"Honesty is the best policy."
- Benjamin Franklin
Wage Increase : No one should work full time in America and still live in poverty.
We need working, livable minimum wages, influenced by regional costs of living. For example, the wage base in Denver, Colorado should not be the same as in Eads, Colorado due to cost of living differences. Many economists believe today's federal minimum wage should be $12/hour, with up to $15/hour in more urban regions. Let's work together to uphold fair wages to all Americans.
Pay Equality : Speaking of fair wages, we must mandate equal pay for all genders, races, and ethnicities. We must not settle for anything less than equality: Even a 1% difference would be a difference. People must be paid equally for equal work.
Tax Reform : Our taxes fund our society - we should be proud of the taxes we pay! Our contributions create the roads and bridges that connect us, the education which carries us into future generations, and the men and women who secure our country here in the U.S. and abroad.
We need a fair and balanced tax system: A simplified tax code, no loopholes, and strict deterring of offshore tax havens. All Americans must pay their fair share of taxes - especially those who have disproportionately benefitted from an unfair tax code. It is unpatriotic to seek unfair reductions.
Fiduciary Responsibility : Uphold all financial advisors and investors to act in the client's best interest. It is against American values to knowingly put a client in a compromising position.
Reducing the Income Gap: We have a systemic wage-gap issue in our country. Those with the most money are making more and more, while the poorest Americans earn less and less.
A company does not run without the roles of all personnel, whether it be the janitor, the cook, the engineer, or the CEO. Gradients in pay are perfectly acceptable based on experience, education, risk, etc., but fundamentally, it is a question of moral responsibility that a CEO should make $14,000,000.00 while the lowest paid employee makes $7.25/hr. This isn't socialism, it's American values -- We must value all of our citizens and the skills they provide.
Fiscal Responsibility : The current national debt is out of control. It is my generation and those below me that will be most heavily impacted. Ensuring fiscal responsibility is most critical.
Reducing the compounded national debt will require multiple approaches over a period of time. 1) The wealthy and corporations must pay their fair share of taxes, 2) Newly proposed programs with use of new funds ought to demonstrate a fiscal recovery plan prior to implementation, and 3) Reduce medical costs (the U.S. currently has the highest healthcare costs of any country in the world). Additionally, funding increases may need to be considered, as does reorganization of our budget priorities, to free up monies for essential programs. A comprehensive fiscal reform plan will be released should Trish choose to declare.
Government Efficiency : Work to modernize our government systems. Create easy to use electronic and mobile options for mandatory processes such as voter registration, taxes, vehicle registrations, driver's licenses, and more. Reduce administrative costs to free up monies for new positions and programs. Displaced workers will be transitioned into new job opportunities.
Infrastructure Revitalization : Revitalize our infrastructure, transportation, and more as influenced by sustainable development and human health designs.
Next Gen Jobs : Investing heavily to expand renewable energy and sustainable technologies which will create an influx of jobs, particularly in regions previously reliant on industries which are otherwise being phased out. We will ensure that any new stimulus monies are used to create long term, environmentally and financially responsible employment opportunities.
Job Re-Training : This is a very personal topic. It is difficult and maddening to be in the position of watching your livelihood become obsolete. The smoothest transition requires working closely with small towns affected by modernization and provide as many re-training and community grant opportunities for those affected. For some, there may be new job opportunities in other manual labors such as building and maintaining wind farms, local and sustainable agriculture, solar installments, and more. For others willing to re-train toward technological opportunities we should provide easy access. Our modernization process cannot neglect the small and rural areas upon which our country was founded.
Personal note: I've watched family and friends lose jobs at the local mill or other factories as the technological revolutions have come. I know what it's like to grow up with concerns over money and work as those mills and factories slowly closed their doors. Modernization is necessary, but we need to protect our working class during this difficult transition.
Youth Opportunities : Provide increased young entrepreneur and mentorship programs. Expand early-career grant programs focused on both the arts and the sciences. We need to make all careers and talents viable again, not just sciences. The arts, music, and apprenticeship markets should be highly encouraged.
Personal note: I'm not just a researcher, I'm also a musician! The arts have been wildly impactful for me, including professionally. My first career-related job was afforded to me in college as the local psychiatric hospital needed a pianist to assist in running therapeutic groups. Typically, groups were run by higher level practitioners, but music therapy required a background many did not hold. This opportunity kick started my career in mental health, and helped me be accepted to graduate school.
Job Rehabilitation : Expand community rehabilitation programs offering jobs to those who have fallen on hard times or have circumstances which make obtaining gainful employment difficult. Such employments might include community revitalization projects, mentorships, counseling programs, and more.
Community Grant Programs : Create stronger community grant programs to encourage progress in eliminating "Food Deserts", "Healthcare Deserts", "Technology Deserts", and more. This would also encourage local job growth and support of community needs.
Work-Life Modernization : Work hard, but play hard, too. Family, friends, and community are the backbone of our country and contribute to our health and happiness. This ultimately make us better, more efficient workers as well as better citizens. In the day and age of automation and wireless technologies, we should encourage able businesses to incorporate flexible work hours and increased mobile-work abilities so as to accommodate the vast lifestyle needs for American citizens.