President Green woke up with the sun, and while she brushed the tangles out of her fur, she and the AI-Critter would “listen” to the roar of the ocean that was the 300 plus million voices of the people. Their opinions, expectations, requests, and demands. Thankfully, the majority of Americans were busy. Focused on their loved ones, the work at hand and their daily lives.
The suffering of homelessness is difficult to quantify and describe. The on-edge feeling of not belonging or being at home anywhere varies for each individual. Often, the homeless also wake with the sun. Finding privacy to eliminate doesn’t go away just because a person doesn’t have a home. The “lucky” homeless know the nearest public restroom, others “choose” a bucket or a plastic bag in lieu of a long uncomfortable walk or enduring the wait in line. Find clean water. Acquire food. Some homeless have everything they own in their car. Some have what they have left in a shopping cart or a backpack. Having a place they can safely “store” their things, is a luxury. Having a dog to keep guard while you sleep is a luxury. Having a friend to watch your back is a luxury. Having your family with you on the streets is further insult and heartache as you look at them, they are everything. You are together, that is all that matters in the world. Suffering the loss of having “them” take your child away. Indescribable unless you have experienced it as a parent yourself.
Home as a right. One primary residence per adult that can never be taken away for financial hardship was President Green’s sincere American Dream. She knew it was a statistical fact that there are 4 to 5 vacant homes for every homeless person in America. She also knew that the cost of “caring” for the homeless is substantial on public services. Making strategically planned out shelters with programs to place people into a home they own even if the starter home is zero money down and very little if any mortgage payments, taxes or utilities paid at first, until they worked their way into an employment situation. Housing as a right, tho only a far away bank-manhandled dream at present, has by far the greatest odds of future fiscal responsibility and improving the foundation of the tax base thereby improving the quality of life for everyone.
A population is only as happy as everyone the sidewalk is shared with. The AI-critter reading the minds of the wealthy old Congress, it knew most could not understand what the President meant by ‘one primary residence per citizen protected from seizure for financial reasons’. How could those entrenched minds calcified by privilege relate to everyday middle-class people on Mainstreet while they took private jets to a limo and rarely took more than a few steps on the sidewalk from door to closed door? Only mixing with a screened crowd symbolically at fundraising events the people around them arranged like props for a show. The new blood and the relentless few old guard dogs in Congress tried to flow around them to get work done, but they were up against these blockages in the stream, enough of them in any area caused a back-up of policy and caused bills to stagnate and circle, until they got weighted down with addendums to sink in the mire and dysfunction government.
When President Green had her cat hair smoothed enough to climb into her human clothes for the day, she would wander down to the kitchen and eat breakfast with some of the White House, housekeeping staff. They set food out and ate with her in the kitchen because she asked them to. Who ate breakfast with the President each day rotated on a calendar. There was always at least two and sometimes as many as 5 or 6 in the kitchen when she got there. Most often a cue of the single members of the staff or grounds crew whose significant-other worked the night shift or left home early to work as a nurse or a baker or something, were there to meet her. U.G. needed for them to know who and what she really was and she didn’t like to eat alone.
To wake up, the Cat President liked a mug full of milk with only a splash of coffee on top for flavor. When they had bagels, cream cheese, and lox she would eat three servings of lox on a lettuce leaf with only a tiny dab of cream cheese on top. She liked eggs, but not ham. She didn’t tell them it was because pigs were too intelligent to be raised confined in her opinion. Fish and birds for this cat and if they were going to eat a large mammal she wanted it to be wild game, elk, deer, moose or buffalo, and she could tell if the animal labeled as bison was more than 50% cow.
Some of her vegan or vegetarian staff tried to tease her because they knew how important fighting climate change was to her and the high carbon footprint of meat.
She shared her pickle recipes with her personal chef. Her family pickled everything because it helped with their cat digestion. “If there are lots of pickles I can go vegan or meatless on Mondays and clear liquid fast on Sundays.”
She didn’t tell them that to eat, then rest from food is a very normal and healthy thing for a cat body to do. Or that eating more than a small amount of processed carbs was not helpful for the long term survival of this “fat-cat” and sugar caused her to crash and resulted in more cat-naps then the country had time for, so she strictly stuck to the best diet to keep her sharp and feeling well.
