WORLD FUTURE FUND
PRIORITIES FOR 2019 AND BEYOND
THE NEED FOR CHANGE IN A WORLD OUT OF BALANCE
Our planet is a world out of balance. We are borrowing from the future at a pace unprecedented in history. There needs to be a giant change in direction. We need to start building for a real future. We are interested in working with and funding groups that have a similar commitment. Our grant program is aimed at areas where other organizations may be better organized than we are so a grant is more efficient that a WFF program.
The World Future Fund is a non-profit organization that has been set up to do research and to educate people about the need for a greater commitment to investment in the future. We have been in business since 1995 and have been monitoring long term trends.
We have a new project to encourage bipartisan debate on America's future.
As we look forward, we see two major priorities for our grants program.
CREATE A JUST, SOCIAL DEMOCRATIC SOCIETY IN AMERICA
Our second goal is creating a sane society here at home in America. This means creating a social democratic society with basic government services that protect the people. America is nothing short of social chamber of horrors among developed states with astronomical levels of child poverty, millions in jail and no universal health insurance.
We are committed to the creation of a social democratic society like Germany or Norway. A particular priority is the creation of a system which places labor union representatives on corporate boards.
Unfortunately, "progressives" in America are not rising to the challenge. Obama has bombed more foreign nations that any other post World War II President. Until stopped by the budget mess in Washington, he was pushing levels of defense spending even higher than those of Reagan (in constant dollars). There has been hardly a peep of protest from "progressives".
At home "progressives" refuse to put in place three essential parts of a welfare state: a consumption tax, an energy tax and single payer national health insurance. Until these reforms are put in place there can be no social democratic society in America. America's problems are compounded by the huge debts and deficits run up as result of wars, runaway military spending and absurd tax cuts. This means tax increases in America are going to be severe. Unfortunately, "progressives" in America have totally failed here. There is the common delusion that simply raising taxes on the rich will pay for what is needed. This is a total joke. Even worse many "progressives" want to raise taxes on investments (capital gains and estates). This is the exact opposite of states like Sweden and Norway, where there are no estate taxes. Indeed, the same can be said for the rising economic powers of Asia.
Also, the current anti-Russia crusade of many Democrats is not helpful. A new Cold War will demand even more defense spending than we have now.
This situation needs to change.
STOP THE NEW COLD WAR BETWEEN AMERICA AND RUSSIA
There are few things more dangerous to the world than the new cold war between American and Russia that was started by Obama.
A key problem is that many people who are rightly angered by a lot of Trump's policies have allowed their hatred of Trump to blind them to the need for a reasonable relationship with the only nation on earth that can wipe America off the map. There are also huge global economic risks to the New Cold War.
The new sanctions bill passed by Congress in 2017 is a total disaster.
Obama was elected to stop runaway war and imperialism. Instead he has expanded it. A particularly disgusting and evil aspect of the Obama era has been the rise of liberal "human rights" imperialism which led to American efforts to try to overthrow the governments of Libya and Syria by military force in alliance with Islamic extremists and the Saudi Arabia. The result has been a bloodbath in both nations and total disaster.
Until he was stopped by the insane sequester laws, Obama was promoting the highest levels of US defense spending in constant dollars since World War II, more than the next seven nations in the world. It is a fairy tale to believe that social needs can be met while this is going on. However, change can only come when a deliberate policy of imperialism is ended.
More efforts can and should be made to establish a sound global security relationship with Russia.
Do US human beings have a "right to life"? The answer is a clear no.
The political right believes that human fetuses do have a "right to life". However, once a fetus is born and becomes a person, neither the right nor the so-called "left" in America support policies that guarantee a right to life for people. Indeed, life in America is instead controlled by money, the distribution of which is controlled by a political power struggles among competing plutocratic and special interest forces.
This needs to change. However, in order for this to happen the "left" in America has to adopt taxes on consumption and energy as is done is every modern welfare state. These taxes are usually balanced by low taxes on savings to grow the economy. For example, the estate tax in Norway and Sweden is zero. In Germany it is zero on businesses that employ people.
