Posts Tagged 'USA'

16 ways we can make America a better place

Author and academic Salvatore Babones believes passionately in the possibility of a better America. So passionately in fact he can list 16 policy changes that if the next President of the USA adopted, he’s confident that America would be a better and happier place…

Salvatore Babones

Salvatore Babones

As the 2016 election season moves on from the party primaries to the main event, one thing is clear: no one is really satisfied.

Sanders supporters resent Hillary Clinton almost as much as most Republicans loathe Donald Trump. In marked contrast to Bernie Sanders, both Clinton and Trump have disapproval ratings over 50 percent. The electorate is in a bloody mood, with more people likely to vote against their more detested candidate than to vote for someone they actually want to be president.

Why was Bernie Sanders, an uncharismatic Washington insider who has been a member of Congress for more than a quarter century, the only candidate in the pack to escape the opprobrium of the American people? Sanders had no campaign money, no image-makers, and no ‘super-delegates’. What he had was a policy agenda — a progressive agenda for a better America.

Published just days before Bernie Sanders declared his candidacy for the White House, my book Sixteen for ’16: A Progressive Agenda for a Better America laid out an agenda that would be startlingly familiar to Sanders supporters.

In a nutshell, the book details a platform for more jobs, better infrastructure, public education, universal healthcare, higher taxes on higher incomes, a more secure Social Security, an end to rule from Wall Street, strong unions, a living minimum wage, paid sick days, fewer prisons, secure reproductive rights, secure voting rights, a more moral foreign policy, support for refugees, and action to stop global warming.

This short video lays out the Sixteen for ’16 agenda point by 16 points. For those who buy the book itself, 267 footnotes provide links to all the studies that (taken together) make it very clear that a progressive America would be a better America. I challenge every American to look in the mirror and ask: if we really implemented all 16 policies advocated in Sixteen for ’16, would America be a better place? If the answer is ‘yes’ (and I believe it is), let’s get over politics and get started implementing.


Sixteen for 16 [FC]Sixteen for ’16: A Progressive Agenda for a Better America by Salvatore Babones can be purchased here from the Policy Press website for special 20% discounted price £7.99.

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The views and opinions expressed on this blog site are solely those of the original blogpost authors and other contributors. These views and opinions do not necessarily represent those of the Policy Press and/or any/all contributors to this site.

#PanamaPapers: Beyond Naming Names

Media coverage of the Panama Papers, the leaked set of 11.5 million confidential documents that provide detailed information about offshore companies listed by the Panamanian corporate service provider Mossack Fonseca, has been widespread this week.

But in today’s guest blog post, author and academic Andrew Sayer warns against seeing tax havens as anomalies and asks us to look beyond the current focus on naming and shaming the users of Mossack Foneseca’s services… 

Andrew Sayer

Andrew Sayer

‘We have done nothing illegal’. If you’ve been following the stories of tax dodging that have come out of the Panama Papers, you will have seen this feeble response many times.

To explain why the elaborate schemes for avoiding tax are not illegal, just remember the golden rule: those with the gold make the rules.

And they make them to suit themselves.
‘When plunder becomes a way of life for a group of men living in society, they create for themselves, in the course of time, a legal system that authorizes it and a moral code that glorifies it.’ (Frédérik Bastiat, liberal economist, 1850)

Tax havens are not are not anomalous islands in an ocean of normality. Continue reading ‘#PanamaPapers: Beyond Naming Names’

Ferguson, Baltimore, and the American Way of Life

Salvatore Babones, author of Sixteen for ’16: A Progressive Agenda for a Better America, shares his views on why protest against police treatment of African Americans is a fight for the ideals of the American way of life…

Salvatore Babones

Salvatore Babones

It all started in Jamestown, Virginia about 100 years before the Revolutionary War. Or it all started in Ferguson, Missouri with the police shooting of Michael Brown. Whether it started with the beginning of black slavery in America in the 1600s or with a tragic act of violence on August 9, 2014 it is now consuming the nation. The United States is in revolt against police violence, and the leaders of that revolt are mostly young and black.

It should come as no surprise that many African-Americans are angry about the way they are treated by police. Based on my own calculations from official government statistics, at any one time more than 6 percent of all African-American men age 25-39 are in prison. I estimate that about one-quarter of all African-American men spend at least part of their lives in prison. Continue reading ‘Ferguson, Baltimore, and the American Way of Life’

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