The Green's Plan for Small Business
But at least small business will have a chance, right? Entrepreneurs will still be able to turn hard work and good ideas into profitable enterprises, right? You're joking, right?
Democratic Conversion of Small and Medium Business: Financial and technical incentives and assistance for voluntary conversion of the 22.5 million small and medium non-farm businesses in the US to worker or consumer cooperatives or democratic public enterprises. Mandate that workers and the community have the first option to buy on preferential terms in cases of plant closures, the sale or merger of significant assets, or the revocation of corporate charters.
"But," you say, "I am a hard worker. I have great ideas. Even under such constraints I can succeed and become wealthy." "Not so fast" say the Greens:
Maximum Income: Build into the progressive income tax a 100% tax on all income over ten times the minimum wage.
Wealth Tax: Enact a steeply progressive tax on net wealth over $2.5 million (the top 5% of households.
Ralph Nader's stock portfolio is worth four million dollars, and he pulls down $400,000 a year, so we can be confident that exceptions would be made for a special few. Not you, though.
Why would anyone would go into high-risk professions that require an expensive education, knowing they'd get very little benefit from it? As an example, let's compare professional web designing to obstetrics. Web design requires some knowledge and talent, and while formal training might speed up the learning process, a bright person with a good eye could use on-line resources and self-study to develop marketable talents, all from the comfort of their home. They could learn the basics quickly, and develop a real expertise in a year or two. Their total investment in their education could be as little as a couple hundred dollars to build a good library of reference books. A good web designer can usually get about $60/hr for their services, or about five times the Greens proposed minimum wage.
Studying to be an ob-gyn is just a bit more time consuming. Pre-med, med school, residency, and internships can take ten or more grueling years. Most doctors begin their career saddled with well over $100,000 in student loan debt. In addition, malpractice insurance for ob-gyns can be as high as $140,000 a year, and is likely to go higher under sue-happy Greens. Despite all this, the Greens would limit them to ten times minimum wage. Why would anyone bother with all that effort and risk, when the expenses and debt make would make web designing more profitable?
Oh wait, I forgot, the government is going to provide all our medical care, so all our doctors will be state workers. So modify that last analogy take out doctors and plug in architects, or engineers, or any other profession that requires a lot of education and devotion before anyone sees a profit.
Just in case you're still silly enough to think that you could still succeed in business with all these restrictions piled on your shoulders, here's a few more to help relieve you of that illusion:
6 Weeks Paid Vacation Annually in addition to Federal Holidays
1 Year Paid Educational Leave for Every 7 Years Worked
1 Year Parental Leave for Each Child Born with No Loss of Seniority
Make you just want to run right out there and open a business, doesn't it?
How can we possibly keep the public stupid enough to swallow this nonsense? Theyve got that covered too:
Curriculum for a Multicultural Participatory Democracy: We support a democratic public school curriculum that fosters curiosity, critical thinking, and free expression, that explicitly promotes democratic and egalitarian anti-racist, anti-sexist, and multicultural values, that replaces Eurocentric with multicultural textbooks and other curriculum materials, that does not sort children into academic and non-academic tracks, and that is academically rigorous with high expectations for all children.
In other words, the same politically correct foolishness that has turned many of our universities into mush dispensaries will be mandated across the country. Those evil white European males who helped build the US into the richest country in history will be denigrated and vilified, while even the most trivial accomplishments of anyone who's not white and male will be lauded as awe-inspiring examples of wonderment. And while it's well established that putting kids of similar abilities together helps everyone develop to their fullest potential, this will be forbidden. The gifted kids will be lumped in with the dull normals so that everyone can be "egalitarian." It's a good thing the government will control the Ritalin supply.
Since there's no incentive to ever start a business and no reason to work overtime (which will probably be illegal anyway) you might want to just stay home and watch TV. But they're planning on ruining that too.
Regulate Public Airwaves in the Public Interest: Reassert the public's right as owners of the electromagnetic spectrum used as broadcast airwaves to regulate their use in the public interest. Re-appropriate 6 prime-time hours a day of commercial broadcast time on each station for real public service broadcasting: ad-free children's and news/public affairs programming.
Six hours of the stuff nobody watches on PBS, on every station, every day, during prime time. We'd have game shows like "Nobody Wants To Be A Millionaire." Thursday nights we could watch Chandler, Joey, Monica and the gang hang out together in "Comrades." We'd even have retro programming like "Really, Really Green Acres" and "Joanie Loves Trotsky."
While the Republicrats want to be your mommy and daddy and your minister, The Greens want to be your mommy and your daddy and your minister and your doctor and your employer and your teacher and your entertainer. While some Greens will deny this, most will stare at you like a deer on the freeway if you don't think that's a great thing.
There is one worthwhile plank on the Green's platform: They plan to end to the insane War on Some Drugs. They better do it quick. Since they'll be mashing everyone and every thing down to the lowest common denominator, taking our cars, ruining our TV, destroying any hope of getting a real education and removing every incentive to start or run a business or work hard at a job, getting wasted will be the only thing left to do. Although the pharmaceutical and liquor companies will have been dismantled, wine is easy to make and pot is easy to grow. The only way to convince ourselves that Green polices make sense is to slowly replace our brain cells with bong resin or booze. The entire country will revert back to the sixties, a nation full of drunks, hippies and potheads. And what could be more Green than that?
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(Update, February 2001) I've been informed that the Green Party platform this article comments on is quite different from Nader's presidential platform. This article dissects platform of the National Green Party. Ralph was sponsored by the Association of State Green Parties, who evidently consider the National Green Party a whacko splinter group. Note the clarification at the bottom of this page, and the top of this one. The State party (Ralph's party) ran under this platform. While it contains a good deal of socialism, some unconstitutional provisions, and a great deal of silly bits (much like the platforms of the Democrats and Republicans) it is not nearly as onerous as the platform of the National Greens. The platform this article dissects has been removed from the National Green Party's web site.
Although there is only one mention of Nader in this article, and it doesn't specifically tie him in with this platform, I wrote this under the mistaken impression it represented Ralph. I apologize for any confusion this article may have caused. Please note it was intentionally published after the election.
If you find the plethora of people claiming to be green too confusing, you can solve the problem by voting Libertarian.
Nader wants a .sucks domain made available. It's not a bad idea.
What's it all about, Ralphie?
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© 2000 Dave Hitt