By contrast many on the "left" in America live in a dream world on taxes. First, they simply refuses to face the budget deficit crisis, listening to the fairy tales of people like Paul Krugman, who suggest that today's budget deficits are no big deal. Second, they idiotically wants to do the opposite of social democratic states and raise (already high by international standards) taxes on savings and investment like capital gains and estates.
Without energy and consumption taxes we simply cannot pay for what we need. Period.
We also need a major focus on broadband for all.
This situation needs to change.
AGENDA 2020: FRAMEWORK FOR NATIONAL DEBATE
We need to define an agenda for the national debate in 2020.
Value Added Tax
Savings is an area in which Americans fall dangerously behind in comparison to our competitors around the world. A consumption tax will be a key policy that will help increase savings, since it is consumption itself that is being taxed.
The Value Added Tax (VAT) is a type of consumption tax that 70% of the world's population lives under - and it has been responsible for raising $18 trillion in revenues. A Value Added Tax is a tax on all goods and services at all business stages of production. Norway has a VAT that goes up to 25%, Germany has a 19% VAT, China has a 17% VAT and India has a 13.5% VAT (VAT Tax Rates Around the World). Yet the United States of America has no VAT tax and some of the lowest taxes on consumption in the world. It should be noted that we do not advocate replacing income taxes with a consumption tax, but rather creating a VAT as a new form of revenue as in Europe.
Read our report: Consumption Tax
We favor rises in energy taxes to protect both our national security and the security of our planet's environmental foundations of life.
An energy tax is a type of consumption tax on energy use (such as a gas tax). Energy taxes have been promoted as a key policy for deficit reduction, reducing pollution and promoting environmental benefits. Currently America has some of the lowest gas taxes in the world.
Read our report: Energy Tax
Single Payer Health Care
We need what works in almost every other modern state in the world - Single Payer Healthcare. Single Payer Healthcare is a system in which the government pays for all health care costs, rather than private insurers. In a Single Payer system, everyone is already in the system, so we don't need a mountain of paperwork and overhead costs to keep track of who is in the system and who isn't. While America pays more per capita for health insurance than any other developed nation, we still perform poorly in major health indicators such as life expectancy, infant mortality and immunizations rates. Single Payer is the only plan that can work financially. Without Single Payer, Obama's goal of universal health care won't work.
Yet here is the most important point. Single Payer Health Care is protection against a national disease crisis. Right now America is a breeding ground for all kinds of plagues, diseases and viruses. If every United States citizen has access to health care, the chances of a mass epidemic are greatly diminished.
Read our report: Need for Single Payer Health Insurance
Broadband Internet For All
We strongly believe that internet access is a right to all Americans. Sadly, "progressives" who support billions and billions for "education" seem to totally ignore internet access. We want government subsidies for low income people for both internet service and computers.
Read our Report: Broadband for All
We need to create a network for progressive writers around the world.
Russia is unlike any other nation on the planet. They are the one country that could wipe the United States off the face of the Earth in 45 minutes. Russia currently has the largest arsenal of nuclear warheads in the world. Yet with America's most recent international actions, you wouldn't realize this. America has passed sanctions against Russia, has given Ukrainians support against Russia, and our nation's leaders have publicly ridiculed the annexation of Crimea - even though Crimea has been part of Russia for centuries. This situation is also compounded by the fact that NATO has broken its promise not to expand eastward towards Russia. So this is all adding up to a troubling situation.
Russia puts our satellites into space, they are a key ally in ensuring peace in the Middle East, they are an integral part of the global economy and a member of the U.N. Security Council. We need Russia as an ally. The time to repair the relationship between the United States and Russia is now.
Read our reports:Give Peace in Ukraine a Chance NATO Lies about Eastward Expansion
STOPPING IMPERIALISM AND THE SPREAD OF TERROR
The growing conflict with Russia is just one part of a campaign of military imperialism that America has been pursuing since 9/11. When Obama came into office, he didn't end Bush's wars, but expanded them. America has invaded more than six countries in the last decade. So far, this has been a disaster. More than $3 trillion has been spent on these wars - and for what? Libya, Yemen, Syria and Iraq are in ruins.
Getting into endless wars overseas is not making us safer. Instead it is fueling violence and terror. How would we feel if Syria had intervened in our Civil War?
A key step towards real security would be national health insurance. It's one of the best means of defense against biological warfare or an epidemic.
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