Over the past few weeks I’ve been rolling thoughts over in my mind as to how we might work toward a “more just society.” Will any of these ideas impact the broad economy and/or individual portfolios? I hope so. There is no particular order of importance and in later posts I may amplify on a few points, depending on comments or new suggestions. This blog post is definitely outside the primary focus of this blog, yet some of these questions, ideas and concerns likely impact each of us financially.
Where possible, I am posting this issues as questions as I don’t have answers – or at least incomplete answers and ideas.
- Climate Change: Would we have a more just society and world if we were to take climate change seriously? A primary problem facing the human race is climate change. While there are outliers on this subject, the jury has given us a verdict. It is a major problem. Nearly 20 years ago I visited the Mendenhall Glacier, just outside Juneau, Alaska. As we were bused to the main visitor view point, we saw signs along the way pointing out where the face of the glacier was not that many years ago. In the last 70 years the glacier has receded over 10 miles. When we finally arrived at the visitor overlook, the glacier was still a few miles away. This is just one example of how the earth is warming. The Palmer glacier on Mt. Hood is another example as it is steadily shrinking. How will a more just society work to combat climate change?
- Multiple Political Parties: Could we benefit from more than two political parties? Would we have a more just society if we were to have more than two political parties? For example, assume we had these five. a) Republican b) Democrat c) Environmental or Green d) Libertarian e) Democratic Socialist. Democratic Socialist is quite different from a Socialist party. In addition to five or more parties, would it make sense to employ Rank Choice voting? Take a little time to investigate rank choice voting as it has merit.
- Campaign Finance Reform: Should we finance political campaigns with public money and remove private and corporation dollars? The basic idea is to get money and graft out of politics as much as possible.
- Tuition Free Education: Should we strive for tuition free higher education to state institutions as was the case in California in the 1950s and early 1960s? To those who say it cannot be done, think about how it was accomplished in the past. An alternative is a very liberal means test so those who can afford will pay something for their education. Is this a goal worth striving for?
- Abolish The Electoral College: Should we abolish the Electoral College and let every vote count equally in national elections?
- Healthcare: Does single payer for healthcare make sense? One possible option is the following. Each calendar year, lower eligibility for Medicare by three years. Allow for the option where individuals can remain with their private health insurance company or seek insurance from another firm.
- Social Security Reform: Should a “more just society” have a social security program? How can one keep the current program solvent? One option is to remove the current cap to pay in and change nothing else. Cap the monthly payout at some amount to be determined.
- Tax Code: Should the tax code be rewritten? Should every citizen and corporation be required to pay a minimum tax?
- Voter Suppression: How does a fair and just society tackle voter suppression?
- Income Inequality: With robots and artificial intelligence eliminating more and more jobs every year, is it time to consider an annual wage for every U.S. citizen?
These ten questions only begin to scratch the surface of what it means to have a fair and equitable society. Place your ideas in the Comment section either here or over on the Forum. Add your own questions and please comment on these ten. More will be added in Part II. If we end up with too many Comments we can switch over to the Forum for additional discussions. Give some serious thought as to how we might create a “more just society.”