Call me a socialist, a communist, a radical, whatever. What matters are the ideas one presents to make this a better place to live and grow. Period!
- Private Mortgage banks- Imagine if we had local community owned and operated mortgage banking; Nonprofit, charging only what overhead mandated. Thus, in real terms, a mortgage that a for profit bank would charge at today’s 30 year fixed rate of let us say 4% would now be only perhaps 1.5%. Think of how many out there could afford to own their own home or apartment instead of having to rent. Think of how much more new construction and refurbishing would occur. True economic stimulus, as the lower rates would translate into more money for the home owner.
- The Land Lord – The term comes to us from Feudalism, when we had lords and barons and manors and estates owned by the few and worked by the many. We had serfs who labored for the manor owners and paid rents to these land lords for a roof over their heads. Why not have societies whereupon the community (town or city) owns the property and rents it out without profit? One would suspect that the charges for an apartment should be at least 25% to 50% less than under this current private landlord system. Thus, as with the above idea, more money in the hands of the renter.
- The Super Rich – Hey, guess what? I am not a Marxist or utopian socialist who believes everyone should earn the same amount of income. No, we should have a system whereupon creativity and old fashioned gumption are rewarded. It is just that we need to level off this terribly unfair playing field. I say leave the tax rates where they are now. Just let’s have a 50% flat surtax on any income over one million dollars a year. No accountant’s eraser, just a flat surtax. You made 5 million last year? Well, can’t you live on the first million minus taxes and the 2 million dollars tax free after the surtax? All that added tax revenue could be used by Uncle Sam to invest in infrastructure projects etc and create more jobs and a better place for us to all live.
- The Military Industrial Empire- When we have over 50 cents of each tax dollar sent to Uncle Sam being used for military spending, how in the hell can we have substantial economic stimulus? When it costs us over one million dollars a year to keep one soldier in Afghanistan, we could have hired 20 additional schoolteachers or police at $ 50,000 a year each. Our military spending (or what we at least know of) was over $ 568 billion! To maintain the over 800+ military bases worldwide and sending hundreds of thousands of our personnel and subsidizing private mercenaries AKA military contractors is simply bankrupting our country! Imagine if we stopped this empire ‘pissing contest ‘and pulled back our presence worldwide, how much more economic recovery we would see.
- The current crop of Politicians – If you factor out perhaps 5% of our current members of Congress and those in our state houses, the remainder enable the enemies of economic stimulus. Forget about the labels of Republican or Democrat, 95% of them are working for the aforementioned list. They are not on your side, working stiffs of America! Stop voting for this ‘lesser of two evils ‘regardless of your conservative or progressive attitudes. Speak up and speak out for real change, not the hype and spin versions.
Philip A. Farruggio is son and grandson of Brooklyn, NYC longshoremen. He is a free lance columnist (found on the fine Dandelion Salad site), an environmental products sales rep and an activist. Since 2010, Philip is a spokesperson for the 25% Solution Movement to Save Our Cities by cutting military spending 25%. Philip can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.