Thursday, July 21, 2016

Stopping Terrorism

There are many theories about how terrorism came to be and who is responsible. What is most important though is addressing the fact that it is already here- so what can we do to stop it now?

What are they so mad about? American meddling in the Middle East. Why do they resort to the tactics they use? Because they do not have regular armies and feel they have no other way to fight a larger enemy.

Perhaps the last small paragraph is oversimplified, but it is true nonetheless. Like virtually all other problems facing America, the answers are easy to figure out but no one wants to actually go through with solving them. Money usually gets in the way, and this is no exception. War profiteers such as weapons manufacturers and arms dealers are having a heyday with all this. How about we stop it anyway? Human lives are worth more than corporate profits, right?

Draconian laws, secret prisons, and similar unconstitutional actions will not stop terrorists. It only makes us less free. There are already plenty of laws against murder, bomb making, threatening people, and so on. All we have to do is enforce them.

1. Withdraw all military from the Middle East.

2. Stop all drone use outside of America. Use them only for patrols of our own borders, watching domestic militias, etc.

3. Permanently close Guantanamo prison. Give the entire base to its rightful owner: Cuba. The prisoners there can go wherever they want- they will not be on American controlled land anymore.

4. Stop all military aid to israel. Other countries will pick up the slack, and it will be on them- not us.

5. Only buy oil from countries that do not sponsor terrorism- this would eliminate sales from Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Qatar, the UAE, and Jordan. They will change their policies or we can buy it elsewhere.

6. Stop all immigration from all countries in the Middle East and trans-Caucasus areas for 5 year periods, renewing until problem is gone worldwide. Do detailed screening of immigrants from other areas.

7. Set up a multinational terrorism information center for govts. to share real time intel.

8. Pay reparations to main nations America has destroyed in the amount of 250 billion dollars apiece- to Libya, Syria, Iraq, and Serbia. Afghanistan has been at war so long we would not take the blame for that, but simply leave there for good. Also send hazmat crews at American expense to Serbia and Iraq to clean up radioactive materials/dust for as long as necessary.

These steps would go a long, long way towards mending ties with all countries terrorists emanate from- not to mention bringing about peace in several regions. Too simple? We would just do it.

Friday, January 10, 2014

Presidential Eligibility

It is safe to say that many of our presidents weren't too sharp...which is a tad disturbing. The question is not just how do they get elected, but should they be eligible to run at all in the first place?

This blogger does not believe stupid people should be allowed to apply for this important job. In charge of the armed forces, the economy, foreign relations, domestic affairs, and much more, the president needs to be a very astute individual with a special kind of temperament. How astute? What should the criteria be? Currently, the only two conditions are: 35 years old or more, and, a natural born US citizen. Here is what I would tack on:

1. Lie detector AND voice stress analyzer tests while answering a standardized set of simple questions. These could include: Do you truly intend to uphold the oath of office if elected? Do you plan to abide by the US Constitution at all times? Do you have allegiance to another nation? etc., etc...

2. Criminal background checks. Any warrants whatsoever, convictions, or arrests would be researched. Felonies would disqualify the candidate. These matters prevent people from getting other jobs, even minimum wage part time ones- so why not for the presidency as well???

3. IQ test. Standard, accredited test would be used. Required result would be at least 120 or above average. The higher the score, the better they would fare against their opponents during an election.

4. Foreign language fluency. At least one foreign language would be required at a fluent level. Like the IQ results, the more the better. Spanish would not count in this field however, nor would 'dead' languages such as Latin and Ancient Greek.

5. Standard job requirements test. This would include questions on the names of all current world leaders; all current nation-states, their capitals, and their govt. forms; knowledge of current conflicts and wars; quizzing of roles of president, his aides, and other govt. officials; structure of the US govt. and how its economy works...etc...The higher the score, the better. A 85% would be required to pass.

6. Educational background verification. Candidates would be required to have at least one four-year college degree in civics, law, economics, and/or social sciences.

