Alexander for Congress

Thank you to the 3400+ who voted at the polls. The counting of mail-in ballots continues and a final count will be ready on Nov 28th.    Every election precious human energy is spent trying to achieve new and better ways of living in the world. We are disappointed, but not surprised, when things stay…

Running Government

How would switching from a purely Representative Democracy to one in which the people have more direct power?  We might keep Representatives, Senators,  and other elected officials  in office, but grant them almost no power, insofar as they would only play the roles of bill sponsors, debaters, advisors, administrators and diplomats.  Each representative might be…

Role of Government

A major point of disagreement among citizens in the USA is the degree to which government should be  involved in people’s lives. Should government try to control the economy?  Some want free markets.  Others want government regulations, but in the absence of a direct democracy, the most powerful people end up making the regulations. Some…

Funding Government

What is the best way to fund government? Today most funding is provided through the Federal income tax, but this tax is not the only option, and it may not be the most efficient option.   According to Budget Director Mick Mulvaney in 2017, “The top 20 percent, pay 95 percent of the taxes.” This means…

Do-it-yourself alternative currency for small towns

I have been lately courting the Green and Libertarian parties about my running for Congress in NY District 19.  Recently, I attended a NY state Libertarian monthly meeting.  When the topic of the possible collapse of the U.S. petro-dollar came up, many people said that they had invested in gold or other commodities–or Bitcoin–in preparation…

What, exactly, is “Capitalism,” and “Ownership”?

Dictionaries usually define “capitalism” as a political/economic system in which individuals or corporations are said to have the right to “own” things and therefore get to decide pricing, production and distribution of goods produced or services rendered. There are three different kinds of ownership: 1. The right to the fruits of one’s own labor  2….

End the Federal Reserve

In 1913, the U.S. Treasury gave our country’s sovereign right to create currency to the Federal Reserve Bank (which is essentially a private commercial entity with little to no oversight from Congress). Prior to 1913, the Federal government had created money itself. These were called Greenbacks. The value of a Greenback fell dramatically during and…

Three Pillars of Society: Business, State and Charity

Much of our political discourse is about whether the government or the free market should control the basic structures of society.  Each has its role but there are three pillars of society, whose roles should be kept separate: 1. For-profit 2. Government 3. Non-profit The for-profit community provides all those goods and services that are…

What, exactly, is “Socialism”?

Dictionary definitions of “Socialism” don’t seem to fit the way it’s often used. For example Merriam Webster tells us Socialism is “collective or governmental ownership and administration of the means of production and distribution of goods,” which sounds a lot like Communism.  The term “Socialism” is most often used to describe government support for and…

Voluntarism

A civilized society is concerned with the health and safety of others and takes care of those who cannot take care of themselves, but a civilized society does not force individuals to participate in society.  According to the principle of voluntarism, a government should not, for example, force an individual to buy health insurance, nor…

Universal Basic Income

Many politicians and mainstream news outlets are telling us that our modern digital and post-industrial economy has reduced or transformed whole classes of jobs. With online shopping, retail sales jobs are disappearing; robots are replacing factory workers, and industrial farming has replaced field laborers. In response, some countries, such as Finland and Netherlands, are testing…

Public Banking

A public bank is essentially a nonprofit organization, owned by a local, state or federal government that manages its own checking/savings accounts. The Bank of North Dakota, which has been in operation since 1919 with great success, deposits all tax and fee revenue in the state bank and uses it to provide low-cost student loans,…

Sliding Scale Government Fees

Why charge sliding-scale fees for government services such as health care and education?  In the United States we currently have extreme economic disparity that has been caused, at least partially, if not mainly, by government policies.  Tax regulations that benefit interest income earners and capital gains income earners over wage earners contribute to disparity.  The…

Free Market

Some of the most well known free market philosophers are  Adam Smith,  F. A. Hayek, and Milton Friedman.  Proponents of free markets believe that individuals (should) make their own decisions about what to buy and where to work.  When this freedom/right is exercised, the market responds to supply and demand by valuing goods and labor…

Minimum Wage

In the US, while the cost of living per year has increased since 1970, the average income has not increased.  This means that a lot of people are not earning a living wage, about 30% of non-self-employed workers over eighteen, according to the Pew Research Center. Behind an increase in the number of people working…

Protection for Minorities

In a Direct Democracy the majority vote might be opposed to the minority vote, and the majority is not always right.  The majority might vote for racist policies or wars of aggression or legislation that goes against the moral view of a minority.  How does a Direct Democracy protect the minority? A Direct Democracy which…

Simplify Legislation

The “One Subject at a Time” Act currently before Congress and the Senate proposes legislation that would be needed for an effective Direct Democracy. Each bill or joint resolution would be required to have a short title that clearly describes the subject (no legislation could be called something vague, such as the “Patriot Act”).  Under…

Mob rule

The votes of an uninformed majority are more likely to overwhelm the votes of  better informed voters in a system in which people vote for politicians/parties, not actual legislation. Currently, we give over the power to make decisions to leaders who are often elected on the basis of name recognition alone, or party affiliation alone,…

Land & Finite Resources Tax

Unlike the value that people create themselves through labor and investment, land and other natural resources (e.g., minerals, old growth forests, airspace, water, fossil fuels) are in some sense owned by all current and future residents of a community. Some argue that these finite natural resources should be taxed, while leaving the capital improvements (buildings,…

Separation of Business and State

Corporate leaders become politicians; politicians become corporate leaders. Weapons contractors lobby politicians for more war. Prison contractors lobby for tougher sentencing.  Private intelligence companies advise the State Department on foreign policy, policy which in turn benefits the intelligence companies. The Central Intelligence Agency hires Amazon to store sensitive information in its cloud. The largest corporations…

Campaign Financing

Should the U.S. follow the example of several other countries and make paid  campaign ads on TV Illegal?  What about spending any money at all on a campaign, referendum, or lobbyist? How would democracy fare if there were no campaign donations, no paid advertising, no paid campaign staff or paid petition gatherers? Only volunteers? Or…

Online Voting

Online elections would make it very convenient for people to participate in a Direct Democracy. However, given that election fraud is more likely to occur with electronic voting, especially with machines made by Diebold and ES&S, there is room for concern that online votes can also be hacked. Both election fraud and voter fraud might…

Ranked voting

Most developed nations have multiple political parties, not just two. Protecting voters against the “wasted third-party vote” syndrome could be accomplished with ranked choice voting. See Fair Vote, the non-profit organization that is leading the charge to pass RCV nationally. With ranked choice voting, if your first choice doesn’t win, your vote goes to your…

Anti-Monopoly Laws

Anti-Trust Laws were conceived to break up big monopolies in order to allow fair competition between similar companies and guarantee consumers fair prices and quality products.   This assumes that competition leads to best practices and encourages innovation. Some claim that anti-trust laws are used mainly by smaller businesses suing larger more competitive businesses, in…

Trade Tariffs

When the USA was first formed, income from trade tariffs provided 95% of the funds needed to run government. By the 1915, only 30% of the Federal budget was provided through trade tariffs, and currently only  about 1% of the Federal budget is provided by tariffs. Advocates of trade tariffs say they tend to encourage…