Chapter 12: Fed abolished; New top priorities for wellbeing of all American citizens
In recent years, the labor market has been marked by a shift… to new forms of contingent work. For most people this new world turns out to offer mainly insecurity… workers have lost their status as employees, including legal protections and eligibility for social insurance. New scheduling…makes life insupportably unpredictable. Employers… discovered they could circumvent 20th-century labor protections by contracting with workers rather than employing them.
– David Bensman (in The American Prospect)
THE CAPITALIST FREE MARKET CORRECTION ACT (CaFMaC)
* * CaFMaC Fixes [almost] Everything * *
Section 36. (of the Capitalist Free Market Corrections Act – CaFMaC)
Plain English for the Voting Citizen: 1) A new federal agency will determine how many humans can be accommodated in every section of the United States, and will pass this information to every local jurisdiction in the USA. 2) From now on U.S. yearly immigration quotas will be set according to our remaining carrying capacity and without reference to any economic considerations whatsoever. 3) Immigrants from foreign countries will be accepted subject to their agreement to settle only in areas that aren’t overpopulated already and remain there at least five years. 4) All foreign “guest worker” programs are abolished; it’s hard enough trying to ensure jobs for all our own citizens who were born legal. 5) The U.S. Constitution’s Bill of Rights applies only to legal citizens of the United States. 6) U.S. Military units will prevent illegal immigration. 7) A one-time general amnesty will accept existing illegal immigrants who register and comply with all the rules for becoming U.S. citizens. 8) Thereafter, all detained illegal border crossers will be acquainted with our rules on legal immigration and immediately sent back where they came from, with only limited exceptions for humanitarian cases
The Congressional blather version: There is hereby created the United States Environmental Carrying Capacity Project (USECCP). The USECCP shall within one (1) year quantitatively establish and thereafter annually update the environmental and infrastructural carrying capacity for human occupation of every census district, county, subregion, region and state in the United States. Under policy direction and supervision of the Cooperative Research and Technological Development Administration (CRTDA), the USECC Project shall be implemented by the U.S. Census Bureau with advice and unqualified support from the National Park Service, the Bureau of Land Management, the Department of Transportation, the National Interest Advisory Council (NIAC), from every other federal department and agency the NIAC designates as possessing relevant data and information, and from all universities and institutions which possess relevant and objective data and information and so advise the NIAC.
All national parks, state parks, wetlands, forests, arid lands, and other environmentally protected and/or designated environmentally at-risk lands and wildlife habitats of every nature and designation throughout the United States shall be exempted and excluded from the project’s designation of carrying capacities. For all other areas clear distinction shall be made between carrying capacity of the natural environment per se and manmade infrastructure, such as but not limited to bridges, schools and levees which have aged to obsolescence and/or danger-of-use because of failure at any level of government to properly maintain or replace that aging infrastructure. The project shall particularly highlight all areas which at present are either above or below their environmental carrying capacity, and this information shall be made widely available free of charge to public media, all federal agencies, state governments and other institutions of every nature.
Congress hereby acknowledging that the United States population is maldistributed and is, in common with most other nations, overpopulated beyond the environmental and infrastructural carrying capacity in many geographical regions and areas, effective upon passage of this Act the annually-designated sum of all by-country quotas for legal foreign immigration into the United States shall be set strictly on a basis of the aggregate carrying capacity of our nation’s environment and infrastructure without reference to immigration’s impact, or lack of it, on the U.S. economy or on economic growth. Secondary and tertiary immigration priorities, such as but not limited to educational and technical expertise, economic contribution potential and humanitarian considerations, shall be subordinate to first-priority emphasis on the carrying capacity of environment and infrastructure, and in no United States region or subregion shall that capacity be exceeded by foreign immigration to that region or subregion.
The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service shall adopt new guidelines for accepting legal immigrants subject to immigrants’ agreement to settle in a subregion that is not already so overpopulated, and to remain in that subregion for not less than five years, and the U.S. Department of Labor shall assist such immigrants to find employment and housing in such subregion. Given this Act’s requirement that all co-op employees shall be United States citizens, a foreign national legally present in the United States and seeking employment may be employed only by private sole ownership or partnership businesses until such time as that immigrant acquires U.S. citizenship, and Living Wage provisions required by this Act shall apply to every employment situation.
