legislative power of the United States, this was in fact the manner in which property rights could be sustained, castes could be preserved, and the American Republic could move forward. Yet its forward movement was not without fits and spurts, with capitalist business cycles and banking debacles creating depressions and recessions along America’s path of progression.

The spectrum of wealth stayed within realms of relative comfort until the second half of the great industrial expansion, the corralling of hydrocarbon, and the creation of the Fed all combined to produce America’s super elite, our captains of industry, or more affectionately called by those represented in America’s lower House as Robber Barons. With this newfound wealth came the desire for more power, the seed of much corruption and the flaw of mankind, and also the ability to reach out and grab the power through the regaining of control of all branches of government that had been so craftily separated by America’s founders of our constitution.

The House of Representatives, in its capped and gerrymandered form, has since been bought and purchased by America’s wealthy elite. The balance of representation of the strata of American society has shifted precipitously to the very top. This imbalance has permitted our elites to pursue all means of capitalistic extremism to the detriment of our country. In their drive to pursue self interests, the top has been blinded to the consequences that were borne from such abandonment.

It has created a rising clan of social media democrats that are intent on gaining all branches of government and of potentially obliterating our elite’s capital that would destroy all social stratums, my comfortable entrepreneurial one included. How much elite capital would be destroyed if not for the protection garnered by the Fed? How much capital would be destroyed from a revolutionary legislative choice to default on our debt (Remember Pat Robertson in 1988)? How much capital would be destroyed from taxation shifting its focus to physical assets in America? How much capital could survive the concentrated efforts to hunt down offshore accounts?

When the bicameral structure was proposed for our federal government in 1787, Benjamin Franklin opposed it, considering that a carving out of power for the elite would be to the detriment of every single inhabitant of America who occupied the same human space, whether poor or rich. Instead, he favored one body that did not succumb to the whims of the wealthy. Ironically, we now have in essence one mirrored body of two houses that heavily favor those keeping our Congress in power.

During our most recent debate on the debt ceiling, Democrat politicking echoed sentiment across America as many commoners perhaps ignorantly favored castigating the wealthy with higher tax rates as a “solution” to our dilemma. This time, once again the voices of millions were drowned by the voices of a few as favors were called on the body politic. However, as austerity is being thrust upon America first by the world’s credit agencies, and soon by our creditors, those voices clamoring for a return of the House of Representatives to the commoners will once again gain shrieking decibels. Have we forgotten the wave of Socialist Democrats who revolutionized America in the 1930s? How much more so will a forced solution of austerity without the hope of America’s middle class recovery transform our elected bodies?

The electoral tools of rebalance are now in place, having been exercised in 2008 and 2010, and are being honed by the social media democrats of the internet era as we speak. The warriors of this newest generation of commoner democracy are gathering at the front. When the smoke clears from the Tea Party assault on the debt ceiling, drums will call out the clans of mediacrats to confront those holding the House in an epic class battle.

Rather than attempt to hold onto the vestiges of power in an unceremonious unveiling of raw class warfare with escape routes of flights to offshore havens that are hunted down like Rommel’s panzers in Northern Africa, it is truly in America’s wealthiest citizens interest to do the hard work of putting capital to work in America, to bringing jobs back to the commoners, and to rebalancing the prosperity potential of America’s future. Certainly, using the bicameral Federal legislature to confront and compromise on laws, regulations, and social norms that influenced flight of capital from America will be reformed and opportunities for domestic commerce optimized if the two houses of Congress will only revert to their intended purpose.

Peering across the Atlantic to Greece as America’s near future queues behind her, it is obvious that my provocative prognostication has the truthful kernels of potential proliferation. Not to be outdone by a dwindling empire of the past, we know that America has a much grander potential of austerity revolt. This Orwellian rant is not without hope that the people’s House can revert once again to the lower strata and that America can set a course to get on with what can make America great.

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Filed under American Governance, American Politics, Social Media Democracy

Sincere Politics May Force Walton’s Mountain For America To Recover

Our leadership has been steering the ship for the last forty years on the premise that we will choose  fiscal and social priorities, acquiesce to the political realities of not raising taxes, and print money to make up the difference.  Our country must now act upon a different order.  We must set a budget maximum and then set highest priorities to reach that budget.  

This budgeting process is completed collegiately every year by all private sector businesses without gnashing of teeth.  Each year we set budgets and debate which items on our wish list must wait another year to be implemented.  The painful truth is that some items will be slashed.  

When times were good, I took my entire company and our families to Disney for a Christmas Weekend with gifts and visits to dinner from Mickey himself.  In tough times, the lavishness has been replaced with a subdued dinner.  This year we are talking about working together at the salvation army breakfast.  Our mentality of teaming together for survival is the mentality yet to surface fully in Washington, but it must.

As disheartening as it may be, tough debates must begin to reach consensus on how to slash  the federal budget holistically.  Noone gains when Republicans play idiotic games cutting pet budget items to beat their war drums for their political base or when Democrats clamor that no cuts can be made to sacred cows.

