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Preamble

 Life is a journey of experience and learning. A full and rewarding life is facilitated by openness, curiosity, interest, and cooperation. We need to be constantly learning. Thus our ‘positions’ will change as we learn more. If we don’t know much, we are well advised to not take strong, dogmatic positions. But we must also attempt to be specific, ‘solid’, ‘stable’, and predictable. We should not constantly ‘flip-flop’. Our positions (some call them ‘beliefs’) should not change with changes in ‘public’ opinion, with the last news broadcast, or the last talk show host pontification. Our positions should reflect what we know – our experience, education, knowledge.

There’s an old quote I love: it begins by saying ‘we have to be very open-minded’ (that means fantasy, invention, creativity). And it continues…‘but not so open-minded that our brains fall out’ (that’s the reality, the constraints we have to work within, new facts and knowledge).

Here are two relevant ones by John Maynard Keynes

“When someone persuades me that I am wrong, I change my mind. What do you do?”  and  “The difficulty lies, not in the new ideas, but in escaping from the old ones.”

We have to constantly be thinking, critiquing, scanning. We must not accept lies or ignorance – from teachers, professors, parents … or bishops.

 Assumptions are the nemesis of creativity. Textbooks and professors’ old notes are full of old assumptions – what you can do and what you cannot. Assumptions that are initially explicit – meaning carefully stated – have a way of becoming implicit – meaning unsaid, unwritten. We just assume that is the way it is, because that’s what we’ve read and been told so many times. We must make all our assumptions explicit – transparent. And we must challenge them.

 To address our many problems creatively and effectively, we must peer out of the box – and we must not be dragged back in by outmoded, implicit assumptions, by ideology, or by wishful thinking. Einstein perhaps said it best:

 “We can’t solve today’s problems with the mentality that created them.”

Let’s keep learning and problem-solving – together.

My General Platform: 4 Tasks

Task 1 is to defeat and eliminate Plutocracy by restoring Democracy – by getting money out of politics. I support the Move to Amend campaign and a simple,  progressive tax system.

Task 2 is to develop an Economy which:

            —is sustainable…which preserves the planet’s air, water, land, species, and climate;

            — is fair and just, with reasonable rules for all – with no loopholes or special favors – which helps, encourages, and allows you to obtain satisfying work and financial stability;

            — fosters and rewards creativity and innovation while addressing the gross income inequality and income divergence prevalent today.

Task 3 is Education – an affordable, accessible, and quality public and higher education system for all which encourages and facilitates learning, creativity, responsibility, and the other skills needed to be a good citizen and a productive participant in the society.

Task 4 is Health Care – an accessible, much less expensive, and largely public system for all residents.


Federal Lands and Utah

Utah’s greatest asset is ‘its’ Federal Lands. Federal Lands ‘belong’ to the entire Nation. 

The National Park Service does a great job of managing National Parks, Monuments, and other properties. The extensive national park and monument presence in Utah fosters:

tourism; 

Federal payments to the state and regions; 

clean air, water, and vistas; and 

sustainable economic opportunities. 


Utah’s Congressional District 2 includes:

Zion National Park

Bryce Canyon National Park

Capitol Reef National Park, and the East half of

Canyonlands National Park.

It also includes several National Monuments:

Cedar Breaks

            Grand Staircase-Escalante.

District 2 is also a beneficiary of visitors to Great Basin National Park in Nevada (via Delta), which includes Lehman Caves; Pipe Springs National Monument in Arizona (via Kanab and Hurricane); and the North Rim of Grand Canyon National Park (via Kanab).


Federal lands are managed by the US Dept. of the Interior, under the following agencies:

Bureau of Land Management (BLM)

National Park Service (NPS)

US Fish and Wildlife Service

Bureau of Reclamation 

US Department of Agriculture (Forest Service).

The BLM generally does a very good job of managing those Federal lands under its purview – about 1/8 of the area of the United States. Its mission is to sustain the health, diversity and productivity of the public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations.  

