Re-Branding America : Potential Reforms for the 21st Century

April 9th 2016 – By: William Larsen – Civilians News – “News For All Views” – “Re-Branding America For The 21st Century” –

  • I’d like to take this moment, to thank our audience for waiting through March for this article. Civilians News is working around the clock to create; new, viable news. Although, I’d like to remind our audience, IS NOT, tied to the daily news cycle.

Re-Branding America For The 21st Century

“The everyday news cycle,” focuses primarily on problems and negativity, facing our nation. However, this often happens, without that negative news, actually becoming a catalyst for REAL CHANGE. This is particularly true, regarding issues such as; greed, transparency, un-employment, retirement planning, age discrimination, housing reforms and environmentalism….

Nevertheless, here at Civilians News, we pride ourselves on going out into the field and making a difference. Civilians News is not simply rabble rousing, or pointing the finger, with the intention to earn a profit. Instead, we are reporting on topics that impact ALL of our futures, without partisan bias, WHILE SEEKING REAL SOLUTIONS and ACTUAL CHANGE, in the real world.

So today, I’d like to offer 6 suggestions, to the federal government, in order to address some of the most crucial issues facing our nation today. This article, is in the hopes of, “re-branding America,” for a brighter 21st century…..

These 6 reforms, focus primarily on a wide range of issues and viable options, for strengthening our world.

Also, *none of these reforms are based on partisanship…. And none of these reforms would add to the federal deficit. In fact, several of these ideas might actually increase federal government revenue.

So, here are 6 reforms that we all SHOULD consider;

1. Government transparency.

In 2014, America paid a combined total of 4.7 trillion dollars in taxes (for an average of $38,317 dollars per household)……. Yet, where exactly did all of this tax money go? Today, it’s not all accounted for…….

It’s no secret that the US federal government operates largely outside of the public eye. Nevertheless, many programs today feel unchecked by the masses and as government has become more and more “specialized,” it often seems that Americans have stopped wondering where the tax dollars go altogether…… X Files? Secret government projects? How much of your tax money goes towards things that you don’t even know about?

For this reason, I think that the first and perhaps, “most vital reform,” in re-branding America, is creating a stronger culture of, “economic transparency.” In particular, I’d like to see this occur within the federal government. Perhaps the reality of that tax burden and where that money flows, is too much for most Americans to handle. Yet, I believe that this is information they deserve……. Furthermore, the issue of transparency, I personally believe to be one of the most important issues in America moving forward….. So who better to set an example, than the U.S.government?

Also, I believe it’s time for the American people to catch a glimpse of Area 51…. This would also feed into the idea of a nationwide movement towards transparency.

At first, a culture of transparency might create social anxiety and rifts within society. However, this reform would surely benefit our country in the long run….. This is an approach that often feels all but forgotten, by America’s leaders today.

This reform is actually free….. Furthermore, I believe this reform would go a long ways towards setting a positive example for the private sector, as well as re-branding America moving into the next century….

Image via Google Search; “government military spending.”

2)  Government work programs focused on cleaning up pollution.

Anyone willing to work in America today, should be able to pick up a trash bag and go to work…… This is a truly vital reform, which could greatly improve American, “job creation.”

If that requires subsidized ABC programs, so be it. America has done this before…..

It’s long overdue that Americans were stripped of the excuse, “I don’t have anywhere to work.” This is particularly true, since American roads and highways, are perhaps more polluted today than ever before. (I would love to invite any Congressional leader to walk with me through the Bronx, it’s very polluted.)

In the mid 1930’s, after New Deal legislation, the federal government took it upon themselves to create ABC programs to put Americans back to work…. In my hometown, Walled Lake Michigan, the trees planted from this time are still growing today. These rows of trees still stand today, perfectly uniformed and firmly rooted almost 100 years later…… Long story short, this reform is NOT unprecedented, America has done this before.

Why go away from hiring those in need, in order to clean up America’s roads, highways, and environmentally flawed landscapes? Why not create government subsidized, part time work; to clean streams, streets and even the Oceans surrounding America today?

Currently there’s a chunk of garbage, roughly the size of Texas, floating through the Pacific Ocean… Why not take the initiative and hire good hard working Americans, to handle the job?

A new deal worker planting trees for the CCC. This was known as FDR’s, “tree army,” in the wake of, “the new deal” legislation. Image via Google Search, “New Deal legislation/ ABC alphabet programs.”


In 2015, Buffalo, NY, claimed they successfully eradicated homelessness.

