Why I am running as an Independent:
For decades now, I feel as if we have been represented by, at best, a party and one quarter, a far cry from a 2 party system. Beneath the furor of partisan wars, most Americans agree on fundamental issues facing the country. Large majorities say government should ensure some form of universal health care, it should do more to mitigate global warming, that the rich should pay higher taxes, that racial inequality is a significant problem, that workers should have the right to join unions, that immigrants are a good thing for American life, that the federal government is plagued by corruption. These majorities have remained strong for years, but not effectively represented. The readiness, the demand for action, is new. Let's take action! Paraphrased from The Atlantic, 10/2020
Deregulation is the father of fascism
NATIVE HAWAIIAN AFFAIRS
Native Hawaiians voices must be heard and given quarter in Washington, D.C. Their culture needs to be protected and allowed to flourish without impediment. They also must have housing assistance and I support legislation that provides it. In the struggle for sovereignty, I want to help find common-sense solutions that are palatable to all parties concerned. I will ensure that the federal government meets its trust responsibility to Native Hawaiians, including ensuring parity with other Native Americans in bills passed by Congress. I support mandatory federal consultation with Native Hawaiian organizations on all relevant federal actions and processes. I will sponsor and/or support legislation to reauthorize the Native Hawaiian Health Care Improvement Act, the Native Hawaiian Education Act, and the full Native American Housing Assistance and Self-Determination Act, including Title VIII.
In 1982, President Reagan began massive deregulation of the media. Back then we had about 54 media companies, today we have primarily six major ones. The media has to be broken up, the number of broadcasting stations (Radio and / or TV stations) owned by one person or company has to be limited to one per major market, not seven like it is today. The consolidation that has occurred over three decades has to be reversed. Check here for timeline of global media mega mergers, 1986 - 2004
BANKING & FINANCIAL SERVICES
This is another industry that has radically over consolidated. The savings and loan crisis of the 1980's and 1990's (commonly dubbed the S&L crisis) was the failure of 1,043 out of the 3,234 savings and loan associations (S&Ls) in the United States from 1986 to 1995. This collapse was fed by a collapse in the real estate market and resulted in consolidation of banks. The consolidation of savings and loan banks made it harder for the less well off in small communities to access banks and loans needed to build business. Further consolidation of banks and financial services occurred in 1999 when President Clinton signed he Financial Services Modernization Act (FSMA). It repealed large parts of the Glass-Steagall Act that separated commercial and investment banking since 1933. The number of commercial banks in the United States had already fallen from 14,000 in 1984 to fewer than 9,000 in 1999. The FSMA set us up for the collapse and great recession of 2008 - 2009. They have to be broken up. Look at deregulation this way: In 1980, there were about 9,000 companies listed on the New York Stock Exchange, today there are about 2,950. This means the money is heavily consolidated and it is a major contributor of income and wealth inequality.
I support and favor a hybrid system that includes Federal government subsidizing medical school & nursing school for highly qualified students. The US has a severe doctor shortage with only 870,900 doctors of medicine to serve a total population of 330 million. This is why I propose that the government subsidize medical school. I believe this will help bring medical care costs down in a relatively short period of time. It would mean that new doctors would not have to charge increasingly high prices for care in order to pay off their school loans. Our system should be a fully-integrated network of public hospitals, private hospitals, doctors and other medical service providers, a universal service providing health care for every citizen, irrespective of wealth, age or social status. Right now, health insurance companies are posting record-breaking profits. UnitedHealth alone raked in $13.9 billion profit in 2019. Shouldn't those premium dollars go for patient care? Health insurance companies spend an average of 30% of their revenue on marketing, again, funds that should be directed to patient care.
From Mother Jones, 9/9/2020: "In August of 2020, Dr. Zachary Sussman went to Physicians Premier ER in Austin for a COVID-19 antibody test, he assumed he would get a freebie because he was a doctor for the chain. Instead, the free-standing emergency room charged his insurance company an astonishing $10,984 for the visit—and got paid every penny, with no pushback. Dr. Sussman knew the testing materials only cost about $8." This is the kind of waste and to me, criminal price gouging, that has to stop.
