All posts by anthonyuplandpoetwatkins born in Jackson, The United States August 04, 1959 gender male website genre Poetry, Historical Fiction influences James M. Lancaster, Brenda Black White, Gertrude Stein, William Carlos Williams, and Al Filreis member since March 2011 About this author edit data As one of the most public lives ever lived by a private citizen, there is little about me that isn't already available at Facebook or Shelfari and countless other places. Poet, writer, construction worker, salesman, truck driver, climber into the attics of total strangers, father and husband, and all around one of the luckiest men on the planet. My luck continued with a win in the June Goodreads Newsletter Contest! What an honor! http://anthonyuplandpoetwatkins.wordp... Additional Influences: Bob Dylan, William Faulkner, Barbara Kingsolver, Gloria Naylor, Eudora Welty

The Future of the Democratic Party

At the national level, for most of my life, when we nominated a liberal Democrat for president, we lost, when we nominated a moderate or conservative Democrat, we won, but things have changed.

There isn’t the same sort of middle America there was from 1960-2010. today, we have a black and white America, with about 50% on each side, yes, there is a small number of folks on the right who hate Trumps style, but they mostly agreed with his substance. A moderate is not going to draw them away from the GOP, then there are the 50% of us. I will not vote for a moderate GOPer, because I understand that the Kasich/Romney/Flake GOP is as evil, if not as stupid as the Trump GOP.

And yes, there may be a few moderate Dems who would vote for a “moderate GOPer if they were set with either voting for Flake or Alex Ocasia-Cortez, but today, the real key is getting another 10% of your side to the polls. exciting progressives can do that. they did it in FLA and GA, look at the turnout in the past several statewide elections in both states (and others), moderate, centrist candidates mean the young, the marginalized stay home. They believe it doesn’t matter.

They believe the candidates are not in touch with their no-health-care/no-day-care/not-enough-paycheck-for-survival real world. good, charismatic leaders who have fought thru the system get it, and voters sense that. if the DNC move back to the middle (who am I kidding, they never left the middle) we will go back to a minority opposition party, even though, with good progressive leadership, we could be on a cusp of an era similar to the FDR-LBJ era, where Dems dominated, because they were in touch with the people.

They promoted generations of progressive ideas. for nearly 40 years, Dems had great, progressive liberal ideas, SS/MC, Civil Rights (though it took a fair amount of outside agitating), human rights, workers’ rights, and so many other ideas to bring us to a “Great Society.”

In 1972, McGovern was a little too far to the left for mainstream America, or more likely, we let Nixon and his dirty tricks (boy, that sounds familiar) persuade America that McGovern was too extreme… Anyway, we turned our back, we nominated liberals like Mondale and Dukakis, both men I respected, but both were less than charismatic.

We need Alexs Betos, Gillums Staceys. In fact, we have them! we need them on the ticket in 2020, we need them in congress and the senate, we need to build on the victories of this week.

Yes, we lost some close ones.

Yes, they were probably stolen.

Yes, the challenges will probably fail, but the exciting progressive candidates are leading the way. They are not the problem. The “middle is best” mentality is the problem.

Jesus and the “Caravan”

from (KJV) Mathew, Chapter 25, reading from verse 34 onward:

34 Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world:

35 For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in:

36 Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me.

37 Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink?

38 When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee?

39 Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee?

40 And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.

41 Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels:

42 For I was an hungred, and ye gave me no meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me no drink:

43 I was a stranger, and ye took me not in: naked, and ye clothed me not: sick, and in prison, and ye visited me not.

44 Then shall they also answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, or athirst, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister unto thee?