Although not entirely eradicating the problem, Buffalo cut their cities homeless population, to less than a 100 citizens…. Statistically, Buffalo lowered its homeless population by almost 90%, using housing programs and co-opting the help of local religious institutions.

4 years ago, Buffalo had an estimated 400 homeless civilians. By comparison today, only 25 chronically homeless remain.

This initiative was co-opted by the civilians of Buffalo and most certainly saved lives….

So why aren’t more cities, especially cold weather cities, taking this pro-active approach to homelessness?  Because these types of “homelessness reforms,” are sorely needed in cold weather cities like Chicago and Detroit……

Buffalo’s success was attributed to finding immediate shelter, through concerned citizens and religious institutions. The success of eradicating homelessness due to these reforms in Buffalo, was overwhelming. For this reason, it is Civilians News belief, that many more cities should adopt this approach to eradicating homelessness, throughout the entire United States……

By working with religious institutions and building street level accommodations, homelessness in America could very well become a thing of the past. That is to say, IF, America makes homelessness reform a priority.

Cities like Buffalo have already begun seeing massive results and it’s through this blueprint, focused on open shelters and religious institutions, that less than a 100 citizens are homeless, in Buffalo today.

Other reforms to combat this issue have also seen mixed levels of success. However, this success has only occurred when city planners actually acknowledge the problem.

In cities like Portland, Oregon, there are empty lots specifically reserved for the homeless to take refuge. In these open lots, tents are established where homeless individuals are allowed to set up a sleeping bag and get a good nights sleep…..

In the past, I’ve personally advocated building military barracks to aid homelessness reform. However, different regional approaches, in different cities around the U.S., have used a variety of other measures. That is to say, there are a wide range of approaches to combating homelessness today.

Portland, Oregon’s, “vacant lot solution,” might be what’s best suited for that region…. Nevertheless, the key to homelessness reform seems in many ways rooted, to simply acknowledging the problem itself.

Other cities, notably Salt Lake City, Utah, have had similar initiatives and varying results.

4) Ending “too big to fail” and fixing America’s housing market. 

In the United States today, there are 6; vacant, rotting, decaying homes, for every 1 homeless American………

In fact, 3.5 million Americans are homeless right now… Whereby simultaneously, 18.5 million American homes are vacant…….


Think about what that means. That means somewhere in America right now, is a man who owns millions of homes, under any one of America’s banking institutions…. Furthermore, that man is choosing to pay property taxes, on all that unused property, as opposed to selling those homes for there proper supply and demand value…….


This is an obscene and unruly source of corruption. This dilemma represents perhaps the largest example of unchecked economic corruption, in the history of the world…….  That’s because this vacant property, not being sold for it’s supply and demand value, is currently driving up the rent for everybody in America today. This is a matter of GREED.

This is the very antithesis of, “too big to fail.”

Why not sell this property for the proper supply and demand, “market value?” Why hold onto all that property and pay property taxes every year? Why allow these homes to decay, literally rotting, when so many Americans are homeless today?

The answer is greed…..

This is seemingly taking place, because banks in America have sealed the housing market. Furthermore, I believe that this is being done, in order to control the very fabric of the American economy today. This is hard to believe, but it’s true and it completely goes against the foundations of free market capitalism.

In cities like Detroit (my hometown), there are literally thousands of vacant and rotting homes…. So why aren’t these homes on the “free market,” for 1 dollar? 

5) Modernized high school education. Creating high school courses on taxes and finance. 

People today, can often go their entire lives without learning to file taxes, or save for retirement.

Furthermore, due to that lack of education, most Americans today are retiring on government backed welfare, in the form of social security benefits…..

This circumstance has to change. This change requires education reform, focused on finance, taxes and retirement savings.

6) Changing America’s tax code….. 

Image via Google search, “taxes and excessive wealth.”

This moment in history, is a time when Americans need tax reform(s).

Personally, I would like to see the federal government levy a new luxury tax, on items that cost over $100,000 U.S. dollars. This is not a popular belief but it’s the right thing to do. Luxury cars over $100,000 dollars in cost? 15% sales tax……..

This new tax, should not be implemented with the intention to penalize American retailers. Nevertheless, this tax should be levied with the intent to balance out America’s economic inequality today.

By creating a new sales tax on items over $100,000 dollars, lavish spenders would carry a larger portion of America’s tax code. This does not necessarily penalize the rich, but instead levies a greater tax burden on those living lavishly and overspending…..

This would do a lot, not only to balance America’s tax code, but also in creating a greater sense of unity between wealthy and underprivileged Americans…..

-William Larsen, Civilians News founder.

News for ALL views.