The land now called Utah was originally the property of Mexico. In 1848 that land was ceded to the US. Further, in 1896 when Utah was admitted to the Union, it relinquished all claim to Federal Lands, although Congress did transfer 1/9 of Federal land to the State as State School Trust lands (seewww.utahtrustlands.com), as well as other lands for specific purposes . The Homestead Act of 1862 provided a means to transfer small portions of Federal land to homesteaders. In 1976 the US Congress reaffirmed, via the FLPMA (Federal Land Policy Management Act), the need for and importance of Federal lands as a national resource, for the benefit of all present and future Americans. In 2000 the National Land Conservation System (NCLS) was established, emphasizing the conserving of public lands.

Utah receives considerable Federal payments related to the Federal lands within state boundaries:

Payments in Lieu of Taxes  (PILT) – about $36 M/year to Utah – and

Rural Schools Fund

Some of the PILT funds are derived from grazing and logging fees,

mineral and fuel lease fees, and royalties.

The Federal lands are used by tour guides, outfitters, schools, outdoor therapy groups, artists, hikers, riders, and many others for recreation, research, and study. This is generally considered part of the overall ‘tourism’ economy. In addition the Federal Land management offices of all the agencies involved provide a significant payroll in the local regions. Park rangers and most other employees are local residents, participating in local economies. One example – Bryce Canyon – with 1.3 Million visitors/year – provides of the order of $100 Million/year in economic input to the local regions.

The Utah State Government is currently on a crusade to force the assignment of most Federal Lands to the ownership and jurisdiction of the State. The argument is that we in Utah are best informed and equipped to manage ‘our’ lands. This argument, of course, ignores the fact that these are not Utah’s lands, but rather the lands of all US citizens and residents. 

There is great concern that the State, if it indeed was given full jurisdiction, would ‘manage’ the lands for relatively immediate income to the state via leases and mineral resource licensing, which generally degrades the lands and makes them less suitable for future generations. 


The State already manages a Connecticut-sized chunk of lands in Utah via the www.schoollandtrust.org mechanism. Although this is for the benefit of schools and education, there is little consideration of environment, climate, quality of life, or related concerns. The lands are managed for income only. It would be far more reasonable and balanced if immediate income were balanced against future quality of life and well being, perhaps by having students participate in the school land trust committees and board. After all, it’s their future. The Utah student iMatter group is starting to request such involvement.


It’s been argued that the Utah State Government tends to use the Federal Lands question as a scapegoat or excuse for not dealing with its existing lands and financial resources more effectively and sustainably. For example, a recent Salt Lake Tribune editorial:


“…rebels without a clue…it’s not going to happen…[thus] Utah politicians can continue to blame many of their own failures, particularly their inability to structure a tax code that adequately supports public and higher education, on the fact that such a large portion of the state’s lands pay no taxes.”


The State could – and in my opinion should – much more effectively ‘advertise’ its public lands. An advertising campaign along the lines of This Land IS YOUR Land – come visit – especially targeted to Europe and parts of Asia and Australia – would result in even more visitors, providing even more Federal employees and greater economic stimulus. 


Federal lands are not a burden – they are a clean, sustainable, dynamic resource.


Critics often argue that tourism-based jobs are low-paying and seasonal, but that’s because we do little to change the situation. If there is very high demand for tourism-based services, then those business can indeed obtain greater revenues and pay higher salaries. We don’t need to only pay the ‘minimum’ wage. And there are different types of tourism – there is scientific tourism (where visitors pay to participate in research projects, ‘digs’, special tours, etc.), eco-tourism (think Costa Rica!), and special education tours and activities. Some such activities occur and are fostered by the State Office of Tourism, but they could easily be greatly expanded.


I endorse keeping most Federal Lands Federal. I will work to minimize bureaucracy – at the Federal, State, and regional levels – to facilitate more effective, sustainable, and appropriate ‘use’ of all lands. I am discussing the possibility of long term essentially free long term leasing of small amounts of appropriate lands to the State, the Counties, or municipalities for specific community purposes. I endorse Federal-State land partnerships and means of sharing revenues to facilitate such partnerships. I especially encourage Federal, State, and local officials to think creatively regarding such possibilities.

I will also endorse the development of transportation plans and systems to facilitate the visits to National Parks, Monuments, and other ‘popular’ lands and sites.

My recent discussions with Federal Land managers suggests a new openness and spirit of cooperation that perhaps was not in place some years ago. I do not sense such openness and cooperation on the State level. I’ll work to improve the situation.


rev. 8-21-2012

Life, Health, and Health Care


Our Nation’s birth began with the words “Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness” in the Declaration of Independence 

(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Life,_liberty_and_the_pursuit_of_happiness).


