November 2017
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daydreaming about making unilateral changes to the US


icon: "revolutionary (a gif flipping through 4 photos of me nude in various dancy poses)"

prompt from wanderipity: If you become the President of the USA, what will be the first thing you would change?

Well, I don't see the president as having much power other than as a figurehead. So if I managed to get elected, I'd do weekly lectures on stuff like how to empathize, and I'd make 'public recommendations' and generally use my platform for speaking more than anything else. I'd pardon everyone who was jailed for an offense I thought was ridiculous, like having weed or selling it to adults.

On policy stuff, I'd try to get rid of for-profit prisons and raise the minimum wage to a livable wage. I'd close all military bases not in the contiguous US. If I was magically powerful enough, I'd raise taxes on the rich in such a way that they were encouraged not to pay themselves so much -- for instance, the CEO could keep 70% of their wages if they made less than 90K, but if they made more than that they'd only get to keep 30%. I'd sue evil companies on behalf of the people. I'd make police match the demographics of the area in which they worked, raising wages and advertising as needed to attract the right sort of people, and I'd assign mandatory empathy training to be done on AT LEAST a once-weekly basis (because cognitive empathy can be effectively and easily taught). I'd make state representatives ALSO represent the demographics of their area, and I would re-district all of the counties in the US into a grid based on population density, so that all counties had roughly the same number of people. Chaos, at first, but necessary. I'd assign a minimum income to every adult. I would sue for treason everyone involved in selling arms outside the US for military use (except for those who sell TO the US, them I would break contracts with). I'd decriminalize drugs, homelessness, and sex work. I'd set a massive tax on films and shows who had fewer minority characters than the percent in the US (that means at least 1/2 female characters, at least 1/3 people of color, at least 1/10 disabled people, at least 1/10 queer and/or trans, etc), and I'd use the profits from that for creating free art programs located in poor areas (none in wealthy or middling ones). I'd set a massive tax on businesses that are not accessible and use the profits from that to increase accessibility in government-owned buildings and programs, and I'd set up an accessibility assistance fund for small businesses who couldn't afford to fix their place on their own. I'd set maximum wages for government officials based on average wages for elementary school teachers within the state/city/county they govern (whichever is lowest), and permit some bonuses awarded by the constituents based on how well the constituents thought they were represented (let's see how YOU like a tipping system, shitsops). I'd put prohibitively huge taxes on any wasteful luxury item like owning more than 1.5 car per adult in the household or purchasing a new truck/SUV/hummer/etc without having a farm or other practical use for it, and use the profits to create a better public transit infrastructure. I'd provide a public shaming system for hate crime committers -- if you recorded someone saying something hatefully racist or sexist or ableist or assaulting people in any way, you could submit it with their name and it would be checked for tampering and correct sourcing and then filed, and if more than three incidents were filed then all would be played over public broadcast TV and on certain billboards along highways.

I'd do a lot if it were possible but the US president is more of a figurehead than anything else.

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Comments
wildrose ══╣╠══
belenen ══╣effervescent╠══
thanks!
ragnarok_08 ══╣Legend of Korra ★ heaven╠══
I'd do a lot if it were possible but the US president is more of a figurehead than anything else.

That's so true.
belenen ══╣garrulous╠══
*nods* Once I realized that (as a teen), all political desire left me. No I don't wanna herd cats endlessly to achieve almost nothing.
meteorology ══╣╠══
I'm not in America so sadly wouldn't be able to vote for you, but I like and agree with the majority of your ideas.

With the actual election coming up and one very worrying candidate in particular I was wondering how much power the PotUS actually has. I guess it's a little reassuring to read that they're mostly a figurehead.
soundofsunlight ══╣╠══
It is hard for the president to make positive changes because it goes up for vote and the majority of legislators don't like change. However, the president does have enough power to fuck things up, if congress backs them, and the way things are right now...I am worried, and I think it's perfectly reasonable to feel that way.
belenen ══╣analytical╠══
cool!

Yeah, the sad thing is that while you can't do much good, you can do a lot of bad, through the power of the veto. You can't make bad things happen that much but you can prevent good things happening -- so it's still very important not to have a bad person in that job.
esaatas ══╣╠══
I actually think about this a lot...
belenen ══╣garrulous╠══
So many things need changing!
feladrone ══╣╠══
"I'd decriminalize drugs, homelessness, and sex work."

Decriminalizing homelessness is such a big one. A lot of people don't even realize that homelessness is (basically) illegal in many countries. It's ridiculous and cruel. And so, so counter-productive. When I was homeless I had to spend so much time trying to find a shower, trying to get food, trying to hold on to my part-time job that it was pretty much impossible to work on any real long-term improvement that would get me out of my situation.
belenen ══╣antagonistic╠══
It is ridiculous and cruel! And seeing things like when people put spikes in the ground in places where otherwise people could find shelter... it's an abomination.
heyslowdown ══╣╠══

I love all of your ideas here, you'd have my vote!

belenen ══╣effervescent╠══
thanks! *grins*
raidingparty ══╣╠══
I'm having a hard time with legalizing sex work one because of the effects. In totally-legal places, exploitation has actually gone up. It's a result of people's views about rape and sex work and women in general, and not the law itself, but it still has to be considered.
I compare it to the situations with helmet or seatbelt laws. Some would describe them as a violation of the right to otherwise treat our bodies as we will, but such laws reduce damage.
The best version as far as I've seen is decriminalizing selling but criminalizing buying, which totally changes the dynamic and leaves more relative power in the hands of the workers. Maybe there could be an intermediate phase where it's like that for long enough to destigmatize, and then shift to total legality?
belenen ══╣shock╠══
really? the thing that convinced me that decriminalizing was good was that exploitation decreased! Perhaps it's a question of measuring? I imagine that reported assaults would go way up while the total number actually decreased, simply because there is no safe way to report assault if sex work is criminalized.
raidingparty ══╣╠══
That's a good possibility.

Full disclosure: I'm generally in favor of the Scandinavian system, where it's illegal to buy. That leaves all the power in the hands of the worker in question, who can still report crimes and exploitation without being criminalized oneself.

I have another friend who's vehemently anti-porn-and-sex-work because it has too many ill effects. She gave me the following articles:
http://www.spectator.co.uk/2013/02/flesh-for-sale/
http://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/nov/30/german-brothels-illegal-feminists-fight-law-prostitution
http://www.medicaldaily.com/despite-legalization-prostitutes-germany-face-exploitation-and-trafficking-laws-intended-improve
(Anonymous) ══╣╠══
belenen ══╣amused╠══
This is the [slur]est shit I've read lately on the internet and that's saying something. Are you always this much of a fucking [slur]? Thank God there's no risk of a [slur] like you ever being president.

Haha, your rage is cute and flattering *grins* I always love knowing I'm pissing off people like you! I'm not going to unscreen your anonymous comment due to the slurs, but I've quoted you without the slurs just to show off.
wanderipity ══╣╠══
I love how you think.
wanderipity ══╣╠══
Oh and I am wildly amused by how some people have commented. Hahaha.
on communication, social justice, intimacy, consent, friendship & other relationships, spirituality, gender, queerness, & dreams. Expect to find curse words, nudity, (occasionally explicit) talk of sex, and angry ranting, but NEVER slurs or sexually violent language. I use TW when I am aware of the need and on request.
Expect to find curse words, nudity, (occasionally explicit) talk of sex, and angry ranting, but NEVER slurs or sexually violent language. I use TW when I am aware of the need and on request.