Rush For Governor 2010 Rushing to the aid of the Economy, Environment, and Education for Californians!

Stephen L. Rush
Moderate Democrat, Business Innovator, Contrary Economist

Who Has A Plan?

Credit Card Relief

The Credit Card relief act (Card Accountability Responsibility and Disclosure Act) is incomplete in many respects.  It is based on the belief purported by many Fortune 500 companies and Wall Street bankers that every one of these folks who had lost their homes were somehow guilty of intentionally overextending their credit (“How A Lack of Faith Pounded The Markets”, Newsweek, March 31, 2008).  That is simply not true.

“Credit is the investment medium of Main Street
and the Middle-class.”

When Main Street wants more value out of their home, they make credit purchases at the hardware store in order to fix the place up.  When workers find themselves out of a job and unemployment coverage runs out, they make credit purchases to survive (see what Program Extensions are needed).  When Victor and Valerie Voter have a family crisis, they make credit purchases to pay for the emergency.  In any case, there is a risk of not being able to pay it back.  Such was the case with the housing market bubble that found many homeowners upside-down in their equity.  Such was the case with professionals who found 62 weeks was the minimal waiting period to find a suitable replacement job.  And, such was the case for many autistic and Alzheimer’s caregivers who were looking for favorable laws to relieve their financial burden.

The problem comes when banks and lenders to determine the ability of the credit holder to continue making payments.  In keeping with their risk assessment, banks will begin to reduce the available balance, restrict the ability to take cash out, and increase the interest rate.  Many of these practices by banks are based on the credit card having an accounting cycle of one year and because the credit card is classified as a short term lending instrument.  This is in direct conflict with the needs of an individual whose financial situation does not improve as quickly.  Such an individual will be actively moving cash around to make the monthly payments, and that system falls apart as soon as more is demanded and less is given.

Once someone gets in the position of having insolvent credit, the existing laws are no help.  The filing deadlines for legal responses to hearings and judgments are particularly troubling for persons looking for employment in a different county from which they live, or if they happen to be a caregiver, because their simply is not enough time within the narrow window allotted (see what Government Reform is needed).  Even if they could file in time, the law does not include waivers for near-catastrophic situations called “acts of the devil” for things like the housing bubble, unemployment, or being a caregiver.  The result is no choice but to either respond with a declaration of guilt or not bother to show for court, followed by judgment to levy one’s bank accounts and garnish wages.  This will only make matters worse for someone struggling to survive, like those who barely have money for food because they chose to use gas money to look for work, which is sad because the only reason someone uses credit in this manner is because they did not intend to steal in the first place.

The solution must deal with protecting the individual from needless harassment while protecting the rights of the banks to profit from monies owed.  For whatever legislation is sought, the law needs to be sophisticated enough to account for banks doing business in California, while at the same time protecting their rights to comply with laws in their home state.  At the heart of this is making this relationship between individuals and their lenders work well for both parties.  First, the law needs to expand its definition of not-guilty to include “acts of the devil” and other unforeseeable events.  Second, the law needs to expand the definition and practice of providing credit to include long-term payment provisions for economic hardship.  Then from there, legislation can resolve legal aspects of that economic hardship, including extended deferment and specific waivers that take into account the particular scenarios stated above.  There are two that I particularly want to point out: waivers for those who already qualify for court fee waivers, and minimum reserve left in the account to survive on.  In this way, the predatory collection practices as crimes against the state will stop.

Click on Main Street for what that relief is.

Payroll Relief

It was noted last year that General Motors and several other car companies were not competitive enough, and several news agencies commented on the fact that most other countries only pay 1/3 the employee benefits that the U.S. automakers do, while Japan pays their workers 2/3.  Much of that cost is health care.  Therefore in order to be economically competitive, it stands to reason that business owners in California will need 1/3 of the payroll burden reduced to save jobs and possibly even create new ones.

“It is important to reduce costs to employers to save existing jobs, as well as inviting new business to California that will stimulate growth.”

Health care is expensive to employers in several outlays: business insurance, worker’s compensation insurance, and health care benefits.  This is especially important to small businesses that have had to cut back on the number of employees because their profit margins in this economy are too slim to support such costly employer contributions for the amount of workload.  Any plan then, must account for a significant change in the payroll burden, but do so without reduction in worker benefits.  Health care insurance costs can be reduced by mandating that insurance carriers for Californians cap malpractice suits to 3 times potential income of the patient and pass on the savings from the recalculated risk statistic on to the bearer.

