Yesterday, Jill Stein announced that, in fact, she is not merely exploring the possibility of running for the Green Party presidential nomination in 2016, but is an officially active candidate. One of her first acts as a fully-armed and operational Green Party candidate was to release a Power To the People Plan, which you can read below (the notes in italics are from Irregular Times).
The Power to the People Plan:
A Green New Deal:
Create millions of jobs by transitioning to 100% clean renewable energy by 2030, and investing in public transit, sustainable agriculture, and conservation.
What counts as “sustainable agriculture”? Does Jill Stein categorize biofuel farms that expend as much energy as they create as sustainable? Do large-scale organic farms that plant big monocultures count as sustainable?
Conservation is already taking place. To what extent does Jill Stein want to expand it, and what kinds of conservation does she seek to focus on? Conservation of energy? Conservation of vulnerable ecological habitats? Conservation of early 18th century Mardis Gras costumes?
Jobs as a Right:
Create living-wage jobs for every American who needs work, replacing unemployment offices with employment offices. Advance workers rights to form unions, achieve workplace democracy, and keep a fair share of the wealth they create.
Unemployment offices are already given the task of encouraging people to find work. What specific changes, other than the removal of the letter “u” and “n”, does Jill Stein seek to make to them?
What does workplace democracy mean? Does it mean that workers have the right to elect CEOs and other executives through secret ballots?
Guarantee economic human rights, including access to food, water, housing, and utilities, with effective anti-poverty programs to ensure every American a life of dignity.
What counts as utilities we have a right to? Do we have the right to Internet access as a human right? What about cellular services? Is there a human right to Netflix?
Health Care as a Right:
Establish an improved “Medicare For All” single-payer public health insurance program to provide everyone with quality health care, at huge savings.
Would the Medicare For All system be mandatory for all Americans? Would doctors be allowed to opt out?
Education as a Right:
Abolish student debt to free a generation of Americans from debt servitude. Guarantee tuition-free, world-class public education from pre-school through university. End high stakes testing and public school privatization.
Will student debt be abolished at high-price private universities and colleges? If the government will pay for tuition at these schools, what’s to prevent them from jacking up their costs even higher?
Will standardized tests to get into medical school be abolished? What about the bar exam? Will only inconsequential tests be allowed?
A Just Economy:
Set a $15/hour federal minimum wage. Break up “too-big-to-fail” banks and democratize the Federal Reserve. Reject gentrification as a model of economic development. Support development of worker and community cooperatives and small businesses. Make Wall Street, big corporations, and the rich pay their fair share of taxes. Create democratically run public banks and utilities. Replace corporate trade agreements with fair trade agreements.
What does it mean for the President of the United States to “reject gentrification as a model of economic development?” What specific federal policies would put this rhetorical rejection into action?
Protect Mother Earth:
Lead on a global treaty to halt climate change. End destructive energy extraction: fracking, tar sands, offshore drilling, oil trains, mountaintop removal, and uranium mines. Protect our public lands, water supplies, biological diversity, parks, and pollinators. Label GMOs, and put a moratorium on GMOs and pesticides until they are proven safe. Protect the rights of future generations.
What constitutes a GMO? Is canola oil a GMO? Are hybridized plants GMOs? What specific evidence does Jill Stein have that GMOs are harmful?
Freedom and Equality:
End police brutality, mass incarceration and institutional racism within our justice system. Expand women’s rights, protect LGBT people from discrimination, defend indigenous rights and lands, and create a welcoming path to citizenship for immigrants. Protect the free Internet, replace drug prohibition with harm reduction, and legalize marijuana/hemp.
What provisions will Jill Stein support to protect the American people from the harmful effects of second-hand marijuana smoke? Will she support equivalent regulations for marijuana and tobacco?
Justice for All:
Restore our Constitutional rights, terminate unconstitutional surveillance and unwarranted spying, end persecution of government and media whistleblowers, close Guantanamo, abolish secret kill lists, and repeal indefinite detention without charge or trial.
How will we know when the secret kill lists have been abolished?
Peace and Human Rights:
Establish a foreign policy based on diplomacy, international law, and human rights. End the wars and drone attacks, cut military spending by at least 50% and close the 700+ foreign military bases that are turning our republic into a bankrupt empire. Stop U.S. support and arms sales to human rights abusers, and lead on global nuclear disarmament.
Empower the People:
Abolish corporate personhood. Protect voters’ rights by establishing a constitutional right to vote. Enact electoral reforms that break the big money stranglehold and create truly representative democracy: public campaign financing, ranked-choice voting, proportional representation, and open debates.
Will Jill Stein support the abolition of unregulated campaign contributions from organizations other than for-profit corporations? What limits would Jill Stein seek to impose on open debates? Does she support allowing everyone on the huge list of registered presidential candidates, including Robert Milnes, to get up on a debate stage all at once, or does she seek to close the debates to some presidential candidates?