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Questions for our representatives:

I don't know about you but I'm tired of the discourse in our politics.  Bashing the right or left makes for good TV but life is more than a TV show.  Besides, as the saying goes, the revolution will not be televised.  We need to frame our questions and assertions around common human values.  Ideally we can lead the question with undeniable facts.  Here is a list of questions I came up with to achieve this goal.  The more we can get politicians off of their talking points and into discussions about values that really matter the better.  Our democracy desperately needs educated voters to influence our political process.  Here are a few questions to achieve that goal. Please spread the word. 
  1. Currently the carbon fiber used in the Boeing 787 can only be produced from fossil fuels. 
    • Should we conserve fossil fuels for materials such as plastic since we have alternative sources for energy?
  2. It now takes two to three incomes to live as well as one family income did in the past despite a huge growth in GDP and worker productivity.
    • Will our continued public policy to grow GDP reverse this trend in our standard of living?
  3. In principle government workers are to serve the public interest while by law corporations must act to increase value for their shareholders. 
    • How will further privatization increase accountability to tax payers? 
    And within this same line of concerns and the interest of the public:
    • Should BP continue to lead the cleanup effort in the Gulf national disaster?
  4. We currently subsidize corn production and prohibit sugar imports. 
    • Should these policies against the free market which happen to affect our food supply be continued?
  5. The Department of Defense in their Quadrennial Report stated that they are working to adapt to climate change. 
    • Is the DOD the best federal agency to mitigate climate change?
  6. Our aquifers are currently being drained faster than they are being replenished. 
    • Should public policy address this issue with measurable goals? 
  7. Economic growth is limited by the biosphere while innovated development has no limits. 
    • Do your policies value growth or innovated development?
  8. Our government used to spend far more on education than prisons. 
    • How has the increased focus on prisons helped tax payers?
  9. President Reagan had many admirable goals when he launched the war on drugs. 
    • How have the goals of the 'war on drugs' been met?
  10. The number of terrorist attacks worldwide for the last nine years is higher than the nine years prior to 911. 
    • How will further military presence worldwide reverse this trend?
  11. My employer’s 401(k) plan offers a variety of high risk funds that each have shares of Halliburton in them. 
    • For increased choice and competition, should we require employer plans to offer at least one socially responsible fund to qualify for the tax deferment?
  12. The egg recall is a good reminder of our industrial food system. 
    • Should our public policies promote small, local producers?
  13. Food, water, and energy security is national security. 
    • Should public policies promote local resilience and thus improved national security?
  14. President Nixon was quoted as saying that every American should have access to healthcare. 
    • Is this still a worthy value?
  15. The current Republican platform states that it wants to protect Medicare. 
    • Does that mean that the public sector can do a better job than the private sector in some instances?
  16. Since President Eisenhower, top tier taxes have dropped dramatically. 
    • How much further should they be reduced to increase our standard of living and improve our economy?
  17. Since President Nixon, the burden of financial regulations has been reduced. 
    • How much further deregulation is needed to improve our economy and standard of living?
  18. An ideal market economy should be based on the true cost of items unless specific subsidies are needed to achieve a specific goal. 
    • Should we continue to spend more tax dollars to subsidize fossil fuels over clean energy?
  19. The economy is a subsystem of nature; without nature there can be no economy. 
    • Which public policies benefit both nature and the economy?
  20. Standard of living is a measure of both purchasing power and quality of life. 
    • Should government policy be designed to increase the standard of living rather than GDP?
  21. Car fatalities caused by alcohol and pain medications are far higher than marijuana and other illegal drugs. 
    • Should we spend tax payer funds to declare a war on alcohol and pain medication too?
  22. Small businesses create the most jobs in our economy. 
    • How does our current offshore tax credit benefit small businesses?
  23. Cap & Trade in Europe is based on the principle that companies have the right to pollute while a proposed Cap & Dividend is based on the principle that people have the right to clean air and water and would be administered like oil revenue in Alaska. 
    • Which policy would most benefit American citizens and our environment?
  24. Current tobacco education and regulation policy has reduced smoking in America without a heavy tax burden to citizens. 
    • Should this sensible approach be used with other addictive drugs too?
  25. Our founding fathers restricted corporate charters to specific projects with limited duration after experiencing the effects of the East Indian Company’s monopoly. 
    • Should we once again limit the corporate charter since corporations can now spend unlimited amounts of money to influence our elections and political system?
  26. Our nation was founded with a principle of freedom of religion. 
    • What specific criteria should be used to restrict the religious freedoms of Americans?
  27. President Reagan began the war on drugs with many admirable goals yet these goals have not been achieved despite a heavy tax payer burden. 
    • At what point should a new strategy be considered?
  28. This year an activist Supreme Court declared that since corporations are people and money is speech then corporations can spend unlimited amounts of money in elections even though real people are restricted in the amount they can contribute. 
    • Does this decision go against the principle of one person, one vote?
  29. Our current industrial agriculture is dependent on fossil fuels and fossil water, highly mechanized, water polluting, soil eroding, and low in nutritious content. 
    • Should public policy support small, local, organic producers that will increase jobs and our nation’s health while providing a sustainable legacy for our children?
  30. Money is currently loaned into existence by private banks which requires a continual growth in the money supply to pay back the loan plus interest. 
    • For a sustainable future, is this the best model for the exchange goods and services?
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