Children today learn to wash off after swimming or wading in rivers and streams, and to be careful not to swallow the water, and the fish they catch they better not eat. For them, this will be normal.
A Vision for a new Society
by Joe Gray
In my vision of a new society, greed will no longer be sanctioned or admired. Wealth and property will be more equally distributed. Excessive profits and accumulation will be redistributed through graduated wealth and income taxation. People will invest in peace rather than war. The people on the planet will consume only at a level sustainable into the indefinite future. There will no longer be a greed based economy. Nature’s goods will be on an equal par with pharmaceuticals and there will be no reward for lying about products. Nature will be cherished for its inherent value. Man will find his niche in nature. Communities will be largely self-sustaining, particularly in energy and food.
This vision is based on a shift in the moral and ethical values of the society, accomplished through discussion and understanding, ultimately it depends on people adopting a new ethic because they believe it offers the greatest chance for man to succeed (and survive) on this planet.
Drugs, both manufactured and natural, will be managed through cultural awareness, knowledge and education. Harmful addiction will be treated as an illness rather than a criminal offense. Corporations, if they exist at all, will be answerable to the people and must show a net benefit to society. Everyone will have the opportunity to engage in meaningful work and everyone will receive a minimum of a “living” wage. Environmental costs, including health cost and the cost of climate change or global warming, will be included in the cost of goods sold. A carbon tax will be added to the cost of all fossil fuels and the conversion to alternative fuels will be a top priority. Poisons will no longer be applied in agricultural practice. Nature will be highly valued and all degradation of nature will be added to the cost of whatever has caused the degradation.
The benefits of technology and increased productivity will be shared with all people, including workers, rather than just the owners and top executives. Corporations will not be permitted to contribute to political campaigns or to lobby Congress or government. Political campaigns will be publicly financed. Private funding of elections will be severely limited so that no individual or organization can have an undue influence on the process or candidates.
Policing of the public will be kept to the minimum necessary to protect them from serious harm, and civil liberties will be respected as a sacred right. Police will be trained in social empathy and non-violent means of resolving public disputes and deterring crime; the first line of problem resolution will be by special teams skilled in non-violent problem resolution. Criminal justice will be reformed so that crimes alleged to be committed by police will be handled through special prosecutors and courts that are removed from local influence or intimidation. The emphasis of our justice system will be protection of life and liberty. Prison time will be reserved for violent criminals who are a danger to society; even there, people should be given the opportunity for rehabilitation and to leave prison when they are judged not to be a threat to society.
People will value and respect diversity in race, ethnicity, gender and sexual orientation. People will live in contact with nature rather than isolated and insulated from it. Education will be free to those who wish to pursue it, health care will be free to all, the cost being borne by the entire society.
The money for this will come from the prison costs that are no longer necessary, reduction in military capacity, the carbon tax and progressive taxation of income and wealth. The carbon tax could be revenue neutral or with a portion reserved for development of renewable, non-polluting fuel sources and technology.
Peace will be vigorously pursued. Peace will be pursued by discussion of ideological differences and practices and good faith attempts to change offensive or threatening behavior. Countries will refrain from unwanted invasive attempts to remake other nations so that they constitute better markets for them, and from attempting to control another nation’s resources. The departure from a greed based economy and economic encroachment will make our own country more trustworthy and less threatening in the world. This will reduce international tensions and make other countries more likely to enter into fair trade and peace negotiations with us.
This is my vision.
Host: Joe Gray
Guests: John Christensen and Sean O’Leary
Topics: Vision for a New Society (by Joe Gray), WV Politics and Economics, Arthur Laffer and WV taxation proposals, net metering, coal and solar energy, carbon tax proposal in Seattle, the post-factual world, jobs and sustainability in WV
Audio record of radio broadcast from WSHC Shepherdstown from the Campus of Shepherd University on 9/5/2015
Host: Joe Gray
Guests: Consuelo Newman and Danny Lutz
Topics: Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO’s), food labeling, pesticides, nutrition and health, the Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act of 2015 (also known as the DARK Act), local sustainability, Citizens United, capitalism and free enterprise, reaction of the Hispanic Community to recent anti-immigrant statements.
Audio recording of radio broadcast at WSHC Shepherdstown from the campus of Shepherd University, 8/29/15