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

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

Re-branding America

Re-branding America for the 21st century. Image from Google images.

  • I’d like 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

Too often, the everyday news cycle focuses primarily on the problems facing our nation, without actually becoming a catalyst for REAL CHANGE, in addressing these same problems….

Here at Civilians News, we pride ourselves on going out in the field and making a difference, not simply rabble rousing or pointing to the heartaches of our nation. So today, I’d like to offer 6 suggestions, for the federal government, which would address some of the most important issues facing America today; with the hope of re-branding America for a brighter, 21st century future……

These reforms focus on a wide range of issues and present viable options to strengthen regulatory institutions and create a better world for any government seeking to improve the GLOBAL HUMAN SOCIETY.

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

Furthermore…… these reforms would increase the Federal Government’s budget, and would not require increases in deficit spending…..

1. Government Transparency.

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

It is no secret today 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,” over the last 10 decades, it seems as though people in America have almost stopped wondering where the extra tax dollars flow altogether…… X Files? Secret government projects? How much of your tax dollars go towards things that you don’t even know about?

So for this reason, I think the first and foremost vital reform for re-branding America, is creating a stronger culture of “transparency,” particularly within the federal government. Perhaps the reality of the tax burden and where that money flows is too much truth for most Americans to handle, but its information they deserve……. Furthermore, the issue of transparency, I believe to be one of the single most important issues in America moving forward….. and who better to set a positive example for other US companies, then the federal government?

Also, it’s about time the people caught a glimpse of Area 51…. just 1 time before I die, one time.

Creating a stronger culture of transparency, might cause social anxiety and rifts within society at first, but would surely benefit our countries future. This is an example of 1 reform which could be enacted over time, working to change the culture here in America through example/leadership….. guiding us away from the back door deals and low profile accounting which has all but swamped our economy…… and become all too commonplace, among many of America’s premier corporations today……. cough… Wall Street, SEC can you hear me?

Furthermore, I see no need in the 21st century; for classifying billions of dollars worth of government spending. It’s time we as Americans knew where the money was going and it’s time for the US government to lead by example and declassify a bulk of their financial records…. Maybe not all, but most and including x-files…. so that Americans can finally feel what their government is working on, to justify these expenses.

This reform is actually free…. and would go a long ways towards setting a positive example for the private sector, as well as towards re-branding America, moving into the new century…. dramatic pause.

2)  Government work programs, centered around cleaning up pollution.

Anyone willing to work, in America today, should be able to pick up a trash bag and go to work…… I truly believe that. If that requires government subsidized ABC programs, so be it, but it’s time Americans were stripped of the excuse, “I didn’t have anywhere to work,” in particular, since American roads and highways, are perhaps more polluted today, than ever before.

After the New Deal, in the 1930’s, the federal government took it upon themselves to create ABC groups, to put Americans to work…. In my hometown, Walled Lake Michigan, the trees planted from this time period are still growing, firmly rooted in the ground almost 100 years later…… Long story short, this reform is NOT unprecedented, America has done it before.

So shy go away from hiring those in need to clean up America’s roads, highways, and environmentally flawed landscapes? Why not hire those in need of part time work, to clean the streams, streets and even the Oceans, surrounding America today?

Currently their is a piece of garbage the size of Texas floating in the Pacific Ocean… Why not take the initiative and hire good hard working Americans, to handle the job?

Of course, this option would require some increases in government spending and could not be relied upon to employ the entire nation, by any means, however this has been done in the past. Furthermore, there have been successful results from such programs and now would be a good time to re-examine, these types of options moving forward.

New deal worker, planting trees for the CCC, known as FDR’s “tree army,” in the wake of the “new deal.”

3) ADDRESSING HOMELESSNESS………

In 2015; Buffalo NY, claimed to have “eradicated homelessness,” by lowering their homeless population to relatively small numbers, even less than a 100 US citizens…. Statistics showed 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 roughly 400 homeless citizens, today, only 25 chronically homeless remain, according to news reports.

This initiative, was co-opted by the citizens of Buffalo and most definitely saved lives…. So why aren’t more cities taking such a pro-active approach to homelessness? Especially when Americans are outside losing their lives to the cold in places like, Chicago and Detroit……

Buffalo’s success, was based on citizens ability to work alongside religious institutions and concerned community activists, finding immediate shelter for the cities homeless. By using this blueprint, it is Civilians News belief, that many more cities could take a wide range of pro-active steps to eradicating homelessness throughout the rest of the US……

By working with religious institutions and building street level accommodations, homelessness in America could very well become a thing of the past in the 21st century, IF, America makes it a priority.