All of the above would be made public, and all tests would be completely neutral/bi-partisan. Other relevant experience would be impressive but not required. This could include military, business, political, activist, charity, or other special qualifications.

Friday, December 30, 2011

Direct Ways to Save Money and End Debt

Of all the multitudes of lengthy, complex books about how to fix the economy, virtually all are overcomplicated. Some simple, albeit unpleasant to some, measures could be taken to balance the budget in one term. An example is detailed below which will cover all interest, real federal debt, intra-governmental debts, trade debt, state and local debts, and will cover personal debts. This totals about 19 trillion dollars- sounds impossible, but it's all about priorities...

1. Cancel debt owed to Federal Reserve Bank ( a private bank). Savings: 1 trillion, 600 billion
1a. Not paying interest on debt above. Savings, per year: 242 billion.
1b. Confiscate real assets of Federal Reserve Bank. Net: 640 billion.

2. Cut the USDA. Savings, per year: 150 billion.

3. Lease federal lands for real value plus royalties from minerals/oil. Net: nearly 1 trillion first year.*
4. Sell and use the strategic oil reserve. Besides lowering gas prices for a long time, Net: 65 billion.

5. End free trade. Enact fair tariffs. Savings, per year: 500 billion.

6. Close all foreign bases and bring troops home. Savings, per year: 100 billion.
7. End wars in Middle East. Savings, per year: 150 billion.
8. End the Pentagon's black-ops budget. Savings, per year: 50 billion.

9. End all tax loopholes and deductions by scrapping entire tax code.
Savings, per year: 1.11 trillion.

Also, the federal govt.. could drum up some money by: 
Selling all military surplus items, unused federal buildings, and other misc.items.
Taking donations of cash, land, and other property to reduce deficit. 
Taking donations of precious metals and stones to back US notes. Goes directly to US Gold Repository (Ft. Knox). 
New, standardized federal traffic fines, to be assessed on top of state and local fines and forwarded to Federal Govt. 

Savings per year: 2 trillion, 203 billion (X 4 year term: 8T, 812 B)
One time savings/earnings: 3 trillion, 240 billion
Royalties from federal land mineral rights: about 1Trillion per year (for 400 years)
Grand Total: 12 trillion, 52 billion, plus royalties.
--current fed debt- 15T, total state and local debts- 4T
--still needed to pay off total debt: 7T.
Therefore use oil royalties to pay this down within eight years.

Afterwards, there will be a balanced budget, true federal income, low interest rates, lower taxes, and excellent prosperity. The graphs below illustrate the changes needed: do not touch entitlements, reduce military costs, and spend sensibly.

*note for #3: some minerals include shale oil and natural gas which require fracking to obtain. environmentally harmful, yet desperately needed for economic reasons, they are limited in volume anyway. if strictly regulated by the EPA to insure groundwater contamination is prevented, and also if the process is only done far from communities to minimize earthquake risks, it could proceed safely for a limited time. this would be in addition to the environmentally safer technique of using nonflammable propane gas instead of water in the process, as described in this original study.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Department Changes

There are 15 executive departments in the federal government. Besides these, there are also:
69 independent agencies and govt. corporations,
69 boards, commissions, and committees,
4 quasi-official agencies,
and about 1,000 federal advisory committees.

The independent agencies and corporations are independent establishments which are created by Congress to address concerns that go beyond the scope of ordinary legislation. These agencies are responsible for keeping the government and economy running smoothly.

The boards, commissions, and committees are organizations that were established by congressional or Presidential action, and their functions are not limited to supporting a parent agency.

The quasi-official agencies are not officially executive agencies but are required by statute to publish certain information on their programs and activities in the Federal Register.

Federal advisory committees are panels which advise the executive branch on numerous issues. A lengthy explanation is here.

There has been a lot of talk about eliminating the Dept. of Education in order to save money. The implication is always made that the ED is useless as well. 'The ED' performs numerous useful functions involving the education of our nation's children. They also will become even more important when schools are standardized. Test scores, grade passage, and other criteria need to be standardized nationwide to achieve more competitive results in overall test scores. The ED would also be in charge of the new school voucher program, which will make it easy for parents to choose the schools their children go to. This includes public, private, and home schools.