If Steven Tyler and J Lo can slash and burn Idol pets to keep the top 24 out of over 150 singers in a week  at Hollywood then our nation’s brightest leaders ought to be able to mull over the top 60 cents of every dollar we spend to keep the very highest priorities.  

What happens to the rest of our critical priorities?  They get pushed to the states and then the cities, each that have no money and that will be forced by crisis to slash even further.

Critical priorities and charities will go unfunded and families and communities will have to take up the slack.  Scenes from Walton’s mountain will play out again in America.

We will have orderly retreat from the high water social mark we set in the previous baby boomer generation, remembering our path so that we may return.  The alternative will be a full scale chaotic retreat into reckless abandonment of our duties to society as our economy collapses for want of disciplined retraction.

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For the Sake of America’s Health and Jobs, Congress Must Debate Healthcare Again

As the courts decide the fate of Obamacare, the hard work of congress regarding a comprehensive healthcare policy must begin again.  America cannot afford for Congress to wait when America’s health is at stake.  And waiting also has the foreboding consequence of continuiing our downward economic spiral and loss of jobs.

As a result, Congress must first decide how much of our budget can support healthcare. No more than 10% of GDP is needed for government to support America’s economic growth. Today, we tax America 28% of GDP and borrow an additional 13% of GDP. The additional 31% goes to military, interest, and the redistribution of America’s wealth to improve the lives of Americans.

A consequence of spending more than 10% of GDP is that supplying today’s needs reduces the economic output and social spending of future generations. Our budget now demonstrates both the overwhelming desire of Americans to care for our own, and our inability to pay for our altruism. For every dollar our government spends, we borrow 40 cents from future Americans that will also want to meet the social needs of their citizens. Before we resolve healthcare, we must agree on a sustainable social care budget, the priority of our causes, and the amount available for healthcare. This amount combined with private contributions must meet our healthcare needs.

Then we must set about reducing costs to meet revenues. For instance, government has placed restrictions on revenue aggregation that are unnecessary burdens. Both political parties have advanced methods to reduce these costs. Compromise should float best ideas to the top.

Prevention must be on the legislative table. America’s habits promote peculiarly western major disease processes. Sugar, corn syrup, and processed fats industries promote an epidemic of obesity, diabetes, heart and vascular disease and strokes. Cigarettes help a quarter of our country to die extended, painful COPD deaths. Our dependence on pharmaceuticals precipitates growth of resistant bacteria.

Cultural decisions should not necessarily be a burden to all Americans and need prioritizing in the healthcare budget. Our disconnection with our elderly has escalated institutional costs. Our striving to extend lifespan has led us to spend a majority of healthcare costs on the last few years of life.

Competition must be allowed to drive costs down. Americans are rightly skeptical that capitalism will lead to corporate profits at the expense of our health. We have too many examples such as insurers culling unhealthy persons from the pool of insured, leaving the very people who need insurance without the ability to pay for their care. Much more competition balanced with thoughtful regulations is required. The alternative is a healthcare system marred by cost controls, leading to shortages of quality care.

American healthcare is dominated by a medical cartel that limits supply of doctors, limits procedures that can be performed by lesser educated personnel, and limits information needed for the average American to make good financial decisions regarding their health. To truly have competition, doctors must loosen their grip on access to medical schools, and permit more procedures to be performed by others. In the process, our medical professionals must be protected from our litigious society’s need to blame inaccurate medical science for the natural course of life.

Information must become transparent. We need knowledge of physicians’ capability to manage the health of their constituents just as we need knowledge of school teachers’ ability to teach. Our fractured healthcare industry also needs to aggregate information to increase up front spending that will decrease long term costs and to reward industry participants for achieving this outcome. 

These problems are certainly looming but not insurmountable. However, both parties must subordinate the interrelated goals of their special interests to America’s goal of providing all Americans access to a healthy life, and must work together to put the best ideas of both sides of the aisle to work on behalf of all of us.

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We Must Be Bold For America Now

Full Employment Can Protect America from Economic DepressionI applaud the President for acting boldly to save America’s economic future. However, boldness must be coupled with the right prescription for our time. Unless we act decisively with the right tools, we will face a decade of languishing high unemployment. If we are to escape the fate of our grandparents, government must partner with American business to create historic advances in innovation and productivity.

A partnered solution can replace extended unemployment payments with a hiring voucher plan. Small businesses can hire voucher employees at their unemployment rate. In return, Voucher employees can work twenty five hours per week and receive the same pay they would have received through unemployment. The Federal Government can then reimburse employers the employees’ wages without increasing the unemployment budget.

A few benefits include: Employees learn new skills and can continue to seek full employment. Employers lower risks of hiring new employees, spur innovation, and reduce prices of goods and services to compete in the global market. Government supports job growth through direct infusion of dollars into small businesses, and lets the free market determine how to maximize resources. This idea can employ all Americans now, and can move many from the sidelines of our economy onto the field of American ingenuity and global competitiveness.

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