Another topic of great concern that must be addressed, is another health care system issue. Analyzing medical death rate data over an eight-year period, Johns Hopkins patient safety experts calculated that more than 250,000 deaths per year are due to medical error in the U.S. It is now the 3rd leading cause of death in the US. Diagnostic errors, under trained pharmaceutical personnel, surgeries that are not needed, fragmented insurance networks, under use of safety nets and adherence to protocols, and certain physician practice patterns that lack accountability, are just some of the issues that lead to unnecessary deaths. Read more about Johns Hopkins Study here. These errors also expose civil litigation issues and the ability of victims to seek legal remedy for medical errors. Legislation is needed to protect victims who do not have the where with all to hire a legal team to confront the mal-practice insurance lawyers.
The EPA needs to be given rules and regulations with teeth that are enforceable. The EPA needs to be reformed and strengthened. The EPA warns that its own proposals, proposals it is required to present to this administration, would relax limits on greenhouse gas emissions for power plants. The EPA's own estimates state that this could cause another 1,630 premature deaths annually by 2030. This is akin to voluntary manslaughter. We know that environmental damage like this hits native communities the hardest. In addition, taking aim at stripping person hood away from corporations would help our environment tremendously. They would no longer be allowed to destroy and pollute the planet for profit saying it is their constitutional right as a person. I have never seen a person be in all 50 states and other countries all over the world at the same time. Corporations don't have birth certificates, either.
SOCIAL MEDIA & PRIVACY
You will not currently find me on Facebook or other social media platforms, perhaps to my own detriment, but I believe they have become very harmful to our society. Perhaps the biggest restriction of social media is that everything we see is consciously planned, either by humans or an algorithm. The content that is posted is done so with clear intent and has been targeted. And the content we actually see has been targeted to fit within some data-driven pigeonhole that an algorithm has decided represents us. What we’re missing is the unplanned, the unexpected and the unintended. I think regulations on these platforms has to be considered. As Edward Snowden said of privacy, "Data isn’t harmless, data isn’t abstract when it’s about people. Almost all the data being collected today is about people. It is not data that is being exploited, it’s people that are being exploited. It’s not data in networks being influenced or manipulated, it is you being manipulated." He is right and we need to make laws against overreaching collection of our personal data. Having a permanent record of everything you've bought, looked at online, e-mails, etc., is simply not safe, there is no privacy. In WWII, the Nazis were able to round up Jewish folks easily thanks to meticulous record keeping and local knowledge. Records included those created by Jewish communities of their members, parish records of Protestant and Catholic churches (for converted Jews), government tax records and registries of Jews compiled by local, collaborating police. All of us having very large digital footprints to exploit is not safe for us individually or as a country.
First of all, we have always invited immigrants into our country. Remember the poem on the Statue of Liberty, "Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free". To effectively solve our immigration issues, we must first acknowledge our culpability in creating the problem. Our southern border seems to be the one of the most concern. We must first recognize that people fleeing north to our border, are literally running for their lives from oppression, lack of economic opportunity, brutal drug cartel wars and government corruption. Many of the same reasons immigrants came from Europe to the new world. In broad stroke terms, if so many folks here did not like cocaine, if we did not hire cheap labor to pick our crops, and domestic workers to clean houses and raise children, etc., the appeal and things that draw people to our border would diminish. I think we have to begin to advance our thinking and look at legalizing some drugs that are sold here via the Latin America supply chain. Marijuana is simply not a schedule 1 drug and should be legalized federally for recreational use. Cocaine and heroin need to be legalized, 90% of heroin sold in the US comes from Mexico. I understand to most, that this view may seem beyond the pale, but it is necessary to remove the incentives for making huge amounts of money via illegal operations. We need to work diligently with all of the countries involved and come up with solutions to fix this crime epidemic and vicious cycle. I understand there are other issues with our immigration policy, the ones I mention above, to me, are the spearhead of where to start, specifically for the southern border.
MORE PLATFORM ISSUES ON 'PLATFORM CONTINUED' PAGE.