REPRESENTING THE REALITY-BASED COMMUNITY
The Reality Party promotes staying in touch with REALITY that is, connecting with what is really happening instead of with delusions, bunk, false claims, fake agendas, lies, and misrepresentations. Yes, there can be disagreements about what is
real and what is bunk – but actually, we know a lot more about what is really real and what is not than our national conversation indicates.
Policy positions taken by the Reality Party are based as far as possible on what is known about the question, driven by humane values, and
coupled with innovative approaches.
The economy: There is abundant evidence that Keynesian deficit financing works after a severe recession and austerity approaches do not. After the economy recovers, then costs can be cut or additional taxes can be sustained because everyone has more money then. Anyone denying this, including modern economists who should know better, is in denial. Keynes was right.
Capitalism: Government in the absence of business leads to communism; business in the absence of government leads to robber-baron economies and abject poverty for many citizens. Both extremes lead to the death of democracy. Well-regulated capitalism works best. End robber-baron capitalism.
Society: Yes, Mrs. Thatcher, there IS society. Not everything is or should be a market. (See Capitalism.) Human beings are culture-making animals. We develop customs, values, and ways of doing things that are satisfying and useful in our lives. We human beings need to create a useful, productive, satisfying society along with producing markets. Markets are about efficiency; society is about satisfaction. Yes, there IS society.
Human capital: Business people recognize the need to invest without immediate return in order to reap longer-term benefits from the success of a new product or service. For long-term success as an economyu and as a society, similar investment must be made in HUMAN capital through education and research and development. Invest in human capital: Education + R&D.
Science: Scientific methods are powerful techniques for discovering reality how things really work, not how we might think they work. Mature adults decide on facts and values, not fantasy and wishful thinking.
Einstein was right. Darwin was right.
The environment: The facts of science should be brought to bear, along with the higher values of society, to produce wise decisions promoting the survival of humanity and the planet. Love mother planet.
National defense: National defense should not receive boundless amounts of money while foster children die for lack of oversight and people die for lack of medical care. Withdraw troops from wealthy Europe, Korea, etc. (They can take care of themselves.) Make defense contractors work on flat budgets like the rest of us, instead of "cost plus." Invest in people, not weapons.
Taxation: To those who have, much is given; to those who have not, even that which they have is taken away. This Biblical statement has been extensively validated by modern scientific research. Those in a good position are in a good position to get still more – leading to a vast cumulative advantage upward. Taxation should be progressive, to counter this natural tendency and give each new generation fresh opportunity. Take a nick out of wealth.
Drugs: Prohibition of mind-altering substances creates a toxic underground economy and an explosive growth in crime, as demonstrated by the U.S. Prohibition era and the current Mexican drug situation. All mind-altering substances should be regulated, taxed, and made available at modest prices, prohibited to children, with advertising not allowed. Prison costs will plummet. Drugs: Legalize and regulate.
Prisons: It costs more to keep a person in prison ($28,000 per year) than to support and educate them. The current U.S. prison population is nearly seven times as high per capita as it was in the U.S. in 1975, and five times the rate now in England. Reduce prison sentences and put the money into drug rehabilitation, job training, counseling, and education. Cut prison-industrial complex.
Richard Dawkins. (2011). The Magic of Reality: How We Know What’s Really True. New York: Free Press. (How scientific thinking works.)
"A Global Perspective on the Anthropocene." (Oct. 7, 2011). Science. Vol. 334, pp. 34-35. (Shows the skyrocketing impact human beings are having on the planet.)
Chris Mooney; Sheril Kirshenbaum. (2009). Unscientific America: How Scientific Illiteracy Threatens Our Future. New York: Basic Books.
Robert B. Reich. (Sept. 4, 2011). "The Limping Middle Class." New York Times, Sunday Review, p. 6. (Why an economy tilted to the wealthy does not work well.)
Jeffrey D. Sachs. (Oct. 10, 2011). "Why America Must Revive Its Middle Class." Time, vol. 178, no. 14, pp. 30-32.