Life comes first as it is the foundation, the basis. Our first goal – survival – is programmed in our Darwinian genes and instincts. And from Life stemsHealth. We need to be alive AND healthy to fight, to work, to create, to help each other.


Much of our health and well being is due to:


our choices – tobacco, drugs, exercise, life style; much of it is due to 

our genes and inherited characteristics; and much of it is due to 

luck – both good and bad luck. 


So we depend, in part, on something called Health Care – and a health care system. Often we don’t need health ‘care’, but – like firemen and fire insurance – we want access to it when we need it. 


Very healthy people – who’ve made all the right ‘choices’ – do get cancer, do get Alzheimer’s, or have heart attacks. We all feel the need to help them get the treatment and care they need. That’s what health ‘insurance’ and a health care system is about – it’s there when you need it. It is not like buying a car or a computer – generally when you need health care, you need it now. There’s no time to comparison-shop; there’s no interest in ‘shopping’. It’s not about ‘private sector’ or ‘free markets’. It’s about competent help – diagnose, treatment, therapy – now.


Most modern nations understand our Declaration of Independence far better than we do. They understand ‘life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.’ So they have established – for all their citizens and residents – systems which deliver care efficiently, effectively, and relatively inexpensively. Until very recently our ‘system’ has been the most inefficient, ineffective, expensive, and anxiety-prone system among industrialized nations. That is now changing, in large part due to ‘RomneyCare’ in Massachusetts and ‘ObamaCare’ on a national level. We are still a very long way from implementing a health care system which appropriately provides care for all residents – young and old, employed and unemployed, healthy and sick. But we have made major steps.


We have one of the best single provider/single payer health care systems in the world – it’s called the Veterans Health Administration – or the VA (seeBest Care Anywhere, Phillip Longman, 3rd ed., 2012). We also have a fairly good single payer/multiple provider system for the poor (Medicaid) and the aged (Medicare). Medicaid, Medicare, and the VA are all paid for by the Federal Government. Their costs, and the costs associated with health insurance for all Federal employees, add up to 60 % of the USA’s health care costs. The other 40% are paid for via private insurances and personal funds. It is this portion that has been the major source of our health care system inefficiencies, high administrative costs, excessive salaries and compensation, and high profits It is this private sector which is most opposed to ObamaCare, single payer systems, and European models for health care – the part with the high waste and other indefensible practices. So we already have nearly 2/3 of health care in this country by the single payer approach – the challenge is to expand it to cover everyone. If we expand the VA and expand eligibility for Medicare and Medicaid we could get to 80 or perhaps 90% population coverage!


Health Care is about 1/6 of our entire economy (it should be less, perhaps 1/8 to 1/10 – as it is in other major modern economies). So everything we do and do not do in health care ripples and resonates throughout the entire economy. The bureaucratic inefficiency of the system sucks resources which can be put to more productive use. The exorbitant salaries and bonuses of for profit health care CEOs, Boards, and their lobbyists is money not available to provide care for their subscribers and members – and that applies to both insurers and providers. The excessive salaries of many specialists and other medical providers also damages the ‘system’.


But … the good news* is that ‘ObamaCare’ is a major step toward providing health care for all – let’s improve and expand it to provide the first of Thomas Jefferson’s inalienable rights: Life.


*Listen to one of my old favorites:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CBpwyH9EzXM


Revised 7-17-2012

Energy + Stuff + Services = Economy and Jobs

We have many challenges in our society and world today. We have developed an economy and society which runs on very cheap energy and assumes unlimited resources with which to develop nearly infinite amounts of stuff – for a materialistic, consumption-oriented economy. With over 7 billion people on this one little planet, our days of large houses, big inefficient cars and trucks, ultra-cheap energy and water, and tons of stuff will soon be over.

 

Energy is the basis and foundation of the economy and of society and civilization. Most of our energy is derived from the burning of fossil fuels (coal, oil, and natural gas) to produce heat. That heat is used in three major segments of the economy:

            building heating, generally via natural gas;

            transportation, generally via gasoline and diesel combustion; and

            electricity generation, primarily via steam turbines, most of that fueled by coal combustion, with natural gas starting to play a significant and growing role.

