(or CaFMaC Fixes [almost] Everything)
©William D. Coffey
CHAPTER Date Posted
PART ONE: CORRECTIONS TO CAPITALISM
1 Economic History Lesson: Next Big Crash Projected Dec 1, 2015
2. The Capitalist Free Market Corrections Act (CaFMaC) Jan 1, 2016
Too Big (Sections 1-2)
Monopoly (Sections 3-5)
3 Overpopulation and other big picture problems in modern America Jan 5
4 Cut corporations to 5% of market; convert them to co-ops Jan 8
5% Limit (Sections 6-8)
Conversion (Sections 9-12)
5 The punitive context: Poverty School & Gambling School Jan 12
6 How to stop exporting our jobs and earn enough to actually live on Jan 15
Co-ops (Sections 13-21)
7 Introspective: Sensitivity and empathy training for politicians Jan 19
8 When employees own the businesses and means of production Jan 22
Co-ops (Sections 22-32
9 The New Ideal: Economic Freedom and Populist Corrections Jan 26
10 The market is us, Pogo: the goods we need equal the jobs we need Jan 29
Markets (Sections 33-35)
11. Economic Econspeak, the science of being poor, and throughput Feb 2
12 Immigrant amnesty, limits on banking & other new US priorities Feb 5
Priorities (Sections 36-44)
13 The seldom-noticed context: an economic/political yardstick Feb 9
14 Durable products, food, water shortages: CaFMaC Fixes Everything Feb 12
Priorities (Sections 45-53)
15 Capitalism’s triumph: predictions from current trends Feb 16
16 How to guarantee your comfortable retirement income Feb 19
Retirement (Sections 54-57)
17 Capitalism serving all the poeple; Populist Corrections Contents Feb 23
PART TWO: OTHER USEFUL CORRECTIONS
18 All stock markets in the United States are hereby abolished Feb 26
Stock Market (Sections 58-59)
Advertising (Sections 60-63)
19 Is fair taxing for the common good actually possible? You bet it is! Mar 1
Taxes (Sections 64-69)
20 Taxing to the greatest good for the greatest number Mar 4
Taxes (Sections 70-74)
21 Good old American ingenuity shows the way with third options Mar 8
Research and Development (Sections 75-77)
22 How to guarantee purity in foods and medicinal drugs Mar 11
Research and Development (Sections 78-80)
23 True competition on the home front; Bring all the troops home Mar 15
International (Sections 81-83)
24 Absolute rights to centrally plan U.S. budgets and control guns Mar 18
Constitutional Amendments (Sections 84-85)
25 Teaching the courts the meaning of “self evident” Mar 22
Constitutional Amendments (Sections 86-87)
26 Correct the Court, publicly fund all elections and abolish lobbying Mar 25
Supreme Court (Section 88)
Elections (Section 89)
Lobbying (Section 90)
27 Thinking our way into the education revolution Mar 29
Thinking (Sections 91-93)
28 Good riddance to daylight savings time; the Purposes of Government Apr 1
Nature (Section 94)
The Purposes of Government (Section 95)
29 National Intergenerational Wealth and Security Trust Fund April 5
PART THREE: REACTION AND CONSEQUENCE
30 A Grand Five-Masted Ship of State…and how to sink it ignobly Apr 8
31 After we’ve passed the tipping points, irreversibly Apr 12
32 The great seismic risk zone across America’s heartland Apr 15
33 Fast evolution: Unexpected consequences of global warming… Apr 19
34 M’sippisea, beautiful waters of our children Apr 22
35 Title Page; Contents; Locator; Great Invitation; Suggested Reading Apr 26
* © *
Terms and Organizations Addressed in the CaFMaC Act
|Acronym||Term or Organization||CaFMaC Section(s)|
|TAP||Adequacy Principle, The||Chapters 3,6,10,12,13,19, 27,28|
|ALW||Adequate Living Wage||18,28,36,38,44,66,69,74,78,83,Chapter 7|
|AMPR||Annual Merit Pay Raise||20,21,22|
|ALAI||Appalachia Leads America Initiative||76|
|AOTFP||Appalachian Organic Truck Farming Project||76|