45 Then shall he answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me.

Three points to change America

This does not directly solve the three biggest problems we face as a society, (race, environment/climate change, and immigration), but it gives us the tools to work on those issues as well, because a healthy, well educated financially secure population can better tackle those issues, too.
1) Fully fund a public education for every student who wishes to go to college or a tech school.
The difference in taxes paid, over a life time, of a college grad and a high school grad more than pays for the cost of a public university degree, so long term, this program would be free to the taxpayer
(schools must meet specific academic criteria and accept the equivalent fees of the state college system as payment in full).
2) Fully fund single payer style healthcare for every person in the USA.
As the costs we are currently spending on private insurance, copays and costs to taxpayers for indigent care, all of which has led to the expensive and ineffective system we currently have, plus the costs of lost productivity from employees either working sick (and spreading illness), or missing work due to illness, add up to a cost that is greater than the costs of a single payer universal health program.
Again, long term, this system would save the taxpayer money, while providing us with a nation full of healthy productive people and a net zero cost.
3) Universal Basic Income
This plan actually costs money, but in the long run makes so much sense as to create a net improvement in the lives of over 95% of all Americans, and the remaining 5% are the richest Americans and they would not be significantly negatively impacted. If we added a 15% surtax on every individual and corporate tax dollar earned in America, we could pay each person living in America $500 per month, with an additional $500 stipend for “head of household.” Note: everyone pays in an equal share of their income, and everyone, from the homeless guy under a bridge to Jeff Bezos, gets the same amount back!
This would mean, a family of 4 would receive $2500 per month in a cash payment. It is very important that this money does not count against ANY subsidy any person is already getting, this is to leave our entire current system of taxes and benefits as is. If you are a family composed of two minimum wage workers and two children, you would still get your food stamps, your housing assistance, and your earned income tax credit as the end of the year. The 15%/$500 system is completely outside the regular structure, and is completely self-funded.
Let’s look at two examples:
Family one, is as described above, they earn a combined income of $640 per week, they pay Social Security and Medicare or about $50 per week, and a tax of $12, for a net annual income of $30,056 plus an Earned Income Credit of around $5,600, for a total household “take home” of just under $36,000 per year.
With basic income, this family would have to pay $4,500 per year due to the surtax, but would receive $30,000 in stipends, so their actual “take home” for the year would be just under $61,000.
Now, lets look at Family Two, two spouses and one child, earning $100,000 combined. with a mortgage on a $250,000 home at 4% interest, they can deduct about $10,000 per year in interest costs. They pay $7800 in Social Security and Medicare and $6,000 in Federal taxes, leaving them with a “take home” of around $86,000 per year.
With basic income, this family would pay a $15,000 surtax, and receive back $24,000 in stipends, leaving them with a “take home” of $95,000 per year.
Yet, most of those earning anywhere between $50,000 – $150,000 would object to this plan, even though it is fair, and would put more money in their pockets!

Are Open Primaries the Answer?

I know people, good people, sincere people who think opening the primaries to all voters is better than the current system of requiring a voter to be a member of a party to vote. They point to the fact that more and more voters are registering as independents. If we leave the primaries closed, that means less and less voters have a say in the nomination process. Which means fewer people are motivated to vote in the general for a candidate who they did not help select.

While I understand the logic, I think this is treating a symptom as a cause. The reason so many people, especially young people are registering as NPAs is because they have become disgusted with both parties. They rightly see the GOP as the party of the white male and the radically conservative, and they see, with rare exception, the Democratic Party, is ineffective and out of touch with their daily lives. These voters are typically both low information voters and low turnout voters. Opening the primary would only allow people with less interest in promoting the platform of the Democratic Party more influence based often bad information from whatever candidate or dark money PAC managed to feed them.

If we reach out, as a grassroots party, invite these disaffected voters to help us build and maintain a party and a slate of candidates they can support, they will come into the tent, and be the next generation of leaders, instead of occasional and casual bomb throwers from outside. By election day, no matter what kind of primary system we have, it too late. We must restore the Democratic Party to be the vibrant political voice of the poor, the young, the old and the working class (blue and white collar). An open primary does nothing but put a band-aid on a gaping wound.

We don’t need a way to encourage people who are not invested in the party to disrupt the party (think Bernie Sanders), we need people who feel welcome (that’s on us), and people who give a good goddamn (that’s on them). Let us focus on opening the party to new-comers and shed our mostly white ole boy (and ole girl) teams at the local level. If we take the party to the streets, year-round on year and off year, build party activities that mean something to the people we want to be part of the party. Party activists vote in both the primary and the general, and because they were involved through the whole process they are invested in the winner, even if the winner wasn’t their first choice.