Foreign guest worker programs of every nature and description are hereby abolished. The Congress hereby acknowledges that the H-1 and H-2 temporary worker visa programs, in all their iterations and varieties of so-called guest worker arrangements, constitute a nefarious device which many U.S. employers knowingly have used and continue to use to exploit, rob and abuse foreign temporary workers to degrees barely distinguishable from slavery, to use these programs to suppress wages to intolerably low levels, and to drive these jobs out of the normal U.S. job market whereby they could otherwise be filled by U.S. citizens while using circular argument to claim that they must import foreign temporary workers because U.S. workers decline to work in these low-wage jobs. The Congress further notes that the Living Wage requirement mandated by this Act would soon render these programs moot in any case, and that this Act sets forth appropriate penalties for U.S. employers who so criminally use their own government to so brutalize and exploit their fellow humans who aspire only to raise their lives above destitution.
The Congress hereby affirms that the U.S. Constitution’s Bill of Rights, and the associated and evolved civil rights and all laws enacted and regulations adopted pursuant thereto, apply to, and only to, legal citizens of the United States. These Constitutional rights of all U.S. citizens are expressly exclusive of, and are unrelated to, the existing and customary privileges which are extended to foreign nationals who are legally present in the U.S. as visiting guests or under diplomatic immunity, and neither these privileges nor the Bill of Rights is applicable to any foreign national who illegally enters the United States and thereby acts out personal contempt for the immigration laws rightfully enacted by the world’s first nation to be founded on the primacy of laws.
Existing enforcement of U.S. laws prohibiting illegal immigration shall be reinforced by the many military units returning home from foreign deployments, as provided in this Act, by their strategic placement in encampments along U.S. land borders, by securing U.S. ports and air terminals, and by patrolling U.S. coastal waters. Upon implementation of these actions the shores, ports, air terminals and land borders of the United States shall be rigorously managed to ensure that the only immigrants entering this country are those who fully comply with our reasonable immigration laws and rules, thereby showing their respect for U.S. laws and their worthiness to seek U.S. citizenship if they so choose. Any U.S. citizen displaying disrespect for our nation’s reasonable immigration laws and rules by hiring illegal immigrants as cheap labor in violation of U.S. labor and immigration laws shall, upon conviction, be sentenced to eighteen (18) months in Gambling School.
Congress hereby declares a one-time general amnesty, to be conducted during the six (6) months following passage of this Act, to accommodate those foreign nationals illegally resident in the United States who register and fully comply with all amnesty regulations and provisions, including required enrollment in the process for becoming United States citizens, learning English as a second language and acquiring legal employment.
Effective upon expiration of this six (6) month amnesty and thereafter, excepting only foreign nationals who hold diplomatic immunity or visa privileges, any foreign national found to be in violation of the provisions of this nation’s one-time amnesty, or of any other U.S. legal immigration requirement, shall be immediately deported to the country of origin, with the sole exception that if a designated deportee declares that deportation to the home country threatens life or liberty, that declaration shall be adjudicated by a Deportation Special Review Board (DSRB) hereby established for the purpose and, if the DSRB sustains the deportee’s declaration, that refugee may be granted temporary asylum at a specified location, and with a specified limited range of movement, within the United States for up to two years and subject to readjudication. Upon termination of this amnesty, and without exception, no person who thereafter enters the United States by illegal means of any nature may be granted permanent asylum, apply for citizenship or qualify for visa privileges. Children born to persons illegally present in the United States shall not be eligible for designation as United States citizens unless and until their parents attain legal presence within the United States.
With this measure it is the intent of Congress, to the benefit of the common good of the nation and of equal treatment and opportunity for all U.S. citizens as well as all foreign immigrants, to terminate once and for all the disruptive uncertainties resulting from uncontrolled immigration abetted by U.S. employers who flout the national interest and the common good by exploiting the ultra-cheap labor of illegal and vulnerable foreign immigrants.
Section 37. (of the Capitalist Free Market Corrections Act – CaFMaC)
Plain English for the Voting Citizen: 1) The Cooperatives Bank of America (CBA) is created as the nation’s central financial and banking agency with responsibility to serve the economic interests of all (ALL) the people. 2) It replaces the Federal Reserve system which is summarily abolished. 3) The CBA will promote co-ops as the heart of the United States economy and will ensure that they serve the common interests of all the people which actually means ALL the people. 4) As a natural monopoly and a public utility of utmost interest to the nation and every citizen, the CBA will be governed only by the federal government, Amen.
The Congressional blather version: The Cooperatives Bank of America (CBA) is hereby created and chartered as the central financial and banking agency of the United States, with a mandate to incorporate and exercise immediate control as it deems necessary over all relevant functions of the Federal Reserve System and its governing Federal Reserve Board which are hereby abolished. No employee or representative of the abolished Federal Reserve System or any member or representative of its abolished governing board, or any contractor that has been engaged by the System or its board, may be employed by, contracted by, voluntarily work for, or advise in any capacity whatsoever, the Cooperatives Bank of America or any of its subordinate agencies for a period of not less than twenty (20) years.
