My 2021 Government Action Wishlist

After the unlikely, but very welcome, results of the Georgia special elections, new opportunities abound. It's been ages since we've had a unified Democratic government that will now have the ability to get things done!

This is my wishlist of everything I want to see happen before 2022, when the GOP gets its next shot at taking back power. So many of these things are pie-in-the-sky given the type of people currently in power, but I am optimist that some will happen or we'll at least make progress towards others.

Now, let's check out everything I want to see happen to make the United States the incredible nation we have the potential to become:

Environment

  • Remove all gas and oil subsidies
  • Use the gas and oil subsidies to supercharge green energy initiatives
  • Create a federal job guarantee with unionized jobs building green energy infrastructure
  • Make fracking illegal
  • Stop any future oil extraction sites from being built anywhere in the United States
  • Dismantle pipelines across the nation

Travel

  • Build high-speed rail connecting every major population center
  • Nationalize at least one airline and use it to experiment with making air travel greener
  • Subsidize public transportation with incentives for cities to build out multi-modal transit networks
  • Subsidize electric vehicle purchases
  • Strengthen unions so workers who can work from home have the power to do so

Drugs

  • Remove cannabis as a Schedule One drug and immediately release all people in prison with cannabis-related charges
  • Fully legalize cannabis and tax it
  • Pump those taxes into our education or health system
  • Decriminalize all drug use and possession
  • Create safe injection sites with treatment programs to help people get out of their addictions

Taxes

  • Impose a progressive tax rate on all forms of income, with the upper bounds in the 90% range for the extremely rich
  • Bring back a strong inheritance tax
  • Implement a carbon tax

Education

  • Make public universities tuition-free
  • Forgive all federal student debt
  • Pay collegiate athletes and separate the financial destinies of universities from sports
  • Create more trade schools and stop encouraging everyone to attend a traditional university

Healthcare

  • Create a single payer system
  • Write laws that require the portion that employers used to pay to insurers to be given to the employee as wages (to be taxed) so that companies don't just pocket that money
  • Built out a redundant hospital system so the shock of future pandemics and other nation-threatening health issues can more easily be handled

Food and Water

  • Prohibit factory farming
  • Ban mono-culture farming practices and start using restorative and sustainable farming techniques
  • Ban private companies from selling bottled water and profiting off of public water supplies
  • Build out public water sources, including fixing the water systems of Flint and other cities

Technology

  • Make the Internet a public utility
  • Break up big tech into separate companies, especially Amazon and Google
  • Provide more funding to government scientific institutes
  • Create strong privacy rights laws for Internet users
  • Build out a federal Government as a Service (GaaS) platform to create an open source platform of tools for running a state
  • Create a public cloud used to run government technology and provide it as a service to citizens, complete with open source, privacy respecting tools

Voting

  • Switch to a ranked choice voting system
  • Abolish the Electoral College so the presidency would always reflect the will of the American people
  • Expand the House of Representatives to reflect the growth of the nation since we froze the number in place
  • Put an end to American imperialism by adding Puerto Rico, American Samoa, Guam, U.S. Virgin Islands, and Northern Mariana Islands as states or give them independence

Trade

  • Negotiate trade deals that require a basic level of human rights and worker protections with our trading partners
  • Provide tax breaks to corporations that stay within the United States, or add a tax for being a multi-national corporation
  • Open up borders so that people can move just as easily as goods

Economy

  • Take possession of empty or infrequently-used housing and give it to the homeless
  • Add a tax to any remaining housing being used as an investment vehicle instead of a domicile
  • Strengthen union power and create unions for new sectors of the economy, especially in the technology industry
  • Create a substantial tax on multi-national companies stashing their money in tax havens
  • Provide a universal basic income (using the taxes on the ultra-wealthy)
  • Do major trust busting on Big Tech, media conglomerates, Internet service providers, and the many other industries that have consolidated over the last few decades

Now, I'm sure I've missed many other things that I would love to see happen, but this is what came to mind in an evening of writing. As you can see, I don't really fit in either political party, but utopian ideation is needed in order to create a new world. Everything in politics must first be birthed as an idea before it can be enacted physically, so this is my little contribution to The Discourse.

If you agree with a lot of this stuff, say hi! If you don't agree, say hi too and let me know why something won't work, because many of these ideas need polishing in order to actually happen. And maybe go write your own list! It's a good way to start building a political platform if you ever decide to run for office!


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