I Do Not Support Socialism

I Do Not Support Socialism, at least not in the old Marxist planned economies system where a group of “comrades” control the lives of all others. If by socialism, you mean more the western European model, with a few adjustments, I support that.

I do support policies that create micro capitalists and a strong safety net, be it through basic income or some other mechanism. the biggest problem I see is that we have allowed the useful task of capital aggregation to become all consuming. if we had tax and social policies that made sure a wealth creator kept, say 90% of the wealth he/she created, and the capitalist got a small cut for his/her activity of arranging the capital for whatever project was at hand, we would have the best of both worlds. There is no reason why we cannot make sure those who do the work, who create wealth are rewarded proportionately to the wealth they create.

(My ideal method of creating the basic income/safety net is to add a 15% surtax to every dollar earned in the USA by individuals or corporations, and then pay EVERY person living in the USA $500 per month, with an additional $500 for heads of households. This payment would go to homeless unemployed as well as millionaires and would neither be taxable income, nor would it effect any supplement any low-income person currently qualifies for.)

This means a family of three would receive $2,000 per month, plus any wage or support they were already receiving. Meaning the lowest they could every earn s $24,000 per year, and as most of America works and earns between $15,000 and $50,000 per year, very few Americans would have less than $39,000 in household income. This would automatically eliminate poverty and insure a vigorous and continued consumer driven growth in the economy.

The idea that “labor” is a commodity to be paid $5 – $50 per hour, and the capital aggregators and labor managers should receive ALL the profits over and above that labor fee, is nuts.

If I work on an assembly line, along with 1999 other workers, building Chevys each making $33.00 per hour we earn $2,640,000, collectively, per week, building 2000 automobiles cost in material $17,500 each, and these cars are worth $32,000 each, after money costs, (remember, the capitalist rarely brings much of his own money, and if he does, the cost of that money is not profit) development, marketing, insurance, and transportation costs are added in, this means the workers earned $1800 each combined for each car, leaving a “profit” to the capitalists is $2,100.00 per unit! (See Chart)

Typical Auto Costs

Why shouldn’t the workers get say $1 ($1.00 x 2000 employees = $2000 to the wealth creators) for each person per car, and the capitalists get $100.00? There is no reason. There is no reason the worker and the capitalist should not each $1.05 per car, with the capital aggregator getting a salary like the line workers of a base of around $68K, but that is a system that would surely find little support among the underpaid workers of America!

Now, the men and women who build the car and create the value earn the same $68,640 base, plus $100,000, or $168,000 each, while the capitalist would still earn $10,000,000. Note, the costs of money are calculated in the cost items, so this profit goes to the “owner”

The truth is, most car companies would have several such plants and sell more like 1-2 million cars, producing about 15 times as much total profit, after the costs of investments, or a total profit of around $150,000,000 for the stockholders.

This proposal seems outrageous to the American mind, yet, it is not socialism, nor is it anymore unreasonable than having them earn 68K and the capitalist to earn 210 million dollars!

Of course, the $68,640 wage for autoworkers is already high, by comparison to many other workers in America, and these other workers should also see an effective sharing of the wealth they create. Remember, McDonalds and Walmart would make nothing if there were not employees in both factories and in their retail/restaurant locations. If every worker walked off the job next week, none of these great capitalists, for all their automated systems, would not make any money.

Of course, if line workers were making hundreds of thousands of dollars, on highly productive organizations, we could have a good tax plan that took a fair chunk of that to make sure no one went without food, shelter, healthcare and education. The superrich would still pretty damn rich, and successful wealth creators would be rewarded.

If every worker in American had the same paycheck, it would be over $100,000 per year! Now, in a capitalist system, we do not expect everyone to make the same, but if the range was from about $60K to $150K no one would be poor, and there would still be plenty of incentive to motivate the average wealth creator.

Old Copper, A New Concept in Currency

Sundial Coin cover Old Copper 2018

Old Copper 2018

the coin that spends like cash, but you get it for free, or by shopping  

Symbol OC

Coins are earned in the following manner:

Sign up/open account = 10 coins

To sign up, you go to ecommerce website, type in your email address and a password, 10 coins will be placed in your account,  your email and password are all that you will ever need to extract and/or spend a coin.

