A new vision for 2020
Let's take Washington State to a new vision in 2020, starting with these fifteen points.
Let’s make this part of our Washington State culture—let’s reconcile on a personal level, in order to move forward together. What if we, as Washingtonians, could develop a unity not seen by the rest of the country; what if we could lead the country in this; what if we made it part of who we are? What if we could address our current struggles as a single community battling issues? This would not require fully sharing each others’ views, but finding common ground within them.
Washington State legislature needs to become “simply trustworthy.” There is a sense that they have developed a habit of “cheating” in their bills—legislating in spite of will of people. Voters passing measures like the recent vehicle registration reform, stems not so much from concerns about transportation funding, as it does from state government sneaking taxes and legislating non-transparently. We all know that taxes are necessary to fund things like transportation projects—could we work to develop a legislative culture that generates and uses its mandates clearly, as voters intend?
The first thing we need to do to address homelessness is to “bound” the problem. The Federal courts have stated that a local government must care for every person that lays down on a sidewalk, no matter how many there are, where they are from, or what level of care they need (either that or just leave them there unassisted). With this in mind, there are billions of people around the world that would move to the U.S. in order to improve their financial situation—would a city like Seattle need to care for all of them? This current situation is what is called in mathematics, an “unbounded” problem: it is not possible for a local government, via citizen funding, to care for billions of homeless—it is simply not possible. But, by bounding the problem, we as a community can decide what is possible. What if each city would be responsible for care of its own homeless, via the current homeless registry? Each community would be required to accept its own homeless member, or pay another community to care for the member. Otherwise, the homeless crisis is an untenable and unsustainable situation. Living on the sidewalk is a cry for help, and we have to address this issue directly, rather than continuing to step over it, to keep our cities vibrant and livable.
We must develop our living areas, as our population increases—we don’t have any other choice. If we fail to develop our cities, we will create very high housing prices, due to their insufficient housing supply and housing shortages. This is exactly what we are currently experiencing with the unsuccessful Growth Management program in major cities across Washington State. The attempt to satisfy Growth Management by increasing a city’s population density is not being allowed, due to environmental and quality of life concerns. Satellite cities, connected to the hub city via lightrail, could alleviate congestion and aesthetic concerns for our growing cities.
Seattle traffic has now become counter-productive, and needs to be alleviated in order to allow for further business growth in the area. Why don’t we fix this? Why is it allowed? Spokane traffic has now become life-altering, but not yet counter-productive.
I am not actually anti-abortion. Abortion can be defined as a medical procedure, used in times of medical-necessity, as performed by a doctor. What we, as Washingtonians, disagree on, is its use when not medically-necessary.
I think we can all agree on this: that ideally, we would be a society, Washington State would have a culture, where every child was welcome. What if we could all work together to get there? (I think we are not so far away). Instead of focusing on the number of abortions and its surrounding legislation, what if we could achieve near 100% Welcome Pregnancies… what is stopping us? Could we not do it?
Policy updates that could benefit this attempt would include things like: eliminating barriers to willing adoptive couples; increase in marriages (and perhaps new paths to marriage, such as low-barrier or easily-dissoluble common-law marriages); consequence for impregnating a woman against her will, outside of marriage; and a high level of specific birth control application (ie. multiple methods, free placement/maintenance). Let’s take our culture to a higher vision.
I believe in the primacy of marriage between one man and one woman, as the core of our society (and any stable, prosperous society). Other relationships may obviously exist, however I believe that government should only provide authorization and license to that core marriage structure. I think it very important that we provide this picture as the ideal for our children.
Student Loan Repayment
College, since its inception in the U.S., has served two purposes: either you attended to gain high-level specialized knowledge, or you attend to become a person that is “college-educated.” If becoming that college-educated person is no longer worth its financial cost, then we need to start directing high school seniors toward other paths (trade schools, apprenticeships, internships, etc). Do we need to create new paths for high-tech, short course, learning? Of course, there will always be those that find great social benefit to attending college, and will voluntarily saddle themselves with that debt for the rest of their lives. However, if you cancel all debt now, you risk devaluing every degree to come, since the amnestees will be able to work for less money.
Could we develop a statewide tech-based gig program to supplement incomes of new graduates or those working from home? Could we implement an “adaptive” minimum wage to try to win support and service jobs back from overseas? This would allow employers to pay reduced minimum wages to employees here that would take a repatriated job, and work from home, or otherwise have very low work investment requirements.
Every person in Washington State would benefit from the medical field transitioning to upfront pricing. Where else in life do you contract a service prior to knowing how much it will cost you? Upfront pricing would allow patients to financially prioritize medical care in their life, for the first time ever.
