I appeared as a politician (and a historian) on Cellar Door Skeptics where we covered not only my background and hopes for the district, but also how progressives can start to change the landscape of American politics. I appear in the first half hour of the show, see the link [...]
I had an interview with Ron Placone where we discussed the real economy, modern money theory, and how to reinvigorate the middle class. For the full interview, see this link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=meVhST23keE
On even issues that are not directly economic in nature, I will tend to outline economic arguments, in order to show that our standard of living and disposable income will increase under my proposals, as will our overall growth rate. But some areas of my platform are distinctly economic by nature. Raising wages and income is a huge goal for me, as they have stagnated for decades. Settling our health care mess is another, since we spend twice as much as other developed countries and get far worse results. I want to revise our tax policy to reduce the burden on the middle and working classes. We are the last major country not to require paid leave for workers, which negatively affects our health and productivity. We face a major housing crisis, with the cost of living moving ever higher and the number of homeless increasing, so improving access to affordable housing is essential.
Our infrastructure is crumbling and costs the economy billions in lost productivity every year, and it urgently needs investment to maintain our competitive edge. Crises on the markets and in the banking sector keep forcing the public into costly bail-outs for no good reason, when simple banking reform policies would maintain the integrity of the banks through normal market fluctuations. Finally, but perhaps most importantly, we are facing an existential threat due to climate change, and sensible investments in renewables and a modern energy grid would have massive ripple-down effects on the economy, creating a large number of new and well-paid jobs and reducing the cost of doing business.
We have a range of significant social issues eating away at our country, and there are a number of things that can be aided by sensible policy changes that are driven by evidence and data. Child care is one such change, as making that affordable increases women’s participation in the workforce, and along with paid leave these changes have been shown to improve the stability of families and keep people together and happier. Our education system has been slipping, and American children score worse and worse in international rankings, so some sensible reforms in K-12 education are in order. One such should be improving nutrition in schools, as poor diets harm focus and retention, which means that school lunches help to combat generational poverty. At some point in high school we should be setting students on the path to trade schools or college, and for a modern economy in the 21st century we need to make sure that higher education of every kind is affordable and does not leave young adults buried in debt.
The war on drugs was a bad idea from the start, and drug enforcement needs to end – drug addiction is a medical issue, not a criminal one, and I am for decriminalization and amnesty for non-violent users. Gun rights are a hot-button issue, but some sensible reform can be accomplished. The main causes for our off-the-charts violence are socio-economic, but universal background checks and a training program would greatly reduce deaths without affecting civil liberties. To push back against the profit-driven partisanship, restoring the fairness clause is a media regulation that would improve our freedoms and access to information. And, of course, I support bodily autonomy for all individuals in society as a basic human right.
Immigration reform is long-overdue in this country, and I view the current crisis on the border as entirely artificial. It was created by changes made to both the immigration quotas and border security, and we can fix it with a few simple changes and save the taxpayer billions. Foreign policy is a key issue for me, personally, as a historian and scholar of international politics, and I would push back against intervention wars and favor diplomatic solutions wherever possible. But we do need to take better care of our veterans, and ensuring that their care is properly funded and secured from partisan bickering. One area where there should be bipartisan cooperation because of broad public support is campaign financereform. Conservatives and liberals alike agree by wide margins that Washington is a cesspool of corruption, so reigning in the lobbyists and getting to clean elections (i.e., “draining the swamp”) should be a priority for elected officials. And revisiting the way we conceive of the federal budget as a whole is a pressing need, given the fraught rhetoric over debt.
Liam grew up in a working class union family. Liam earned a Ph.D. in history and is using his experience as a college professor to change the direction in Washington and put Congress back to work for the American people.