Cities like Buffalo have already begun seeing results, with a blueprint centered around open shelters, and maybe its time the rest of the country follows suit.

In particular, here in Portland today, there are empty lots, specifically reserved for homeless Americans to take refuge. In these open lots, tents are established where the homeless are allowed to set up a sleeping bag and get a good nights sleep….. While in the past Civilians News has recommended the federal government took a more military approach to the issue, by inserting barracks in US cities for homeless citizens…. the “vacant lot,” solution, if run and overseen by a city organizer/ organization, seems to be effective, at least here in Oregon…..

Cities such as Salt Lake City, Utah, have had similar initiatives, however, with varying results.

4)   NO MORE TOO BIG TO FAIL……. It’s time to talk about housing solutions…..

Currently in the US, there are 6 vacant, rotting, decaying homes, for every 1 homeless American………

That means somewhere in America right now, there’s a man, who owns millions of pieces of property, under any one of the major banks in America today….. and that man, is choosing to pay property taxes on all that unused land, instead of selling it for it’s proper supply and demand value…….

This is obscene and perhaps represents the largest example of unchecked economic corruption, in the last century.

This is the very antithesis, the very essence of; “too big to fail,” the sentence that led to taxpayer led, bank bailouts, not 1 decade ago…….

Why not sell the property for its supply and demand value? Why hold onto all that property, all those homes, when so many Americans are homeless today? And the answer is greed….. Banks in America have sealed the housing market, in order to control the very fabric of the American economy, and it completely goes against the ethics of free market capitalism. Until “too big to fail,” is a thing of the past, very little economic progress can be made. When so much money is tied up in these real estate markets, which are currently hyper inflated by this egregious government/institutional corruption, Americans don’t even know they’re being ripped off.

When companies, are literally “holding all the cards,” in the American economy, what are any of us working for? When the bank has become the sole land owner over America and prefers paying billions of dollars in property taxes, as opposed to selling property for its TRUE free market value, it becomes a situation where the federal government is literally, enabling corporations to enslave the masses… and this has to end…. and to think that taxpayers bailed out these very same institutions, makes it all seem even more atrocious. Lack of leadership, is the word that comes to mind for me……

5) Its time America augmented its general education system; with high school courses on finance, earnings, stocks, bonds, taxes and investments…..

Too often today, children are not taught about filing taxes, ending their public education with no knowledge whatsoever on how to fill out a tax form….. This has to change.

Its time general education courses taught American high school students a few simple things, that could make the American money markets a better place… and eliminate some corruption too….

How did Enron and Worldcom, get away with 2 of the largest scams, in American history? By taking advantage of under-educated investors…… Too often today, companies make their way onto Wall Street, with no earnings at all, based solely on potential……. However, it is time Americans were educated on how their stock tickers actually work, because many of these earning-less companies today, are simply opening high praised IPO’s and falling to the wind, when it comes time to pay actual dividends….. This has to change. If more Americans were educated on the utmost basic principles of finance, there would not be so much hype around the Enrons of the world and maybe more grassroots initiatives would spring up regarding corruption in American money markets today….. Just a thought.

And last but not least…………….

6) It’s time to change the tax code….. ya know just a little….. a little, just a little bit…..

I believe, its time Americans changed the tax code to penalize purchasers, paying in excess of 100k dollars, for any material items….. Luxury car over 100k? 15% sales tax……..

This has been a libertarian ideal for decades. I do believe that I’ve heard several elected officials mention this idea before, but it’s a good idea and it would go a long way towards sharpening the tax code, so that those who can afford to do more, do more to help others.

By creating a new sales tax, on items over 100k dollars in value, the wealthiest Americans who purchase said items, would be asked to carry a larger burden of Americas tax code, almost as a penalty, for living lavishly and overspending….. or spending frivolously…… extremely frivolously…..

This would do a lot, not only for balancing Americas books, but also creating a greater sense of unity in America and punishing those who live so far above the average citizen.

This simple fix to the tax code, would not hurt all rich Americans and simply would place a higher tax burden on those SPENDING LAVISHLY, not necessarily those making more…. In this way, this reform would work to temper greed and would not penalize hard working Americans who live sensible lifestyles….

-William Larsen, Civilians News founder.

News for ALL views.