The only department worth axing is the USDA. All but five of their programs are unnecessary. Their huge budget centers upon propping up people who already have profitable businesses: farmers. Farmers can survive on their own without govt. handouts and other free services. The five remaining agencies that are important can easily be reassigned to other departments.

This would save about 150 Billion dollars per year. In one term, a president could save taxpayers 600 Billion Dollars with this act alone.

Here is a more complete list of what would be cut and saved, for starters.

Federal Agencies:

USDA- US Dept. of Agriculture
remove entire agency.
Save the following services and make them part of the HHS:
plant inspection service (formerly APHIS: animal and plant health--)
food and nutrition service
food safety and inspection service
Save the following and reassign them to the DOI:
forest service (USFS)
natural resources and environment service

DOC- Dept. of Commerce
remove or change only the following two agencies:
change the 'minority business development agency' to the 'low income business development agency'.
[This service should be available to all in need, no matter their race.]
Remove the NIST (national institute of standards and technology).
[Their laughably incorrect report regarding 9/11 shows they have no interest in science].

DOD- Dept. of Defense
Army- merge with national guard. Remove all other former aspects of it, except 'space and missile defense command', which would be reassigned to the USAF.
Navy, air force, marines- keep as is.
Combatant commands- restructure CENTCOM.
Keep Strategic, Transportation, Special Operations.
Northern reassigned to Alaska and Canada.
Southern reassigned to Caribbean and southern US border states.
Pacific kept as is.
Joint Forces to concentrate on Canadian and Australian cooperations.
European to be ended.
Rest will remain unchanged.

ED- Dept. of Education
keep as is.

DOE- Dept. of Energy
keep as is.

HHS- Dept. of Health and Human Services
keep as is.
three departments added from former USDA.

DHS- Dept. of Homeland Security
remove TSA (Transportation Security Authority) and reassign their tasks to the Federal Marshals.
keep Secret Service for presidential protection only. Reassign their other tasks to the FBI and the Federal Marshals.

HUD- Dept. of Housing and Urban Development
remove office of multifamily housing.
See post “shuffle old bldgs.” regarding old project buildings.
Use office of housing to enact new policies.
Add two new agencies:
Homelessness Elimination Project
House Renewal Agency

DOJ- Dept. of Justice
remove COPS (community oriented policing services)
make the BATFE a dept. of the FBI

DOL- Dept. of Labor
keep as is.

DOS- Dept. of State
keep as is.

DOI- Dept. of the Interior
remove the BLM (bureau of land management)
restructure the BIA (bureau of Indian affairs) so that it is run by Native Americans.
Add two agencies from the former USDA
Add EPA under this department

Dept. of the Treasury
remove the IRS (internal revenue service)
Financial Management Service will be charged with more extensive mgmt. of the General Fund
Bureau of Engraving and Printing will print all paper monies as US Notes

DOT- Dept. of Transportation
add new bureau: federal traffic enforcement

VA- Dept. of Veterans Affairs
keep as is.

Independent Agencies and Govt. Corporations

Ones to be ended:
AMTRAK (after majority of deportations finished, approx. 2 years. then sell to private company)
director of national intelligence
office of the director of national intelligence
farm credit administration
federal reserve system
panama canal commission
selective service system
tennessee valley authority
united states postal service (sell to private company)
postal regulatory commission
(reassign EPA to DOI)

Others to be reformed, combined, removed, and created as needed.

Boards, Commissions, and Committees

Ones to be ended:
broadcasting board of governors
citizens' stamp advisory committee
federal interagency committee for the management of noxious and exotic weeds
national indian gaming commission

Others to be reformed, combined, removed, and created as needed.

