Toward A Better America: A Five Point Plan

The Republic is at a critical crossroads – a point where Americans must understand and take action to ensure a future for ourselves, our children, and the unborn Americans of tomorrow.  

Today, the nation is being driven down a path of fiscal failure, rotting of industrial strength, immoral and unethical governance, selling of our common heritage and future to a cabal of highest bidders, destruction of the environment, isolation of Americans in the international environment, and decaying of American security. Americans must decide whether there is a tomorrow – and act accordingly.

I believe that there will be a tomorrow.

I believe in acting and planning as if tomorrow exists.

Recognition of this demands implementation of new policy to unite America and Americans to strengthen this great nation.

The following five arenas provide a core basis for setting the stage for a healthier, more ethical and moral, richer, well governed, more secure America.  In other words, a stronger America.

In the campaign for America’s future, we should enunciate clearly core principles and core concepts.  One of Energize America‘s strengths is an effort to develop a package from bumper stickers, to elevator speeches, to specific policy concepts.  An umbrella concept that provides coherence and consistency to each of its specific elements.  This five-point ‘elevator speech’ seeks to do the same for a broad shift in the American dialogue to lay the groundwork for a more prosperous, healthier, stronger America into the future.

Each of these five is separable, but they interact and combine — they are mutually reinforcing.

In any event, the five points:

  • Well-Governed America
  • Energized America
  • Healthier America
  • Secure America
  • Wealthier America

What follows is a short discussion of the five and some of their interactions.

Well-Governed America
From questionable elections to political interference with Federal prosecutors to secret meetings with energy lobbyists to financial improprieties to tax increases on the unborn (the so-called “Bush Tax Cuts”) to failure to integrate interagency activity in Iraq (and elsewhere), the case for a mismanaged America is long and strong.

Americans and the world should have confidence that the US Government is well governed, that it is ruled by principles of smart governance.  There should be confidence that elections are fairly and honestly run, results should not be questionable.  Government enforcement of the law must be non-partisan.  Financial management should meet acceptable standards.  Ethical … engaged … open governance.  A government that will enforce and enrich basic equality throughout the “system” to foster a stronger civic society. At the core, a Well-Governed America is one where government action will, in general, reflect the “public good”.

Energized America

America is at a critical crossroads regarding energy policies.  We can drift further down a path of increasing – and increasingly dangerous – dependence on imported oil, or we can boldly choose a future that will Energize America by diversifying our energy sources, promoting energy efficiency and substantially expanding America’s renewable energy industrial base.

The risks of maintaining the status quo are simply too great to ignore, especially as petroleum production begins to decline while worldwide demand is rapidly increasing.  Our continued dependence on fossil fuels, combined with this expected growing global mismatch between petroleum supply and demand, threatens to cripple our economy, destroy our environment and hold our foreign policy and military hostage to the whims of unstable regions of the world.  

Americans increasingly realize that we must act now to put our country on a path toward “sustainable energy independence”, an ever-greater reliance on America’s renewable resources (sun, wind, waves) rather than fossil fuels. This journey will not always be easy, nor will it be quick – but it is an essential and honorable effort that will ensure economic prosperity, strengthen national security, and protect our environment for future generations of Americans. This path must combine moving Americans and American industry into the forefront of not just energy efficiency and energy renewable technology … but into deployment of these technologies.  Through Energize America, Americans will soon spend less on their total energy costs – but these costs will fund high-paying jobs for their fellow citizens rather then heading out of the country to pay for raw materials.

And, through this path, America would take a leadership position to be able help the world move toward a sustainable energy structure that fosters a greater and more equitable global prosperity with ever-reduced impacts on the ecosphere.

Healthier America

America and Americans are unhealthy.  We are, as a people, heavier and unhealthier than the world.  We spend more on medical care yet, as a society, receive less. Our culture is ever more sedentary. Our food and medical supply systems are compromised, with inadequate standards, government inspection, and questionable foreign sourced supplies.  

To move toward a healthier America, we need a holistic approach — capturing everything from encouraging more physical activity, better food packaging, to universal health care (probably in a public-private partnership (like France) rather than ‘national health care’).

As an example of the holistic nature and interactions of the five, Healthier America links back to “Energize America” in terms of the environmental improvements reducing pollution health impacts.  This can link to competitiveness (Wealthier America), as a universal health care system would (a) likely be less expensive on a per capita basis, (b) would remove the burden that the ‘few’ (those that provide insurance (Governments, major Corporations, etc)) bear relative to those that freeload (McDonald’s & Walmart provide coverage for how many part-time workers?), (c) improve worker productivity (healthier people, spending less time concerned about medical services), and (d) responds to part of the complaint of how GM / etc need to pay for health care while Toyota and Chinese firms don’t.  A Well-Governed America would manage this public-private health care structure more efficiently and equitably than is the case with today’s Murder by Spreadsheet.

Secure America
Twenty-first century challenges are real, and interrelated. From terrorism (and other international crime) to environmental risk to the always existing potential for state-on-state warfare.

A policy for a Secure America would focus on the need to develop an integrated perspective on and approach to security.  Integrated security in the sense of pulling together all elements of US national power (military, State, Justice, Homeland Security … and state governments, private businesses …) and integrated in terms of understanding interrelationships between ‘international’ and ‘homeland’ security issues.  The integration would seek to better use the resources the nation applies to ‘security’ in part by understanding how different activities in different parts of the world interrelate to strengthen (or weaken) America’s security both in the short and long terms.

Wealthier America

America is impoverishing itself, with an ever mounting national deficit and ever mounting trade deficits. With each passing day, non-Americans own an ever greater piece of the American pie.  And, recently, the situation has passed where foreigners own more of America than Americans own overseas.

Wealthier America focuses on developing a set of economic and social policies that would put the nation back on a smarter economic and fiscal path and, as well, provide truly (or more truly) for the American dream of ‘equal opportunity for all’.  Wealthier America would cover tax code simplification and improvement (including more equitable (progressive) tax); educational policy; better childcare policy; national standards for leave (including at least limited paid parental leave); real prospects for improving US economic competitiveness and balance of trade (again, the link back to Energize America concepts that would (a) reduce oil imports, (b) create good jobs in ‘renewables’ in the US, and© likely lead to increased (significant) in US exports of renewable technology and equipment).

Conclusion

This five-point program is a strawman, an attempt to determine a way of looking holistically for an elevator speech that would capture and cover a path foward to a better America.

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