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Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Progressive Republic Party Vision and Platform

I am returning to discuss my proposed Progressive Republic Party--which is a combination of libertarian, social democratic, and conservative republican principles, each in their own realm of culture, economy, and politics. I would like to work out the vision and platform for the Party with a group of activist visionaries who like me espouse the overall values of liberty in culture and in private limited by the no-harm principle, equity in basic economic requirements to live decently in our society with expectations of taking responsibility for livelihood as one is able, and power within vibrant communities to engage and have influence on the shape of public life.

Vision (just a start; we will keep coming back and refining this)

My vision for a Progressive Republic looks something like this: Inclusive interdependent learning communities with people
  • of various lifestyles and tastes interacting with one another and respecting each other's privacy and choices in regards to religion, reading, writing, and speaking, loving and marrying, mobility, fashion, sexual orientation, friendship, association, hobbies, entertainment, financial wealth, personal property, vocations and livelihood, and the disposition of their own bodies; 
  • enjoying all the basic provisions of a decent life in their local communities including nourishment, shelter, health care, education, safety, income, and transportation; 
  • having opportunity and resources to better their lives culturally, financially, spiritually, physically, and intellectually without any regards to their sex, race, culture, sexual orientation, family history, immigrant status, or income level;
  • enjoying public health: clean air, water, and energy, safe streets, food, schools, common lands;
  • making local and easily accessible space for gathering and speaking as a public to vote and act on issues that affect the shape of the community, to form associations and partnerships among institutions to resolve issues that ensure freedom within the community, to police and protect the community and all residents from harm, to plan for emergencies, to enter into agreements with other communities for regional planning to save open spaces, farmland, recreational opportunities and increase, and to form and shape government and public agencies to insure cultural liberty, economic equity, and political power.
Instances of this vision already exist in these United States, Canada, in Latin America, in Europe, and in many other parts of the world. However they are minimized by excessive military spending and favors to well financed special interests, by the influence of money on public policy, by hate groups and cultural bigots, by tribalism in many forms, by populist mass democracy that undermines local self-determination, by a representative system that fosters patronage. That is why the three principles of liberty, equity, and power need to hold tension with one another and so achieve balance.


Platform (just a start; we will keep coming back and refining this)

Tax and Investment policies that will achieve a Progressive Republic include:

Protection for civil liberties; limitations on governments that do not honor or which deny civil liberties.

Housing and urban development:
  • end and prevent homelessness
  • housing options for all 
  • incentives to local jurisdictions for smart growth and inclusive, vibrant, trusting communities
  • new urbanist strategies: focus on design for higher densities, walkable communities, mixed income and use, job-community proximity
Agriculture and food:
  • change tax and subsidy policies to support sustainable agriculture
  • international food service supporting agriculture in service areas
  • programs to provide adequate nourishment to all 
  • protection through notification against non nourishing or toxic foods
Transportation for all:
  • change tax and subsidy policies from supporting private auto to public transportation, 
  • maintain existing roads and bridges but subsidize no more,
Health Care for all
  • affordable, accessible health care while containing costs through single insurance and competition 
Education opportunity and parity
  • publicly funded with options
  • forgivable university loans
  • income supplement--expanded EITC
Environmental protection and restoration

Public health and safety--rivers, lakes, air, climate police, weapon regulation and responsibility, job safety, community oriented policing.

Jobs and wages
  • Decent jobs for all
  • Living wages for households
Open trade and worker mobility cross boundaries

World safety and development through international agencies, NGOs, and especially mobilized citizenry.

Research and development in health, space, green energy, climate, nutrition.

Fair taxation
  • progressive, distributional taxes that keep wealth circulating
  • carbon tax--tax on all costs to the future planet
  • see Stiglitz Tax Reform Plan
Promotion of political discussion and participation
  • separate wealth from public decision-making, strict restrictions for lobbyists.
  • protection and use of local publics for decision-making and action



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