I got an email asking if I could write up a on eminute speech for the DNC — what I would say on prime time. The request is very odd, but here is what I jotted off…probably would take a bit more than a minute though, to deliver…
Given that the United States is the world’s most powerful and chief originator of international violence and its most wealthy and chief obstructor of enlarging international law and reducing international global warming and disparities in health and wealth….
And given that the United States has the most economic resources for the well being of its own citizens and for redressing historically imposed international injustices….
I propose that in the pursuit of equity, diversity, solidarity, and democratic self management, as the first acts of a new administration, laying a foundation for more to follow, we should…
(1) Abolish the Defense Dept as we know it — which is a War Department — and establish in its place a Department of Peace and Justice concerned solely with reducing or eliminating violent strife in the world and pledged to provide no military aid or trade to nations engaged for any reason at all in international military operations…pledging as well to engage in no military adventures ourselves beyond our borders unless under direct attack (of course, therefore including immediate withdrawal from Iraq). This would obviously save a huge percentage of current yearly military expenditures. Closed military bases would be immediately transformed into worker controlled centers for the creation of affordable housing — with the prior military members of those bases given jobs, should they want them, and half price access to initially produced housing, as well.
(2) Create a Department of Internationalism devoted to reversing the terms of international global exchange so that instead of most benefits accruing to the strong and rich nations, most accrue to weak and poor nations — thereby reducing unjust, debilitating, and destabilizing income and power differentials. This would of course entail replacing the IMF, World Bank, and World Trade organization with new institutions, rooted in international participation and seeking a virtually oppositie equity-seeking rather than equity-smashing agenda.
(3) Create a Department of Ecological Sanity devoted to (a) waging an unlimited campaign against global warming, (b) developing alternative solar, wind, water, geo thermal, and clean fusion sources of energy on a national and international scale, (c) propelling collective rather than individual consumption wherever appropriate and enacting sharp fines for non information manipulative advertising of all kinds.
(4) Create a Department of Domestic Equity devoted to narrowing the gaps between rich and poor within the U.S. by way of massive increases in redistributive profit and property taxes and parallel reduction of taxes on low income members of society.
(5) Create a Department of Just Work which would initially: (a) reduce the work week to thirty hours with no reduction in total weekly pay and with double time pay for all hours worked beyond 30 for everyone who now earns below $60,000 a year, and reduce hours to 30 with time and a half pay for overtime and with a proportionate reduction in total base pay per week for everyone who now earns more than $60,000 a year; (b) raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour, at least wherever the above does not immediately accomplish it, and (c) establish a workers bill of rights including to assemble, speech, unionization, access to financial records, and participation in decision making, the violation of which would be enforcable by strict and harsh employer penalities.
(6) Create a Department of Health and Well Being to promote preventive health policies regarding food, pollution, etc., to immediately nationalize and establish sound health based polices for pharmaceutical companies, and to enact free health care for all.
(7) Create a Department of Education guaranteeing equitable apportionment of education resources to communities and schools so as to redress regional, race, and class disparities, plus guarantee free higher education for all those who qualify via teacher recommendation or examination success.
(8) Create a Department of Race and Gender Liberation to impose taxation penalties for violations of proportionate representation of women and minorities in positions of influence throughout the entire U.S. economy, polity, and culture, with zero tolerance for structural violations of rights or dignity.
(9) Create a Department of Political Renovation with the purpose of reconstructing U.S. political institutions to enhance popular participation and self management at the expense of corporate and elite administration.