I’m Victoria Alexander. I’m running for Congress from New York’s 19th district as a Libertarian. I am also seeking support from Greens, disenchanted Democrats and Republicans, voters who all 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. When power becomes concentrated in government, politicians can act as though they are above the law and cease to answer to voters. When power becomes concentrated in a few large corporations, business leaders can behave as if they are above the law and cease to be responsive to their own customers. When these two power centers merge, we no longer have democracy or freedom. That’s where we find ourselves today.
Direct Democracy: A people’s veto and cooperatively-run public agencies and programs. If elected, I will give my constituents the opportunity to vote on each bill before it goes to the floor using a secure online blockchain system. I support H. R. 2240: One Subject at a Time Act, which will make it possible for all voters (as well as representatives) to read and understand the bills before they go up for a vote. If voter participation on a bill surpasses a majority threshold and the outcome contradicts my position, I will either change my vote or abstain from voting. This will mean that no lobbyists will be able to buy my vote because the people will have veto power. Ultimately, I would like to see far fewer laws being decided at the Federal level. I want to work toward moving the power of decision-making to the people affected by the decisions. For instance, decisions about health and medicine should be made locally by health professionals (researchers, doctors, nurses, etc), their patients and the wider community they serve. I would like to see all Federal alphabet agencies converted to cooperatively-run agencies, involving all stakeholders, with no more top-down control of industry. I also support democracy in the workplace with cooperative corporations, for which I would like to see a reduction in taxes and a reduction in labor regulations. I support publicly-owned utility cooperatives and Internet platforms. In fact, I see public communication as essential to freedom and democracy and I believe public Internet access should be protected under the Constitution as the modern USPS. In general, I see government providing the funds for building infrastructure and I see the people who manage and use the infrastructure running it. We have too much top-down control; we need more feedback from the stakeholders. I do not advocate a Direct Democracy system in which a majority of voters from all over the country decide on Federal laws controlling everyone. That would be a tyranny of the majority. I advocate local decision-making.
End the Wars:. Our national security depends upon domestic self-sufficiency and ending our aggression abroad. We simply cannot afford the terrible loss of human life, damage to the environment, economic 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 and makes 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. We need to build a strong production economy at home. I support the Repeal of the Authorization for Use of Force H. R. H.R. 1274.
Stop Creating Debt-Based Currency. End the Federal Reserve and end 90% of taxation. Allowing the Federal Reserve to create U.S. dollars that are loaned to the largest corporations at near 0% interest has created extreme economic disparity in the US, where the top 1% control most of the money and wield the political power that goes with this. We must phase out fractional-reserve banking and debt-based currency by gradually raising the reserve amount to 100%. Banks should only be able to loan money that is deposited in regulated savings accounts. The U.S. Treasury should have the sole power to create US dollars, and only for public infrastructure projects — roads, mass transit, hospitals, energy grids, schools, and fiber broadband. New Treasury dollars created for this purpose would be backed by the value of the infrastructure assets that will return user fees. All newly created dollars would enter the economy at the middle income level, not at the top. Using direct Treasury funds for infrastructure (together with cutting the war budget), would entirely eliminate the need for the bottom 80% – 90% of Americans to pay income tax as well as reduce the need for states to collect property taxes to build and maintain public infrastructure. The role of the Treasury would not be to try to manage the economy, nor to set interest rates, nor to loan money, nor to borrow money. Its role would only be funding the creation of public assets. Any inflation caused by the influx of new Treasury dollars into the economy could be offset by raising the user fees and taxing the top 1% of wealth. Using Treasury dollars to fund infrastructure, instead of taxing, would not give Congress more power since Congress already decides budgets. I support the Federal legislation to abolish the Federal Reserve and a reconsideration (without the public dividend) of the National Emergency Defense Act H.R. 2990. Covid update: The amount of fiat money (created out of nothing) given to the Federal Reserve banks is over 6.2 trillion. The banks are now in the position to buy up distressed businesses, mortgages and other assets. If left to play out, the 2020 CARES Act and subsequent bank and corporate giveaways, will be the largest transfer of wealth from the people to a small elite group in human history. One way to stop this crime from happening would be for Congress to take control of the Federal Reserve and raise the bank reserve amount to 100% (effectively End the Fed) and enact a partial debt jubilee/savings credit for every adult citizen.
Affordable Healthcare and Full Coverage for Catastrophic Illness. A civilized society does not allow people to die or suffer unnecessarily because they are poor. 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 providing direct Treasury funding (see “Stop Creating Debt-Based Currency”) to build and maintain state hospitals and health centers that will offer quality service at low cost and free care after the patient pays a sliding-scale deductible that would be about equal to what people pay in yearly premiums now. With such as system, those who take care of their health would not be expected to subsidize those who do not take care of their health. And no one would suffer economic hardships as a consequences of illnesses that are beyond his/her control. No citizen would be forced to buy insurance or pay a Federal or state tax for this health care program. Businesses would not be required to provide health insurance for employees. All government employees and elected representatives would be covered through this plan and this would save the government billions that currently go to employee fringe benefits for private insurance. Individual states should have the option of levying consumption taxes to further support catastrophic health care and the option of including charity-run health centers in their programs. The public health care system would operate alongside a private health care system, and citizens would have a choice to use one or the other. Private health insurance companies could still operate and people could choose to buy insurance rather than pay out of pocket for routine care.