The CBA shall have as its core missions 1) to vigorously promote, advise and assist formation of cooperatives in every (every) sector of the United States economy, and 2) to provide incentives and close oversight to ensure that all co-op operations are conducted continuously and exclusively in the common interests of all the people of the United States. The CBA is created as and shall ever be a public utility as well as a natural monopoly which may be governed only by the federal government. The Congress hereby recognizes that banking, just like water and sewer systems, is in fact a public utility, a trust that is deeply responsible to the public interest of all the people, meaning the common good of the nation as a whole and all its communities individually, and the nation’s network of banking functions shall never again be treated as if it were a private industry subject only to the presumed restraint of the hare-brained idea called “market discipline.”
Section 38. (of the Capitalist Free Market Corrections Act – CaFMaC)
Plain English for the Voting Citizen: 1) The CBA will establish branches in every corner of the nation to teach employees how to operate co-ops, and will encourage co-ops to form regional self-help networks and assist them in doing so. 2) The CBA will promote credit unions that serve all (ALL) the people. 3) With very few exceptions so-called “proprietary information” is abolished in favor of full and open information sharing among co-ops. 4) Co-op banks are not allowed to lobby, not anybody nohow.
The Congressional blather version: The Cooperatives Bank of America shall within four months after enactment of this legislation establish local branches in every state, sub-state region, territory and U.S. possession, and shall directly supervise the U.S. Department of Commerce which is hereby incorporated as a subordinate agency of the CBA. The CBA and its branches shall, as highest initial priorities, 1) immediately establish and arrange systemic training for the employees of every U.S. for-profit organization which employs twenty or more people on how to purchase, take possession of, operate, and retire all indebtedness of the organization for which they currently work, excepting only private sole ownerships and partnerships commanding less than five percent (5%) of their markets, and 2) shall establish incentives for co-ops to form regional networks and consortia that enhance their buying power, inventory control and quality assurance. All co-op branch banks exist to serve all the communities in the respective sub-state regions within which the branches are located. The central CBA shall ensure the financial stability of all CBA branch banks and shall closely monitor their activities to guarantee that CBA branch activities throughout the nation conform fully to the purposes and intent of this legislation.
Most modern credit unions having evolved well beyond and far from their original New Deal mission to serve the many American poor who were then unserved by conventional banks and left to the tender mercies of payday loan sharks for their legitimate small-scale borrowing needs, and Congress having subsequently invented Community Development Credit Unions (CDCU) to solve this problem but having caused its own creation to fail to solve it or thrive by chronically underfunding CDCUs, and payday loan sharks having returned with a vengeance in modern America to once again leech off the meager means of America’s poor whose numbers are once again rapidly rising, and in Congressional recognition that the root cause of poverty is inadequate income relative to the actual costs of subsistence living, Congress hereby mandates that the Cooperatives Bank of America shall oversee and ensure the adequate funding, financial stability and successful operation of CDCUs until the Living Wage and adequate retirement income guaranteed by this Act take effect and thereby eliminate all need for special subsidies for the poor who have been made poor by being paid less or much less than a Living Wage for their labors.
Exempting only private sole ownerships and partnerships commanding less than five percent (5%) of their markets, the concept of proprietary information is hereby abolished in the United States and is replaced by a concept of information sharing in the common public interest. It is the intent of Congress that, by linking themselves both regionally and nationwide, co-op networks shall continuously share among themselves and their member branch co-ops practical information through a What Works Best (WWB) program, and shall share information on their respective inventions, innovations and learning throughout the nationwide network with all other co-ops, and eliminate to the maximum extent possible all brokers and wholesale distributors who produce nothing of tangible value and whose functions can be replaced by co-ops. Co-op banks, by any name and regardless how constituted, are strictly prohibited from any form of lobbying whatsoever as provided by lobbying limitations specified elsewhere in this Act.
Section 39. (of the Capitalist Free Market Corrections Act – CaFMaC)
Plain English for the Voting Citizen: 1) The National Interest Advisory Council (NIAC) is created to serve as a principal advisor to the President while broadly representing public-interest organizations. 2) The NIAC’s first assignment is to create an Index of Prosperity and Wellbeing (IPW) to elucidate the qualitative values of all Americans, replacing GDP as a presumed measure of human wellbeing. 3) After each census the NIAC and the NIAC alone will redraw the boundaries of all Congressional districts in the USA, subject to a referendum in each district as re-drawn.
