There's so much more that we could be doing to strengthen our economy. Here are just some of the ways we could be tilting the playing field in favor of Massachusetts industry, laborers, builders, and savers:
Revamp our sales tax so that it actually advantages Massachusetts industry.
Why do we impose the same sales tax on a product made in China that we do on a product made right here in Massachusetts? I'd like to see legislation to make anything manufactured in the Bay State sales tax exempt.
Revamp our minimum wage laws so that they actually advantage Massachusetts workers.
A big downward force on both employment and the wages of those who do have jobs is cheap outside labor coming into the commonwealth. I'd like to see a minimum wage of $15 an hour for anyone who lives out of state and works in Massachusetts, and for any non-naturalized foreigners working here a minimum wage of $30 an hour. I'd also like to reset the minimum wage for native Bay-Staters down to the federal minimum, so that nobody who wants to work, however unskilled, is priced out of the labor market. The current system really disadvantages native unskilled labor.
Scrap the EBT system and subsidiarize most welfare programs to the municipal level.
Welfare for the able-bodied is a sketchy enough idea to begin with. But to task faceless state-level agencies with the management of welfare programs for the able-bodied is to actively discourage productivity. We ought to go back to municipal management for most of these programs.
Create a Commonwealth Bank for the purpose of issuing a specie-backed currency.
Saving is the backbone of a healthy economy. But irresponsible Federal Reserve policy perennially depletes the value of the U.S. dollar, which hurts savers. To combat this problem, and protect Massachusetts savers, we could incorporate a Commonwealth Bank to issue a special state currency backed by gold, silver, or some other valuable metal. Bay Staters could then choose to build their savings and pay their state taxes in this currency. In this way, our savers can be protected when future federal-level debt monetization inevitably creates further inflation.
Significantly reduce, or, if possible, eliminate the state income tax.
When the commonwealth is willing to fund such absurdities as a rattle-snake colony on the Quabbin Reservoir it probably means we're sending Beacon Hill too much money. One of the best things we could be doing for our economy would be to confiscate less of the earnings of Massachusetts workers.
Doing Better For Infants And Children
The child is the most important member of any community. In all we do, we need to make sure we're always putting our young people first. Unfortunately, we still have some big improvements to make in the protections we afford infants and children in Massachusetts:
Protect unborn babies.
The barbaric and inhumane crime of "unwanted" babies being murdered in the womb is, incredibly, all-too-common in our commonwealth. There is no way we can continue to turn a blind eye to this issue and maintain the pretense of being a civilized society. It's long past time we banned this horrifying practice.
Protect orphaned children from being placed with unfit foster parents.
As there are many healthy normal couples waiting patiently to adopt, it's incumbent upon us to keep orphaned or abandoned children in Massachusetts, whether wards of the commonwealth or of a church or secular group, from being adopted into unhealthy and potentially dangerous situations. Particularly distressing is a modern trend in Massachusetts of same-sex couples being allowed to adopt and raise children. We ought to prohibit this.
Discourage the use of psychotropic drugs on young children.
Another deplorable modern trend is the use of psychotropic drugs to modify the brain-chemistry of "unruly" children. This is a grossly unfair way to treat our young people. I encourage anyone unfamiliar with this phenomenon to see the harrowing Louis Theroux documentary America's Medicated Kids.
Make sure that our education system puts kids first.
The education of our children is of paramount importance to me. Critical thought and well-reasoned analysis, the foundations of a well-functioning democratic society, begin with education. The Senate's recent passage of an education reform bill continues steps in the wrong direction which began with the adoption of Common Core and continue in this bill with continued opposition to charter schools. Common Core was a mistake because Massachusetts has had the best education system in the country for a very long time, thus standards developed to be palatable to other states are too low for Massachusetts. Charter schools only provide additional options for our children, which will help them to be better educated, and should thus be supported.
Other Important Issues:
Don't let our veterans fall by the wayside.
I firmly believe we all want to do our best by our veterans here in the Bay State. So as long as there are homeless vets on the streets of our cities, or the suicide rate among vets remains so much higher than among the population at large, I hope we can all agree that there's work to be done. As someone who served in uniform myself, this is an issue of particular concern to me.
Make sure the pols on Beacon Hill are actually working for the people.
Our last four Speakers of the House have faced criminal corruption charges. This ought to be unacceptable to us. It's time to clean up our government, and the way to do that is to send more gadflies to Beacon Hill who won't be afraid to draw attention to unethical practices, rather than stand passively by in the face of rampant corruption.
Protect our rights to free-association.
What ever happened to our cherished right to choose who we will and won't do business with? I'm fine with laws guaranteeing that the government treat people equally regardless of race or religion, but, as a free citizen, no one has a right to be hired by you, or receive a service from you. The state oughtn't be trying to force involuntary association between private parties. It's a violation of our rights, and a recipe for increased enmity between peoples in our society.
Repeal the fireworks ban.
This one's pretty self-explanatory, right?
Lower the drinking age to 18.
If you're old enough to vote and serve in the military then you're old enough to drink.
No more "daylight savings time."
OK: Maybe this one isn't the most pressing issue. But it's such a pointless nuisance to have to change the time on all our clocks by an hour twice a year. It's time we followed the example of Arizona and Hawaii and ditch this useless custom.