|BMB||Bovine Methane Bonanza||77|
|BLM||Bureau of Land Management||5,36|
|CTNS||Center for Theology and the Natural Sciences||91|
|CIT||Common Intelligence Test||23|
|CFFT||Compensatory Fossil Fuel Tax||73|
|CIP||Constant Innovation Program||21|
|CRB||Cooperative Representation Board||95|
|CRTDA||Cooperative Research and Technological Development Administration||34,36,50,75,78,79,80, 81|
|CRTF||Cooperative Retirement Trust Fund||57|
|CBA||Cooperatives Bank of America||37,38,39,40,41,42,45,46,48,50,51,52,53,58,63,80, Chapter 29|
|CU||Credit Union||38,45, 57|
|DARPA||Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency||75|
|DRI||Defense Restoration Initiative||83|
|DAT||Democracy Assurance Tax||74|
|DOA||Department of Agriculture||48,49,80|
|DOC||Department of Commerce||1,2,3,7,38|
|DoD||Department of Defense||16,52,73, 77,83|
|DDO||Department of Defense Only||83|
|DEd||Department of Education||91,93|
|DOE||Department of Energy||77|
|DHHS||Department of Health and Human Services||76,83|
|DOS||Department of State||49,52,82,83|
|DOT||Department of Transportation||34,36|
|DSRB||Deportation Special Review Board||36|
|DDT||Dumb Dawkins Theory||Chapter 7|
|EIT||Earned Income Tax||69|
|ER||Economic Rights||18,44,54,55,56,65,66,68,69,74,Chapter 29|
|EIHS||Eisenhower Interstate Highway System||77|
|EPA||Environmental Protection Agency||5,49|
|EPI||Essential Public Infrastructure||67,68,73, 77|
|FEC||Federal Elections Commission||74|
|FDA||Food and Drug Administration||78|
|FCDA||Foreign Cooperatives Development Agency||35,82|
|GAO||Government Accountability Office||41|
|GCCI||Great Corporations to Cooperatives Initiative||9,33,34,69, Chapter 29|
|GIRA||Guaranteed Income Retirement Account||56,57|
|HTT||How to Think||91,92,93, Chapter 29|
|IPW||Index of Prosperity and Wellbeing||39|
|IRA/401k||Individual Retirement Account/401k||55|
|IRS||Internal Revenue Service||2,7,66,69,70, 73|
|IMF||International Monetary Fund||81,82|
|LTAC||Literacy Targets for American Citizenship||Chapter 29|
|MCBA||Master of Cooperative Business Administration||91|
|NAC||National Academy of Sciences||91|
|NASA||National Aeronautics and Space Administration||77|
|NCP||National Cisterns Project||53,76|
|NDP||National Dirigibles Project||34,76|
|NIH||National Institutes of Health||78|
|NIAC||National Interest Advisory Council||33,36,39,42,48,49,50,70,72,80,91, Chapter 29|
|NIWSTF||National Intergenerational Wealth And Security Trust Fund||Chapter 29|
|NPR||National Public Radio||63|
|NTAED||National Think About Education Day||93|
|NWC||National War College||91|
|NRA||Natural Resources Administration||5|
|NIPS||New IDeal Public Service (Co-ops)||9|
|NITS||New IDeal Tax Structure||64, Chapter 29|
|NFI||Nuclear Fusion Initiative||77|
|OOOO||One On, One Off policy||77|
|PPB||Pervasive Predatory Behavior||Chapters 5, 30|
|PSC||Public Service Commission||72,73|
|RJSP||Railed Jet Sled Project||77|
|RFHTS||River Flow Horizontal Turbine Series||77|
|SSS||Social Security System/Trust Fund/Act||54,55,56,57|
|SRNM||Strategic Reserve Natural Monopoly||5|
|SEC||Supplemental Ethics Curriculum||92|
|TUSCG||Tithe for the U.S. Common Good||66,67,68|
|TCHT||Total Capital Holdings Tax||70,72|
|USPTO||U.S. Patent and Trademark Office||75|
|UICWT||Unearned Income from Capital Wealth Tax||70,72|
|UWIT||Unearned Wealth from Inheritance Tax||71,72|
|USECCP||United States Environmental Carrying Capacity Project||36|
|UST||United States Treasury||67,74|
|UBAC||Unproven But Apparent Correlation||79|
|WWB||What Works Best program||38|
|WVT||Wholesale Value Tax||66,67,68|
|WB||World Bank||81, 82|
|WTO||World Trade Organization||81, 82|
|ABOLISHED by THE CaFMaC Act
(see inherent right of government to abolish….
