Time to return control of our state resources to the people

PUTNEY — I am the Liberty Union candidate for lieutenant governor of Vermont. My basic platform is to return control of our state resources to the people.

The framers of the Constitution were quite careful to build systems - checks and balances - to prevent any individual or small group of oligarchs from gaining too much power. But now the billionaires - less than .001 percent of the population - can pick the winners and losers in our elections.

Even the supposedly “public radio” has moved to silence any voice but the well-vetted, well-financed voices of finance and energy.

Here is what I stand for:

1. Free the money: We need to end the stranglehold of the financial sector on the global economy. Vermont needs a state-owned bank to provide financing to small business.

As for the thieves who wrecked the economy, I would work to make null and void any outstanding private loan for which the interest and fees exceeded the principal. There is a very real moral hazard in letting all the brokerage firms, banks, and insurance companies walk away with all that money.

2. Free the sick: Take insurance out of medicine. We should triple the number of students admitted to Vermont Medical Schools, pay for their education, and expect them in return to work for the state for five years after the residency.

The health insurance industry is a form of extortion. Why are the greedy few entitled to a percentage of all our health-care expenditures?

3. Socialized energy: We need solar panels and windmills on every building. Energy is too important to leave to the fallacy of the “free market.” They are killing our planet. Free marketers talk about “cheap” energy, but they forget to account for the costs of climate change and the cost of cleaning up after all the disasters. We must take Vermont Yankee by eminent domain.

4. Free the potheads: Vermont should be the Amsterdam of the U.S. Cultivating marijuana is good for farms and would solve many financial problems of the state. Medical marijuana misses the point. Prohibition doesn't work.

5. Build a sustainable local economy: Many Vermonters support the effort to eat local foods, buy local products, and shop in locally owned stores. It is time for the state to recognize the intelligence of this approach and join with all of its resources.

When the global corporate distribution network, which is so clearly unsustainable, comes to a grinding halt, all we will have is what we can grow and make by ourselves. Let's invest in this real, local economy.

6. Money out of Elections: I support the Buddy Roemer plan in which each voter has a $50 voucher to be allocated to the candidates of his or her choice. Furthermore, I believe that individuals or corporations who try to buy the election should be incarcerated. If corporations are people, they should be incarcerated. Corporations are the one place I would support the death penalty.

Chief Justice John Roberts is the most violently “activist” judge in history, and he is a threat to our democracy. Vermont needs publicly financed elections and instant runoff voting.

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