What a Liberal Wants

Republicans unveiled their grand budget plan, which is basically The Ryan Plan without compromise. The “Robin-Hood in reverse” budget consists of repealing Obamacare and replacing it with vouchers, slashing programs for low income families, and giving more tax incentives to corporations and the wealthy. Compare this plan with the ideal plan laid out here from our blogger…which looks more like something a Christian should support? This is obviously a dream list, but should we not expect a little more compromise from the GOP after they lost the elections and the people have made clear what they want?

What a Liberal Wants

by Gabriel Givens

In a perfect world, where sin was no issue and mankind were in harmony with each other, we would never need government.  But as imperfect and “fallen” creatures (in the context of the fall of man from Genesis), we have to make due with what we have.  So, in today’s world, we have a society that is wroth with injustice.  A society where the big business man doesn’t feel it necessary to pay his or her employees a livable wage, where managers hire and fire for poor reasons, where people steal from their employer or employers steal from their workers, where survival is elevated above sacrifice and wealth accumulation is pushed ahead of the welfare of your workers and their lives.  As concerned citizens of society with a desire to see everyone succeed, as well as a desire to see all citizens live up to their potentials, and with the determination to fight for everyone’s voice in society, we as liberals should be pushing for policy that does just that.  Policy that creates disincentives to cheat and creates incentives to better yourself, succeed, and finally become productive members of society.  For me, these are a few things that have been close to my heart, and some of it comes from suggestions that the Democratic Progressive Caucus has proposed, and some from Senator Bernie Sanders, I-VT, as well as other ideas drawn from various states from across the world that I’ve been aware of.  Check out the list here and see what you can fall behind, and if you so desire, discuss and debate some of the ideas below.  The dialogue is important just as much as the ideas themselves.

1) Employment security for our citizens.

  • Every citizen earns a wage that is fair, livable, with a job that is secure.
  • Every citizen who can work has the opportunity to work, with a work environment which is safe, free from abuse and harassment, and offers a set of benefits which provide the worker with rest, healthcare, and the means to progress in life.

2) The freedom to choose what happens to your body.

  • Women have unobstructed access to women’s health services.
  • Women be free from harassment, embarrassment, and scrutiny from anyone.
  • Women’s health be accessible financially, impartially given, and provided as needed.
  • Men have access to reproductive healthcare, including vasectomies, cancer screenings, and other healthcare related to reproduction as needed.
  • That both sexes be happy, productive, and healthy in all ways.

3) That we, as a nation, strengthen the social safety net to provide the following:

  • Unemployment insurance for all citizens until work is found.
  • Single payer healthcare for all, regardless of ability to pay.
  • A stronger benefit system for single parents which will increase access for those needing help with the basic necessities, with focuses in job placement, re-education or job training to be productive.
  • Increased spending to provide a fully funded education for all citizens, including post-secondary education for all who want one.
  • Income support for those seeking an education, providing for basic needs until their education is complete.
  • Reforming of the tax code to remove refundable tax credits, and reorient the benefit to an actual social program which provides monthly stipends instead.
  • Reduced tuition prices to increase access to post-secondary education.
4) Labor reforms which benefit workers.
  • An end to arbitrary terminations.
  • Requirements of employment contracts for all employees which must provide a system of progressive discipline to enable an employee to learn from mistakes where practical.
  • Increased minimum wage to provide a minimum standard of living, tied to the CPI which will increase every two years.
    • This requirement would apply to citizens over the age of 18 years old.  A reduced minimum wage would be acceptable to non-emancipated workers ages 16 and 17.
  • The ability for a workplace to collectively bargain.
  • The creation of a state-run collective bargaining unit to represent employers and employees whereby they serve to find an acceptable middle ground both employers and employees can agree to.
  • Regulations which prohibit bonuses being paid to any company person where a company is losing money over a certain amount, even if contracted to receive such a bonus.  For example, if Company A is losing money, no CEO/CFO/Investor would be entitled to any money being paid from the company except the salary plus no bonus.  This does not apply to workers if the employee is exclusively commission paid or the employee is earning a sales-performance based bonus not to exceed $50,000 per year.

5) End derivatives trading and short-selling.

  • Apply a 0.5% tax on speculative trading.
  • Apply a 0.5% tax on all trades on the stock market.
  • Apply a 0.5% tax on commodities trading.

6)  Comprehensive tax reform.

  • Create a two new tax brackets, 42% on personal incomes between 400k and $1 Million, and a 52% tax on incomes in excess of $1 Million per year.
  • Tax all capital gains, dividend, and investment income as regular, personal income, but exempt from corporate income taxes.
  • End double-taxation of dividends.
  • Personal Incomes of over 1 Million per year are not allowed to claim deductions which would reduce their effective tax rate below 33%.
  • Personal Incomes between 400k and 1 Million per year not allowed to claim deductions which reduce their effective tax rate below 28%
  • Reduce the corporate tax rate to a maximum effective rate of 25%
  • Remove all tax loopholes, havens, and require all US Companies to pay an effective tax on incomes whether earned here or abroad.  That any company who owns another company in a foreign country pay an effective tax between the host country and the United States of no less than 25%  (meaning the tax paid must be 25% between the tax systems of both countries.)
  • Institute a series of tax policy reforms which redefines the personal deduction to a revised poverty line, which incorporates healthcare, energy, transportation, domicile, and child care/rearing as the standard deduction.
  • End refundable tax credits, utilizing the money that would otherwise be spent on those credits, and reform them into a social program which creates an income support system.
7)  Reform trade policy
  • End free trade with any nation who’s standard of living is substantially lower than our own.
  • Apply a tariff on all goods imported to the United States from all countries with a substantially reduced wage level compared to a comparable product produced in the US at US wages.
  • Engage in protectionist policies to prevent industry from being moved outside the country.
  • Engage in fair-trade policy with all nations, paying fair market rates with all producing countries.
  • Heavily punish any company who’s producing in countries who have sweat-shop conditions and wages.
  • Strictly enforce international laws which prohibit production with any nation who uses slave labor or child labor.
  • Strictly enforce any company bribing or coercing any nation’s government for special privileges or treatment.
This is what a Liberal wants.  These are policies that are not out of reach for us as a nation.  Together, we can bring about some real reforms which will make a difference in the every day lives of Americans everywhere.  Your government, our government, and the government we elect and pay for can work for us and make things a little better, a little more stable, and a little more just.
Gabriel Givens is a contributor to the Values Blog.  He holds a Bachelor’s Degree from The Evergreen State College in Political Science and History.  You can read more of Gabriel’s work at http://centerleftfield.blogspot.com.  You can follow him on twitter @gdgivens and subscribe to him at http://www.facebook.com/gabrielgivens.
2013-03-12T20:46:56+00:00

About the Author:

I'm a 31 year old Gay Christian Academic with a strong background in Political Science and History. I debate, argue, and demand logical, reasoned, and informed discussion. Would you like to know more about how I think, visit http://centerleftfield.blogspot.com
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