COMCAST BLOG: IF I WERE PRESIDENT (Oct 31, 2008). Final text created
(Nov 09, 2008).
If I were President: by Bennie Beaver
IMMEDIATE AGENDA: Establishing a conducive legislative relationship; the economy and budget; the war and international relations; Health care; energy independence and environmental concerns; transportation and communications; putting people to work creating this agenda and improving the infrasturture in the process,etc. Of course, much like with President Roosevelt in 1933, the economy can be addressed by putting people to work on new and revolutionary solutions to all of these concerns! It's important that tax monies invested in work, sciences, and technologies produce billions of dollars in value and savings. Wasting work and mony is not an option!
Be aware that powerful special interest groups ignored will reemerge somewhere! Times that support the rich get richer and the poor get poorer must come to an end. The can't crowd must be given a new job out of the way.
1st- I would bailout the important financial institutions because without them our financial infrastructure would be in serious trouble. But then, letís be clear. Bailing out the institutions does not mean bailing out any criminal complicity of their CEOs and managers. Keep the institutions, but render justice on those criminally responsible for this crisis. I would seriously consider breaking up conglomerates - especially, financial- too big to fail in order to create real competition.
A. Iím not an expert on financial markets. So I would consult with experts knowing that they are sometimes wrong. Diversity of educated opinions is the way forward. But having said this, I would protect the American people from the consorted greed of power. Just sharing the pain does not comport with my sense of justice. As Iíve said, those responsible should shoulder their share of the pain.
From what Iíve heard from the experts this is what I would do: I would provide liquidity to the credit markets, both domestic and foreign, by providing insurance to the banks and lenders. If some cash was deemed necessary, I would consider that.
On the peopleís side, I would place a moratorium on all residential arm foreclosures until proof is provided that the mortgagee can maintain payments on a renegotiated fixed mortgage. I would investigate the possibility that in the future most mortgages on a first home be fixed.
In foreign markets, I would work in concert, with my friends first, and the world bank in an efforts to stabilize markets closely related to America and its interest. Those credit default derivatives, that Warren Buffett termed toxic, sold to foreign and domestic interest, would be unraveled and addressed one by one. Some how a proper degree of rules, regulations, and transparence have failed. We must ferret out those credit rating agencies and individuals responsible for providing triple A ratings to CDOs and remove CEOs profits, then make corrections in ratings data analysis methods (reward those who complained). Financial stability and justice would be the rule. Every effort would be made to insurance that no such failed derivatives could be sold in the future. Whether any derivatives are salvageable would be a economic question to be determined. Laisser-faire economics is not likely to continue far into a future where automation and artificial intelligence will create machines that can produce everything now produced by third world slaves and the poor in our own country. We donít want the rich to own all of the means of production. Do We?
Cash liquidity to international or single state entities would be considered.
P.S. The American people have been too focused on a superfluous spending spree, on a money train racing to the top, in an economical system becoming too unbalanced in favor of the rich, and no one willing to put on the brakes. In light of this truth, there is reason to believe that a period of reajustment is in order, and a reavaluation of savings and spending on cerebral value is possible...opposed to money for money sake. If this reajustment is successful, then our society can return to an improved balance between superfluous and redeemable value.
Nations like China are heading through a period of redeemable growth in which it will, in time, unbalance its society in favor of the rich - and money for money sake - if strong measures are not instituted to protect and grow its general population.
To me, especially on a personal or national bases, superfluous spending must flow from a quality education and science, and not the other way around. The reajustment of America's financial system to a new and more sustainable foundation is likely the best ending to all this personal stress and strain. In order for America to extract itself from this financial morass it must push its sciences and technologies to the limits of automation and efficiency to improve production and cost. This will aid export markets and bring our economy back into balance. However, the ultimate goal for the world and each nation will be its own sciences and automation and production.