The GAO will be tasked with recommending other combinations and / or removals of departments, agencies, bureaus, commissions, boards, committees, and govt. owned corporations. Most of these will be acted upon after review by president and vice-president. Saving money and streamlining the government while also reducing red tape are prime goals of this party.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Solving the Illegal Alien Problem

On day one of becoming President, we would file four executive orders relating to illegal immigrants. We would also propose a bill to Congress relating to this subject within the first year in office. 

In order to enforce these new laws, special measures would have to be taken. For years, if not decades, politicians have been saying it would be impossible to enforce any laws against illegal aliens because there are a lot of them. That is as logical as saying there are a lot of shoplifters in this country, so we should ignore the theft laws and let them keep on stealing. So how would our administration implement the orders and laws planned?

First, regardless of anything else, we are going to bring our combat and Army troops home. It will take some time to get things ready while they are coming back and getting settled into their new domestic bases, and the new border fences and other security measures are being built. During this time, a year at least, the illegal population would be publicly warned to leave the country voluntarily. Free bus and train tickets to the border towns would be immediate. Also, all landlords, business owners, and vehicle retailers would be put on alert that enforcement would commence within 60 days. The mandatory use of E-Verify by all employers would also stop all legitimate businesses from hiring as well. Plus, the mailing and wiring of money to Mexico and other Latin American countries would be stopped immediately. These factors together would result in a huge portion of the illegal population realizing that the party is over and it is time to pack up and go home.

After the military is all back in America and bases are built/reopened for them, plus the border is well secured to prevent reentry, then deportations could commence. By now it will have been at least a year, and many will have left already. For those who had not, the National Guard units of all states would be ordered to find and arrest all illegal aliens and transport them back to Mexico. Local, county, and state level law enforcement, as well as INS agents, would be enlisted to aid the Guard in seeking them out. All Amtrak resources would be exclusively dedicated to this, and Greyhound and other bus line tickets would continue to be paid for by the federal govt. for this. Military transport resources will also be used as needed.

Securing the border would include deportation docks that will easily allow deporting of large numbers of people at once in a safe and orderly manner.

It can actually be that simple. Sure, some people would make a lot of noise about it. And alot of people would resist and make a huge scene, crying to the cameras and giving sob stories to the media. But it must be done. There are reasons for the laws. We don't ignore the laws against burglary because there are a lot of burglars. We don't protest for the white collar criminals because they 'wanted a better life'. And we don't exempt anyone from American Law based upon race either. The laws must be enforced. America needs 20,000,000 job openings, as well as freedom from the other problems caused by illegal aliens. Period.

It can and will be done.

See related right-sidebar entries, and links on left.. 

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Occupy Wall Street: a Practical View

The "occupy wall street" demonstrations remind me of the WTO protests. Lots of people flock to them to protest, but there seems to be a lack of clear purpose. What do they want? I seen a poll on Facebook asking people to vote on what their demands should be. Protesting before demands are known? They sure did.

Obviously, they are people who dislike the Wall Street employees' extreme wealth, and are implying they either obtained it unfairly or at least should give most of it away to the poor. They also imply pay cuts and higher taxes are in order. The means to accomplish these goals are unclarified as well.

This political party supports protest rights and free speech. It is up to the NYPD to determine if the protestors are out of control or blocking traffic, and the local authorities can make their own decisions about what if any measures to take.

However, expecting wealthy people to pay more taxes and/or take large pay cuts just because less wealthy people are envious of their high income is simply neither fair nor legal. The Wall Street employees earned their money and if they broke laws doing it, they should be reported and prosecuted. Otherwise it is not other peoples' business how much money they make.

The only issue that may be actionable is taxation. It is indeed unfair that the more money you earn, the less taxes you pay. At the same time, people under a certain income pay no taxes at all. It is the so-called "middle-class" that pay the lion's share of taxes, by far. But the "middle class" seems to be people earning up to a million dollars per year. The government also defines "wealthy" as having an income of over 11.5 million per year. So a lot of people complain about income and taxes and near-poverty when they actually could live very well on the income they already receive. It is their mismanagement of their funds that causes their financial woes. Many "poor" people have no control over their situation and are caught in a vicious cycle of circumstances. Regardless, one group still pays the most taxes. No one group should have to.