 

All combustion produces heat, but also produces enormous quantities of carbon dioxide (CO2), a greenhouse gas now in large part (with the help of natural gas – methane) responsible for global warming and significant climate disruption and change.

 

It is the unique molecular structure of CO2 and methane (CH4) which is responsible for their heat absorption properties, resulting in the greenhouse effect. This is not theory, scare-mongering, or fantasy – this is fact. We have released so much CO2 to the atmosphere and the oceans that the planet is on the verge of catastrophic change. Thus, we must wean our economy from fossil fuels, quickly. We need to use less energy.

 

The United States uses, per capita, about two times more energy than any other advanced, modern nation. We waste it. The overall price of energy (electricity, gasoline, natural gas) could go up 15 to 20% without costing us a dime more, because simple energy savings attitudes and actions would save 15 to 20% of the energy we now consume – on average.

 

There are some who say we must develop nuclear energy, because it does not produce CO2.

 

My general impression at this point is that the time ‘window’ for large scale nuclear energy closed with the Fukushima disaster. Germany and other nations are beginning to fully phase out their existing nuclear facilities. The ‘window’ for nuclear actually closed some 20 or more years ago, as it simply could not and cannot compete economically with readily available and cheap fossil fuel – generated electricity. And now it cannot compete with the constantly improving renewable energy technologies. There may be a role for small, modern reactors to produce electricity, but even that is not very likely given current attitudes and economics.

 

But we do live – and have been living – in a ‘nuclear’ era. Earth’s solar energy is produced by a natural nuclear fusion reactor 100 million miles away. That energy is free, safe, distributed, and economically ‘competitive’. It is easily collected, used or stored, and can be delivered as needed. It also facilitates a transition to distributed power collection and generation. 

 

The two recent books:

    Reinventing Fire, Avery Lovins, 2011; and

    The Third Industrial Revolution, Jeremy Rifkin, 2011

present the situation and the pathway towards a truly sustainable energy system.

 

Congressional District 2 has some of the highest solar energy density in the United States – and a great deal of largely flat, dry land. District 2 should and can become the ‘nuclear’ energy center of Utah – a major solar energy producing region for the state and the nation. Such activities will invigorate rural towns and regions.

 

In addition District 2 has substantive wind and geothermal energy potential. The potential for wind is already realized in the Milford area – in Beaver and Millard counties – with the opening of Phases I and II of First Wind, the largest wind farm in Utah. This has revitalized both counties, providing education, jobs, and resources for students and residents. See:

http://www.firstwind.com/projects/milford-wind

 

Tooele Army Depot is embarked on a major project to develop sustainable electrical energy, for its use and for other Department of Defense facilities:

http://media.bonnint.net/slc/2499/249906/24990631.pdf

http://www.ksl.com/?nid=148&sid=20589682

http://app.ksl.com/story.php?sid=20589682&section=local 

 

The BLM has identified a set of areas ideal for renewable energy generation. Many more are being identified and studied. BLM has produced a wonderful map identifying those regions in the state with significant renewable energy resources, including transmission lines.

 

District 2 also has sites – and projects underway – for massive energy storage, via compressed gas storage and its controlled release (Delta)

http://www.westernenergyhub.com/ 

and via hydro storage (pumped water and hydroelectric generation) at Parker Knoll, south of Koosharem.

http://www.riverbankpower.com/parkerknoll.html 

These 2 huge (1000 Megawatts each) storage projects overcome the argument that wind and solar are ‘intermittent’ sources of energy.

 

When a Washington County commissioner tells me that his county has no energy resources, while gazing wistfully at the Eastern Utah section of the map on my business card, it reinforces my commitment to try to help people challenge those old assumptions – to encourage them to peer out of that encasing, rigid conceptual box and begin to think fresh and creatively. Washington County should and could be a major source of and supplier of solar energy. Yes, there are economic issues; yes, coal is cheaper (today, just barely); yes, we love mining and coal truck driving, but…times are changing. We could help lead, rather than simply plod, follow, and complain. At least, let’s not get in the way.