2nd- As president, one may only hope to resolve a few problems at best. Among those few quest would be ENERGY INDEPENDENCE and reduced energy cost. This plan has the potential for putting millions of people to work right here in America, and in the long run saving billion of dollars now spent on our enemies. Subtracting billion of dollars from the Middle East could help push them into a modern world. At the same time we should continue to support our proven friends in the Middle East to conduct their own battle against terrorism for their own best interest. Itís not a good idea to totally desert our friends no matter who they are:
b.I would insist that new home contractors take advantage of solar energy in all new constructions, including providing the electronics to plug in solar when people can afford it. I would end the production of all energy wasting lighting where possible. I would provide an immediate tax break to home owners who install solar energy and lighting. I would insist that all vehicles under one-half-ton truck (G) use new battery, fuel-cell, hybrid, green energy sources. I would consider an action to turn in all velicles under a half-ton at trade in with government backed low interest rates and help for the poorest. I would want to know that the cost savings would be offset by the saving ($700 billion) to our enemies, and a cleaner environment, etc. At the same time we could be creating jobs to build these new vehicles and economy. I would push for the conversion of all heavy trucks and equipment to natural gas and sequestered carbon from coal/oil until hydrogen, or another source is available. I would insist that coal and oil companies first prove the safe sequestering of carbon is possible. There is a question about that. Nonetheless, we need heavy equipment and the military to remain functional. Every effort would be pursued to get heavy machinery and air travel on to cleaner energy. There is an ongoing debate about using nuclear and/or hydrogen in airplanes and elsewhere. I believe that itís nonsense to believe that science and technology will remain stagnant and unable to resolve the storage questions for nuclear waste. For one thing, the coming space elevator and other improving access to space will develop within the next forty to fifty years. Nuclear waste can be propelled into its natural environment, space! WE ARE NOT LOOKING AT 10,000 YEARS FOR NUCLEAR WASTE ON EARTH. At present some 95% of the waste can be burned up in modern reactors. So Iím for building a percentage of our power from nuclear energy. Additionally, recently announced by scientists at Los Alamos national Labs. are miniature nuclear power plants smaller than a small shed that can power 20,000 homes ready for sale within five years for 10 cents a watt. To be licensed to Hyperion Technologies. What do you want America? Wake Up!
In addition, we would follow the T. Boone Pickens plan for more energy from wind and solar. Although, I would call in all of the experts on wind and solar and decide which one to put most of Americaís money on. I do question T. Booneís plan to use natural gas for large trucks; however,it's likely a good idea (a question of fracturing water tables?). We will need some of that natural gas to back up the days when wind and solar are waning. Furthermore, I would have studied a plan that follows the abatement of green house gases and global warming. Among others the following plan is just one more idea to discover:
Most of us have heard of at least two coming climate episodes that could change our environment in a multitudinous of ways. We're either in a global warming faze that could over heat our tootsies, or in a cold wave that could freeze us all into Pop-Sickles. Well, in this discussion it really doesn't matter what side you may come down on, because I have my own layman solution for both. Here it comes:
Station giant shades, a curtain of 3D solar carbon nanotubing (new idea to mass produce nanotubing at Electronic Materials Research Institute at Northeastern University in Boston, Massachusetts) in conjunction with an idea presented by J. Roger P. Angel, director of Steward Observatory Mirror laboratory at University of Arizona, at L1, the inner Lagrangian point between earth and the sun. Otherwise, engineer a single piece or patches embedded with nano size reflectors adjustable remotely to reflect horizontally or vertically to pass light through (possibly utilizing automated satellites spewing, or weaving the barrier).
Detractors seem to believe that J. Roger P. Angelís Idea for a space shade would cost too much money, and still, it would not solve the problem of green house gases on earth. I say that man can solve both problems at the same time helping to cleaning up earthís environment while providing cheap energy. The shade/solar collector could be designed to be moved in sections, or otherwise, adjusting to maintain solar energy while reducing shade. If the shade does not work as planned, then just keep the solar energy. Either way the plan could pay for itself. In fact, we may be able to add a third and fourth benefit to this shade/solar/ with a solar radiation burst protection as well as hurricane mitigation. (Solar radiation out-burst comparable to 1859 could cause trillions of dollars in damage not to mention hurricanes , including security risk). Oh! Talk about a ultimate savings! One problem is the "can't be done" growd.