In the current system, a new fair tax system should be implemented to tax everyone at the same rate, such as 10% of all income from all sources, period. Part time janitors would pay the same rate as Wall Street billionaires, per capita. This would be a start.

However, our economic plans include elimination of both the IRS and income tax itself. This is explained elsewhere on this site in detail. Further address of these protests would involve numerous aspects of our economic plans. Write-off of defaulted student loans, encouraging more people to go to college and tech schools, and improved retirement plans will rectify many of these economic disparities.

In the meantime the protesters would be well advised to go home and enroll in college or do something else constructive with their time, besides declaring that they dislike rich people. The frustration is understandable, but the protesting is useless.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

How to Create Jobs and Secure the Economy

Much is written about how to create jobs and lower unemployment rates. Many of it is good, some very ridiculous. Here are a few ways that should be attempted...

1. Give job preference to people who need jobs.
People under 18 should be studying and living off of their parents. Millions of jobs are taken by teens while adults can't find any work at all. Also, people who receive permanent fixed income such as Social Security, SSI, and Disability do not need work as badly as adults who do not. Giving tax credits for preferential hiring of other people is also wrong. Why are convicted felons rewarded like this while law abiding citizens are given the toughest odds? The same goes for people on welfare, minorities, etc.: while they need a break, so does everyone else that is unemployed. People of every race and background deserve equal footing when seeking work. All of these special preference rules have made new 'minorities' that cannot get a job in any area or type of work. A person's qualifications should be the only criteria.

2. Encourage employers to stop being so picky and just hire people already.
In the old days, businesses put out a Help Wanted sign when they needed help. An unemployed person could ask for the job and was nearly always hired on the spot. If he wasn't working out, he was fired and the sign went back out. Nowadays, you must fill out several pages of personal information, usually including your last 10 or more years of employment, permission to check your credit rating, personal references, business references, psychological exams, etc., etc.! How patently absurd this all is. Managers seem to be so afraid to fire people that do not work out that they make applicants jump through hoops to even get an interview (which can involve up to three interviews before getting hired or not. If not, you may be told by mail in a couple weeks- if at all). Every business has stacks of applications, all of which are nitpicked through and most are rejected out of hand. Applications should be simplified and ask the basic essentials, like how to get ahold of you for an interview. Then they should do brief interviews with all to determine their character and ability to do the job. DO the I-9 and give them a chance.

3. Encourage corporations especially, and also smaller businesses, to decrease workers' hours instead of firing them or laying them off.
This will maintain a skilled workforce at each company, as well as benefits. The workers can seek part time work elsewhere or draw partial unemployment. This saves the company money compared to canning them and then having to rehire and retrain later. Increased funds to unemployment coffers of individual states would be worth the investment to maintain employment and lower business expenses.

4. Encourage citizens to form co-ops.
Co-ops are businesses that are co-owned by all of their employees. This results in excellent loyalty and work ethic, and encourages efficient work practices and business ideas. It also makes for even distribution of the profits to all employees as equal co-owners. By cutting out the middle management and giving all profits to all employees, they all earn very impressive salaries. It is also much easier to start a business if you have a group of people helping you financially instead of going on your own . The public should be encouraged to explore this concept and consider trying it.

5. Raise minimum wage to a livable wage.
Minimum wage is a paltry amount that cannot be lived on. When an employer pays minimum wage to an employee, they are essentially saying: “your time and labor is not worth hardly anything to this business, so we are going to pay you the minimum amount we legally can, just because it is a federal law.” That is why low paying jobs net high turnover rates. Paying a livable wage, such as 10. per hour, increases work ethic and attendance, and reduces turnover. It also increases spending power of employees thereby stimulating the economy. If a business cannot afford to pay its workers more than 7.25 an hour, it should not be in business. Minimum wage jobs are just a step away from indentured service, trapping people into a job that pays enough to help with bills a little, but not enough to live on or fulfill their most basic needs. Lowering the minimum wage would indeed create jobs- i.e. sweatshops- creating a new class of super-poor. It is the wrong direction to take, and is understandably a favorite dream of big businesses/ corporations/ haters of the poor. It is wrong on many levels, including economically.

