- The “Citizens United” Supreme Court decision, which allowed unlimited and even anonymous campaign contributions from corporations, needs to be overturned legislatively. Based upon the twin errors that this somehow insures free speech, and that corporations are “legal persons” instead of what they usually are -criminal enterprises- this decision adds additional power to those who already wield a disproportionate amount of it. Further, the Court appears on the verge of tossing out laws that limit political contributions from wealthy individuals. This cannot be repealed fast enough.
- The whole country needs to be freed from the monster called “Gerrymander”. Congressional districts are formed to keep one or the other political party in power. Thus, for example, while here in Ohio the GOP won a bare majority of votes in the last state congressional elections, it is firmly in control of both houses of the state congress, and sends a majority of Republican legislators to DC. The whole nation should be divided into a simple grid, with allowances for population density. Maybe then we can have something more resembling a representative democracy. One advantage to having a nonideological, geographical grid would be that districts would more represent public opinion. While there would still be some highly ideological districts, there would be more that were diverse. One happy product of this would that there would inevitably be more prolife Democratic representatives.
- Society needs to encourage businesses to hire people with felony convictions in their history. The common good is not served by making it so difficult for former convicts to make an honest living. As it stands, there is no incentive to hire someone with a criminal past. This is deeply discouraging for those who are trying to reform their lives. Large tax breaks and other incentives should be implemented to encourage employers to take the chance and help those who are intent on changing their lives.
- I realize, of course, that this nation needs a lot more than these modest reforms; the whole individualist ethos, with its denial of solidarity, is flawed beyond repair. That is a tall order to fix, and I realize that even these proposals, aside from the one on helping former felons to reform their lives,are probably unattainable in the current climate…
October 14, 2013 by Daniel Nichols