 

An introduction to some current energy issues is at:

http://radiowest.kuer.org/term/energy-development

 

Stuff (Resources) - There’s another major component to the economy – stuff. There’s a great, irreverent skit (called Stuff) by George Carlin which really gets at the heart of the problem – and the challenge:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4x_QkGPCL18  

 

Here’s another one, now more popular, cleaner, and well known, by Annie Leonard: The Story of Stuffhttp://vimeo.com/6366233  .  And a very recent one:

http://www.ted.com/talks/graham_hill_less_stuff_more_happiness.html

 

Basically our economy is based on cheap energy and cheap stuff. Cheap stuff is shopping, malls, big cars to haul our stuff, and big houses to house and store our stuff (thanks, George Carlin); and big storage units to store stuff, until we can afford a bigger (a non-’starter’) house to store that stuff, too.

 

Stuff has to be made from something – that’s called resources. It may be metal (mined from the Earth, purified, and processed), plastic (made from fossil fuels in chemical plants), etc. All the stuff you own and buy has to be made from something – from matter. And energy is used to mine, refine, process, shape, assemble, transport that matter (now stuff) to you. And nearly all that energy today results in CO2 production. See:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cJ-J91SwP8w&feature=player_embedded

 

We have reached the limits of CO2-based energy generation, because of the greenhouse effect and climate change; and we are also reaching the limits of mineral resource extraction, due in part to the realization that we need to partially preserve some of the remaining lands on our little planet. I’ve summarized these two limits in this All There Is graphic:



We are in the process of transforming to a more sustainable economy – meaning slower growth – in both energy, stuff, and population (it is people which use energy and acquire stuff).

 

Our economy cannot ‘recover’ to the way it was – dependent on cheap, wasteful energy and oodles of cheap, much of it unneeded, stuff. People who say we are in a slight downturn just don’t get it. The few who do get it aren’t really being heard –yet:

Chris Martinson (Crash Course);

Richard Wolf (Capitalism Hits the Fan);

Paul Gilding (The Great Disruption).

 

This isn’t about fantasy and wishful thinking – it’s about reality, creativity, responsibility. Our kids and grandkids don’t want to inherit a trashed, chaotic planet, nation, and state.

 

Sustainable Economy and Sustainable Jobs

 

So how do we transition to a sustainable economy? It’s not easy, which is why politicians don’t talk about it – most don’t even begin to understand the need, the challenge, the opportunity.

 

Tim Jackson’s recent book: Prosperity without Growth: Economics for a Finite Planet, 2011, is a good beginning.

 

First, many of us need to be paid less, work less required hours, do our jobs better, and develop fulfilling uses for our leisure time.

 

Those on the higher end of the salary scales need to work less hours (with less pay, of course) to provide work and pay for others. Yes, this goes against most of the economics assumptions and practices of the last 40 years or so. Many of our old assumptions must be challenged in a world of finite resources. We cannot depend on continuous growth, nor constant increases in ‘productivity’. A sustainable economy means a no-growth economy – a dynamic and vibrant economy without the requirement for growth and infinite resources. The economy and society will ‘grow’ in other dimensions – in education, health, recreation, creativity, etc. It just cannot use much additional stuff or energy.

 

An old book which can be very helpful in the transition is John W Gardner’s Excellence, 1961. He says we need to have the time to do our very best – we need excellent plumbers, cabinet makers, teachers, doctors, nurses, lawyers,… They need the time to do their jobs well – to be excellent. We need more service workers – more in the caring professions – social work, psychology, counseling, mentoring,…

 

How to get there? One major and easy way (once passed and implemented!) is a highly progressive income tax, as we had during Eisenhower, Kennedy, and the early years of the Nixon administrations. If income taxes on the current 1% (roughly $500,000/year in annual income) were much higher, say 70% (as they were in 1980), then there would be less incentive to earn a $500,000/year (or higher) salary. That professional could work less hours, have time for family, community service, other good deeds, etc. For those who do indeed want to earn large salaries, the incentive is still there to do so – you just have to earn, say, $100 Million to ‘take home’ $30 Million.

 

A similar tax is the progressive consumption tax, sort of a ‘luxury’ tax – essentially a tax on income minus savings – on the money available to buy stuff.

 

The move towards a sustainable economy means less acquisition of stuff – particularly ‘unneeded’ or ‘excessive’ stuff. For the rich this means smaller and fewer cars, smaller and fewer homes, smaller yachts and planes, etc.

