As readers will know, I’m in love with Julia Sweeney and read her blog and listen to her CD’s all the time. So she had this great post in July about changes she’d install if she was queen. With all that happened these past couple days – whether it’s the economy taking yet again, violence in Syria, riots in London, the right gaining traction and the left wimping out, I thought I’d “borrow” or in George Bush’s words “liberate” her idea and write out a list of what changed I’d bring if I was king. Feel free to include any laws/rules you’d like in comments:
1.) I know it’s a cliche, but yeah, I’d tax the heck out of high-income earners, but I’d include itemized tax bills, to let everyone know just where their money is going. Along with my progressive, fair financial advisors (which would consist of folks who aren’t policy wonks or financier CEO’s, but instead finance academics), we’d figure out a wage cap before we’d increase your tax rate.
2.) I’m king, so I don’t have to worry about checks-and-balances, so I would enact an immediate ban on handguns, machine guns and all other assault rifles – the only thing I’d allow is hunting rifles for folks who make a living hunting or for folks who live off the land. But other than that – no guns. Period.
3.) Healthcare for everyone – no matter if you work, you don’t work, you’re married, single, a child – whatever – you’re sick you go to the doctor and you get treated. The end.
4.) I’m actually a fan of the government, so I would get my government involved in education – that means none of this nonsense where rich areas of the city have nice schools, while poor areas have students sharing books. All schools have the same standards of funding and all schools will have the same access to resources – Also speaking of education, I’d immediately implement special programs and outreach for colleges aimed at populations that don’t normally go into certain fields – for example, scholarships and grants for women of color in the sciences. College will be free, by the way, and textbooks won’t be over $20. Remember, I’m king, I could do this.
5.) Gay marriage. Actually, I rescind that. No marriage – but civil unions for all – marriage is left up to the churches and they can decide what they want to/not to. But the for the state? Civil unions – and I don’t have a problem with polyandry/polygamy as long as everyone’s a consenting adult and each spouse is taken care of.
6.) Since I am not an expert on the environment, instead of making assumptions and statements that betray that (I’m looking at you Sarah Palin), I’d load up my cabinet with scientists, biologist, botanists and geologists and make sure that we’re doing all we can to support conservation and animal rights, and once and for all, end this ridiculous war on science.
7.) Make it illegal to teach “creationism” in schools as a viable theory alongside evolution. If you want to teach creationism, fine, do it in a bible study class or a church.
9.) Make prostitution legal, but tax/regulate it – meaning regular STD and pregnancy tests.
10.) Tax subsidies will only be granted to businesses that create jobs in the community, but only if they adhere to fair labor practices.
11.) Drugs would be legalized – even hard drugs, though they would be heavily taxed (like liquor and cigarettes) and for you to use hard drugs you would have to go to a facility that has doctors onsite to ensure that if someone gets sick or OD’s that there’s help. Marijuana would be legalized, as well, but would be treated more akin to the way cigarettes and alcohol are treated.
12.) Rape-kits are free – and no woman should ever have to pay – and rape against women would be also considered a hate-crime
13.) death penalty abolished
14.) the right to choose protected in every state – and if a woman goes to a clinic, she doesn’t have to be visited by a counselor unless she requests one.
15.) Immigration laws become holistic, fair and not mean-spirited
16.) In elections (I’m king but I allow for elections in other sections of government), we have to allow for other parties to have a fighting chance to campaign, so there would be a cap on how much a candidate can spend on running
17.) Israel has a right to exist peacefully, but not at the expense of the Palestinians
18.) Our foreign policy switches from “world police” to “world ally” and we maintain that the main bulk of our foreign policy goes toward providing aide to countries that are suffering from drought, starvation, civil war, etc. We would not engage in nation building.
19.) Lower the alcohol consumption age to 18.
20.) Put it in the constitution that social security cannot be touched or tampered with, unless you want to add improvements to it.
21.) Heavy regulation of business, commerce, banks and Wall Street. Remember, becuase of the campaign tax lobbying would be obsolete.
22.) Funding for the arts – when all is said and done, the most we have to remember of ancient civilizations is the art.
23.) Fair copyright laws that protect creativity but does not stifle or punish parody or appropriation.
24) Women soldiers are allowed in combat – a lot of them already do face the front line, we might as well train them and compensate them fairly for it.
25) We establish a department of peace. (we have a defense secretary, why can’t we have a peace secretary?)
26) PBS and NPR to be funded without regard to political commentary that may offend some elected officials
27) Make Eleanor Roosevelt’s birthday a national holiday.