TO FIX THE ECONOMY, FRAUD MUST BE PROSECUTED, OUR SAVINGS CAN'T BE GAMBLED, AND POWER MUST DISTRIBUTE Fixing the economy starts by limiting the damage Wall Street can do to itself and us. Breaking up the big banks only hurt the liars that run them. Remember the government's breakup of AT&T in the late 1970's/80's? The value to shareholders and consumers of the disassembled monoliths will far exceed their current values and reduce risks to themselves, their shareholders and the nation. It's just good business.
Much damage comes from commodity manipulation, and it is now a game for the "Big Banks". No individual, fund or corporation should ever be allowed to monopolize and manipulate the prices of the commodities upon which the world runs. And that includes manipulating interest rates (LIBOR) and externalizing ecological damage from commerce. To stop the crimes we need better watchdogs. Current regulation, by regulators hired from and returning to the regulated industries, isn't working. The regulators are bought, the pols are bought, the judges are bought, all with corrupting money, called legal by the corrupted system. The tax code is the cudgel by which financial crimes and income inequality are institutionalized. We offer subsidies for oil, moving factories overseas, hiding profits in the Caribbean, while we watch the safety net, food stamps and workers rights get trashed. The tax code should rightly promote family homes and education, and punish off-shoring jobs. It should value the proceeds of work equal to investment and tax business transactions and overseas profits to build and support the public infrastructure that underpins industry.
Great damage has been done, and must be rebuilt. But the old jobs are never coming back. So To rebuild the Great American Middle Class will take new ideas. It should start where the disaster has been the worst: in our neighborhoods. To rebuild our neighborhoods, promote growth and lessen future risk we should decentralize power, both political and electrical. Decentralized political power comes from social networking and building community from the neighborhood up. When money is no longer the reason to seek office, good ideas will again have value and opportunity. Decentralized electrical power pushes carbon based power off the grid. We need to sponsor home owners to install solar systems and mandate utilities to buy excess power at peak time prices. The resulting greener and less expensive energy, sustainable homes, and new power grid less susceptible to manipulation, will all create local jobs. So what if global warming is a hoax, and we do all that good that helps real people, builds neighborhoods and clean-green infrastructure for nothing?
But it all starts with breaking up the biggest manipulators:
4. Restore Banks & Regulate Wall Street: Restore Glass-Steagall, Tax Financial Transactions, Breakup the Big Banks. Too big to fail and too big to prosecute means too big to allow, risk or tolerate. Outlaw commodity ownership by hedge funds.
5. Prosecute Financial Crimes as Crimes: Mandate Jail-time for big and repeat offenders, enact a Corporate Death Penalty for egregious repeat offenders, and mandate full disclosure all regulatory settlements, on public media.
6. Get the Greed Out of Politics with Political Campaign Finance Reform: Enact and enforce Full Financial Disclosure for all PACs and NPOs, Set strict donation limits and Publicly Finance State and Federal Political Campaigns. Establish equitable Non-partisan Congressional District Reform systems and apply to end gerrymandering.
7. Simplify the Tax Code with incentives for First Homes and Education: Tax All Income at same progressive rates, Close Corporate Loopholes, Keep Deductions on First Homes, add Student Loan Deduction.
8. Guarantee Workplace Rights: Equitably Adjust and Index the Minimum Wage, Mandate Equal Pay for Women and minorities, guarantee Workers Right to Organize without recrimination.
9. Establish a Smart Grid based on Localized Energy Production: Fund and Implement Home Solar Expansion, Build the Smart Grid and Mandate Peak Time Solar Buy-back Rates to promote decentralized green energy production.