Propelling dust or sulfuric acid into the upper atmosphere may cost less initially, but will it be too difficult to remove it if it effectively fails to improve earth's albedo....or possibly is harmful. A sun shade can be varied to any degree and it supports man's need to develop space access. As soon a 2029 an asteroid is expected to pass so close to our planet that it will come between earth and some of our communication satellites. We need to get on with mankind's future in space!
ultimately, the direction for energy systems must be portable power. It's nonesense to believe that mankind should continue burying pipes, wires, or stringing them from hell to high water were they destroy environments and are subject to weather, terrorist, and computer hackers, etc. There are many new sources for energy being developed, such as geothermal and ocean theramal conversion, but they too require wires and pipes strung forever. Something that leads to portable power should be the ultimate goal. Everything else will be just a stop-gap to that future goal.
Of course, we must work to end pollution at the source!
3rd- We can improve Americaís faltering TRANSPORTATION SYSTEM in a way that can save billion and trillions of dollars while putting more people to work creating it. Again America would become a leader and showcase of the World. To make clear, the following new transportation system can be built beside, and with little interference with, the present Interstate system. As each segment of the system is completed it can immediately become activated to save billions of dollars. The present system should be repaired as-is without expansion. This system would avoid much of nearly 80 billion hours lost in traffic; over two million accidents per year, and increase productivity to the tune of trillions of dollars, etc. (Salt Lake City, Utah mass transit trains pay only 14 cents out of a dollar of cost 2009. We need more speed not less. Cars could be built to automatically enter EMS systems and exit far more effectively, period). The following is just one of my plans for that new system:
BLOG: I drive the American Interstate system hundreds of miles weekly and the traffic is becoming horrifically congested. I wonder whether the Department of Transportation and U.S. Congress are asleep at the wheel. If they think that they can ever build enough added lanes to handle the traffic, then I believe that they are wrong headed. Not only will it just create more congestion, but it will completely blight the American landscape. I can give you one great solution for this developing traffic jam, but will the DOT and U.S. government have the vision and will to respond: Begin by removing all large tractor trailers - starting with the large vans - from our cross country Interstate highways and place them on I-90, I-80, I-70, I-40, I-10 east and west on electromagnetic suspension (EMS) in below ground air evacuated tunnels designed for 300 miles/per/hr. speeds, but maybe operated at 200 miles/per/hr at first (Sections of the tunnels may be half, full, or not below ground in order to maintain a smooth and straight conveyance. It's important to provide easy crossing for animals and traffic....Also, aesthetics. True, we're talking about heavy trailers which could require additional technologies). Start with at least a 50 mile test tunnel with long computer merged on and off-ramps. Begin construction on I-80 with long off-ramps to huge yards at smaller towns, planning to deliver north and south when necessary, creating numerous shuttle jobs. Here are the advantages: (1) Large trucks create most of the congestion and damage to Interstate Highways including searching for places to park alone the highway. (2) You reduce exhaust emissions; wear on equipment cost; snow, and weather, and wreaks with cars and animals, etc.; reduced cost of insurance and risk to drivers; will remove more of the human factor from roadways; create more local jobs along the Interstates to deliver loads north and south and added support for thousands of trucker families to stay close to home; much less repair expenses to Interstate highways; much needed higher speeds of delivery and the system would maintain a more constant speed (three to five times present delivery speeds +); of course, less oil and diesel usage and cleaner scenery and atmosphere. Later, we could do the same for cars and leave the Interstates for vacationers and sight- seeing, along with some local, or as needed, traffic. The only next technological advance is likely to be teleportation, and that may take a while. Of course, with the coming artificial intelligence and automation age, we will be able to return to a more local production except for raw materials. Someday, even that problem will be solved by the conversion of energy to matter. But for now, letís just see whether today legislators have a vision of the future, as did our fathers, who created the Interstates in the first place - and the