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Wake up the fourth branch of government in America and see what happens. Hoo-nōs
For the record, what follows has, in one form or the other, been brought up before. I am not inventing or improving the wheel. I am simply reminding us of usage.
All of us are part of the fourth branch of government. We have a major say, but if we do not focus, we wander around misplaced or outright lost in the political, educational, economic, and religious landscape and thus at the mercy of the other three branches of government, not to mention the “military and industrial complex.” Let’s focus.
Due process and assuming innocence before guilt are two sacrosanct pillars of our democracy. The proper focus is ensuring all of our sacrosanct pillars, which also include life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. We also have to ask if we follow those pillars for all of us in the United States or are they only for citizens or only for the upper class?
What if we establish a non-permeable floor which we will not go below, along with a very permeable ceiling where folks can get rich, etc.? That might work if:
1) We practice the fundamental pillars for all human beings who are in our country or territories, not just citizens and not just for the economically advantaged. The rights of citizenship still exist, including voting, education, traveling, comprehensive medical care, and any other considerations that put citizens more in the front of the queue, but we do not dehumanize or forego due process or innocence before guilt for anyone, including non-citizens. And we consider that wealthy citizens are not better citizens—just wealthier.
2) No one entity gets to own or control resources having to do with the basic floor or threshold of thriving. No one entity gets control of agriculture—including seeds, health—including pharmaceuticals, energy forms, water, transportation, banking, information, etc. And no one gets to take away that floor. Why can’t one entity control basic units of thriving? Another very sacrosanct pillar: checks and balances. It’s a good idea to have regulatory principles to ensure that the basic floor and principles of thriving remain in place. That is what the other three branches of government are supposed to be doing!
3) We worry more about the basic floor of our commitment rather than the so-called privileged 1%. After all the floor is the threshold we will not go below. The ceiling of opportunities, regulated by #2 above, is very permeable. How much money can one have? Simple, within the limits dictated by #2 above, along with the principle of opportunities for thriving, whatever works for such an entity. How many resources can one control? Simple, within the limits dictated by #2 above, along with the principle of opportunities for thriving, whatever works for such an entity. And so on…
4) We fund the difference between the costs of maintaining #2 and allowing #3 above. In other words, we’re contributing taxes, work, effort, etc., within our means, to the basic principle of a minimum threshold of thriving. For example, we agree to fund the rights for #2 and #3 above—for everyone, not just those who have resources in the wildly permeable realm of the ceiling of thriving.
5) One’s gathering of resources beyond the basic floor of thriving does give such folk a certain privilege beyond those with fewer resources. We get over that and let it be. For instance, the wealthy do not get better health care, better education, better protection, better water, better air, etc., then the rest of us simply because they have more available resources. However, those folks can get luxury items like costly experimental health care, premium transportation, premium food, premium clothes, premium homes, etc., and we will not begrudge it as long as the floor of our ability to thrive is intact.
6) We practice #2 through #5 by following #1.
There is likely more, but we can figure it out if we focus. In the meantime, it is critical we stop the “us versus them” rhetoric—including the notion that folks can live like they want, as long as they do it somewhere else. That last part is called forced segregation and it is not what we are about. This principle of stopping divisive talk does not mean we cannot engage in constructive criticism. It does mean we cannot engage in destructive dehumanization and class warfare.
In any case, there is a cost to create a stewardship of thriving—and that cost is not trivial. There is a cost to not creating such a stewardship—and that cost is also not trivial.
So, let’s decide. And let’s act in the same manner people tend to do when there’s a disaster—by coming together.