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The Woodhull Platform

"A complete reform in our system of internal improvements, which connect and bind together the several states in a commercial unity, to the end that they shall be conducted as to administer to the best interests of the whole people...." We can't forget our infrastructure. The government needs to keep up with the times and recognize the ubiquitousness of electricity and computers in our lives. We have a shortage of power transmission plants, and the government doesn't recognize the commercial and social implications of the problem. We also need to improve our system of public transportation, since the roads are too congested. Besides, cars, which are a primary method of transportation to work, are unaffordable for many poor people who want to work.

"A reform by which the power of legislative bodies to levy taxes shall be limited to the actual necessities of the legitimate functions of government in its protection of the rights of persons, property and nationality; and by which they shall be deprived of the power to exempt ANY property from taxation; or to make any distinctions directly or indirectly among citizens in taxation for the support of the government...." Cut out the loopholes by eliminating all deductions except for dependents. Those who have children or an elderly parent to care for obviously have more expenses. Other than that, no deductions should be allowed. Everyone--especially large corporations--should pay their fair share. And no joint tax returns! People make money as individuals. They should be taxed as individuals. A married person should not be responsible for their spouse's debts.

"A reform in the system of criminal jurisprudence, by which the death penalty shall no longer be inflicted . . . and by which our so-called prisons shall be virtually transformed into vast reformatory workshops, from which the unfortunate may emerge to be useful members of society, instead of the alienated citizens they now are." The prison system is a joke, and not a funny one at that. Prisons are supposed to prevent people from committing crimes. Crimes never occur in prisons, oh, no. Just rape, drug deals, assaults, murder, and not always by the inmates. If we can't eliminate crime in prison, how do we expect to eliminate it where people walk free?

"A reform by which the functions of Government should be limited to the enactment of general laws; and be absolutely prohibited from enacting any special law, by which all laws shall be repealed which are made use of by Government to interfere with the rights of adult individuals to pursue happiness as they may choose; or with the legitimate consequences of such pursuit." The right to pursue happiness doesn't preclude a responsibility to your fellow human beings, especially to one's children. An individual's rights can be proscribed when they interfere with another's rights. Otherwise, an individual should be left free to act as he or she sees fit, and take the consequences of their behavior. The government wrongly thinks that it can legislate morality and protect people from themselves. They're even enacting laws for things that were previously regulated by manners and by mom and dad. "Fasten your seatbelt, wash your hands, and don't take a dirty plate to a salad bar." These things are important, but do we need laws for them?

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