Additional Platform Issues
Equal Opportunity for All
The Natural Law Party will take action wherever necessary to prevent discrimination and ensure the constitutionally guaranteed rights of all American citizens, including all minorities. However, more than that, we will support effective education that expands comprehension and overcomes intolerance, prejudice, and bigotry born of narrow-mindedness.
Legalization of Drugs
Although the legalization of drugs would substantially cut drug-related crimes, only about 20% of total drug-abuse costs are crime related. The remaining 80% of costs are tied to health, absenteeism, lost productivity, etc. Therefore, the legalization of drugs, even if it increased drug use slightly, could result in increased costs that would overwhelm any crime-related savings.
The Natural Law Party is fundamentally dedicated to the development of the full potential of the individual. Apart from economic considerations, long-term use of even mild hallucinogens like marijuana has been shown to decrease EEG coherence -- the orderly and integrated functioning of the brain. Brain wave coherence is linked to intelligence, creativity, learning ability, academic performance, moral reasoning, psychological stability, and emotional maturity. Legalizing drugs could send the wrong signal to the youth, implying that drug use is not that harmful.
At the same time, outlawing narcotics has not proved effective in reducing their usage. Therefore, we will cut our burgeoning prison population in half by decriminalizing nonviolent drug offenses, directing such offenders to drug education, prevention, and rehabilitation programs. To get to the heart of the drug problem, we have to reduce the desire and the demand for drugs -- which the educational programs supported by the Natural Law Party have been proven to do.
Welfare should not be a lifestyle, but a short-term safety net to assist individuals who have lost employment or who are out of work to obtain new employment. The Natural Law Party is in favor of recently enacted welfare reforms to incentivize work, including child care support and a two-year limit on welfare benefits. However, it is of limited use to incentivize people to work if there are no jobs available. The Natural Law Party's pro-growth economic policies will create an abundance of good jobs which will place an ever-increasing premium on the value of the worker. In this expansionary economy, which will create more jobs than there are workers, workers will increasingly be able to dictate their terms of employment -- their salary and work conditions.
Existing state and federal welfare programs should be brought under one administrative umbrella at the local level. Structures to oversee welfare administration need to involve the entire community -- a partnership between local government, businesses, nonprofit organizations, and community residents -- with an emphasis on economic development and community self-help. Through programs to improve the financial and quality-of-life conditions at the basis of welfare, we can broaden the idea of "welfare" from a notion of cash or in-kind goods to a more expansive notion of physical, psychological, emotional, and spiritual well-being.
The Natural Law Party believes that affirmative action is a necessary evil -- a stop-gap measure to prevent discrimination in the workplace and in school admissions policies. However, the Party does not support quotas, since we feel that representatives of all sectors of society find quotas to be demeaning and a source of resentment in the workplace. The Natural Law Party upholds laws guaranteeing equal opportunity, not equal outcomes.
In addition, history has shown that it is difficult to legislate equality; government cannot be present in every business and school to ensure that people are always treated fairly. Therefore, the Natural Law Party places its strongest focus on education programs that can develop broad comprehension, increased intelligence, and improved moral reasoning, thereby reducing the social stress that leads to fear, divisiveness, and narrow-mindedness.
The Natural Law Party believes that our working citizens have a right to associate and to engage in collective bargaining to ensure good working conditions and fair compensation. Therefore, unions have a role to play and will continue to play this role in the future.
However, the Natural Law Party feels that most powerful way to improve the job conditions and earnings of American workers is to stimulate job growth, which will make the American worker the prized commodity he or she should be. When, through the Natural Law Partys pro-growth economic policies, more jobs have been generated than there are workers to fill them, then America will be a seller's market from the workers perspective. He or she will be able to pick and choose jobs and to dictate salary and conditions -- and to do so far more effectively than a union can when jobs are scarce and workers are plentiful.
Trade is vital to a thriving U.S. economy. Trade stimulates competition that gives American consumers more choices, better product quality, and lower prices. Especially today, with America leading the global information revolution--the largest technological and economic explosion in history--it is vitally important to U.S. jobs and the economy that we achieve broad access to the international marketplace with American products. Unfortunately, as in other areas of U.S. government policy, our trade policies are dictated by special interests. Current trade policies
- leave American workers and businesses at an unfair disadvantage;
threaten our environment;
- undermine U.S. sovereignty and that of other nations; and promote human rights violations.
The Natural Law Party supports a balanced, tailored trade program that
- promotes the economic welfare of all our citizens;
- provides markets for our domestic small businesses;
- safeguards American employment and labor standards--and upholds our ban on the import of products of child and slave labor; and
- ensures that imported goods meet our environmental and product safety standards.
America's crucial trade treaties, such as NAFTA, must be revisited and vigorously renegotiated--with adequate representation by labor, environmental, and human rights proponents to ensure that America's interests are truly upheld. In particular, the World Trade Organization (WTO), with its sweeping authority to adjudicate international trade disputes, has become a tool of multinational corporations, which have inside access to WTO negotiations that typically occur in secret. The Natural Law Party would give the WTO twelve months to adopt more open, democratic procedures--with adequate labor, environmental and human rights input--or would withdraw the U.S. from the WTO and negotiate individual, tailored trade relationships with America's various trade partners.
The Natural Law Party will disincentivize illegal immigration by enforcing our immigration laws and by working to improve economic conditions in neighboring countries.