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” –

Re-branding America

Re-branding America for the 21st century. Image via Google images search; “homelessness.”

  • I’d like to take a moment, to thank our audience for waiting through March for this article. Civilians News is working around the clock to create a new viable news source, which is NOT tied to the daily news cycle. However, your patience is appreciated…..
  • Furthermore, sometimes “no news is good news,” and over the last month that is kind of how it’s felt. Yet, as election season kicks back into gear we’re ready to continue our monthly installments now. I apologize for the 7 week layoff, while I find it pertinent to remind our readers that Civilians News works to, “counteract,” the daily news cycle, not to conform to it, thank you.

Re-Branding America For The 21st Century

The everyday news cycle focuses primarily on the problems facing our nation. However, this occurs all too often without that news actually becoming a catalyst for REAL CHANGE. This is particularly true in addressing the issues of greed, transparency 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 out the heartaches of our nation, with the intention to earn a profit. Instead, we are reporting on topics which impact all of our future, 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, which would address some of the most important issues facing America today. This article, is in the hope of “re-branding America,” for a brighter 21st century…..

These 6 reforms focus on a wide range of issues and present viable options, in terms of strengthening our world for everyone.

Also noteworthy, *none of these reforms are based on partisanship….

Furthermore…… these reforms would not add to the national deficit. In fact, several of these ideas might actually increase federal government revenue.

So, here are 6 reforms that America SHOULD consider;

1. Government transparency.

In 2014, Americans paid a combined total of 4.7 trillion dollars in taxes, or $38,317 dollars per household…….. However, where exactly did this tax money go? Today, not all of it is accounted for…….

It is no secret that the US federal government operates largely outside of the public eye. Many programs feel unchecked by the general populous and as government has become more and more “specialized,” it seems as though Americans have almost stopped wondering where the extra tax dollars go…… 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 the first and foremost vital reform, in re-branding America, is creating a stronger culture of “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 it 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 a 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 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 cleaning up the environment…… This is vital reform, which would 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, at 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.”

3) ADDRESSING HOMELESSNESS………

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 in 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. It is through this blueprint, focused on open shelters and religious institutions, that less than a 100 citizens are homeless in Buffalo, NY.

Other reforms to combat this issue have also seen 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, in 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… Meanwhile, 18.5 million American homes are vacant…….

(https://trofire.com/2015/07/21/3-5-million-americans-are-homeless-18-6-million-homes-in-america-are-standing-empty-what-is-wrong-with-this-picture/)

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…….

Pause.

This is an obscene source of corruption. This dilemma represents perhaps the largest example of unchecked economic corruption, in the history of the world…….  That is because this vacant property, not being sold for its 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.” Even more egregious, too big to fail was the sentence that was used in leveraging America’s workforce, in favor of government bailouts, only 1 decade ago…….

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 those homes to decay, literally rotting, when so many Americans are homeless today?

The answer is greed…..

This is seemingly occurring because banks in America have sealed the housing market, I believe this is 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 foundation and ethics of free market capitalism.

In cities like Detroit (my hometown), there are literally thousands of vacant homes…. Why aren’t those homes on the market for 1 dollar? 

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

Image via Google search, “Enron.”

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

Due to this lack of education, most Americans today are retiring on government welfare in the form of social security…..

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 taxation reforms.

I would like to see the federal government levy a new form of taxation, on items in excess of $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.