…Sections 11 and 95)
|Absentee ownership of US domestic commerce||16|
|Adjusted gross income||69|
|Advertising and marketing||60|
|Converting human-edible crops to biofuel||49|
|Corporate personhood, the concept of||86|
|Corporations remaining after too-big-to-fail are gone||11|
|Daylight savings time||94|
|Defined contribution retirement plans||55|
|Diversion of rivers to irrigate arid lands||53|
|Education conceived as a supplier of human capital||91|
|Federal reserve system||37|
|Financial reporting that is confusing and misleading||51|
|Foreign Guest Worker programs||36|
|Fossil fuel-related subsidies and tax breaks||76|
|Hedge funds, mortgage bundles, monetized derivatives etc||58|
|Minimum wage, the concept of||18|
|Misdefining employees as independent contractors||44|
|Monetary foreign aid||49|
|Monoculture, CAFOs and chemical agriculture||50|
|Moving US jobs abroad||16|
|Non-public funding of elections||89|
|Office of the U.S. Trade Representative||81|
|Outrageous executive pay||22|
|Preemptive war and preemptive military initiatives||83|
|Profit, the concept of||12|
|Prohibited forms of lobbying||90|
|Proprietary information among co-ops||38|
|Subsidies to corporate agriculture||50|
|Tax evasion by inversion||4|
|Tenure, the concept of||21|
|The present U.S. income tax structure||69|
|The term “outsource”||78|
|Too big to fail corporations||4|
|Transferring surpluses to stockholders||12|
|U.S. Bureau of Ocean Energy Management||77|
* © *
POSTSCRIPT: THE GREAT INVITATION
I would unhesitatingly relinquish and walk away from the progressive ideals I’ve cherished all my life if a third option, a new and better way, were found that enabled proceeding henceforward together with my conservative colleagues, all of us proactively trying to achieve the same betterment for all our fellow Americans, poor as well as rich, together – one nation under our God-blessed constitutional right to sustain separation of state from any one particular religion, with political liberty and economic justice for all.
If my conservative friends’ reasoning leads them to conclusions that I think nutty and loathsome – so thinking because I see that those conclusions lead to conditions which impoverish and thereby harm many of our fellow citizens – that doesn’t make the friends themselves loathsome or nutty. Their mothers love them, I love some of them, and they mostly try to do what they deem right and good on most days, just like the rest of us. The problems we face, together, will not be solved by despising each other. We demonstrated that before, during and after our Civil War. If your philosophy, politics and sense of morality agree even ever so slightly with this paragraph, dear reader, please read on.
I hope you’ve enjoyed this little romp through my imagined third-option fixes. I certainly did. At the same time, I’ll bet you finished Section 95 with dismay that I left untended – unfixied as it were – so many more of the not-so-civil problems that beset our beloved America here in the early twenty-first century. “Isn’t he even going to mention expanding farmers markets, or women’s rights, or fairer criminal justice or [insert your own favorite big issues]?” – I’ll bet you thought.
I too felt this dismay when I’d filled up, sometimes overfilled, my self-appointed ninety-five (95) Sections and had to stop. You knew I chose that number because its insinuative suggestion of Martin Luther’s 95 theses just might lead a few minds to reflect anew on that nice little revolution Luther set loose with just a few heartfelt words representing very large, deeply felt, issues. Large issues are being deeply felt in our own time. A new Reformation might be a tad more than we need to correct the wrongs besetting our modern nation and our collective spirit, but not by much. If you find yourself agreeing, I have an idea to offer for your consideration.
I keep thinking of lots more populist corrections than could possibly be squeezed into my 95-section CaFMaC bill, and that’s not to mention the dozens more I haven’t thought of yet. More ideas pop into mind every day – and, like Bobby Kennedy, I think, why not?
Here’s the deal. If after having read CaFMaC you find yourself so excited, or pissed, or something, that you simply can’t sit still, write your thoughts down. Get it out. Say it on paper. Try to capture that dry legal style inexplicably used by people who draft legislative bills, but also try to say it your own way in language that might be considered “droll” – which my dictionary defines as “amusingly odd; whimsically comical.” The issues may be serious, but when we lose the ability to laugh at ourselves we’re truly doomed.
If you will then mail your best effort (no more than one page, please!) to the publisher* of this book, that publisher and I will select the best of the best received, on a wider ranging array of issues, and put forth a second edition (“Populist Corrections Expanded” or perhaps “Making New Trouble”) for your edification and, indeed, hopefully make new trouble before the original trouble has quite subsided. Call it momentum.
*I await a publisher at this writing.
And you needn’t stop there. Make your own trouble – put your own Populist Corrections on Facebook, on the worldwide web, on tweets and twits, on the bulletin board at Kroger, at your dog groomer’s. Provoke so many people into getting involved that the Occupy Movement will look like an Easter egg hunt. America has been changed before, sometimes for the better. Betterment is now needed again, more drastically than ever before. If liberal and conservative cannot be reconciled, a third option must be found. We are one people, we must find a way to make that reality prevail over divisiveness.