6. Create public works projects.
There is a lot of work that could be done, and there are a lot of people that would love to do it for a decent paycheck. Since lowering unemployment is key to fixing the economy, it would be a wise investment for the federal govt. to create a series of large public works projects. The only requirements for hiring would be 18 years old or more, able-bodied for job, and an American citizen. This would also give them excellent chances at new work references for future jobs. The projects could include any of the following and more:
-clear out undergrowth in the national and state forests to prevent fires,
-build levees along all towns that are near rivers, or improve existing ones,
-build seawalls along coastal cities,
-build a mag-lev rail system (see other post),
-build a covered roads system (post forthcoming),
-replant trees along both sides of all interstates (lot of work/good for environment/beautifies America-all at once),
-dig a canal from the Pacific near L.A. to Lake Mead in Nevada and then build desalinization and purification plants. irrigate the desert with this and create vast new areas of farmland,
-build a fence and a wall along the southern border- at 3,000 plus miles it will be a large project employing many people for a long time. future economic benefits of it, once completed, will be enormous...
These are but a few projects that will create thousands if not millions of jobs while also helping the economy in other ways. For more ideas, see earlier post entitled Public Works: Job Corps Revisited.

7. Enforce Federal Law, and expand it.
Deporting all illegal immigrants would create nearly 20 million job openings. Since there are about 10 million Americans that are unemployed, the math is simple. As a matter of fact, legal immigrants would have to return from various countries to fill some positions, with work visas. The visas could be issued and revoked as American unemployment rates vary. If unemployment is at 4%, then visas could be revoked until 1% is attained. Simple. So simple, it will draw ire from pro-illegal groups, but the math is clear. Also, American citizens should be given preference in hiring over aliens with work visas; a sole exception to the rule mentioned earlier. This will keep us from having to work part time, low paying jobs while aliens get all of the better jobs. They always say they do the work that we “won't do”. This will give them that chance. In due time, there will be so many jobs that most formerly illegal aliens could return as legal aliens with work visas (simplifying that process and making it free would also be enacted). Favoring Americans is a responsibility of an American politician.

8. Expand discrimination laws.
Discrimination laws are broad and taken very seriously, but they could be expanded for the benefit of many. Not everyone is protected. I am not talking about white people- they just call that “reverse” discrimination, but it is still illegal. Overweight people are discriminated against frequently, and weight should be a protected status as well since it is a physical attribute. Obviously, a strip club should not be forced to hire a 400 pound woman to dance, but just the same, a restaurant or dept. store should not hire skinny people over fat ones. It happens a lot. Just the same, people with tattoos should also be treated equally. Youthful indiscretions, cultural beliefs, or whatever reasons they have are all valid- tattoos are permanent and should not doom someone for the rest of their life to unemployment. Many businesses feel it should. Similarly, it is very difficult for men with long hair to get jobs at many businesses. This is also wrong, and a blatant triple-standard. It is triple and not a double standard because women are allowed to have long hair, and men who claim to be of Native American descent are allowed to have long hair, but men (non-Native) with long hair are rarely hired by most companies. Dress codes are often cited. If the company's females and Indians were forced to have short hair as well, that would be different, though it is never the case. Another dirty trick employers use is to not hire people that are currently unemployed, or have been unemployed for longer than a month, or have a “gap in employment history”. This means if you are out of work you are much less likely to find a job than someone who already has a job and doesn't need another one. It also means if you were out of work for any period of time at any time in your adult life for any reason, it will be held against you. It is high time to stop discrimination based upon weight, tattoos, hair length, and time out of work. This would increase employment for many thousands, at least.

