We live in a world where everyone is lying to us: our politicians, our media, our employers, our landlords, and the all powerful algorithms. As a result, it is no surprise that we continue to tell ourselves the biggest lie of all: “I don’t need anyone else. I’ll worry about me, you worry about you, and we’ll all be just fine.” This belief is firmly held by many, but that does not make it true. Humanity as we know it has only survived because we are a social species. We realize that each life is precious simply by being – not based on the value of labor that life produces. Every one of us is imperfect, invaluable, and irreplaceable. What makes us human is our ability to recognize this.
Humanity in general, but Americans specifically, seem to have forgotten that life is priceless. We sell our bodies and our time to corporations that do not care about us. Those corporations then lobby our government. In turn, the government passes laws making it easier for corporations to extract every cent of wealth from our labor and our global resources. Then they pay their shareholders outrageous bonuses to celebrate hoarding all of that capital. Looking around now, I would have to say that this has not led to an ideal outcome for the average American.
In the words of Jason Emmanuel Petty, “I don’t hate America, I just demand she keeps her promises.” What are the promises of America? According to our founders those promises are “Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.” Those are wonderful promises, but what exactly do they mean? I propose a New Bill of Human Rights that will grant not just the opportunity to achieve America’s promises but the means to do so.
“The following shall be made available to every US citizen, first generation and beyond, as Basic Human Rights; the bare minimum an individual can expect as their return on investment into the Social Contract: Water, Healthy Food, Livable Housing, Quality Healthcare, Affordable Education.”
I will be the first to tell you that I do not have all of the answers to all of life’s problems. But I do have some novel ideas supported by my unique life experience. Here are just some of my original ideas to persistent problems:
On the issue of gun safety, I propose teaching gun safety in schools – no live ammunition, no shooting practice, but a basic introduction into firearms.
On the issue of wages, I propose abolishing the minimum wage and imposing a maximum pay ratio. The highest paid person at a company may only make 25:1 the amount of the lowest paid person. This will allow for small businesses to pay what they can afford; it will force large companies to reinvest capital in its employees. It will also self-adjust for cost of living variances around the country.
On the issue of privatization of government services, I propose banning privatization of any industry which requires the carrying of firearms.
On the issue of money in politics, I propose publicly funded elections at all levels and the abolishment of lobbying.
On the issue of elections, I propose congressional term limits, required quarterly townhalls for legislators, ranked choice voting, and the abolishment of the Electoral College.
Rising to our full potential as human beings is difficult enough, even when all of our basic needs are being met. There is no reason to make it any harder. We owe allegiance to each other. When America invests in its people, we all thrive!