Monday, February 11, 2019

If I Ran For President

My thought is that I should sketch out 5 big legislative or administrative things I would get behind. I'll give you a list, and then offer broader comments at the end.

--Federal minimum wage increase: Did you know that if we had indexed the minimum wage to inflation, it would be $21.50 per hour today? Kinda makes the $15 per hour radicals seem reasonable, doesn't it? One counter argument is of course that if you increase the minimum wage, companies will replace people with technology. Well, if they do that, I'll tax and fee them into oblivion, and no, I won't feel bad about it. How much does it actually cost to make it in America? It seems like a waste to have abstract discussions about "socialism" and government spending, while people at the bottom are struggling to survive. Wages are wages; you have to earn them. But we'll put the dignity of people over abstract ideological commitments every time.

--Comprehensive environmental protection legislation: Environmental scientists have been sounding the alarm about climate change and its harmful effects for decades. I don't care if it makes me sound like a "liberal": ignoring a major, potentially catastrophic disaster to take cultural jabs at hippies in California, or Democrats, or whomever, is not what sensible leaders and voters ought to do. We will be "picking winners and losers," if in fact we can get cleaner, safer technologies employed faster.

--Moratorium on the death penalty: I will immediately commute the death sentences of every affected inmate in the federal system. I will lead a national conversation in all 50 states arguing for its abolition. Any state refusing to comply with court decisions involving disclosure and process involving the penalty will be forced to comply. No nation who claims to cherish the sanctity of life should tolerate the horrors our system has tolerated. In addition, we are willing to pay all associated costs in choosing not to take the life of one who has murdered others. If we truly ask, "Has capital punishment been a benefit to us?" we would have to answer in the negative.

--A comprehensive approach to ending abortion: Firstly, I will choose judges committed to challenging the legality of abortion, if I can find them. Again, I will lead a national conversation concerning the morality and justice (or lack thereof) of abortion. We think that steadfast anti-poverty efforts, and federally-led--though not exclusive--efforts at increasing social support should lessen its demand. We reject the easy recourse to other forms of abortion claimed as an alternative to surgical abortion.

--Large incentives for married, two-parent families, up to and including paid family leave: Aspects of these ideas are popular across the ideological spectrum, and rightly so. A more just and healthy society begins at home. All people of good will should be alarmed that the United States, along with the developed world, is not even replacing itself. We will not accept literally the slow death of our nation, or society at large. To be somewhat humorous about it, we will literally pay you to have babies, if you're committed to giving them the families they deserve.

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