9. End prison labor and close prison factories.
When someone commits a crime, they are deemed a threat to society and locked away from it for a prescribed period of time to protect society from them. It is also considered a punishment and sentence lengths vary according to how serious the crime was. This is the basic concept of the penal system anyway, though it is no longer the primary practice of it. Now, most prisons have factories within their walls/fences and the prisoners do a lot of work in them. Many industries contract with states to have prisoner labor make their products. This is because once you are sentenced to a state or federal prison, as opposed to a city or county jail, you generally have been convicted of a felony. Felony conviction strips you of your citizenship, and you no longer have any rights except basic human rights. One example is that parolees have a red P or F on their driver's licenses, which indicates to cops that they are felons. They can be searched without a warrant. But their punishment and separation from society does not mean their human rights can be taken away, and therefore they cannot be made into slaves. They are though. They are not physically forced to work in these places, but they really have no practical choice. Most prisons charge money to their inmates for shampoo, toothpaste, combs, etc. If they want to brush their teeth or wash their hair, they had better sign up for work. They also get favor with parole boards if they can say they have been working. This makes sense, but also seems coercive. Most importantly, they are paid anywhere from 10 cents to 2 dollars an hour. Working for that amount is wrong, and borders on slavery. Meanwhile, the illicit companies that have their products made there, as well as the states, make huge profits. To put the icing on the cake, millions of jobs are locked within prison walls for inmates so they can buy hygiene items the state should be giving them to begin with, while millions of law-abiding citizens are unemployed. Making prison labor illegal would force these companies to move their operations out to citizens that need jobs, and if they cannot afford to pay more than 2. an hour, then they should be out of business anyway.

10. End NAFTA and enact Fair Trade tariffs on all importers.
Allowing foreign cheap labor to undercut American profits is a no-brainer. It has already cost this country millions of industrial jobs. The fear of angering foreign nations should take a backseat to revitalizing our economy. And the political clout of dollar type stores and big box dept. stores that sell as much as 80% Chinese products, should also take a backseat to American employment. If America regained its industrial base, most people could afford to buy more stuff and also pay more for it. The argument of increasing trade is moot when you factor in the loss of so many domestic jobs and the spending power they brought about.

….Ten ways to create millions of jobs, ending unemployment completely. Enacting these measures would be like pressing a giant reset button- resetting the economy.

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Mass Transportation Plan: MAG-LEV Trains

After the economy is fixed and there is a surplus again, a new, comfortable, fast, cheap, and pollution-busting mass transit system should be built across America. Perhaps in a second term, perhaps sooner. But the idea is worth some thought...

A nationwide mag-lev train system could be built parallel to the US Interstate highway system. This would connect all major metro areas. It would also be run up the US-Alaska highway, and connect the major towns in that state. 

At each city, a depot would be built for maintenance, employee rest, pick up and drop off of passengers, etc. The depot would be built near the metro airport to interconnect people with air travel. This also will place them near car rental companies, motels, and other facilities that are normally near airports. 

Mag-lev trains can be built on the ground or elevated, and this system would be elevated so as to avoid hitting animals and pedestrians. Even 20 feet would be plenty. 

There would be a boarding fee of 25. per person. This cost would be the same as driving 500 miles if your car got 40mpg, and most do not. Not to mention oil and wear, and time saved. At 70 mph, one could travel 500 miles in just over 7 hours- if it was nonstop and no slowing down was needed, nor rest stops. On a mag-lev, slower models cruise at 300+mph, and no stopping would be done between cities. One could travel 500 miles in 1.7 hours, on the low estimation.This boarding pass would take a passenger anywhere for a time period of 12 hours. In ten hours, one could travel across the breadth of the country. Then after the time is up on the ticket, a new ticket would need to be purchased at the next depot. This would make it cheap enough for all, and greatly reduce oil dependence. Imagine traveling from New York to Los Angeles in under one day, for $25. The time of layovers/stops at depots would be fifteen minutes, averaging just an hour or so total on cross country trips.