The Congressional blather version: There is hereby created the National Interest Advisory Council (NIAC). Members of the NIAC shall consist of representatives from non-profit organizations, jointly selected by the President and this Congress, which are clearly dedicated to public service, to the public interest, and to conservation of nature and natural resources, and which have existed organizationally in the United States for not less than ten (10) years at the time this legislation is enacted. Some examples of such organizations include and are not limited to the Union of Concerned Scientists, Friends of the Earth, National Science Foundation, Citizens for Science in the Public Interest, the Red Cross, The Nature Conservancy, the Audubon Society, National Center for Science Education, Greenpeace, the Sierra Club, Environmental Defense Fund, Wilderness Society, American Civil Liberties Union, the Interfaith Alliance, Americans for Separation of church and State, National Wildlife Federation, Blue Planet, and comparable public interest organizations, provided that eligibility for NIAC membership shall require not less than ten thousand (10,000) voluntary citizen members as credible evidence that the organization truly represents a significant sector of the American public and public sentiments.
The NIAC shall serve as a principal advisor to the President on all matters concerning the common public interests of all United States citizens, and shall from its aggregate membership elect ten (10) persons to serve on the governing board for the Cooperatives Bank of America. The NIAC is hereby directed to formulate within one (1) year, with unprecedentedly widespread citizen input, an Index of Prosperity and Wellbeing (IPW) which meaningfully summarizes and quantifies the shared long-term qualitative non-monetary values of a majority of United States citizens. Gross Domestic Product and comparable contrived measures based primarily on economic and monetary values are expressly banned for use in determining the wellbeing of the United States and its citizens.
Within six (6) months after final tabulation of each United States decennial census the NIAC shall, with maximum attainable neutrality, and unrelated to any (meaning any) previous partisan considerations, redraw the boundaries of all (meaning bygod absolutely all) Congressional districts in each and every state, and the neutral redistricting plan thus produced shall be submitted to a referendum vote in each state’s next election which is open to all the people of the state, respectively, in which any district was redrawn.
Section 40. (of the Capitalist Free Market Corrections Act – CaFMaC)
Plain English for the Voting Citizen: 1) The CBA will constantly assess economic wellbeing and the public interest in every part of the nation, and will help co-ops respond in areas evidencing unmet needs.
The Congressional blather version: The Cooperatives Bank of America shall continuously monitor economic data and business activity within the United States to identify and prioritize sectors and niches which require governmental attention pursuant to the best interests of the citizens of the United States, and shall instigate grants, loans and other incentives for existing or new co-ops to respond vigorously to unmet needs in those sectors and niches.
Section 41. (of the Capitalist Free Market Corrections Act – CaFMaC)
Plain English for the Voting Citizen: 1) The CBA will establish incentives for co-ops to address U.S. policy priorities. 2) The CBA will assess progress toward priorities each four years and distribute the results one year before each presidential election.
The Congressional blather version: The Cooperatives Bank of America shall establish strong incentives for co-ops to pursue high U.S. priorities on 1) improved education, 2) development of new technology, 3) manufacturing of all goods and provision of all services needed by U.S. households and U.S. manufacturers, and 4) enhanced personal self sufficiency of all U.S. citizens. The Government Accountability Office (GAO) shall revisit these and all other national priorities at least once within each four (4) year span to assess how well they remain relevant, given unpredictable changes in society and in the earth environment. Each four-year assessment shall be completed one year before each presidential election, and shall be provided to every Presidential candidate, to the Congress and to the American people via the public media.
Section 42. (of the Capitalist Free Market Corrections Act – CaFMaC)
Plain English for the Voting Citizen: 1) The CBA will ensure that all banks and other types of lenders nationwide offer only simple savings, checking and loan functions, and hold a safe level of reserves.
The Congressional blather version: The Cooperatives Bank of America through its bank regulation function shall rigorously ensure that all co-ops engaged in the business of banking, and that all (if any) remaining conventional banks, savings and loan establishments, and other financial and mortgage lenders of any nature whatsoever doing business in the United States at the time this legislation is enacted which have not yet been converted to co-ops under the Five Percent Rule, do limit their business functions to consist exclusively of 1) savings accounts, 2) checking accounts, and 3) secured loans and mortgages 4) to local citizens and enterprises, while 5) retaining at all times not less than forty-five percent (45%) of their deposits in reserve, thereby raising the nation’s banking reserve from the existing ludicrous mere three percent (3%), in order to ensure realistic security for both depositers and the national economy, and to greatly reduce the need for and risks of overnight and short-term borrowing throughout the U.S. banking system. With reasonable depositor security thus assured, Federal Deposit Insurance is hereby reduced to cover the remaining fifty-five percent (55%).
