Alexander for Congress 2018

I’m Victoria Alexander. I’m running for Congress from New York’s 19th district, which includes Columbia, Delaware, Greene, Otsego, Schoharie, Sullivan, and Ulster counties and parts of Broome, Dutchess, Montgomery and Rensselaer counties. If elected, I will ask my constituents to vote on each bill using a secure online blockchain system. If there is at least 30% participation, I will vote according to the majority.  My main role will be as advisor and educator.

I am an Independent, running on the Libertarian ballot line.  I am seeking support from both Libertarian and Green voters, who have approximately the same goals but different ideas about how to achieve them. My goal, which unites us all, is to try to decentralize the power that has been concentrated in the hands of the few.  These are the first changes I want to try to make together:

Simplify Legislation.   I support the One Subject at a Time Act H.R. 4335, which will make it possible for all voters (as well as representatives) to read and understand the bills that go before Congress before voting on them.

End the Wars. We simply cannot afford the terrible loss of human life, damage to the environment, financial expense and refugee crises that U.S. involvement in foreign affairs causes. I advocate slashing the military and intelligence budgets to a figure adequate for maintaining a strong defense only. Funding wars and making surplus offensive weaponry creates enemies making us less safe, not more safe. To decrease our vulnerability to attack, we should also strive toward energy independence and decentralize and localize our communication, energy, and food production systems.  I support the Repeal of the Authorization for Use of Force H. R. 1229.

End the Fed. Phase out government-supported fractional-reserve banking. Institute a National Public Bank, which has the power to create U.S. Treasury dollars for public infrastructure projects — roads, mass transit, utilities, schools, broadband, and hospitals — eliminating the need to tax or to borrow from private banks for these projects. These Treasury dollars will be backed by the value of the infrastructure that will return user fees. Phasing out the Federal Reserve will stop the flow of new cheap money to big banks and big corporations and will help us eliminate income tax for most Americans.  I support the Federal Reserve Board Abolition Act H.R. 2755.

Criminal Justice Reform. Decriminalize drugs and end the imprisonment of all non-violent offenders. Focus on restorative justice rather than retribution and require all convicted criminals to perform community service to support and rebuild poor communities. Racial bias and economic discrimination in our current criminal justice system is a leading contributor to poverty, crime and drug abuse. If we fix the criminal justice system, we can also fix many economic and social problems in the process. I support the Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol Act H. R. 1013 .

Impose Tariffs on Imports. Tariffs tend to encourage domestic production of goods and keep wealth circulating domestically.  It is the circulation of wealth, not so much the amount of wealth in existence, that results in more products and more improvements. Shipping raw materials far distances to be made into cheap products by cheap labor is energy inefficient, increases pollution, and encourages over-consumption and waste. Tariffs could once again be the sole source of funds for government administration expenses and define their limit. Free trade agreements mainly benefit stock-holders in multinational corporations, not the consumer. Free trade not only hurts U.S. workers but can also adversely affect the local economies of trading partners and force migration to the U.S.  The exception for tariffs should be those products that cannot be adequately produced in the U.S. and the fair free trade between individuals for private consumption.

Provide Health Care for Catastrophic Illness. As a civilized society, we do not allow people to die or suffer unnecessarily. This cost of critical care for the poor is passed on to others in the form of higher hospital costs and higher taxes. Therefore we have a de facto catastrophic illness insurance system that currently only benefits a few.  Because any public benefit must be available to all, I advocate for a Federal program, through a Public Bank, that provides state hospitals with funds to offer free care after the patient pays a sliding-scale deductible. I recommend revising and passing the  Expanded & Improved Medicare for All Act H. R. 676 to include a system of minimal co-pays and sliding scale deductibles, but no new Federal taxes. (Individual states should have the option of levying consumption taxes to further support health care and including non-profit health centers in their programs.) With a Public Bank providing funds for state-owned healthcare infrastructure, the state will be able to provide quality service at low cost. With a universal health care system in place, individuals, businesses, schools and government agencies will save millions of dollars currently spent on private for-profit health insurance, and workers will not be inclined to stay with a job just for the insurance benefits.

Get Money out of Politics.  Limit how much can be spent on a campaign.  Make public funds available to communicate information about all candidates on the ballot  to all voters, through public service announcements and/or direct mailings. Every candidate on the ballot should be permitted to participate in all public debates. For my campaign, I accept no donations. I will accept volunteer help and encourage my supporters to share this page and/or make their own memes and yard signs. Supporters can also donate to a charity in my name and share on social media. Most importantly, no one can buy my vote if I go by a Direct Democracy vote on each bill.

Institute Ranked Choice Voting. Protecting voters against the “wasted third-party vote” syndrome could be accomplished with ranked voting or alternative voting.  The lesser evil option hasn’t worked for us. I recommend passing Title I (regarding ranked choice) only of the Fair Representation Act. H.R. 3057.

Free Tuition at State Schools.  Any Federal support for higher education should be used solely for public benefit not private benefit.  I support free (or very low cost or sliding scale) tuition, room and board at highly competitive state colleges and state universities to train public sector workers in healthcare, law, civil engineering, education, social services and so forth. In exchange for a free college education, graduates should be required to work for the state for some number of years. Such a tuition program would also help the state provide quality social programs at lower costs. The program would be funded by a National Public Bank.  Each state should have some ability to decide exactly how funds are spent and/or decide whether or not to charge low and/or sliding-scale fees at their state schools. Administrative pay must also be limited relative to faculty pay and tuition should be limited relative to actual cost to avoid over-charging the Public Bank.

Separate Business, Government, and Non-Profits. Much of our political discourse is about whether the government or the free market should control the basic structures of society.    When power becomes concentrated in corporations, business leaders can behave as if they are above the law and cease to be responsive to the consumer.  When power becomes concentrated in government, politicians can act as though they are above the law and cease to answer to voters. A clear separation of business and state would help prevent power from concentrating in a few large corporations. A Direct Democracy constraining Congressional Representatives would help prevent power from concentrating in government. A stronger, less corrupt, Non-Profit sector is also needed to provide those services that neither the State nor the Free-Market is suited to provide.

There are more issues to consider.  See my thoughts on Funding Government, Running Government, and the Role of Government.  Tell me what you think.

Since 2003, Dr. Victoria Alexander has lived in Dutchess County with her husband and son. She is an organic farmer, a novelist, director of an arts foundation and a researcher in complex systems science.