Here are brief preliminary summaries of Mr. Pollard’s views on the major themes of his campaign. In the coming weeks, Mr. Pollard will be writing and publishing more detailed policy position papers on these and other topics.
The partisan divisions in our Congress and in our nation have become so severe that our national security is now more at risk than at any time since the end of the Cold War. The failure of the Congress to extend the debt ceiling limit in a timely manner was extremely damaging to the strength of our economy and the perception of America by the rest of the world. And the inability of the “supercommittee” to agree on budget deficit reduction strategies led to massive defense spending cuts, which combined with earlier defense cuts gave the rest of the world the impression that America is in decline as a world power. American citizens and Members of Congress need to learn to work together to balance the federal budget through a combination of spending cuts and tax increases to make our economy strong once again and improve our prestige in the world.
The key to strong national security is a strong economy, and with millions of Americans out of work, we need effective policies at the federal level to help provide opportunities for employment and entrepreneurship. Expanded opportunities for service in the armed forces, the Peace Corps and a domestic civilian service corps would provide options for unemployed Americans. Sound economic policy would encourage the growth and development of companies in a new ecologically sustainable economy, including sectors such as renewable energy, organic agriculture, sustainably managed forestry and fisheries, and environmentally-friendly construction. The federal government should provide incentives to property owners and investors to remodel existing buildings to make them more energy efficient, thereby revitalizing the construction industry and providing employment opportunities, reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and conserving financial resources through reduced heating costs.
Education is the key to enabling our economy to grow and allowing American citizens to reach their highest potential for service to the nation and the world. The government should help provide excellent educational opportunities for all Americans from pre-kindergarten through graduate school, and citizens should have the opportunity to complete high school and otherwise further their education at any time in their lives. Large numbers of retired and unemployed citizens could serve as volunteer educators to teach others everything from basic literacy and English skills to the high technology knowledge needed to thrive in the information economy.
One of the primary keys to reducing the health care costs which are continuing to grow at rapidly exponential rates is to improve the physical health of the American people. This can best be attained through proper nutrition and regular exercise, which should be taught to American adults and children starting in elementary school. Those who are receiving aid from the state, in particular, should receive education and counseling on nutrition and incorporating exercise into their lives, and taught to prevent or abstain from the abuse of tobacco, alcohol and controlled substances. Traditional forms of health care such as homeopathy, herbal medicine, massage therapy, acupuncture, yoga, and chi gong, are very effective at preventing and remedying health problems, and would benefit from additional research and funding.
All discussion of improvements to social policy and economic development becomes meaningless if the Earth’s natural systems are not able to sustain human life. The ongoing destruction of our fragile planet has created dangerous ecological imbalances which threaten the collapse of entire major ecosystems, resulting in widespread famine, drought, pestilence, natural disasters and other societal ills. We need to learn to treat the Earth with love and respect, and make every effort to conserve the Earth’s incredible beauty while using its resources wisely in a sustainable manner.
It is our moral obligation to help those members of our society that are most in need. With the abundance and prosperity of our nation, there is no excuse for any American to be hungry, homeless, or without access to health care. An increase in charitable giving by Americans who have more than enough resources to satisfy their own needs would reduce the need for government programs to help the poor. And where charitable giving does not provide sufficient funding to help lower income Americans, the government should provide resources to ensure that no citizen is deprived of the basic necessities of life and that every person is given the opportunity to improve upon his or her situation. The best way to alleviate poverty is to provide employment opportunities for those in need of work, and social welfare programs should help train beneficiaries in the basic skills they will need to be hired, possibly in the armed forces or a civilian service corps, and become self-sufficient.