Section 43. (of the Capitalist Free Market Corrections Act – CaFMaC)
Plain English for the Voting Citizen: 1) Anybody who tries to push bank operations beyond the very basic banking functions is going to have big trouble.
The Congressional blather version: A person convicted of extending or attempting to extend bank operations beyond the three functions of 1) savings, 2) checking and 3) local loans, of making loans without reasonable security, of reducing deposit reserves below forty-five percent (45%), of devising a financial instrument of any nature whatsoever that is too complex to be readily understood by any normally literate depositor or buyer, or of any other forms of stealing or speculating with other peoples’ money, shall be sentenced to not less than, and quite possibly more than, one year in Poverty School plus one year in Gambling School.
Section 44. (of the Capitalist Free Market Corrections Act – CaFMaC)
Plain English for the Voting Citizen: 1) Calling employees “contractors” to get out of paying them fair wages and benefits is not allowed. 2) Every business will pay a living Wage and fringe benefits to every employee employed over fourteen hours a week. 3) Unemployment not exceeding one percent is the target for the USA. 4) The Department of Labor will guarantee useful public employment for job seekers who can’t find a job. 5) Welfare programs no longer needed after workers are earning a Living Wage will be quickly terminated. 6) Defining basic economic necessities as economic rights and ensuring them to every American is the Third American Revolution.
The Congressional blather version: Congress hereby abolishes with contempt the burgeoning practice of misdefining employees as “independent contractors.” A worker who has no choice but to comply with a business’s rules in order to get paid for work performed for that business is hereby defined as an employee of that business. Every business enterprise of every nature which acquires and engages working persons in order to reap a surplus of income over expenses shall pay, as defined by this Act, a living wage and a full array of employee benefits to every such person so engaged more than fourteen (14) hours per week, and every such person shall be deemed an employee of that business enterprise. Benefits shall be portable and cumulative for employees so engaged by enterprises whose business is of an inherently part-time nature, such as taxis, and all employers shall make pro rata payments for all their employees into benefit accounts mandated by applicable federal agencies.
The United States Government shall henceforth target an unemployment rate of zero percent (0%) but may view as acceptable a real unemployment rate of one percent (1%) using the established methods for counting how many people are out of work, how many of those would like to work if they could, and how many of those are actively trying to find work. The Department of Labor shall guarantee public employment at a living wage to job seekers for whom a job cannot be found in a co-op or the private sector, and all such public jobs shall meet criteria that they are socially useful and meaningfully contribute to the betterment of their fellow Americans. Congress hereby declares that full employment, although an important societal goal, does not alone end poverty or the suffering and lasting societal disadvantage which attend poverty, unless every working person receives wages at least sufficient for the purchase of life’s basic necessities. These basic life necessities shall be known as Economic Rights, and the corresponding sufficiency of wages shall be known as a Living Wage, both as defined in this Act.
All federal welfare programs which are rendered moot and no longer needed as a result of beneficial wage and benefit changes mandated by this CaFMaC Act shall terminate sixty (60) days after the date on which the President certifies to the Congress that 1) not less than a Living Wage and attendant fringe benefits are being paid to every person employed in the United States as provided in this Act, 2) an adequate retirement benefit is guaranteed to every U.S. citizen as provided in this Act, 3) federally-administered single-payor universal health care insurance covers every citizen of the United States at a rate which is affordable within the Living Wage commensurate with the Economic Rights of every American citizen as provided in this Act, and 4) the Economic Rights of every American citizen are in fact assured as provided in this Act.
With these measures it is the intent of Congress to recognize consummation, at long last, of the Founding Fathers’ full intentions in adopting a constitutional democratic republic, an historic accomplishment which constitutes The Third American Revolution. Whereas the first American revolution established the primacy of political freedom from an unelected monarch’s political tyranny and exploitive economic colonialism, and the second American revolution established that no state may secede from this constitutional Union based on specious claims by a wealthy controlling few that they are free to deprive fellow Americans of their freedom simply because of the color of their skin, this Third American Revolution firmly establishes for all future time that basic economic adequacy for every American shall be ensured as a vital prerequisite to the free exercise of political rights inasmuch as true freedom consists of economic and political rights coexisting as the two sides of a single, precious, coin. As, from New York harbor, Liberty’s iconic shining light continues sending forth to all nations of the world the endless hope of America’s transcendent ideals, a chain lying broken at her feet, these ideals shall be taught to American school children at every grade level henceforth in perpetuity.
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READERS COMMENT: Your ideas are invited for dealing with the issues addressed in this post. These posts attempt to 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? Be concise, use up to 200 words. Have a swell day.
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