 

Income inequality can be more fully addressed with a new Alternative Inequality Tax or ‘rising tide tax’ – dealing with the so-called ‘Brandeis Ratio’ (or Gini Index) measure of income inequality: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/12/19/opinion/dont-tax-the-rich-tax-inequality-itself.html.

 

Such progressive taxes help address the severe income inequality in the United States.

 

Those on the lower end of the salary scales would have very low tax rates, allowing them to live (albeit simply and perhaps frugally) on their income, but without having to hold two or more jobs. Thus they, too, would now have more time for family, recreation, and for achieving some level of excellence and satisfaction in their work. If we can move to somewhat higher minimum wages – to a more living wage – and with access to reliable and affordable health care – then we would be well on our way to addressing our severe jobs problem.

 

Finite resources means more expensive resources – if we try to do business as usual. This encourages reuse, design for disassembly and recycling, innovation to permit design and development which requires less expensive supplies (resources),… – this all means new jobs.

 

Energy is the driver of all economy and all life. A sustainable economy means a more energy-efficient economy and thus a more environmentally sustainable economy. Simple fees on non-sustainable sources of energy would encourage energy efficiency, innovations in product design and development, and innovations in truly renewable energy sources…and many more jobs. The Fee and Dividend plan proposed by Dr. James Hansen and the Citizens’ Climate Lobby would accomplish these goals with great overall benefit to the national economy:

http://www.climatelobby.com/fee-and-dividend/

 

Most of us do not (strongly) object to taxes to discourage use of cigarettes and alcohol, nor taxes and fees to discourage pollution, fraud, etc. Such positive ‘behavior’ taxes and fees are generally accepted. Taxes or fees on fossil fuels, thus encouraging much more efficient use and encouraging alternative sources of energy, are no different than taxes on tobacco or alcohol.

 

A sustainable economy, to be dynamic and vibrant, needs innovation, creativity, entrepreneurs, etc. – and this requires some capital and investment. We need to incentivize innovations and activities which actually facilitate sustainability. We need to dis-incentivize financial transactions which further complicate and hinder the transition to a dynamic, vibrant, sustainable economy. One way to begin is to implement a financial transaction tax or fee. A simple 0.1 to 0.5 percent tax on trades is a good proposal:

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/12/07/business/global/micro-tax-on-financial-trades-gains-advocates.html?pagewanted=all

http://robinhoodtax.org

 

Britain, Singapore, and Hong Kong already do this with no ill effects – in fact some 40 countries apply such approaches. The tax discourages financial market short-term speculation activities.

 

In the USA today most government revenues are generated via:

Income Taxes (Federal Government and many states), via a slightly progressive formula;

Property Taxes (State and regional, local governments); and

Sales Taxes (State and regional, local governments).

 

Many countries use a flat Value Added Tax (VAT) – sort of a national sales tax – as a means to generate needed revenues.

 

As we now know, there are several other approaches, including

consumption taxes,

financial transaction taxes,

inequality taxes, and

carbon taxes or fees.

 

The challenge is to ‘use’ taxes to generate needed revenues AND to encourage behavior in the best interests of a sustainable society and economy.

 

There’s obviously more to study, discuss, and consider before moving forward with legislation to simplify and overhaul taxes and revenues, but this is a good foundation and a good beginning. We must get over our old, outmoded, now implicit assumptions – get out of our boxes – and look and move forward. It really isn’t that hard.

Rev. 6-26-2012


Immigration, Security, and Fear

We are a nation of immigrants. My own family came through Ellis Island in New York City in the early twenties from the Azores Islands (in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean). I witnessed the struggles and commitment of my grandparents in adapting to the challenges and opportunities of their adopted country.

The United States is the beacon of hope and opportunity for the entire world. People continue to come – legally and illegally – to find work, freedom, opportunity. We should be honored that, in spite of our current problems and difficulties, others still want to join this remarkable country.

Nations are expected to ‘control’ their borders, including immigration and emigration. We issue and require passports and visas; without such ‘papers’, one is ‘illegal’.

