Solutions forum

Help us find rational solutions to the social and economic challenges identified by Occupy protestors and others.

Is there a policy you can propose for regulating financial markets? Actions the government should consider to better manage expenses? Ideas for tax reform and balancing the budget? How about reducing the national debt? Here’s a budget modeling tool you can use to try different solutions to this challenge.

Share your ideas – small and large – and let’s have a discussion….

11 thoughts on “Solutions forum

  1. There is a campaign underway asking the new SEC Chairwoman to require corporations to publish their political contributions. I support this goal as it would enable both shareholders and consumers to know how the profits are being spent and who is being supported. Write to SEC Chairwoman Mary Jo White at

    Inquiring minds want to know!

  2. Thank you for your website; it is quite interesting. I think it is a step toward recognizing that our system is seriously dysfunctional. However, what I feel is missing are serious practical solutions. From my point of view, the founding fathers having experienced the Articles of Confederation expected that the system they put in place would falter from time to time. That is why they allowed for amendments as well as the possibility of a Constitutional Convention.

    As a feminist, I studied the suffragists and their campaign methodology for getting the women’s vote. They realized to talk about serious change, you had to talk about an amendment to the Constitution. In our current situation, there are several serious changes that have to be made.

    I would propose initially the same strategy, Constitutional amendments; initially two new amendments – the 28th to take the money out of politics and the 29th to amend the process for calling a Constitutional convention.

    The 29th amendment would state that when a Constitutional convention is called for by 2/3 of the states, in addition to the two delegates from each state (100), a delegate based on population would be added to also number 100 … that would mean one delegate per 300,000 people. The population districts would have to cross state lines and be drawn by an independent committee.

    The constitutional convention delegates numbering 200 would then draw up the proposed amendment(s), limited to 15, which in turn would be submitted to the nation’s voters as a national referendum. However ( in honor of Bill of Rights), only 10 of the 15 could be approved although all 15 would be submitted for the referendum. The 10 amendments would be the 10 that had the largest vote, with 55% minimum approval required. These 10 amendments would then be submitted to the state legislatures as a package to be voted on up or down within a year under the traditional process before they could become part of the Constitution.
    The importance of the 15 is to provide for a wide representation of political views for all of left, center, and right. My suggestions for some of these amendments would be 1) abolishing the electoral college; providing for a popular vote with a runoff election should a candidate receive less than 50% of the vote; 2) privacy; 3) apology amendment for slavery, treatment of Native Americans, etc; 4) Redefine “personhood” in the Constitution to exclude corporations and prohibit discrimination due to gender, race, sexual orientation, etc; 5) Establish term limits (19 years) for Supreme Court Judges so that a new justice is added every two years; 6) amendment of immigration policy, for example requiring Congress to review and pass an immigration law every 10 years.

    There is a process I call Politics 4C that I would suggest for implementing such a plan that operates outside the box of party politics. Could you advise any websites that would be interested in such a posting?

    • Good post. Recently there has been quite a bit of interest in both a constitutional convention and a variety of constitutional amendments. With a little searching I know you will find some like minded folks to contact.

      If amendments and/or conventions are to happen, they will be a long time coming. Does the “process (you) call Politics 4C” lay out an approach? Would you please elaborate on Politics 4C? .

  3. Problem: Presidents waste time, effort and money constantly campaigning.
    Solution: Constitutional amendment limiting the president to one six-year term. What do you think?

  4. Human decisions start with questions like: What do we need? What do we want? Analysis of costs follows later on. Our nation needs to improve education, assure medical care for all, stop waging wars, and create a true democracy at home. There are lots of other competing needs. Let’s analyze those. Starting out with a “bottom line” analysis — abandon realistic ends/means discussion. There was no considered analysis of goals and consequences before this nation launched the successive wars that constitue the “War on Terror.” If there had been, we would have made progress on education, established a medical care system that works, and moved forward democracy. Even looking at these wars from a bottom line perspective condemns them: We would have trillions of dollars worth of resources to apply to worthwhile projects. Plus, we’d have made some friends, rather that create enemies. We need to switch to making human, environmental and egalitarian assessment, then let dollar crunching follow.


    • The “Everyone pays” structure is not necessarily a recommendation – just one example of a simplified income tax based on various past proposals. That said, capital gains are generally profits earned from investing money that has already been taxed once; so both in consideration of the inequity of double taxation and to encourage reinvestment of capital, a lower tax rate on such gains has been incorporated into the current system and was used in this example.

      • It’s a misnomer to call that double taxation. A corporation pays taxes to allay some of the cost of governing it, like providing infrastructure, educating workforce, etc. Each individual tax payer pays taxes to support the government services our representatives have established. An unincorporated business, like a sole proprietorship, may have mingled finances and should be taxed as one entity. Once incorporated, and enjoying the other benefits of that business arrangement, the ownership is distinct from the operations of the corporation in that their finances are not co-mingled. They are each unique entities and should be subject to taxes. I do not see why income from work should have a higher tax rate than income from investment.

    • The balance of power would be preserved were all the world void of arms, for all would be alike; but since some will not, others dare not lay them aside. And if a single nation refuses to lay down their arms, it is proper that all nations should keep them up.

      “Horrid mischief would ensue were one half the world deprived of the use of them; for while avarice and ambition have a place in the heart of man, the weak will become a prey to the strong. -Thomas Paine

      “Let me make a short blanket comment. There are no good guns. There are no bad guns. Any gun in the hands of a bad man is a bad thing. Any gun in the hands of a decent person is no threat to anybody except bad people. -former NRA president Charlton Heston

      “Any politico who’s afraid of his constituents being armed, should be. Leaders of the anti-gun movement (for the most part, politicians who enthusiastically advocate confiscatory taxation and government control of everything) realize that a populace is much easier to herd, loot — and dispose of — if it has been stripped of its weapons. The naked fraud and transparent fascism of victim disarmament must be eradicated through the repeal of all gun laws at every level of government.” -L. Neil Smith

      “Be not afraid of any man no matter what his size; when danger threatens, call on me, and I will equalize. -Legend on a Colt revolver

  5. I think we need to inform the businesses we deal with and invest in that actually money is not the same as speech. I want to trade with firms that attempt to sway legislation and policy only by offering the considered opinion of the management to the policymakers and legislators and president openly and with due consideration of the public welfare. Therefore I intend to tell the companies that are spending corp. money to influence policy that they force me to stop doing business with them as they are potentially spending corporate profits (that should be returned to shareholders) working, often in secret, to further their own aims, but possibly against mine. And since it is often secret, I have to target all corporations that are taking such actions, regardless of the politics they espouse, because it is not the democratic decision making process!

  6. Welfare – Maybe it’s time to quit bitching. Find something you’re interested in and work at it. Sounds simple but having a life without interest is boring, non-productive and useless.

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