Sunday, September 17, 2006

Making Right a Few Wrongs

There’s an old saying that goes, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it!” What this means is don’t start tinkering with something that works ‘cause you’re liable to mess it up. Politicians should have heeded this advice but, failing to see the inherent wisdom in it, of course they didn’t. As a consequence, things keep getting worse.

Government becomes more dysfunctional, authority figures less trustworthy, social institutions less reliable and more inept. Weeda sheeple seem to be in mortal danger of losing the social safeguards we all depend on. Someone—or something—has usurped control of the political system and ordinary citizens find the ability to control certain aspects of their lives greatly diminished.

Suppose you had the power to fix everything that ails society today. Where would you start? How would you order your priorities? What changes would you make, and how would you execute those changes?

These are the things I would do if, by some twist of fate or quirk of happenstance, someone appointed me dictator of the month:

1. Election reforms; give Diebold the boot, return to paper ballots.
2. Legislative reforms; allow no riders and only one issue per bill, no more piggybacking unpopular bills on top of “must pass” legislation.
3. Tax reforms; adopt progressive taxation that puts the burden of taxes on those with the most ability to pay.
4. Corporate reforms; redefine corporations, rewrite corporate charters, limit corporate ability to influence legislation.
5. Strengthen environmental protections.
6. Expedite renewable fuels research and development.
7. Fund national healthcare.
8. End the drug war.
9. Address education and school reforms.
10. Create high-speed rail system as part of nationwide public transportation program.

That’s the first ten. On the second day, I would . . .. Yeah! Right!