- 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 also like to remind our audience that CiviliansNews.com IS NOT… tied to the daily news cycle.
Re-Branding America For The 21st Century
“The everyday news cycle,” often focuses on problems and negativity…. which is facing our nation. However, this often occurs without that negative news, actually becoming a catalyst for REAL CHANGE. And I find that 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. To be clear, Civilians News is not simply rabble rousing, or pointing the finger, with the intention of earning a profit. Yet, instead we are reporting on topics that impact ALL of our futures, without partisan bias in our reporting, 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 the most crucial issues facing our nation today. Which, to be clear is in the hopes of, “re-branding America,” for a brighter 21st century…..
Also, 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 government reforms to 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? The fact of the matter is, it’s not all accounted for.
And 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/media and as the government has become more and more “specialized,” it often seems that Americans have stopped wondering where the tax dollars even go…… X Files? Secret government projects? How much of your tax dollars 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.” Furthermore, 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, is information that they deserve……. Furthermore, the issue of transparency, I also believe is one of the most important issues in America moving forward….. So, who better to set an example than the U.S. federal government?
Also, I believe that it’s time for the American people to catch a glimpse of Area 51…. That 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….. Furthermore, this is a leadership approach that often feels all but forgotten, by American leaders today.
PLUS: This reform is free….. Whereby, I believe that 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….
2) Government work programs focused primarily on cleaning pollution.
Anyone willing to work in America today… should be able to pick up a trash bag and go to work…… Whereby, I also believe that this is a truly vital reform, which could greatly improve American, “job creation.”
If that requires subsidized ABC programs then so be it. Plus, 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 perhaps ever before. (I would love to invite any Congressional leader to walk with me through the Bronx, it’s very polluted.)
However, in the mid 1930’s, after the New Deal legislation, the federal government took it upon themselves to create ABC programs to put Americans back to work…. Even 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 after the Great Depression….. Long story short, this reform is NOT unprecedented and America has done this before.
3) ADDRESSING HOMELESSNESS………
Buffalo, NY, claimed they successfully eradicated homelessness, in 2015.
Although, not entirely eradicating the problem, Buffalo cut their cities homeless population to less than a 100 homeless citizens…. Statistically, Buffalo lowered it’s homeless population by almost 90%, using housing programs and co-opting local religious institutions.
4 years ago, this same city had an estimated 400 homeless civilians. By comparison today, only 25, “chronically homeless,” remain.
Furthermore, these initiatives were 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 combating homelessness? Because these types of, “homelessness reforms,” are sorely needed in cold weather cities like Chicago and Detroit, in my opinion and have had positive results……
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, today in Buffalo.
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 itself….
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….. and a shower.
In the past, I’ve personally advocated for building military barracks, designated to aid homelessness reforms throughout the United States. However, different regional approaches, in different cities, have so far shown a wide range of results combating homelessness today.
Portland, Oregon’s, “vacant lot solution,” might be what’s best suited for the Pacific Northwest region, but not the East Coast, for example…. 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, that provided varying results.
4) We need housing reforms AND no more, “too big to fail.”
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 that somewhere in America right now… is a man who owns millions of homes, under any one of America’s banking institutions…. and that man is choosing to pay property taxes, on all of that unused property, as opposed to selling those homes for a proper supply and demand value……. in some ways dictating the housing market.
Furthermore, this is an obscene and unruly source of corruption, in my opinion. This dilemma represents perhaps the largest example of unchecked economic corruption, in the history of the world, in my opinion……. and that’s because this vacant property, not being sold for what it’s properly valued, in a supply and demand sense, is currently driving up the rent for everybody in America, today.
This is the very antithesis of, “too big to fail.”
Why not sell some of this property for the proper supply and demand, “market value?” Are property taxes so low…. that bulk landowners profit by holding onto these entire city blocks, in Detroit, Michigan, which are rotting and vacant? 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?
And I believe that answer is greed…..
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 very lack of education, most Americans today are retiring on government backed welfare, in the form of social security benefits…..
This circumstance has to change and this change requires education reform… focused on finance, taxes and retirement savings.
6) Changing America’s tax code…..
This moment in history…. is a time when Americans need tax reform(s).
Personally, I would like to see a federal tax levied on all purchases that cost over $100,000 U.S. dollars. Perhaps this is not a very popular belief? However, I believe that this is the right thing to do. Luxury cars over $100,000 dollars in cost? 15% sales tax……..
This new tax, however, should not be implemented with the intention to penalize American retailers. Nevertheless, this tax should in fact 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…..
And I believe this would do a lot, not only to terms of balancing America’s tax code, but also in terms of creating a greater sense of unity between both wealthy and underprivileged Americans…..
-William Larsen, Civilians News founder.
News for ALL views.