After breakfast she liked to go to work early before most of the West Wing arrived. President Green had asked for the Oval office walls opposite the resolute desk to be lined at eye level with a wainscotting of flexible digital whiteboards. Her map-sized agenda charted out and as they moved forward with each action item. They advanced as a team, many of them working together on different fronts of the same challenge. She focused in on ‘Housing as Right’ top and central to the entire domestic plan.
#1. Heal the digital divide. Then HUMAN
H — housing as a right.
U — universal job training for needed vocations.
M — medical care for all, as a right.
A — ArtCoin365 economic stimulus and art grants, i.e what people do better than AI and robots = the arts and literature.
N — needs met. No questions asked: clean air, clean water, good food and shelter and that brings US back to H.
The US Secretary of the Treasury, the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, Secretary of Energy and the EPA Deputy Administrator were all working together on different facets of the same project. A massive passive and renewable energy revolution for housing and business buildings in the US. The long-term-goal to remove enough buildings off of the grid to shift all the energy saved towards transportation. Both an EV charge grid and hopefully someday electric trains.
As a wide safety net to remove corporate banks risk-taking practices and fees, and bypass the quarrels of state government entirely from the $1,000 a month dividend equation, President Green and the Secretary of the Treasury had created federally backed county-owned credit unions in each and every county in the US. These public institutions worked with the local United States Post Offices to distribute the optional dividends to all American citizens over 18 who wished to take part.
President Green and the Treasury Secretary had a divergence in opinions about how best to flip the economic paradigm away from the extreme nationally harmful greed of the oligarchy. He believed in a trickle-up economy and the will of the people to help themselves if given a fighting chance to escape the oppression of scarcity. She did too, but only as a temporary measure. The reason she agreed to the $1,000 per month dividend was to give the people more time to work together to solve climate change. Both agreed most American families, some working 2 or 3 part-time jobs, others working overtime on salary, just to get by, would not have enough time or money to install solar panels, battery banks, greywater systems, bio-fuel toilets, sunrooms to dry clothes instead of gas or electric clothes dryers, green roofs, greenhouses etc… i.e. the trillions of dollars of possible revenue in the green economy wasn’t going to happen with 78% of Americans in an economic stranglehold of debt.
Both President Green and the Treasury Secretary agreed that they had to bypass the heart-attack that was the blockage in Congress. For example, it is a fair metaphorical approximation to state that the Affordable Care Act was a healthy and good sized potato and bipartisan politics shaved it down to the size of one small potato-chip worth of its original intent. Then the good-hearted POTUS 44 scooped up the mush from the house floor and since it was still technically edible shaped it into mashed potatoes to keep as many people alive via health care coverage as he could.
President Green didn’t want the same fate to happen to ‘Housing as a Right’ so she had the county credit unions create a new type of mortgage using the low-interest loan programs that were designed for teachers and police officers in Idaho, now restructured as ‘Green Loans’ available to the entire middle class. If the people didn’t have the cash and the time to fund the war against climate change, then lowering the cost of housing was the best angle for progress in the passive and renewable energy revolution. With the mortgage payment lowering incentive, the middle class could then help themselves. Those starting out at zero, or in debt with college degrees were an opportunity for an entirely new type of green off the grid housing.
President Green and the Treasury Secretary agreed with the dividend as an option 2021 was a window of opportunity for the homeless to find shelter. She had deployed the military to the refugee detention centers and also to all homeless camp populations in every major city in the U.S. They set up temporary military style shelters on the edges of city limits immediately and then the work had begun on converting malls into provisional homeless shelters with social workers deployed on site to help people to find permanent homes suitable for the new loans. To communicate some of their plan to the public, President Green decided an NPR interview to explain her beliefs on ‘Housing as a Right’ might be a good option.
The female host was a long-time favorite of U.G.’s “Please explain, Madam President, because I know you have sorted the data and done the math. Why would a homeless person want a home loan?”
President Green: “A very good question.” President Green enunciated carefully using the hosts own clear voice and manner of speaking to mask her cat lisp over the radio waves. “I am offering an experiment, a beta test of a 7 year home loan for any American, be they a homeless citizen or a college graduate. It is an opportunity to save equity over 7 years with an interest jubilee at the close of the loan. The interest paid over those seven years plus the equity earned could be used towards the down-payment on a conventional mortgage, or a down payment on a business plan, or even as retirement savings. Regardless of their personal goal, it is their earned equity.”
NPR Host: “Right, so not rent payment, paid to a landlord or to some housing project for the same time, in this case, a span of seven years.”