It covers the patient’s income and medical needs as well as includes a penalty for the damages.  My office has calculated the maximum award would be $10 million dollars, and other amounts would be scaled back significantly.  This simple solution will help to create jobs from the small businesses that can afford to hire more workers with the reduction of 1/3 in health insurance.  It will also help expand the tax base as it will make California more attractive to new business, and make California jobs more competitive with the world.  It follows John Nash’s theory of inclusion by helping insurance companies and attorneys increase their profit ever-so slightly from the re-hires and influx of new business.  It is also an attractive intermediary step toward something close to a single-payer system, assuming health care is to first be fixed before it becomes universal so that the quality of care does not degrade into severe patient neglect and postponement of services.

Click on HealthCare for details on health care.

Economic Shift

The effects of shrinking demand and narrowing inverted population pyramid (greater number of retirees) can be reduced by forging a corporate-sponsored work-transition voucher program for the homeless.  Halfway houses are known to not work because they are limited to “first-come first-reserved” type of housing and do not provide a stable environment if one cannot reserve a bed because they are at work, and do not provide for other necessities.  Corporate vouchers will do something entirely different.  For every day they show for work, the transitional homeless will receive daily purchase order-like vouchers for public transportation, rent, food, clothes, and rudimentary appliances like an alarm clock and microwave oven.  Gradually by the end of their 3 to 9 month probationary period, they have the credit and support system established to make a living.  Neat idea, and better yet it is the transitional homeless worker that pays for the program through the excess.  The difference from the regular portion of their pay that is not used toward the end of the program goes to support the additional payroll personnel to process the vouchers.

In addition, cooperatives with unions can provide job training for gang members in exchange for their criminal record, using home lender’s property preservation funding.  And while similar to existing programs, here they will learn 3 separate construction skills to reduce dependence on drug sales while removing blight in their own neighborhood.  Statistics show that only 11.5% of gangs and the homeless would want these programs, if that, but an immediate influx of even a small amount of workers needing work attire and desiring home furnishings and appliances will have a profound effect on the economy by widening the working population pool and shifting demand in a positive direction.

Click on Consumer on how to create product demand.

Promoting Respect

I also believe great strides can be made in Democratic issues by making conservative legislation more moderate.   For that reason I support the Employee Free Choice Act, and had called for individualized acceptance of unions to invigorate the labor process long before it was adopted by the AFL-CIO.   I will also make great use of my centrist method of Applied Quantum Politics to ensure the state budget is passed quickly and not stalled by funding of certain programs.   Therefore, medical and scientific advances to be made through expanding the bank of stem cell tissue to include umbilical cord blood and skin, because these are more likely to gain acceptance.   As Governor, I will also continue to be an advocate against rape and “pulling train” in our state’s universities, just as I took a stand for women’s rights to stop the injustice of sexual murder in Juarez, Mexico.   Respect is the key to getting along.

Click on Benefits for more on benefits.

Parental Notification Before Termination of Minor’s Pregnancy

Certain issues have to be carefully discerned before concluding what really works or not.   For example, any legislation aimed at requiring a physician to notify a parent or guardian of a pregnant minor before performing an abortion may create more harm than good.   Mandatory notification laws may sound good on the surface, but in practice they can risk the health and safety of teens that find themselves in trouble.   A pregnant teen who feels she cannot go to her parents for whatever reason may choose an unsafe abortion service provider and hemorrhage to death, or even attempt to birth and later ditch the child, instead of seeking proper counseling and help.   Truthfully, parents should be actively aware of their teenager’s actions, but it is bad policy to legislate that families have good communication.   First, that is an invasion of privacy, but it goes deeper than that.   The technical reason is that the law is merely a deterrent, and cannot support enforcement of prevention of an activity the Supreme Court has decided is not a crime.   Any law for parental notification would simply backfire.   We know from criminalizing “demon liquor” in the days of Prohibition that the law cannot support issues of morality and faith.   It doesn’t mean that the law cannot be rooted in and stem from morality of some higher utopian rule of conduct, because it should.   What is ineffective is when the law raises the bar so high that no one can live by it.   You cannot legislate good parenting either, and to a very real degree both the parent and teen must learn from their mistakes.   However, I do believe in promoting life-choice coalitions to reduce teen pregnancies, and easier adoption process for babies left at a hospital’s doorstep.

Click on Adoption for ideas on how to make adoption easier.

Copyright © 2009 Rush For Governor 2010. All Rights Reserved.