THE MODERN UTOPIAN

PUBLIC FINANCING - MINIMUM WAGES

FIRST STEP:

Congress to pass legislation that eliminates all PACS and limits the amount of money any group  or individual can contribute to a campaign as well as the total maximum any politician can receive in contributions, including from his or her own funds.

Lobbyist must be providers of information only with no gifts or any other financial interest given or promised to an elected official. 

The minimum wage must be increased to $10.00 per hour. (Those receving tips for services must also receive a total of no less than $10.00/hour). The minimum wage must be tied to the COLI   (Cost of Living Index).

 

PUBLIC FINANCING ELECTIONS

Full public financing of elections at the local, state, and federal level for all branches of government.  Following the lead of seven states including Maine and Colorado.  This has  "the potential to fundamentally change how our political system works and to restore public confidence in the integrity of our democracy."  

Candidates must agree  to spending limits and not accept private contributions.

 

RESTRICT LOBBYING ACTIVITIES

Although lobbyists have the right to provide information to our representatives, they need to be restricted from providing any monies for any purpose whatsoever.  No free meals, no free trips, no special favors or gifts, no political or financial contributions of any sort whatsoever.   

An independent judiciary commission must be established to monitor the activities of lobbyists. Any lobbying organization found to be giving financial help will be barred from their practice and the politician who accepts financial contributions will be liable for impeachment proceedings.      


POLITICIANS' SALARIES

& THE MINIMUM WAGE

Require at least 10 years of service before a politician can receive any retirement benefits.   

Any salary increases for themselves must also require them to vote on a commenserate increase in the minimum wage for working people.

 

Politicians must get realistic about the Minimum Wage for working people.  Even $10.00 an hour will not support a family of 4 above the poverty level.  It's a dumb joke (actually a scandal) to raise the minimum wage from 5 to 7 dollars an hour. Who can live on that?   

The Minimum Wage must be changed each year, tied to the Cost of Living Index. COL up 2%, minimum wage up 2%. 

Politicians can not raise their pay more than the COL either.

 

STAMP PROGRAM CONTRIBUTES TO WALMART PROFITS

Walmart made over 14 billion profit in 2011. The heirs are some of the richest people in the world. (You do know what happened to the estate tax, right?) I understand that the average Walmart worker's wage is about $8.00 per hour there. A full time worker is still below the poverty line at that pay rate and is eligible for food stamps. Who pays for food stamps? Not Walmart - your tax dollars, which in effect is supporting Walmart!

If Walmart paid an average of $10.00 per hour, their profit would have been reduced from 14  billion to 7 billion in 2011.
PS: Please do not argue with me if my numbers  are not totally accurate. The result would not change, even if I am off a bit off/
PS:   There needs to be a minimum Social Security benefit once a person becomes eligible for it.  (Social Security checks for $300, $400, $500 a month is another scandal.)

WHAT'S THE PROBLEM?
Most politicians from top to bottom, right to left, are bought by "big money" - the powers who dictate what these "guys"- yes, mostly guys -must do to keep their jobs and, in some cases, keep their lives. (Only a few "fringe" leaders such as Bernie Sanders, Alan Grayson, and Dennis Kucinich are allowed to speak the truth, as their voices are drowned out by the others.) Those in control is called by different names. The old one begun by Eisenhower was the "military-industrial complex" - oh, if that were the only one. Today add the "Corporate" capitalists - Wall Street - Banker - Media complex."

PS: I have read a fantastic book, We Can All Do Better, written by former NBA star, Olympic medal winner, and US Senator Bill Bradley. A must read for everyone interested in politics.