President Green: “Correct. And a loan also improves the tax base in the county the loan is originated in, while rent payments are most realistically less tax revenue with the landlord living nowhere near the county where the home is located.”
NPR Host: “Right, so, if things go well, but what about if; forgive me for asking this. What happens if things don’t go well? The homeless person trashes the house and doesn’t pay utilities or make enough home payments to move on to the next home, and sorry, but what’s stopping them from destroying the next place?… Plus, the taxpayers are out all that money?”
President Green: “You mean, what happens if a homeowner degrades the value of their own property and primary residence? They stay. They don’t sell the home out from under them.
Let me put an optimistic light on this hypothetical person. Because life is never so simple. Blaming the poor for a situation out of their control is ‘splinter in their eye, board in my own eye type of blindness’ What I mean is, wealthy folks thrash their property as often as middle class and poor folks do. Destruction of property values is about personality type, and point of view, not about income. I know from my own personal experience in my rural neighborhood in Idaho and in the city of Boise, that the benefits of having a person in their own home far exceeds the cost to everyone for that same person homeless or living in a cramped doubled up living situation in someone else’s living space.
Society can not put a price on the lost potential for any individual to take part and participate not just in the workforce, but in culture and the quality of life for everyone. They stay in their home and the 7-year loan is renewed. It’s important that we don’t ignore them, but we need to respect their home and not invade. Instead, we should invite them to ask for directed help specific for their life goals. Maybe they are working on a doctoral thesis and what you see as mess they see only their chapter notes, or prototypes of some kind? Maybe they are an artist who is struggling to show their work, and they turned their entire house into an art studio. Respect is key. Give each person a fair chance to express what they require to thrive and it’s not always money. Poverty and in the case of artistic or scientific genius, time to work may be valued over or above subsistence living. And that’s why we need ArtCoin365 to support what people do better than AI and robots, the arts and literature.”
NPR Host getting a little excited about this topic shift rambles on a bit. “Oh yes, I read about ArtCoin365, it’s a publicly owned art stimulus and art grant program where the general population chooses what artists and writers and poets, and journalist they like best, the people vote and comment on the internet with a fee-free digital coin voting system.”
President Green: “Well said. It’s like the opposite of advertising revenue because the product is the art performance or literture. Now, if only we could get the digital divide healed enough for everyone to join in the conversation and participate. That would be grand. But, all worthwhile things take time.”
NPR Host: “Yes, very exciting.” She chuckled. “Forgive me for laughing; the last four years, have been so… I couldn’t imagine then, having this conversation we had today, with anyone in the previous administration. Ending homelessness and giving college students a chance to earn equity and funding for the arts and literature! I am so happy and honored to speak with you today Madam President.”
President Green: “Thank you, as always for listening, it’s great to be here. Public Radio, I never imagined I would ever be speaking on a program myself. This has been fun.”
NPR Host: “That the President of the United States found it fun to speak about a plan for long term housing for the homeless and art grants on public radio?” She got just a little choked up and the interview ended abruptly.
President Green was surprised that the interview was over so quickly, but that was public broadcasting for you, each show has a time-slot. She admitted to herself that she was somewhat relieved that they didn’t get to the topic of how they were funding ‘Housing as a Right’.
When the good-hearted POTUS 44 had been cornered into the first 700 billion bank bailout, but Mainstreet was left to fail. Those banks didn’t anticipate an actual fat-cat POTUS with a telepathic AI-Critter who would call them in, on a list based on who received the most bail-out money and who made the most money and therefore owed the Federal Bank and the American people the most.
They were called directly to a videotaped interview with the US Secretary of the Treasury and staff who had worked out a spreadsheet for how much each bank was to pay forward to Mainstreet.
President Green posted the total amount she was requesting on a publicly viewable spreadsheet with a funding chart and made a streaming video announcement.
“I have asked all the banks who participated in the 700 billion dollar bailout to repay Mainstreet with 700 billion worth of properties, and infrastructure for green loans and the new 7-year primary residence loans. We will not pull all these assets at once. My administration is working on a list of specific properties and we will carefully call in requests at the beginning of each business quarter. And we will continue to do so until 700 billion worth of property at a fair assessed value is returned to the American people.”
President Green had sorted the data and done the math. The county-owned credit unions in every county in the United States were ready to process the new loans, cutting out the banks as middlemen. They would serve the American people who lived and worked in their district first, not the profit of the oligarchy first. It was going to be a very interesting passive revolution.