Sunday, August 18, 2013
Just Another Opinion Part I
I'm often asked if I'm a Republican or Democrat, Conservative or Liberal...as if those were my only choices. Silly rabbits. As regular readers of Another Opinion know, issues and their solutions are addressed on their own merits, not according to party dicta. We pull no one's yoke and suffer under no one's lash. Another Opinion is a national recognized "radical moderate" and politically independent political blog; hence our moniker, "A independent political blog for those who like to think for themselves". Nevertheless, I thought I'd take this opportunity to comment about my personal opinion on some various issues and let you, the reader, make your own assessment. In fact, I'd be curious to hear what you say...just keep it polite and on topic.
Any business deemed so important as "to big to fail" needs to be nationalized or have a government appointed supervisory board appointed to oversee the use of any taxpayer money, and they must be compensated by the company without costs to taxpayers. Small businesses must be given greater opportunities to grow through less "red tape" and tax credits. Government contracts must be awarded on a "lowest cost" and ability to complete the project on or ahead of schedule. All accepted bids should be final. The price bided is the price paid. No "overrun" costs. The President must be granted permanent line item veto power.
I believe big business needs to be regulated and monitored by independent watchdogs with no direct connection to that industry. All lobbying contact must be made public. That means full disclosure of all discussions and/or gifts, trips for any reason, and no more "revolving doors".
Businesses who transfer manufacturing jobs overseas or who do not have at least a 80% presence in the US lose their tax credits, or ability to bid on government contracts. All items deemed as "national security" oriented, must be 100% produced and completed in the US. All large companies must pay a minimum corporate tax. No officer of a publically traded company or of a union or association should earn in total compensation more than 50% more than their lowest paid full time employee. All publically traded companies or companies who do business with the federal government must have a 1/3 employee representation on their board; elected by the employees. Companies must also have employee representation at the local production or operations level to lend a voice and vote on issues affecting employees.
I support organized labor. They, more than anything else, have made the middle class possible. We can almost track the decline of the middle class with the decline of unions. I do, however, have an issue with concept of closed shops. Yes, I understand why they're closed, but I guess it's my independent streak that says, for instance, if I studied for a specific type job. I answered a Ford ad. I applied and interviewed with Ford HR. I passed the Ford ordered physical. Ford hires me, so why do I have to join a union I may have no interest in to hold the job?
I agree that we need a basic healthcare safety net, but "Obamacare" isn't it. Individuals and businesses should be able to purchase cross state insurance. Individuals who are unable to purchase insurance should have free or reduced cost access to federal insurance. I believe elected officials should not be exempt from the same laws or other requirements as ordinary citizens, including healthcare nor receive their salaries for life.
I believe global warming is real enough. It may be part of a natural cycle or caused by humans. It's probably a combination of both. We should be doing everything possible to reduce our environmental footprint. That means tightening restrictions and regulations on energy producers and vehicle manufacturers. No delays or exceptions. Alternative energy development needs to considered a national security issue and funded as such. Environmental or similar cleanup should be made by the industry if offending company is gone and not by taxpayers.
I believe the tax code is hopelessly broken. We need a flat or value added tax (VAT). If you don't buy, you don't pay. Graduated exemptions for those at or below the poverty level and seniors. I believe savings accounts under $10,000 should be tax exempt. Corporations should pay a minimum tax based on their gross earnings. I believe all pay increases or benefits for elected officials, and proposed tax increases must be publically voted on. I also think tax increases need to be publically voted on. In the interim a temporary tax of no greater than 2% can be imposed.
Racism and its evil twin, discrimination, are a two way street, not just reserved for Whites only and its' just as wrong. I believe what's acceptable for one group, such as racially oriented types of media or associations are equally acceptable for all. People should be hired based on their qualifications, not on quotas. I have no issues with people who're gay. I've known many over the years. They're no different than anyone else. Some have been jerks; some have become good friends. However, while I have trouble accepting gay marriage (I'm a product of my social environment I suppose), it should be left up to their church and the state. Who am I to say who someone can or should love? Love and happiness are both in great shortage these days.
I believe our most important national investment is education. It should be top priority. Now, when I say "education", I mean students, not the bureaucracy that's grown up around education or the teachers unions. Focus must be on the student. That, to me, means redirecting the millions that goes into sports back into the classroom so teachers don't have to pay part of their meager salaries on supplies. Coaches should be paid the average salary of that school's teaching staff. Not everyone is going to be an NBA or NFL star, but everyone needs employable skills. Schools aren't day care centers, and teachers aren't babysitters. Discipline is required to teach and it must be enforced. We can't continue to dumb down education. Students who excel need to be allowed to excel while those who don't make the grade shouldn't be flunked into the next grade. Civics classes should be mandatory and public service projects should be a prerequisite for graduating.
I don't support mandatory prayer in public schools. Not everyone prays, and not everyone prays to the same god. I do, however, agree with a minute of silence... pray if you want, but quietly. I believe the Ten Commandments should be posted. They're the basis of Western Civilization, including our civil and judicial concepts of government. I also see no problem with the Pledge of Allegiance. If you have problems with the "under God" portion, skip over it.