Gross Domestic Well-being

The Democrats are still looking for a new motivating concept to rally behind, a new theme for their election push in 2018.  I’ve already suggested that they run as the reality party, as the grown-ups willing to do something constructive about climate change, income disparity, crumbling infrastructure and health care.

Here’s another idea:  run on the idea that the main business of the United States government isn’t raising the GDP.  Make the well-being of Americans its business.  Measure progress and success by the Gross Domestic Well-being.  Count how many people are healthy, educated, working at meaningful jobs, working at jobs that pay a living wage, living in nonviolent communities, free from race and income based oppression, heard and heeded by their representatives in the House and Senate.

The crew in charge right now claim to be patriots working for the benefit of our country and its citizens, but vote instead for programs, budgets and tax schedules that benefit the few.  Politicians are bought and paid for by wealthy elites and their corporations, and the needs of the many get ignored.

This is obvious, and our representatives resort to increasingly ridiculous arguments to justify decisions designed to do harm to the majority.  Some recent advocates in the House of Representatives for their heinous health care bill (actually, their denial-of-health-care bill) have stated that good people don’t get sick.  Bad people indulge in harmful habits and bring their fates upon themselves.  And only the wicked, if this line of “thinking” gets carried a bit further, suffer accidents and genetic diseases, contract infectious pneumonia and influenza.  Health insurance would be unnecessary if all the underlings just behaved better and kissed up to God properly.  The stubborn and wicked should just accept their punishment and die quietly and inexpensively.

We all know that reality doesn’t work this way, but elected officials spew this nonsense with straight faces and self-righteous attitudes.  I’ve never heard that one of them has put the theory, that the righteous need no health insurance, to the test.  Instead, they remain enrolled in their government paid programs.  (Do they doubt their logic, or do they doubt their own state of righteousness?)

Here’s a few ideas about how to achieve  better gross domestic well-being.

  1. Limit military spending to fund forces capable of success in defensive wars for our country and our allies.  Foreign adventures in regime change would be outlawed.
  2. Take the money saved from a reduction in arms spending to pay for higher education and health care for all citizens.  Raise taxes on the ridiculously wealthy to cover a short fall.
  3. Political funding would be provided by a government managed slush fund so that corporations and wealthy individuals could no longer dominate elections.  Amend the Constitution to prohibit “free speech” by corporations in the form of political donations and propaganda programs disseminated by shell organizations.
  4. Favor countries with good human rights records with better trade agreements.
  5. End military style training for police departments and encourage neighborhood foot patrols.
  6. Ask companies producing new products to give estimates of product durability.  If a new stove or a car is expected to last less than ten years, then the company must pay a waste fee to cover the cost of disposal.
  7. Encourage the redevelopment of repair trades to fix and maintain products to increase longevity.
  8. Tailor the energy economy to renewable resources, and tax providers who stick exclusively to fossil fuels.  Do not allow them to pass the cost of these levees onto their customers.
  9. Make all wages livable, and prosecute employers who hire illegal immigrants in order to cut payroll costs.
  10. Judge any new piece of legislation in terms of its effect, for good or ill, on the whole population.  If more than 5% of the population would suffer, then rewrite the bill.