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Phil Hyde's Positions

General Response to Questionnaires

As a citizen politician, Phil regards his opinions on most of the detailed questions in the mountains of questionnaires he receives from special-interest groups as no better than any other citizen's opinions. His "take" on most of these specialized questions is that the government, especially at the federal level, should be concerned with matters of general interest and not matters of special interest in their burgeoning and costly multiplicity. Our failure to make this distinction is the main reason for the uncontrolled growth and intrusiveness of big government.

To expose this "devil in the details," Phil wants to advocate for a better future by setting up a federal-level referendum system similar to the many state-level systems in this nation. We already have all the technology needed for this type of electronic democracy. If elected, Phil would want to answer virtually all the specific-issue questions from individual voters and from group questionnaires by putting them to the all the voters in his constituency via binding, public, issue-oriented referendums. There is no better way to dramatize to everyone the difference between special and general interest.

And there is no better way to speed up the tough decisions we need today. Tough decisions are much more likely to be made on secret ballots such as individual citizens can use to vote on referendums than they are in the public balloting that "representative" politicians use in Congress. For example, politicians have lots of incentive to borrow and spend but no incentive to tax and pay back, hence our $5.5 trillion national debt and huge debt service (interest) bill. Polls and surveys are too manipulable. The Swiss have federal referendums for seven million citizens four times a year. We can do it for 300 million Americans. We have the technology. Let's do it!


Personal Opinions on the Role of Government
(always subject to referendums, as mentioned)

Welfare

Welfare should be dismantled, but only after a new approach has greatly opened up the job market so that even inner-city people (all of them) can easily find an honest job. The best approach is a free-market strategy that converts overtime into on-the-job training (OJT) and adjusts the workweek automatically and gradually against a new real unemployment rate (includes unemployment, welfare, disability, homelessness and prisons, also forced self-employment and part time). If unemployment is too high, the workweek would shorten to spread around free-market employment. If unemployment goes down again, the workweek would go up again. This two-directional strategy is called timesizing® to distinguish it on one hand from downsizing people and on the other hand from changing hours in one direction only (shorter). The adjustment of the workweek (and the point where overtime starts) according to the unemployment rate is called timelinking.

Education

We need a two-pronged approach. (1) A limited but intense government focus on the basics, meaning the "four Rs" - reading, w-riting, a-rithmetic, and p-rograming - plus history, so we're not doomed to repeat it. (2) An unlimited but gentle private-sector focus on on-the-job training (OJT). The most automatic, free-market way to spread OJT throughout the economy is to redirect funds currently used for overtime and use them to fund training in overtime-targeted skills. When the private sector takes care of its own training instead of passing those costs along to taxpayers in the form of subsidized training and education programs, we can cut taxes safely and responsibly.

Health Insurance

A federal single-payer system, vital for a fluctuating workweek, can be based on a system such as Hawaii's in 1991 (before it got ruined by adaptation to the small-business-punitive Clinton plan) that is as affordable for small businesses as for large (see The State Health Insurance Program of Hawaii: From Legislative Priority to Reality, submitted to Dept. of Health, State of Hawaii, Dec. 10, 1991, 460 pp., by Center for Health Research, Kaiser Permanente, Portland, Oregon; School of Public Health, University of Hawaii at Manoa, Honolulu, Hawaii; and Hawaii Medical Service Association Foundation, Honolulu, Hawaii).

Gun Control

Phil favors gun controls introduced by public referendums, working up from local to state to national, so we give full consideration to the justifiable fears of the *Jews for the Preservation of Firearm Ownership. This group points out the scary facts that (1) the Nazis prepared for their various human extermination programs by disarming the citizenry, and (2) our current American gun control laws, passed mainly in the 1960s, are based on the Nazi gun control laws of the 1930s.