Out with the old, in with the new. Let us all mutually advocate for a fair economic model that cannot help but level the playing field, just as out-of-control unregulated capitalism cannot help but tilt that field to the disadvantage of every person who’s not firmly ensconced at the top of the tilt. Convert finance capitalism’s destructive manipulations into bona fide competitive trading of real goods and services – fair trading that makes everybody better off. Put monopolies under public control. On behalf of our nation and our people, stop the obscenely rich fanatic ideologues – I speak of those who will not compromise or be reconciled – from systemically taking the wealth away from everybody else, especially the poor. Call it “The Adequacy Principle.”
Send our Supreme Court a message to distinguish the American Revolution, in which the people rose up for political freedom, from the French Revolution, in which the people rose up for economic freedom. Tell them about Elmore’s yardstick. Remind them they’re supposed to be learned neutral judges, not advocates. Above all, abolish the out-of-control corporations the Supreme Court bizarrely treats as “persons.” Abolish them and good riddance – there is a better way that serves everybody well. And join with me in a third-option movement to replace them with employee-owned co-ops which have true incentive to truly compete, in a market that is truly free, for the common good of the nation and of equal treatment and opportunity for all U.S. citizens.
Speak right up, ladies and gents. I’ll provide here a little example to help you get started, prime the pump so to speak. It shows how, if you write a legislative bill in hopes of getting your elected Congressmen and Senators to pass it into law – maybe (which, don’t forget, also means “maybe not”) – you must learn to express your brilliant, original ideas in convoluted sentences that are way too long but nonetheless deliver unexpected punches. It gets easier with practice – you just have to write the way some people talk – no apparent breaths, lots of commas, few periods. Here’s my example:
Section 96. Rock and roll music and every last one of its vile iterations and derivatives of every nature, which in their ubiquitous aggregate long ago initiated and have long since guaranteed the inevitable decline and ruin of the once-great United States and most of the surrounding civilization, such as but most certainly not limited to Bill Haley and the Comets rock, hard rock, acid rock, punk rock, so-called adult rock, misnamed soft rock, rap, blap, crap and all other associated rhythmic noise invariably and disproportionately featuring way too damn much drum, the concept of melody being replaced by looping, mindlessly repetitive and meaningless notational phrases composed by incompetent non-composers in substitution for real melodies such as Minuet in G, Mighty Like a Rose and The Sound of Music, all being accompanied by screechingly bizarre alleged harmony overlaid onto exaggeratedly, insanely raucous electric bass guitar and incomprehensible lyrics variously screamed and grunted out by profusely sweating permanently non-maturable pseudo-adults clad appropriate for the Roman games and in full seizure of pulsating, thrusting tribute to the most base, primal, bestial aspects of their dualistic animal-spiritual nature, the whole being emitted at ten thousand (10,000) blasting goddam decibels through speakers the size of Volkswagens turned up to deafening full crank, are hereby abolished pursuant to the spiritual advancement of humankind and a lasting memorial to the author of these words. Have a swell day.
* © *
Following in no particular order are some of the many books which influenced the writing of Populist Corrections. At the heart of Populist Corrections, the CaFMaC Act goes into considerable detail in spelling out specific practical solutions to our economic problems. Most of these books speak only to the problems, though they all note that our biggest single problem is absence of political will (i.e. guts) to devise solutions. That’s probably because will-less politicians can’t bear to face the only truly logical solution, which is to replace capitalism with something humane that serves everyone. I strongly recommend them all to your reading and hope you can find time to do so. But do exercise due caution – Elmore read them all, acted on what he read, and you see where it got him.
Atkinson, Anthony. Inequality: What Can Be Done? Harvard University Press, 2015.
Stiglitz, Joseph. The Great Divide: Unequal Societies and What We Can Do About Them. W.W. Norton, 2015.
Galbraith, John Kenneth. The Great Crash, 1929. Published 1954. Republished by James K. Galbraith, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2009.
Mason, Paul. Postcapitalism: A Guide to our Future. Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2015.
Faux, Jeff. The Servant Economy: Where America’s Elite is Sending the Middle Class. John Wiley and Sons, 2012.
Rifkin, Jeremy. The Third Industrial Revolution. Palgrave Macmillan, 2011.
Baradaran, Mehrsa. How the Other Half Banks. Harvard University Press, 2015.
Cowie, Jefferson. The Great exception. Princeton University Press, 2016.
Ostrom, Elinor. Governing the Commons: The Evolution of Institutions for Collective Action. Cambridge University Press, 1990.
