Friday, August 28, 2015

Principles for Reform of Government, Justice, Business

These are my principles when I approach the intersection of politics and governance.

I believe in sensible governance to help achieve both personal & business accountability & responsibility. 

When left to on their own, some people, some business owners, and executives actually do right by others, themselves, their employees and the business that they work for or that they manage. Often, these businesses flourish in productivity, turnover rate decreases, and the community that houses these businesses not only benefits but rallies support behind the business.

However, too often, businesses, owners, and executives do not do this on their own. 

What can we do?

We should reform the tax code, criminal justice, and the government programs and services to better incentivize higher standards of accountability and responsibility, both within business, within government, and for those individuals who need assistance. We should streamline and incentivize paths, ladders, and choices, for individuals currently on government assistance to become more productive in their own lives, the lives of their families, as well as their communities. 

Too often, those on government programs have a profound, justified fear of moving forward with life or career goals. Far too many barriers and obstacles have been constructed that directly dissuade individuals from part-time work, training or skill-building programs, and advanced education plans. Many universities, colleges, businesses, and other entities use public relations or other fears with regard to mental health populations to disadvantage or deny these life-changing options for these individuals.

We should revolutionize our criminal justice system. Non-violent offenders that are mentally ill, poor, or guilty of being caught in the broken criminal justice system of the last 50 years must be connected to services and care that match their needs. It is not criminal to be mentally ill, to be poor, or to be a minority. Giving drug and alcohol addicted offenders the choice between lock up and a new system of service and care matched with managed accountability and personal responsibility is critical to saving taxpayer money while giving individuals the chance to become productive, healthy citizens again. 

We need stronger, enforceable laws against violent crimes, especially regarding gun violence. These crimes involving guns or against others often receive less punishment and time behind bars than drug, alcohol, and other non-violent offenses. Not only does the lack of enforceable gun violence laws endanger citizens, this endangers police as well.

Police and citizens alike need to be protected with cop cams. For too long the minority of cops have created mistrust between the police and community. Cop cams will begin to bring some transparency to this process. Also, the grand jury process for filing charges on cops who have killed citizens is broken. Prosecutors are too close to the cops that they work with on a daily basis. An independent prosecutor or DOJ representative must be appointed to these cases to bring neutrality to the proceedings. 

These are very balanced approaches, not liberal, not conservative but all-inclusive American approaches. Many of these programs if they do exist are broken or are steeped in decades of government bureaucracy and personal bias against the disabled and the disadvantaged. The criminal justice reforms are based in protecting Second Amendment rights while protecting citizens and cops alike. 

We need to forge a new American plan that brings every American into the 21st century. The only way we can do this is together as a nation, as a government, and as individuals sharing and better managing our accountability and responsibility. Any one of these reforms is difficult, but the country and the American people are ready for real change. We don’t want reverse. We don’t want neutral. We want to go forward into the future . . . together.

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