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  Policy Proposals  


Popular Capitalist Platform for the State of New Jersey

 

1. Immigration and Citizenship: I propose citizenship for all residents of New Jersey. Populism seeks to give power to the people individually and without exception. As such, it fully endorses the Mayflower Compact in considering co-location and the intent to adhere to the laws of a body politic as the only valid criteria for citizenship. Specifically and personally, I am opposed to any restrictions on immigration, both now and in the past, and further regard as unconstitutional all such restrictions, from the Chinese Exclusion Act which forms the basis of Section 8 of the United States Code to similar current legislation.

(a) In addition, I will, as Governor, bar the INS from operating in New Jersey. The Constitution gave Congress the power “to establish a uniform rule of naturalization” but not of immigration, nor was any federal executive power granted for the purpose of naturalization or bankruptcy, “rules” and “laws” being judicial matters, with enforcement of such rules and laws being reserved by the Tenth Amendment for the States.

(b) I propose free English literacy instruction for New Jersey residents who are not fluent in English.

2. Political Parties: I will seek to reduce the influence and control of political parties through a number of measures including:

(a) Eliminating the “party line” on ballots.

i. Placement on the ballot should be based on the number of verified signatures on the nominating petitions alone.

(b) Eliminating state funding of party primaries. The operation of the unions for career politicians, i.e. the political parties, should not be supported with public funds, especially since they are counter to the interests of the public.

(c) Eliminating all patronage positions. These positions are formalized and institutionalized corruption.

i. I will further seek to deny any benefits, including pensions, accruing from holding these positions.

3. Welfare: I propose a monthly payment to each NJ citizen towards the provision of the necessities. Due to the constraints on the state’s finances this paying of the “cost of sovereignty” will have to begin as partial and gradually attain to full payment.

(a) Eliminate entitlement programs as soon as the monthly payment meets the needs which they were created to fill.

(b) The payment can be implemented by a state “credit card”, a la Bellamy’s “Looking Backwards”, for purchases from in-state businesses.

(c) Payments for dependents in a household would be paid into the household account. Payments for dependents that are part of two households will be split evenly between the two accounts.

4. Finance: I propose the establishment of a judicial bank, exchanges and an insurance underwriting market. These institutions are essential to creation of a state-based economy and establishing safe investments for the state government, the people and for fiduciary responsibility generally.

(a) I will ask the legislature to mandate the forms of financial contracts adjudicated by the state through those institutions with the direction that such contracts be unleveraged, clear and transparent.

(b) The scope of the institutions and the financial contracts shall be for parties who are residents of New Jersey, businesses registered or incorporated in the State of New Jersey or the Treasury of the State of New Jersey.

(c) Companies listed on the state stock exchange will be required to pay a monthly dividend per share of a percentage of the average volume-adjusted stock price. I suggest 0.5 % to start. Payments could be made into the investor’s “credit card”.

(d)Ultimately, these institutions will provide the vehicle for the people to become capitalists in their own right. Please note how the rest of the platform assists the people in reaching that goal by reducing the costs they bear and enhancing their ability to earn.

5. Revenue: I propose the funding of an endowment of the Treasury of the State of New Jersey for its participation in the bank, exchanges and insurance underwriting markets.

(a) The return from the Treasury’s investments shall be equally divided between:

i. The provision of the necessities monthly payment;

ii. Repayment of state debt;

iii. Operating expenditures authorized by the legislature in their budget approval; and

iv. Re-investment to increase the endowment.

(b) I propose the gradual elimination of value taxes, i.e. income, property and sales taxes, as the share of returns on the endowment are able to replace them.

6. Costs: I propose a reform of the state civil service system in the state along the lines of the federal GS grade and step system without the Senior Executive Service (SES). This reform would also:

(a) Standardize and reduce the number of administrative positions throughout the civil service system.

(b) Include in the state civil service all non-elected positions in state, county and municipal governments and in public schools.

i. The individual government will hire or fire the individuals filling these positions under strict civil service guidelines.

ii. The number of positions available of a particular type would be determined based on the population served according to legislative mandate.

(c) Exclude civil servants and municipalities from being sued. “Personal injury” law firms should not be allowed to bully and extort money from small, defenseless hamlets for playground scrapes. The responsible party will be the state with an even larger and stronger legal team.

7. Education: In addition to making teachers and superintendents into state civil servants paid by the state and setting their number to correspond to the number of students, which makes the Abbott decision moot, I propose the following;

(a) The establishment of a New Jersey State Board of Regents, which will specify for all levels of education:

i. The requirements for each kind and level of subject matter, i.e. course, taught in the public schools.

ii. The arrangement of course work into grades, for scheduling purposes, only.

iii. The tests which will be used to determine mastery in those courses and by which individuals will receive credit for such mastery, irrespective of their participation in the public schools or classes to teach the course tested.

iv. Accreditation standards for public schools with respect to the teaching of courses.

v. Graduation requirements for public high schools and colleges, as well as degree requirements.

vi. Professional and trade requirements for licenses.

A. Existing professional licensing boards, for example medical boards, will become specialty committees of the Board of Regents, with the additional responsibility of establishing course requirements in their specialty.

