Here’s a half-baked hardball from someone with no education on the subject, and only one night of personal experience. America’s penal industrial complex is a corrupt monopoly that treats recidivists like repeat customers—great for business. Harsh sentencing for minor infractions continually rewards this system with new customers—another boon for cash flow. What can a country with 5% of earth’s population and 22% of its inmates do to improve this situation? How about Federal decriminalization of marijuana, followed by legalizing, regulating and taxing prostitution. Other victimless crimes might qualify, but these are my favorites, so it’s a good place to start.
If this crackpot idea sounds like good politics, hold on to your hat. Let’s talk three years of mandatory civil service for every able-bodied high-school grad, dropout, GED candidate, and gender-fluid shoe gazer who doesn’t meet at least one of the following criteria by his 19th birthday:
- Registered for a full course load at an accredited university
- Gainfully employed, with health coverage
- A member of the US Armed Services
Draftees will be given free housing, hot meals and $1,500 per month in exchange for 50 hours per week—40 cleaning graffiti, painting bridges, servicing municipal vehicles, filling potholes; anything US cities might require—and ten for physical fitness and advanced on-the-job training. The budget for this ambitious Federal initiative will come from a 5% reduction in military spending and a 2% added flat tax on FAANG (Facebook, Apple, Amazon, Netflix and Google—it’s about time these unregulated monopolies paid back society for their good fortune). While they are enlisted in the program, participants in FFLAKE—Federally Funded Learning and Knowledge for Everyone—will receive the same health benefits and paid vacation as members of Congress. When their three years are up, these 22- to 25-year-old FFLAKE veterans will be unleashed with the skills, self-confidence, discipline and personal wealth they need to make a positive contribution to US society.
Speaking of Washington, I have a seven-point program for fixing that shit show, too:
1: Abolish the Electoral College
2: 10-year term limits for members of Congress
3: One single 10-year term with no chance of reelection for the President
4: No more presidential appointments for Federal Judges; instead, citizens of the states where judges preside will elect them for a single term on their digital—not paper—census form every decade
5: Institute municipal voting by city, and state-wide elections by county; no more gerrymandered districts to ensure long-term positions for local, state or national politicians
6: Initiate online voting, make if failsafe and mandatory. Failure to cast a ballot will result in a fine on your taxes equal to 10% of your gross income or $5,000, whichever is greater. Use money from apathetic non-voters to help subsidize National Healthcare
7: Replace the IRS with a flat tax: 15% on gross income for individuals; 20% for small businesses (less than $20 million yearly revenue); 25% for every business larger than that… no deductions
Under my policies, all the recently displaced IRS agents can keep their cushy fed jobs by running FFLAKE for the aforementioned Gen Z malcontents.
If all this sounds like the booze-fueled rant of a raving Socialist, I’m just getting started. I find it unconscionable that the richest country in the world doesn’t provide quality health maintenance and emergency medial care for every citizen on its golden plains. I’m not talking about the snaggle-toothed program they settle for in Great Britain; let’s shoot for the platinum care citizens of France, Japan and Canada enjoy. We’ll manage the cost of National Healthcare two ways: by regulating what “healthcare” is (example: no more Botox, laser blemish removal, or lip implants for Instagram influencers), and by setting wage and legacy cost limits for federally-employed medial professionals. $350k per year should be plenty for doctors; 100 grand seems fair for certified nurses and educated support personnel. If a doctor wants to earn more than that, he can open a private practice to provide treatment or vanity surgeries for the rich. If the flat tax proposed in #7 doesn’t cover my system’s overhead year one, we’ll adjust tax rates +0.5% across all sectors every year until it does. I would happily pay an additional half-percent personal income tax for National Healthcare. Currently I invest $10,000 per year on healthcare for my family and me. I goddamn sure don’t make 2 million dollars, so a point-five uptick against my actual gross would be a bargain. Do the math for yourself—I think you’ll agree.
America’s got another problem, and it’s this: 70% of the planet’s ambulance chasers practice law on US soil. We are the most litigious country on earth, suing each other for everything from bad haircuts to Twitter burns. It’s time for all of us to take responsibility for the consequences of our actions. If your kid cracks his skull in a skatepark, don’t sue the city or the shop that sold him his board. Teach him how to skate, or make him love books—no one suffered head trauma reading “Gulliver’s Travels.” If every American had guaranteed health coverage, fewer of us would call Larry H. Parker every time we found a pube in our soup.
Brazen social engineering of this magnitude is bound to bring unintended consequences, none of which I’ve even considered; if you want to make an omelette, you have to crack some eggs. I CAN tell you this: current conditions and prevailing attitudes in modern America are untenable. These United States have practiced unfettered capitalism and defended unbridled freedom for nearly 250 years. Where has it gotten us? Trailer park Republicans and their sycophantic leaders make a mockery of truth, justice and The American Way by giving the nuclear football to a malignant narcissist and pathological liar. Bleeding hearts foment cultural fissures nine miles wide by force-feeding us their self-righteous indignation about everything on 24/7 cable news and social media. While The Left stirs tempests in a teapot, The Right pines for “the good old days” with heads in the sand. As a man born and raised in the dirtiest place in the Dirty South, I’m here to tell you—the good old days weren’t that great. I’ve watched misogyny, racism, pedophilia, corruption, incest, greed, and violence shred whole swaths of American social fabric every day for 25 years, and that’s just the senators from Kentucky and Alabama.