The Political Parties Need Platforms – Let’s Start with This One

01/10/2018 12:03 am ET

by Philip Kotler and Gary Massel

The U.S. today is perhaps more greatly divided than any time since the War in Vietnam. However, this time the great divide is even more about the values that we want to guide this great experiment in democracy into the future. The fissures that divide us are racial identity, religious belief, wealth, economic opportunity, and gender.

And worse yet, our political system rather than providing the leadership to heal these fissures and provide a vision for the future for all citizens has become an arena pitting political gladiators whose weapons are half-truths, innuendo, and “fake news” that serves to widen these fissures for their own political gain.

Both political parties are in incoherent states with no visions and no platforms. Elections will be coming up without either party stating a clear vision and program.

We offer the following position statements for a Party platform. We offer them in the spirit of a work in progress, which each party can argue and revise until each agrees on the best platform and promises to make to their respective voters.

Build An Economy That Creates Greater Job Opportunities

- Maintain the lower corporate tax rates and create incentives for corporate overseas profits to be returned and invested in the US

- Invest in significant infrastructure renewal

Define Healthcare As A Right Ensuring That It Should Be Accessible And Affordable

- Stabilize Obamacare and develop plans for moving to a single-payer system with private supplemental insurance options

- Require the Government to negotiate drug prices

- Develop metrics for consumer evaluation of treatment options, delivery performance, and reimbursement

Develop An Education System For The 21st Century

- Develop core curricula that define a minimum knowledge base required to fully participate in the evolving society. This must address technical, civil, and creative goals.

- Work with both public and private higher education to increase diversity and improve opportunity for social mobility

Support Energy Policy That Reduces Contribution To Global Warming And Which Overtime Will Reduce Energy Costs

- Upgrade US electric grid and allow wheeling over larger geographic areas

- Increase incentives for non-fossil (including nuclear) energy research and implementation

- Prevent drilling in environmentally sensitive areas

- Rejoin the Paris Climate Accord

Immigration

- Implement a pathway to citizenship for all current "illegal" immigrants who are not felons

- Develop immigration policy with emphasis on skills and on currently underserved job categories

- Grant citizenship to DACA fellows

Gun Control

- Require background checks nationwide for purchase of firearms through any channel

- Improve data-base performance for criminal records or mental health related issues

- Bar sale of automatic fire weapons or rapid fire enhancements to semi-automatic fire weapons

Foreign Policy

- Continue to advocate for an international order based on a free press and judiciary, human rights, free trade and environmental protection

- Require all trade agreements to ensure fair and equal access to markets

- Require all trade agreements to allow workers to organize and negotiate for higher wages and improved working conditions

- Form strong alliances with other nations to work on common problems in trade, climate change, security etc.

- Aggressively sanction any country who attempts to influence the internal politics of another country without public attribution

- Reduce our investments in the war industry and use the savings for nation-building in the USA

Tax Policy

- Increase personal income tax on all earnings over $1,000,000 annually to begin to reduce the wealth inequity in the country

- Tax "carried interest" as normal earnings.

- End tax loopholes

Safety Net Programs

- Put Medicare and Social Security on long term financial footing by increasing tax base for contributions and increasing the retirement age

Do we have any takers for this, the people’s platform?

If not, this is an opportunity for a third party to come forward - one that’s interested in actually serving the people. Public service, they used to call it.

Gary Massel is a retired corporate and government executive.

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