Sign up a new account =10 coins

(both the retailer recruiting a new member and the new member receive 10 coins)

New account gets 10 coins, Spender earns one coin for every 10 spent.

Retailers receive 50 coins for signing up as participants Retailers receive 1 bonus coin for every 10 coins they accept, Retailers must give a value worth at least $1 USD per coin when accepting coins.

Example: Pizza parlor can offer “Buy a large pizza, for $10.99 or $8.99 and two OC coins, or buy one large pizza and get medium pizza for 8 OC.

When Retailer signs up new member, retailer gets 10 coins.

Every coin will be traceable for every transaction from email to email. This should reduce theft as we should be able to track a theft to the new account, and remove the coins and return them to the rightful owner. As the coins should never be worth more than a dollar or two, stealing them, knowing there is a pretty good chance we can track you ought to make it not worthwhile to try and steal them, unless someone has a million of them.

After the initial sign up, the new member gets an email every day for ten days, in the email is a digital coin they click on to add to their account. After 10 days, we send an email once per week for ten weeks, now they have earned 30 coins in 3 months, we can cut it down to 1 coin per month, but we can also send them bonus coins whenever we feel we need to boost circulation.

But let’s say we get a few thousand members using OC, and a few hundred retailers accepting them, say 10,000 members spending 10 coins per month, and 300 retailers accepting 334 coins each not only would the corporate account earn 100,000 OCs, the collective members would 10,000 coins for spending, the retailers would earn 10,000 for accepting, and of course, the corporate account would get another 10,000 coins, so at this rather small base (it may be really hard for us to get 10,000 members and 300 retailers, but given the 330,000,000 people in the USA (and, I guess this could become an international currency at some point, so 7 billion people), 10,000 is a small group, and the same with 300 retailers:

Type                  Users           Quan      Total

Individuals    10,000             10           100,000

Retailers            300            334          100,200

Total             200,200               0.5       100,100   Corporate

if it scaled to this

Type                  Users           Quan      Total

Individuals    100,000           10        1,000,000

Retailers            3,000          334       1,002,000

Total            2,002,000           0.5       1,001,000   Corporate

Starting coin allotment:

2 million coins for founders’ group

2 million coins for IT team who coordinates the e-commerce, the coin and a system that automatically adds coins to wallets

We can encourage the retailers to offer the OCs as a giveaway, where let us say you buy out hypothetical pizza for $10 USD, you get a free OC or maybe more than one?

This would be an added value, and keep more of the coins in circulation. Of course, as we have discussed, at some point, the OCs might have some B2B value.

Until then, I think encouraging the retailers to use them as promotional giveaways to employees and customers would be best.

Using the bonus coin system to expand or shrink the level of circulation seems like a useful tool.

Each time a new coin is created, by any method, a half coin is generated and deposited in the corporate account. These coins would belong equally to the shareholders, based on how many shares an individual had.

When the retailer has a customer who signs up, they each get ten coins. The corporation also gets 10 coins.

When the customer uses the 10 coins, and the retailer accepts ten coins, they both each get one bonus coin, so does the corporate account.

By forcing the retailers to give the coin a value of at least $1USD even if they limit how many of them you can use at least, at first, this would create a cash value closer to $1.00 but it will also, as will the relative ease of earning coins mean there will not be a lot of upward pressure at first.

Ways coins are created:

Member sign up and member recruitment:         10 and 10 and 10 for the corporation

Retailer sign up:                                                  50 coins and 25 coins for the corporation

Spending and accepting of coins creates .1 coin for every coin spent and .1 coin for every coin accepted, so each transaction creates, per coin, .2 coins plus a .1 coin for the corporation.

Email coins:

When a member signs up, they will receive an email per day, for the next 10 days, creating one coin per email, then for 10 weeks they will receive one email per week creating one coin per email

Bonus coins

We may, from time to time, send random bonus coins to both members and retailers, at our discretion. We may also develop activities that are rewarded with bonus coins, such as spending a certain amount, or, for the retailer, collecting a certain amount. We may also use coins as incentives for recognizing good deeds.

There will never be a set limit on number of coins, nor an  imposed value of coins (though a $1USD in store purchase value will be required).