The airline industry will no doubt oppose this plan. It would cut into their profits from domestic flights. But progress must continue regardless of corporate greed. Aircraft use lots of fuel, pollute a lot, and are a hassle to get onto (to put it mildly). Boarding a mag-lev would simply require walking through a metal detector. Bomb sniffing dogs would be present as well to notify security of any explosives in the area. Luggage would be placed on a belt which would be run through an X-ray machine and a metal detector, and past the dogs. It would all be loaded onto the last car. The last car would have a breakaway switch to automatically separate it from the rest of the train in case of emergency or explosion. So security would be pretty simple. 

Passports would not be needed either, just an ID to purchase a pass. 

In order to prevent this from becoming a rich-people-only means of transport, there must be an alternative to rental cars as well. Rental cars require credit cards, and most poor people do not have one. Therefore a cheap means of temporary transportation should be provided for passengers once they get to their destination city. It also needs to cover the immediate region for transport to outlying towns. 

This problem can be solved by encouraging cab companies to set up stations near the depots, which wouldn't be difficult. So they would more readily take people out of the metro, federal matching funds would pay 50% of the fare outside the city limits. 

As for original construction, the sale of Amtrak would be a start, and the sale of military surplus such as jeeps and passenger jets.The riding fee of 25. per trip per passenger would cover the estimated operating costs of 53 million per year if only 2.12 million passenger trips were sold in that year. This is not a lot compared to the airlines selling tickets to planes holding 200-300 passengers on 30,000 plus domestic flights per day- that's roughly 9 million passengers per day!

It has been estimated that a mag-lev system would cost up to 111.5 million dollars per mile to plan, set up, build, test, and so on. The rough estimate of miles mentioned below would be over 25,100. This could total nearly 2.8 Trillion dollars!! Of course, the lines could be built one at a time, as funds permit, instead of all at once. This would make it much easier to afford- needing a billion or so at a time. Transport of 100,000 people per day for 3 years would pay for the whole thing however. After that, incredible profits could be had for the US govt., becoming a major source of income and either replacing many taxes or adding to the wealth of the new economy.

The routes would mainly parallel the following interstates:
10, 40, 70, 80, and 20, and 90 later on;
5, 35, 65, 95, and 15, and 55 later on;
*Anchorage-Fairbanks-Juneau AK, and Juneau to contiguous US (if possible) through Canada, to Seattle WA or Great Falls MT .
Towns in italics have intersecting depots. Asterisks indicate secondary phase.

I-10: Jacksonville-Tallahassee- Mobile- Baton Rouge- Houston- San Antonio- Las Cruces- Tucson- San Diego
*I-20: Dallas- Shreveport- Jackson-Montgomery- Atlanta- Augusta- Colombia
I-40: Raleigh- Nashville- Memphis- Little Rock- Oklahoma City- Albuquerque- Las Vegas
I-70: Baltimore- Columbus- Indianapolis- St. Louis- Kansas City- Denver
I-80: New York- Chicago- Des Moines- Omaha- Cheyenne- Salt Lake City- Sacramento
*I-90: Boston- Buffalo- Toledo- Minneapolis- Bismarck- Spokane- Seattle
I-5: Los Angeles- Sacramento- Vancouver- Tacoma
*I-15: San Diego- Las Vegas- Provo- Idaho Falls- Great Falls
I-35: Corpus Christi- San Antonio- Austin- Dallas- Oklahoma City- Wichita
*I-55: New Orleans- Jackson-Memphis-St. Louis- Springfield- Chicago
I-65:Mobile- Montgomery- Nashville- Louisville- Lansing
I-95: Miami- Jacksonville- Savannah- Fayetteville- Raleigh- Richmond- Washington- Baltimore- Philadelphia- New York- Boston- Portland(ME)

Look at a map and you will see how extensive this would be. It would connect all major metros and many medium sized ones. Not as fast as jets, but much cheaper and roomier, with a lot less hassle- this would be perfect for low cost trips anywhere in the country.  Fixing the economy would allow America to afford such perks.