massive growth of our American industry. Then again, maybe they'll just wait until someone else does it "this time", and we play "catch-up"! Otherwise, we could end up with a traffic jam from "sea to shining sea" - we're getting close to that right now. WAKE-UP America! New trailers can be designed, and including systems that help detect explosives and/or terrorist activities, etc. Later systems may include passenger travel. Count the dollars and sense saved to Americaís atmosphere and scenery, etc. Do you want to build more freeways? Our cities are already beginning to look like an Amusement Park, with all of those up and down over-passes and under-passes. True, our children don't need to pay at the amusement parks when they can simply drive our American city freeways and over-passes. Wake-up America! Not only will it save billions of dollars, it'll speed up the system, and reduce congestion and further blight to the scenery and environment. Simply because our legislators can't think out of the box, they'll put the rest of us in a box...six feet under. Make sure they come along for the ride...if you get my drift! They should get out of their chauffeur driven limousines where they must be twiddling their thumbs, while wearying about the war in Iraq, as America foster road rage and congestion; medical cost sky rocket; jobs are out sourced to slave labor; the spread between the wealthiest, middle class, and poor widens, etc. Wake up AMERICA!
Yes, the day may come when flying drone-frieght may be possible, but it's hard to believe in this, with present day technologies. We wouldn't want a sky full of drone polution along with carbon polution. I have my own ideas expressed within some of my Science Fiction and science ideas. Related to any future transportation, indeed, are questions of over population and air polution.
4th- Few things are more irresolute and unfair then Americaís HEALTH CARE SYSTEM. The rich can drive cost out of reach of the middle and low classes. Other times itís the cost of research and like of broad competitionÖItís like a few rich individuals and companies are competing between themselves, and the remainder of us poor folk are left out. There is the argument of some claims that without our present competitive system there would be little funds to drive research. Yet we can see foreign universal health care systems working fairly well. The arguments are sometimes that foreign health care systems are benefiting from Americaís big dollars in research. Well, at what cost is Americaís health care system. Many of these grand advances in health care are out of reach of the middle and lower classes. The truth is that most scientists in the health care world will continue their research into the new and upcoming advances no matter what. There are real human beings in universities and companies who care about the progress now developing in science. Few things will stop this new and coming progress. Yes, money does play a role, but at what cost to the masses of people without insurance and hope. What about the poor and disenfranchised? Often the rich will chastise the poor as weak and undeserving. Well, often the rich will ignore their own sonís and daughterís entitlements to inherited millions. Weíre all in this new and incredible scientific future together, or will the likely hood of the wealthy deserving a high place in this new dawning of science, be as likely as threading a needle with a Camel. The basics of health care belong to every human being on earth. Let the rich pay for the face lifts and other advantages that can help drive more monies to research. Otherwise, what will we do when science begins to extend life and cure many of the supposable incurable ailments. All of these things including improving intelligence is coming. The very heart of our modern and future societies demand some form of universal health care, period. In a modern world basic health care is a right. Only in a dog eat dog primitive world was it a matter of mental and physical might.
How do we afford this new universal health care? We afford it by the savings mentioned above as well as by ferreting out tax loop holes that help the top 3% of the wealthiest to own over 90% of everything. They say that 2% of the wealthiest pay 40% of the taxes, but what they donít say is that 2% own over 60% of everything. Yes, we do need to redistribute some wealthÖthat is more equal opportunity. Yes, we do have antitrust laws and maybe we should make better use of them. The truth is that a purely capitalistic laizzez-faire system has never worked bethinking the 1933 years of the Roosevelt term as President. He created works projects that did help to extract the American economy from the 1929 stock market debauchery, at least when you give the middle and lower classes a tax break they spend more of the money on products that the companies then produce. In this way more of the money is filtered through far more hands on its way to the rich.