(b) A full-year schedule consisting of three terms, for which grades 9-12 will continue to be completed in two terms, as will grades 1, 3, 5 and 7. Kindergarten and grades 2, 4, 6 and 8 will be taught in one term, since Kindergarten should be a brief orientation to schooling and the review portion of these numbered grades is no longer needed in the absence of a summer vacation.

i. After this initial conversion, I would re-label the grades by year, as grades 1 through 7 and urge the Board of Regents to further reduce the primary grades while adding post-secondary grades. My purpose here is to allow public school students to earn associate and bachelor degrees, as well as professional and trade certifications before they reach employable age.

(c) Merit advancement to take the place of social advancement. Tests will be offered between terms, thus three times annually, and scheduled so that each student can take all of the examinations they requested without conflicts.

(d)Course instruction be offered for all ages. Recent immigrants should be able to acquire proficiency in the use of English through the public schools. Workers in declining industries should be able to acquire new skills. Those who left school for whatever reason should be able to return to earn a diploma or a degree.

8. Energy: I propose that we make New Jersey a place where people can live inexpensively and a prime candidate for achieving this is in the reduction of the need for energy. Towards this end, I would seek as Governor:

(a) Replacement of single-zoning with diversity-zoning. This would allow more people to walk to work, shopping and religious and social functions. Walking is the cheapest form of transportation, requires no generated energy and reduces weight and thus the need for energy when other forms of transportation are used.

(b) Allow more compact development near train stations and other public transportation access points. This would increase the use of public transportation, which uses less energy than automobiles. In general, compact development allows the sharing of ambient climate, reducing the need for heating and cooling for individual homes.

(c) Increase the daily frequency of public transportation throughout the state. This will encourage consistent ridership because prospective riders know they can consistently rely on public transportation to get them where they need to go in the state whenever they need to get there.

i. If necessary, schedule minivan and car service for low ridership routes.

(d)Raise the driving age to 21. This will encourage a culture of public transportation use throughout the formative teenage years and into young adulthood.

(e) Provide package delivery with public transportation, especially during times of low ridership. This greater utilization of public transportation reduces the need for private carriers expending fuel.

9. Medicine: I propose the establishment of local municipal medical departments, expanding on existing fire department paramedical units by establishing, purchasing or transferring out of receivership hospitals and clinics. Like firemen and policemen under my civil service reforms, the workers in the municipal medical departments would be state civil servants hired to work at the municipal level.

(a) Purchases of medical equipment and drugs used in these facilities would be done through the state.

(b) Each municipal hospital and clinic will have a pharmacy, staffed with pharmacists who are also state civil servants.

(c) Every drug offered in this system will be supplied through a state medical purchasing office which will negotiate a price contract for each drug with its manufacturer.

(d)Medical services will be provided to all people requiring medical attention in the state.

(e) Residents and long-term visitors (e.g. college students) of the state will be given annual medical examinations by a clinic in their municipality.

(f) Insurance, which never had any business being involved with medicine, should be prohibited from offering policies for any aspect of medical practice.

10. Family Law: I propose that the State of New Jersey stay out of people’s private lives.

(a) No civil marriage ceremonies;

(b) No state certification, benefit or penalty for marriage;

(c) No state divorce decrees, separation agreements, alimony or child support;

(d)No state custody arrangement other than full joint custody of the parents at the time of birth or adoption, with dual residency;

(e) Family members can declare themselves an oeconomia, a household, in whatever size or configuration they deem fit. State law should address the household or individuals within it and leave aside any interference with the relations between household members.

i. Each household will have a “credit card” account for the benefit of dependents cared for by the household.


Breakup Time

 

To hear it from Congress, the only choices on the Big Three automaker's bailout loan request is to either grant their request or have them go bankrupt, with the prospect of every auto-related business going bankrupt. The dire presentation of the second alternative is, of course, designed to make us want to favor the first, despite its sounding like the wreck of the Detroit Central.


But if we step back for a moment and consider why that dire presentation sounds plausible, we will see a third alternative staring us in the face. The failure of the Big Three having this tidal wave rather than ripple effect is entirely because they are so large and monopolistic. General Motors, in particular, was formed this way and has never found the heart to relinquish the brands of the specific companies they swallowed to become "general". They should have been prime candidates for anti-trust action decades ago and this opportunity to pursue this action when they are at their weakest should not be missed. The failure of a few of the "baby motors" will not have as damaging an effect as the failure of GM, Ford and Chrysler.


Doubtless, some will counter that they can't survive as smaller companies against the foreign companies. Balderdash! Those foreign competitors all started out small and they lose market share to newer small car companies. The "baby motors" would have get down to brass tacks and produce cars that people want to buy at a price people can afford. They would have to be entrepreneurial. They would have to be competitive or fail. And that is their best chance at surviving.


We should not delude ourselves into thinking that a bailed-out GM, Chrysler or Ford has any great chance of surviving. The money runs out and they are still doing things the way they have done them since they became too big, with the same effect, except the American people are out another ten to fifteen billion dollars. And no, giving up the corporate jet on Fridays does not constitute a change in direction.


So this is the third choice I would give to the American people: break up the Big Three automakers and have the Treasury invest in the "baby motors" so they can get off the ground while giving the people the possibility of a return on their money. We can also give a green flavoring to this option by having some of the "baby motors" paired up with The University of Michigan, Principia College and the other contenders in the solar car races to develop solar-powered electric cars.



Carl Peter Klapper



If you like this idea, feel free to share a link to this page with your Senators and Representative.