Progress is being made in this area continually, and our state has done a great job of protecting its natural environment. I believe in being good stewards of the natural environment provided for us, and leaving a clean and livable place for future generations. However, I do not believe that we are in a climate crisis such that the Earth is doomed in 12 years and we are all going to perish. The doomsday climate predictions for the year 2020 never occurred, and global temperature has risen 1.9 degrees in the last 140 years (climate.nasa.gov). Our goal now, should not be to forsake industrialization, but to use its benefits to solve our future energy needs.
Petroleum is a temporary resource, and we need to take the time, surplus, and prosperity we have now to look toward its general replacement. I think the future of large urban areas is non-emission transport for both people and goods—from an engineering standpoint, there is no reason to keep using internal combustion engines within the denser parts of a city’s urban areas.
I represent the direction of the younger generations in this country: Gen X is stable, hardworking, and taking leadership responsibilities at the core of our country; Gen Y is winning in the new marketplace, with their intelligence, creativity, and tech skills; and Gen Z is no-nonsense, focused, and highly productive in their work and studies (those folks are going to be exciting to watch). I would love to see our Washington State culture return a little toward grandparents holding the younger generations to high expectations. We got away from the older generations’ influence, as the youth were told that they were special and didn’t need to listen to anyone, essentially culling them from herd. However, other countries around the world really benefit from established generations positively influencing younger people; it can provide a real stability and balance to a young person’s life. This is a stability that our culture is currently missing, if we have teenagers developing their moral structure in a social-media vacuum.
Could we strengthen our culture to a place where kids can play outside again? (I think we are not so far away). Where they grow up feeling loved by an entire community, even strangers? Could we lead the nation in this?
American ideals stand on the shoulders of those who fought bravely for freedom from oppression; socialist ideals stand atop the towers of the skulls of their political opponents (ie. Cambodia, USSR, NaZi Germany, China…). There are three steps to socialism: 1. consume the economic reward (which removes people’s motivation and personal responsibility for providing for themselves); 2. force the people to meet government production goals (coercion becomes the only means to influence citizens); and 3. kill your political opposition, in order to retain power (often destroys about half the population). Throughout this process, “be a good comrade” starts as a slogan, then transitions to a demand, and ends as a justification for punishment.
In the famous “Horse and Carrot” analogy, socialism begins by feeding the horse the carrot, which represents the wealth previously built up within the society. This carrot is not replaceable in a socialist economy, and eventually leads to every source of money running empty. The only remaining method to get the horse to work is to use the whip, via unjust imprisonments, labor camps, intentional famine, and other persecutions. Finally, when the horse has tired of the whipping, socialism kills the horse, when necessary to maintain political power.
As has been stated, the ultimate goal of socialism is: 1. a government that organizes the people for its own good (not for the good of the people); and 2. a world without God (faith is dangerous to socialist aims). Dostoevsky was one of the greatest novelists to ever live, and provides a harrowing description of Russia’s transition to socialism.
What would we think about re-focusing the spending of our education money to benefit children rather than their teachers? The 31% raise for Washington State teacher salaries from 2018 to 2019 (NEA Research April 2019) is not sustainable, and that spending is now negatively affecting our children’s education—as voters begin to reject new school bonds, new schools, and school districts fire both non-teaching and teaching staff. In a single year, cost for Washington State teacher salaries went from ranking 23rd in the country to 6th in the country. Could we re-invest that money back to the benefit of taxpayers and their children?
I would prefer that any new chemical introduced as a “recreational drug” in Washington State be introduced by the medical community, not a guy down the street with blackmarket supply chains. Let’s keep our children safe from things like flavored vape products, and the general community safe from harmful unintended chemicals.
During my time abroad, I observed that Native Americans carry the heritage of some of the world’s greatest explorers and adventurers. These are a people that discovered and settled, not just a country, but our entire hemisphere. I would love to see a return to prominence for Native communities, using technology and communications to better the futures of their young people. It is possible, and has been accomplished in several developing countries. I would love to see the first interstellar program be Native-run.
Modern Political Parties
Conservatives in Washington State can update the Republican Party’s structure to better incorporate technology in the constituent-legislator relationship. A “Representative Network” (RepNet) would allow legislators to address both political and personal needs of constituents, in a fully-voluntary online community. A hierarchical organization could allow legislators to better know their constituents’ outlook, allow members to cross-fulfill personal needs, and provide constituents much better access to current information. We currently rely on private social media firms for this function, giving them outsized responsibility and influence.
As well, a focus on Hispanic-heritage outreach provides significant opportunity in the current Republican Party, toward a major segment of our nation’s population. Hispanic-heritage voting currently follows Democratic Party lines, even though the belief systems of Hispanic culture more closely match Republican Party values. A Hispanic leadership-development institute in Washington State would help to cross that divide for future voters.