Liu, Eric and Hanauer, Nick. The Gardens of Democracy: A New American Story of Citizenship, the Economy, and the Role of Government. Sasquatch Books, 2011.
Piketty, Thomas. Capital in the Twenty-First Century. Harvard University Press, 2014.
Daly, Herman E. and Farley, Joshua. Ecological Economics: Principles and Applications. Island Press, 2011.
Beinhocker, Eric. The Origin of Wealth. McKinsey and Company, Inc., 2006, 2007
Smith, Adam. The Wealth of Nations (1776). Bantam Classic Edition, 2003.
Klein, Naomi. This Changes Everything. Simon & Schuster, 2014.
Nader, Ralph. Only the Super Rich Can Save Us. Seven Stories Press, 2009.
Culver, John C. and Hyde, John. American Dreamer: A Life of Henry A. Wallace. W.W. Norton & Company, 2000.
Rifkin, Jeremy. Spiritual Perspectives on Globalization. Skylight Paths, 2003.
Cochran, Thomas C. and Miller, William. The Age of Enterprise (1942). Harper & Row, 1961.
Korten, David C. The Post-Corporate World: Life After Capitalism. Berrett-Koehler Publishers, 1999.
Galbraith, James K. The Predator State. Free Press, 2008.
McIntyre, Lee. Dark Ages: The Case for a Science of Human Behavior. MIT Press, 2006.
Primack, Richard B. Walden Warming: Climate Change Comes to Thoreau’s Woods. University of Chicago Press, 2014.
Wright, Robert. Nonzero: The Logic of Human Destiny. Vintage Books, 2000.
Hamilton, Clive. Requiem for a Species: Why We Resist the Truth About climate Change. Earthscan, 2010.
Kolbert, Elizabeth. The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History. Henry Holt & Co., 2014.
Huntington, Samuel P. The Clash of Civilizations: and the Remaking of World Order (1996). Simon & Schuster, 2011.
Guzman, Andrew. Overheated: The Human Cost of climate Change. Oxford University Press, 2014.
Haidt, Jonathan. The Righteous Mind: Why Good People are Divided by Politics and religion. Vintage Books, 2012.
Kahneman, Daniel. Thinking, Fast and Slow. Farrar, Strauss and Giroux, 2011.
Gore, Al. The Future: Six Drivers of Global Change. Random House, 2013.
Conoghan, Daniel and Smith, Dan. The Book of Money: Everything You Need to Know About How World Finances work. Firefly Books, 2013.
Baggott, Jim. Farewell to Reality: How Modern Physics Has Betrayed the Search for Scientific Truth. Pegasus Books, 2013.
Weisman, Alan. Countdown: Our Last, Best Hope for a Future on Earth. Little, Brown and Company, 2013.
Sagan, Carl. The Varieties of Scientific Experience. Penguin Press, 2006.
Ehrlich, Paul R. and Tobias, Michael Charles. Hope On Earth. University of Chicago Press, 2014.
Heffernan, Margaret. Willful Blindness: Why We Ignore the Obvious at Our Peril. Walker & Company, 2011.
McIntosh, Alastair. Hell and High Water: Climate Change, Hope and the Human Condition. Birlinn Limited, 2008.
Fukuyama, Francis. Our Posthuman Future: Consequences of the Biotechnology revolution. Farrar, Strauss and Giroux, 2002.
Wells, Spencer. Pandora’s Seed: The Unforeseen Cost of Civilization. Random House, 2010.
DeBono, Edward. New Think. Avon Books, 1967.
Welles, James F. The Story of Stupidity. Mount Pleasant Press, 1988.
Lloyd, John and Mitchinson, John. The book of General Ignorance. Harmony Books, 2006.
* © *
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MAJOR FIXES ARE ON THE WAY
This is the last posting of Populist corrections, but The Story’s Not Over.
Other postings will continue.
AND READERS ARE STILL INVITED TO ENTER THIRD-OPTION COMMENTS AND IDEAS. WHAT FIXES TO OUR ECONOMIC PROBLEMS CAN LIBERALS AND CONSERVATIVES BOTH AGREE ON? WE ARE ONE PEOPLE, WE MUST COME TOGETHER! THINK, NEIGHBOR, THINK HARD – OUR CHILDREN AND GRANDCHILDREN ARE DEPENDING ON US.
READERS COMMENT: Your ideas are invited for dealing with the issues addressed here. These posts present new perspectives – THIRD OPTIONS – to move beyond the conservative-liberal divide that is so poisoning our national sense of shared community. New and wiser options are always available to make life in America better for all the people. What are yours?