Policy Papers

Taking a moment out to sort through my thoughts on 2020 issues. I’d be interested to hear what yours are.

Climate Change
Cory Booker is not my first choice for President, but his is the plan I like the best and I hope everyone else adopts it as well. A President Booker would approach all the issues listed here, and more, through the lens of Climate Change. That is, everything decision made in Education through Health Care, Jobs, Transportation and Immigration would address the question: How does this decision impact the effects of Climate Change?

Health Care
I’m for Universal Healthcare, no matter how it’s done. I wrote about this here, some time back. We simply cannot afford to be a country with a population that cannot afford healthcare.

We should fully fund an inclusive pre-K through 12 public education system that is not dependent on property taxes and that pays teachers a living wage (duh). Humanities and civics courses should be taught on a par with science and math. Community and state colleges and technical schools should either be free or on a sliding scale. And we should, except for the tech schools, forget about the “jobs of tomorrow,” since I don’t think we know what those are going to be. The tech schools should be training for the “jobs of today,” with an understanding that said jobs will be ready and available upon graduation.

No easy answers here. Not that the above is easy, but I can’t think of anything that would provide an ever-expanding job market. I do think that the service “industries” (I put it in quotes because I don’t think of people providing needed services as workers on the production line) should become more professional and receive a living wage for the jobs they will be/are doing. I agree with Andrew Yang’s analysis, which seems to suggest that the future will hold very few of what we have come to call “jobs.” For starters, I suppose I think that every job category below management should be unionized and should always have a seat at the table above the salt. And that our educational system should help in preparing our children for a life worth living, with or without a “job.”

The best jobs for the foreseeable future will lie in all kinds of infrastructure, from bridges and highways to high speed rail and green tech. I want to see high speed rail from sea to shining sea and highways designed for eventual all-electric personal cars. I want to see some good research going into solar highways and other mass uses of solar energy with batteries to match. Maybe by the time we get all that done, we will have figured out how to live well in a jobless economy and what to do with climate refugees.

More personnel at entry ports; more asylum judges; no detention for people crossing at entry ports; no splitting of families; no deportation without legal representation; lay down procedures for climate refugees. Humanitarian approach

It’s Beto O’Rourke who has a gun policy I can support, although most of it likely doesn’t have the chance of that proverbial snowball. But this, I think, does:

In the gun-licensing and registry system he proposes, gun owners would have to complete gun safety training and register their guns. O’Rourke would limit licenses to people 21 and older, with an exception for younger gun owners who have hunting licenses.

A gun licensing system based on that through which we get our driver’s licenses would ensure that folks buying a gun know how to use them safely (and would have to pass a test at a shooting range), while the training and licensing process would allow for a thorough background check and interaction with people observing behavior and interaction with a gun. Perhaps a renewal period of five years that would include a follow-up background check?

Must be prosecuted.

I assume that the entire Democratic field is dedicated to equal rights all around and a sensible program of national security that includes fully staffing the State Department, as well as rededicating other departments to a mission statement that affirms the purpose for which they were intended.

I do not ask my candidates to commit to any specific policy. I only ask them to commit to working in that general direction. With that in mind, I stick to my initial endorsement of Kamala Harris, while also committing to voting for our nominee whoever that may be. I will be watching them, not to see whether or not they agree with me in one thing or another, but to assess how they comport themselves toward their opponents and when caught in a tight spot. This will not likely affect my vote in the general, but it will affect my hopes for the next few years.