A Different Way

Fixing America: How To Do It All Really Fast

Our Fix America Fast Plan, a blueprint for renewal, solves most of our worst problems in one big push. Seize the moment. Shove egos and greed out of the way, and let’s get going.

By David Stone

From: Assorted Ideas, Large & Small

If it took a genius, I’d leave plans for fixing America to one of those guys. But I believe we can do it fast and easy. Even I get it.

We’re in a perfect time of transition. Things are taking shape, but let’s do it the best way.

In our hearts, everyone knows what a decent America looks like.

So, what are we waiting for?

Really, to be modest, ours is a simple blueprint for a return to greatness, but it requires Americans putting America first.

By the way, every good plan needs theme music:

Tubthumping…

Chumbawamba

Our Fix America Fast Plan

Here’s how it goes.

We put the bundle of woes in one big basket, sort them out for balance and get to work. But first, we need funding. Fortunately, there’s plenty enough around.

Fix America Fast, Ready to work on the plan.
Get dressed, tool up, and let’s fix America fast.

STEP ONE: Take a shot at reducing economic inequity. We ask the twenty richest Americans to kick in at least $5 billion each.

This isn’t hard. The most impoverished in this gang, Elon Musk, was worth $24.6 billion, the last time they rolled up their sleeves and counted it all. He can still scrape together lunch money after kicking in his share.

According to congressional estimates, $80 billion invested in balancing state and municipal budgets hammered by COVID-19 keeps the full force of nurses, teachers, trash haulers and cops funded.

But the nice thing is, everyone in the top twenty of Forbes list of wealthiest Americans can easily foot the bill without forgoing $1,000 a plate dinners.

None should be stuck brownbagging. Grousing’s expected, but each has enough cash left over to buy a couple of congressmen. Maybe even a Senator.

But let’s pass the hat…

Some might not find humility appetizing. But remember, this is your country. You’re rich. You’re smart. Most Americans are only the second one. Pitch in. A healthy country’s good for you too.

We’re not talking inherited wealth here either, with a few exceptions. The richest Americans are mostly homegrown.

Folks like Bill Gates, Larry Ellison and #1 Jeff Bezos got rich beyond imagination because being born American made it possible.

So, let’s pass the hat and get the Fix America Fast Plan off the ground.

Walk down the list and welcome $5 billion from three Waltons and two Kochs. Say, “Thank you!” to Steve Ballmer, Michael Bloomberg, Larry Page and Jeff’s ex-wife, Mackenzie Bezos.

Refreshing to see successful Americans so generous in their patriotism.

SPONSORED: Is It Always A Love Story? a novel by David Stone

But how does the Fix America Fast Plan actually fix anything?

That’s in the details, conditions for getting the cash.

But first, we need an administrator, a smart, caring individual who understands what it’s like to be rich and kind at the same time.

I nominate Laurene Powell Jobs, Steve’s widow. She’s quietly been working hard, contributing to education and immigration issues, with the money they earned at Apple.

No, she doesn’t make the top twenty, but even the New York Times likes Powell Jobs. The envy-infected newspaper never tired of jabbing Steve, but Laurene escaped their ire.

One profound learning I took from him was that we don’t have to accept the world that we’re born into as something that is fixed and impermeable.

Laurene Powell Jobs on her late husband, Steve
New York Times Interview

That’s the spirit.

That’s not enough. What else?

Our Fix America Fast Plan comes with requirements. All those states, counties and cities must meet minimum requirements.

If they don’t, they miss out on the richest American’s donations.

And, yes, we’re leaving the feds out of this. American greatness means getting local again.

While Powell Jobs lines up numbers cruncher who’ll decide who gets what fairly, she needs to collect these pledges. (All come with a “give it back” clause, if they don’t come through.)

List of Dos For Fixing America Fast

  • Equal opportunity for all in jobs and housing. Not just lip service, now. Must have a firm, detailed plan, ready to go.
  • Equal education. No joke. As New York City council member Ben Kallos points out, his supposedly liberal city’s public schools are today more segregated than before Brown vs Board of Education in 1954. Cut the crap. Make sure everyone gets a fair chance.
  • Free college or trade school, according to student preferences.
  • The end of gender salary disparity. No common sense rationale justifies it.
  • The Fix America Fast Plan requires infrastructure brought up to standard. Bad roads and crumbling sewers aren’t the stuff of greatness.
  • Reduction in bureaucracy and the ridiculous balls of red tape that feed it. Anyone who thinks cities, counties and states have just enough employees hasn’t been there. Make it work for taxpayers.
  • And that means fewer taxes for encumbered and incomprehensible missions and duplicate efforts. Yes, they all have them. They’re politicians, get it?
  • Money must be committed for compensating against the lingering wounds of slavery, but generous incentives, not giveaways.
  • Universal, quality healthcare is a human right. Mental health and drug treatment in the plan.
  • Our Fix American Fast Plan also includes decent housing as a human right for all. That’s not cramped shelters and converted hotels. It’s houses.
  • Fewer prison cells and more rehab.

Conclusion

The Fix America Fast Plan isn’t difficult. We handle bigger stuff all the time, but have we the guts to go for it?

Yes, of course, it needs sprucing up and clearer specs. I’m not a genius, remember.

But I am an American who knows greatness is possible, because I’ve seen it.

After World War II, we really were the shining city on a hill, a beacon and example for all. We lost that honor for a whole lot of reasons, but they just don’t matter.

What matters is fixing our country, and here’s a comprehensive plan for what to do.

So, let’s get started.

Closing theme:

davidstone1313

David Stone is a New York City based writer, founding publisher of The Roosevelt Island Daily and News; author of a dozen novels, poetry and nonfiction articles and books.

2 replies »

  1. Sorry, David: but you don’t *ask* the rich to kick in anything. You tax them the way Eisenhower did: 92% top rate at a certain point. Thomas Piketty, the Nobel Prize winning economist, has been advocating this for years, as have Steiglitz and other top thinkers.The rich do not do things out of any sense of generosity of civic duty. They are the robber baron class. Historically the only way to control them was either through revolution — successful, bloody, or not — or taxation. That is the way America became the great success story of the 20th century, how the middle class expanded, and how our riches were spread through infrastructure, education, healthcare, science and innovation, and yes, even the military. Taxation at a very high rate. The Republican party is the party of charity and donations, but not of taxation. Their firm belief is that the rich make their own policies for the rest of us, and we — peasants that we are — can humbly “ask” then for largesse. We do not want a return to the ancient regime, but that’s what we’ve got right now, according to the statistics.

    • The politicians can’t be counted on to do that. That is, this has been common knowledge as the best way to go for decades, and nobody in either party’s made the least effort.It’s the right way to go, but it has less chance than even my plan.

      I think it’s gotta be a voluntary effort, or it will never work. All sides need to recognize that Americans need to get ahold of their lives and do it themselves, not wait for bought and paid for politicians to decide.

      It’s a self-help ethic.

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