Historically, dictatorships built walls to keep their people in – to keep them oppressed and subservient (the Berlin Wall and the Iron Curtain). Some walls were built to help slow down or repel invaders (the Great Wall of China). But our US-Mexico border wall is mainly to keep out people who simply want to do useful work (it is not effective at keeping out drugs or committed terrorists).

As long as economic and social conditions in Mexico and Central America are worse than in the United States, people will come. If the tables were turned we would do the same. We all want to provide for our families. Survival is our strongest instinct and responsibility.

The problem, then, is not about policing the border and cracking down on ‘illegals’. The problem is much larger. It’s about economic opportunity and cooperation throughout the Hemisphere. How can we work with Mexico and Central America to help their economies and internal security – to decrease drug cartels, internal violence, and poverty?  That’s part of my global sustainable economy platform – more on that later.

Dwight Eisenhower said:

“If you can’t solve the problem, expand it.”

     That means be creative; look at the bigger picture; think ‘outside of the box’; try to solve the bigger problem.

I endorse “The Utah Compact – a framework of principles designed to

balance justice and mercy to guide a civil, compassionate

immigration policy.”

http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/opinion/53819705-82/immigration-utah-arizona-church.html.csp

The Compact was developed and endorsed by a wide range of churches, community groups, and public officials. The principles of the Compact should be part of a new Federal Immigration Act.

We need to recognize families and those youth who, though perhaps formally undocumented, have lived, studied, and worked in the US with the intent to become permanent residents and citizens. Thus I also endorse the Dream Act – to recognize undocumented residents who have proven their ability and willingness to succeed in US society – who have basically earned a pathway to citizenship. The Dream Walker movement is helping to inform us of the issues and needs of the ‘undocumented’:

http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/politics/54090624-90/act-activists-dream-group.html.csp

Florida’s Senator Marco Rubio, a ‘rising GOP star’, is supporting Senate passage of a Dream Act:

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/04/20/us/politics/marco-rubio-urges-republicans-to-pass-dream-act.html  .

Utah’s own Rep. Stephen Sandstrom changed his attitude and position upon learning more about the situation, the issues, and the needs:

http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/mobile/54025401-68/sandstrom-utah-immigration-law.html.csp  .

We must recognize, assist, and respect all who reside in or are visiting the United States. To do so requires consideration of economics, education, health, and justice for all – not only those who are formally ‘citizens’. To do that requires vision and perspective which embrace the Hemisphere and indeed the entire Planet.

We have become a nation of fearful people – stemming in part from 9/11 and our national response to terrorism. We now have a very strong Dept. of Homeland Security and government policies which actually trample upon our Constitution-granted civil and human rights. Yes, we must be vigilant. Yes, we want to be secure. But we cannot let fear dampen our optimism, our creativity, our attitude.

Recall Franklin Roosevelt’s:

“The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.” 

Let us not fear our neighbors, our immigrants, our foreign visitors, ourselves. We must realize that life itself is somewhat statistical. Terrible events happen – out of our control or our understanding. And wonderful unpredictable events happen – equally not of our control and out of our understanding. Part of what makes life interesting and beautiful is its unpredictability.

Vigilence? Yes!

Fear? No!
Rev. 6-26-2012
Additional Comments:
My major focus is on truth, honesty, facts, and transparency - 
no BS, no fantasy, no ideology.
My approach is reality, pragmatism, and new solutions. 
Paraphrasing Eisenhower: If you can’t solve the problem, expand it. 
That means look at if from a larger and different perspective.

I am very concerned in getting money out of politics, hence my No $$ campaign. 
I am concerned about income inequality and the need for a simple and fair tax code.
I am also focused on Energy, Water, and the Economy – Jobs for and in District 2.

My talks and speeches are appended below. 

You can get a good idea as to my general values and background from 
The Call – Towards Personal Independence and Responsibility - 
a pamphlet for teens and others to take control of their life and world (see below).
Voter’s Guides:

2 comments on “Platform

  1. Rich Csenge on said:

    Hi Joe,
    Very grateful for your dedicated efforts and enlightened positions on all the issues. The educational focus of your Platform is so thoroughly refreshing!. I’m over in Maine until about year end, and voting for you with an absentee ballot.

    You’re an agent of beneficial change and a source of inspiration in a sea of conformity, mediocrity and corruption. Wishing you all the best in your run for Utah’s District 2 in the US Senate.

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