As we get deeper into the election season, we are seeing more and more policy declarations by potential candidates, factions, and parties. These will eventually coalesce into candidate and party election platforms. Rather than trying to analyze the platforms of individual candidates, I'm going to construct a platform that I would like to see implemented.
Of course a platform should not be the sole criterion for judging a candidate; we must also do our best to evaluate the character of the candidate. There are actually politicians who, after being elected, appear to forget the positions they took during the election campaign!
I've partitioned the platform planks into 8 sets, with one section devoted to each set. Where it may not be obvious, I added brief justifications for the planks.
Taxes paid by poor and most middle class people should be reduced, while those in the highest income brackets should be taxed more heavily. Taxation on top brackets should exceed 90%, as was the case when Eisenhower was president.
A very small tax, perhaps 50 cents per $1000 on stock transactions would have no significant effect on normal stock trading operations. But it would raise a great deal of money from the high speed trading carried out as a gambling game, while discouraging high-speed trading, which serves no useful function .
The pharmaceutical industry, is a prime example of an industry where the profit motive is in conflict with the real needs of the general population .
The 14th Amendment confers citizenship on everyone born in the US. It was intended to ensure that American-born former slaves would be considered as citizens. Using this provision to confer citizenship on any person whose mother gave birth in the US while here as a tourist, or as a temporary worker, or as an illegal immigrant, makes no sense. Apart from the US, Canada, and most other nations in the western hemisphere, only Fiji now grants birthright citizenship . Note that the argument against open borders is not based on a claim that many groups of potential immigrants are somehow unworthy, but rather on the detrimental effects of immigration on people already here, including many who are themselves immigrants, or children of immigrants .
There is no known practical method for ensuring that the results of elections based on the use of voting machines of any type cannot be corrupted. Serious inadvertent error is also quite possible. Given the ugly history of election fraud in the US (e.g., think Boss Tweed) it is important to avoid the danger posed by voting machines, which can easily be rigged in ways almost impossible to detect. On the other hand, with reasonable care, elections using manual methods can produce reliably accurate results. This approach is routine in Europe, and in large areas of several New England states .
This method, while very simple, gives every voter more power to express his or her choices .
The platform planks presented here, while doubtless an incomplete set, can serve as a useful basis for evaluating candidates and parties. Using it as a yardstick will make it clear that both major parties are far from seriously considering anything like the changes necessary to avoid the multiple disasters that loom on the horizon. The growing lack of enthusiasm being displayed by voters for both Democrats and Republicans is an indication that the time has come for some basic changes.
 Stephen H. Unger, "How to INsource American Jobs", October 14, 2010
 Lee Sheppard, "A Tax to Kill High Frequency Trading", Forbes, Oct. 16, 2012
 Stephen H. Unger, "The Demise of Unions and Why We Need to Revive Them", Ends and Means, September 11, 2013
 Stephen H. Unger, "Worker Co-Ops: A Plausible Solution to Some Big Problems", Ends and Means, July 11, 2011
 Stephen H. Unger, "How Pharmaceutical Products Differ From Tennis Balls", Ends and Means, July 2, 2014
 Stephen H. Unger, "The Immigration Issue: Good Folks on the Wrong Side", Ends and Means, October 19, 2011
 NumbersUSA, "Nations Granting Birthright Citizenship", 8/24/15
 Roy Beck, "'No'" To Immigrant Bashing", NumbersUSA, 2015
 Stephen H. Unger, "Forward to the Past: Junk the Machines, Count Votes Manually", Ends and Means, 8/5/08
 The Center for Election Science, "What is Approval Voting?"
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