Here are some of my ideas.
In hard economic times, government cuts should start with those who govern. I believe in Leadership by example and I shall not ask of our Citizens what I shall not do myself. I would like to see all government officials’ salaries tied to the median income of our state’s citizens. This should give much better incentive for our government to work to improve the economic status of our citizens over the incentives to cater to special interests and corporations.
I believe that the States should control all matters within their borders, including Health Insurance, Traffic Laws, Industry Regulations, Financial Regulations. Anything that has effects outside the borders of a state is the only domain of the federal government. However, the Federal Government was charged with Promoting the General Welfare. So when the states fail to act, or act against the best interest of their citizens, it is the responsibility of the federal government to step in and take action to ensure the general welfare and to provide for the common defense and secure the blessings of liberty. Our leaders should work to ensure that the State of Mississippi Acts First, steps up and handles our business within our state in a manner that protects all citizens, not just the elite few.
Education deserves our most serious efforts and therefore should be a top priority of any administration. Objectives will focus on making our system more effective, more efficient and more equitable. Government should work with our business community, our schools, our teachers and parents to get the most thorough and accurate information to help put our schools on track to becoming the best. A fully funded educational system is not an option, it is an imperative.
Job creation and improvement will be the next priority. Certainly, improved education will produce more qualified job applicants, but we must make our jobs attractive in order to keep our most gifted minds in the state. This would mean having competitively high salaries compared to our cost of living. Making $100,000 in California is not as good as making $80,000 in Mississippi – and could be something we need to point out in efforts to attract people to the state. (figures used are guesstimates, a cost of living analysis would be needed to come up with accurate figures)
Growing up poor in rural Mississippi, my biggest hurdle on the track for a good job was transportation. I could not afford a good vehicle nor could I afford to repair a vehicle that I could have afforded to buy. It was hard to find a reliable ride to work. One busted piston – or even a flat tire – could spell job loss. For our economic improvement and job creation, I propose investigating the implementation of High Speed Rail and increased public transportation to service rural and suburban areas. This will help decrease traffic congestion, increase worker availability and help us attract and keep businesses in the state. More people being able to get to jobs would reduce the number of people reliant on social services.
For example, imagine a high speed rail from Jackson and surrounding areas that connects to a stop near the Nissan plant in Canton. Nissan could provide a shuttle from the depot to the plant. This would reduce the instances of car trouble preventing people from getting to work. After all, it would be easier to find a ride to the train depot than all the way to and from work. Travel expenses would be cut, which would lead to lower fuel costs as well as lower wear and tear on personal vehicles. For further investigation, check out the Dallas Area Rapid Transit system.
Of course, in the efforts to build this system, Mississippi based labor would be prioritized.
I think government should take a look at our prison system and review our enforcement of laws to make sure that they are in the best social and economic interests of our Citizens. I do not believe that murderers should serve less time than minor drug offenders. We have already made progress in 2008 by reducing nonviolent offender time to serve before they are eligible for parole. If the need for further changes are indicated, they should work with law enforcement to champion the implementation of those changes.
I propose having a yearly Policy referendum that will allow voters to give their opinions on proposed policy and law changes within the state. These will be in line with scheduled elections when possible to save on costs.
In an effort to ensure the Will of The People is followed as closely as possible, I support “instant runoff” elections. This would allow voters to rank their choices 1 through 3 in order to have an instant, cost saving, result in close elections. I believe this would eliminate voting for the ‘lesser of two evils’ instead of your first choice. For example, you could vote your conscience and choose the Reform Party candidate as your first choice, then the Democratic candidate as your second choice and the Green Party candidate as the third choice. If your first choice fails to get a significant portion of Primary Votes (the votes ranked #1) then your Secondary Vote would count toward your second choice being elected.
For further details, please review the topics under “The Views” on the left side of this article.