Reproductive Privacy

is a traditional conservative value that prevailed unchallenged throughout all human history prior to the invention of x-ray movies (by a Swedish scientist in the late 1950s) that could show human fetuses moving inside the unhatched human soft-shelled egg still inside a human parent's body.* Private choice in this area is therefore a matter of traditional and intimate human privacy and not a matter for government regulation, let alone criminal law.
* Note updated version of x-ray movie argument in "U.S. politics: Duking it out as never before?" letter to the editor...by John F. Cogan of Yardley, Pa., 10/30/2003 WSJ, A17, which states, "Mr. Henninger [in "Xtreme Politics" Oct.24] seems to identify the pro-life [ie: pro-forced-birth] point of view exclusively with religious convictions. It is also possible to be [pro-forced-birth] on the basis of 'objective' facts [our quotes]. There are compelling real-time images by GE's 4-D ultrasound instrument that show an unborn 'child' [ie: foetus] in stunning detail. A comprehensive body of scientific data shows that the [foetus] rapidly develops the organs and systems a newborn has [oh what a surprise], that it moves like a newborn, has senses, and that it can learn [define 'learn'].
[Gee, we should definitely give women a one-dependent tax deduction the instant they conceive - and we must make sure, with GE equipment or whatever, that the government KNOWS when that instant is! - and now that we're pushing to give driver's licenses and even the vote to illegal immigrants, we should not stint but definitely give the vote to foetuses and even embryos. The point is, with high-technology, a pre-technology black&white mentality can justify a lot of privacy invasion and oppressive inconvenience. And there are some times when the traditional pre-technology shades-of-gray mentality was better - not perfect but better, or if you prefer, not even "good" but "less worse."]

The Bible (e.g., in Ezekiel 37) clearly regards life (hayyim/bios) as inextricably linked to breath (ruah/pneuma) and of course, humans do not start breathing until birth after they've hatched from their internal, soft-shelled egg (womb/uterus).

A pro-choice position does not equate to a pro-abortion position. Abortion is always a tragic sadness. Indeed, it is explicitly mentioned three times in the Bible only as an act of war that, in the absence of antibiotics, would almost certainly have killed the pregnant parent. Phil would describe his personal views as anti-abortion but firmly pro-choice. The idea of "conservatives" who are against big government and government regulation turning around and getting big government inside people's bodies with criminalizing regulations strikes Phil as contradictory.

However, fairness dictates that taxpayers who strongly object to abortion (e.g., for religious reasons) should not be forced to participate in the government funding of abortion. The consciences of both sides can be satisfied by setting up electronic firewalls within government tax and budget systems to keep revenues from objecting taxpayers clear of abortion funding. (If this were interpreted as decreasing the taxes of those objecting to abortion funding, fairness would require that any ongoing costs attached to the forced parenting implicit in the objection should increase only the taxes of objectors.)

On Aug. 5/98, Phil received the endorsement of the Republican Pro-Choice PAC. Whaddaya mean, you didn't know there was one?! - actually Phil didn't know there was one either, but I guess when you're trying to cover a population the size of America with only two political parties, you can't really stereotype either one. It's at 57 W 57th St, Ste 712, NY NY 10019, (212) 207-8266. Wrote Lynn Grefe, their Political Director, "We are pleased to endorse your candidacy for Congress. Thank you for completing the questionnaire and for your 100% commitment to a woman's right to choose."

Farming

Subject to considerations in the Environment section below, Phil endorses the ideas of the American Farmland Trust.

Environment

We need to redesign our economic activities to incentivize long-term survival and prosperity instead of short-term gain regardless of any longer-term considerations. We will be freer to consider long-term values (such as the diversity of species and ecosystems essential for their -and our- robust survival) when we have plenty of job alternatives for the many people (susch as lumbermen, fishermen, sealers, whalers...) who feel their livelihoods are threatened by environmental protection measures. With the pace of change accelerating, the long term is getting shorter and shorter. Ecology will soon be the source of all our values. Timesizing and its suite of sister strategies can provide the abundant job alternatives that ecology requires.

High tech has caused many of our problems because we have not known how to spread its benefits around to EVERYONE on a free-market basis. Growth itself has caused many of our problems because we have not had a free-market way of avoiding the concentration of 99% of the benefits in 1% of the population, far more than they can use.

Timesizing provides a free-market way of identifying the point of diminishing returns in the concentration of wealth and centrifuging down to that point without inflation or loss of workforce discipline. It provides a way of turning the curse of high tech into the blessing it should be. It makes only the "minimum necessary departure from status quo" at each step so the cure never becomes worse than the disease. Its general portability to a series of economic platforms makes it simultaneously conservative and proactive, with minimum risk and cost.

Timesizing and its suite of sister strategies presents the kind of general solution to our present contradiction, between business efficiency and market expansion, that concerned CEOs and managers all over the world have been looking for.


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