[Hank Bardel is the 2017 Green Party candidate for Staten Island Borough President.]
The problems in this world of poverty, unemployment, low wages, environmental problems, homelessness, war, legal and illegal drug abuse, alcoholism, racism, ethnic scapegoating and lack of adequate healthcare are basically caused by a maldistribution of wealth.The 1% who are the multimillionaires and the billionaires own 38% of the wealth in the United States.They also get a large percentage of the income through their corporations.This situation also exists in countries around the world.
What we have to do is create a real democracy, A democracy where we get all the facts we need to make intelligent decisions. We need to get the facts and then through logic make the intelligent decisions democratically to make good laws.
We also have to redistribute the wealth in a more equitable manner. We have to have a progressive income tax starting with single people making over $150,000.00 and married people making over $200,000.00, to the wealthy making $10,000,000,00 or more. At the $10,000,000.00 level then we should start taxing at 90%. We also have to have an estate tax after excluding the first $5,000,000.00.
We live in a country where we have a mixed economy. By that I mean our economy. in the business and government sectors. that consists of corporations like General Motors, small businesses, medium size businesses, partnerships like law firms, cooperatives like Welch’s grape jelly , worker cooperatives like Cooperative Home Care Associates, non-profits like United Way and Federal, State and local government organizations that deliver services.
I think that we should keep our mixed economy. However I believe that we have to have strong regulations that regulate all organizations. We should keep our mixed economy because all organizations can perform very efficiently. If an organization survives and delivers a good or service we should keep it. We could also mandate like in Germany that corporations give workers a seat on the board of directors. Opening up your own business can be very creative.
Our foreign policy should be based on diplomacy. We should also have an adequate military to defend ourselves.As far as the military goes we should be aware as President Dwight Eisenhower warned us in 1961 about “the unwarranted acquisition of influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military industrial complex”.
Economically we have to realize that we have 2 important forces in economics. They are supply and demand, To make our economy work and work efficiently we have to have supply and an equal amount of demand. When our supply side (our goods and services) is set up we have to have an equal amount of demand (people with enough money to buy back the goods and services being produced). This is what causes a healthy equitable economy. It’s as simple as that.