Criminal Justice Reform. Require community service to support welfare programs, not punishment. We need to decriminalize drugs (drug use is a health problem) and end the imprisonment of all non-violent offenders. Focusing on restorative justice rather than on retribution is a more effective way of addressing crime. We should require all convicted criminals to perform community service to support and rebuild poor communities and to provide resources to welfare programs, for example, growing food, establishing community gardens, building affordable housing and renovating and repairing derelict houses, apartments and storefronts to offer to the working poor on an affordable rent-to-own basis. No inmates should work for private corporations, the Department of Defense or any local government agency, as they do now. Instead they should be performing work that will most likely end the conditions that led to their crimes. The criminal justice system would become the mechanism for maintaining welfare programs thereby reducing the amount of tax revenue that is currently put toward these programs. 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.
Environmental Protections. End government supported pollution. While many Democrat environmentalists may be lobbying representatives to try to get them to spend billions of dollars fighting pollution, Libertarian environmentalists want government to stop spending billions of dollars creating pollution.
Electoral Reform: Implement ranked-choice voting, secure vote-counting machines, provide information about all candidates on the ballot. We need paper ballots for all elections and non-proprietary software or blockchain-protected ballot-counting machines. Local election boards should be required to mail information about all candidates on the ballot to all registered voters. All public debates should be open to all candidates on the ballot. But the most significant electoral reform would be to implement Ranked Choice Voting in all 50 states. Voters often go to the polls and vote, not for the candidate they like the best, but for the candidate who is most likely to win. Being most likely to win usually means having a lot of financial support from super-wealthy donors, getting biased attention from the mainstream media and benefiting from corrupt, undemocratic insider partisan politics. With Ranked Choice Voting, you to rank candidates in order of preference, and if your first choice doesn’t win, your vote goes to your second choice and etc until a candidate wins 51% of the vote. I support the New York state effort to pass RCV, and at the Federal level, I support the Fair Representation Act. H.R. 3057. Since 2018, I have been advocating for RCV locally and I helped launch a statewide movement called Ranked Choice NY. Please follow the link to sign on to this cause and support New York Legislature bills A07387 and S02517.
Fair Trade: Low tariffs on all imports and end all on export subsidies. Low tariffs on all imports should be used as a source of Federal revenue, not as a means to manipulate markets or to provide protection for weak U.S. industries. If a low tariff on all imports is imposed, this type of revenue could once again be the sole source of funds for government administration expenses and define their limit. Free trade (which is not really free but unfairly managed and manipulated by government and industry lobbyists) not only hurts U.S. workers but can also adversely affect the local economies of trading partners and force migration of cheap labor to the U.S., which, in turn, further harms the U.S. labor market. Current free trade agreements allow government to subsidize and promote, for example, corn production in the U.S. to the detriment of other kinds of crop production. Free trade agreements mainly benefit stock-holders in multinational corporations, not the consumer or the producer. In addition, shipping raw materials far distances to be made into cheap products by cheap labor is short sighted, energy inefficient, increases pollution, and encourages over-consumption of low quality goods and subsequent increase of waste. Relying on imports also reduces our national security. 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 at home. The exception for tariffs should be the fair free trade between individuals for private consumption; for such purchases the consumer should pay a low international shipping tax.
Federally-Funded Scholarships at State Schools. Any Federal support for higher education should be used solely for public benefit not private benefit. I do not support the idea that the purpose of higher education is to help graduates earn more money. The purpose of education is education, irrespective of whether it provides an economic benefit to the individual. Government does not need to provide job-training for the corporate or private sector, which needs to step up and solve its own labor problems by offering employees tuition support, paid internships or entry level positions. I do support Federally-funded scholarships at highly competitive state colleges and universities to train public sector workers in healthcare, law, civil engineering, education, and social services. In exchange for a free college education, graduates should be required to work for a state institution for some number of years. Such a scholarship program would also help states provide quality public programs at lower costs. Funding should come directly from the US Treasury (See Stop Creating Debt-Based Currency above), but Congress should have no influence on the curriculum. Research and administrative decisions should be made cooperatively by faculty, students and administration.
Separation of Business & State. Stronger Non-Profits. We need to balance power throughout society. Much of our political discourse is about whether the government or the free market should control the basic structures of society. We need both, but we need a clear separation of business and state to help prevent power from concentrating. Federal, state, and local governments should primarily be concerned with enforcing the law and operating as a construction and maintenance department for public infrastructure, building, equipping and maintaining transportation systems, communication systems, and energy grids, as well as public hospitals and schools. I do not see a role for government in running those systems or institutions. Instead, the people who use and manage the systems should have local democratic control of them and run them like non-profits or cooperative corporations. I am against the privatization of public infrastructure and public services, as this is a form of crony capitalism. We also need a stronger non-profit sector to provide those services, mainly having to do with our intellectual life and access to information, that neither the state nor the free market is suited to provide. For example programs in education, culture, scientific research and journalism are best supported by non-profits, not government or business. I support a 100% tax deduction to charities and non-profits, but I also think that many non-profits, e.g. political think tanks, sports organizations and religious organizations or charities that have inequitable administrative pay, should have their non-profit status revoked.
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 and self-organization. This research informs her theory of free markets and decentralized government. She is currently serving as a Fulbright Scholar in St Petersburg, Russia, working on articulating the differences between biological intelligence and artificial intelligence. As part of the U. S. State Department, the Fulbright Program has the mission to use intellectual exchange as a path toward peace.
Questions? Want to volunteer? Contact Victoria. Or post your comments below.
NY19 is currently served by Representative Antonio Delgado (D) and includes Columbia, Delaware, Greene, Otsego, Schoharie, Sullivan, and Ulster counties and parts of Broome, Dutchess, Montgomery and Rensselaer counties.