A TWENTY FIRST CENTURY, PEACEFUL AMERICAN REVOLUTION
Our nation was born in the Age of Enlightenment. Important similarities to the injustices that led to the Enlightenment revolutions exist today. The book The New Enlightenment describes some, but it is mainly devoted to detailing policies for a more prosperous and much more equitable and democratic society. The book promotes the formation of The New Enlightenment Citizen’s Union (that may evolve into a new political party) as the organizational structure of the required political movement for the New Enlightenment transformations. The programs detailed in this 170,000 word book will, if instituted, lift tens of millions of Americans out of poverty to a standard of living that now exists in the middle class, substantially improve the standard of living of tens of millions more, create a true democracy and have other major beneficial impacts.
The New Enlightenment details the following and other ways to a more prosperous and much more equitable and democratic society:
Reduce full time work hours 10% or to 36 hours per week. Less work time per worker requires more workers, almost eliminating unemployment. Despite 10% fewer work hours, and consequently as much as 10% lower compensation from the workplace, people’s take-home income whose income now is under $160,000 will rise, and rise proportionally more the lower the income, due to lower taxes, an $11.10 minimum wage, and an expanded EITC. No one working 36 hrs/wk will earn less than $34,980/yr.
Transform the economic system to one where most economic activity will be performed by worker owned and controlled businesses at the end of a 20 year transition period. Loans, grants, tax benefits and subsidies within several detailed programs will accomplish this.
Eliminate the dominating importance of money in elections; thereby allow a meaningful democracy to exist. This will be accomplished mainly by instituting a TV and radio station license requirement to offer generous allotments of airtime free of charge to four qualified candidates per national public office contest, within a thoroughly detailed system. Also, support qualified candidates with large postal and newspaper space subsidies.
Create a vigorous media of, for, and by the people necessary for a well-functioning government of, for, and by the people. This will be accomplished by instituting a license renewal requirement for worker ownership and control of air media companies. Loans, grants, tax benefits and subsidies will support the ownership transfer. Motivate ownership and control by workers of other kinds of media businesses through loans, grants, tax benefits and subsidies. Media ownership and control by workers will eliminate important media content selection biases resulting from the character of current media ownership and management, and result in other important benefits. The media’s role in the functioning of a democratic society is essential, and our media corporations’ current structure is inevitably serving this role poorly. This policy will create a new and vigorous media culture more responsive and accountable to the majority.
Eliminate tuition for public colleges. This will help meet our stated ideal of equal opportunity for all and help create the well-informed citizenry needed for a well-functioning democracy and economy.
Some policies detailed in The New Enlightenment for generating the necessary revenues (while creating a $500 billion annual surplus):
More progressive income tax rates with a 55% maximum rate, on income above $410,000 (well within US historical and international norms).
Institute a small, highly progressive wealth tax
Institute pollution taxes that will both raise revenue and reduce pollution.
Reform the corporate tax system to one that inherently will end tax haven abuse.
Reduce military and other expenditures.
Institute a financial transactions tax.
Eliminate the cap on the employer social security portion of the payroll tax (employees at all income levels will pay no payroll tax).
Replace the estate tax with a progressive inheritance tax that increases taxes on large wealth transfers without forcing the sale of inherited family farms and other businesses.
Policy proposals are supported on economic, moral and other grounds.
About the Author: Robert Bivona has a degree in physics, graduate work in physics and engineering, and decades of professional experience in physics, math and engineering. He has chosen to apply his analytic skills to his life-long strong personal interest in public policy because our nation urgently needs fresh policy solution ideas from outside professional political and economics orthodoxy. Our political problems and resulting economic problems—largely caused by current political and economic professionals—are resulting in great injustices and unnecessary hardships for tens of millions of our fellow citizens, and are an existential threat to our nation