My name is Herb Robinson, I ran for the United States House of Representatives in 2012 as a Democrat from the Massachusetts 4th Congressional District. I did not win the primary, but I am leaving the web site up for a while in case people want to refer to some of my ideas. I am not a professional politician, I am an Engineer with more than 30 years experience doing creative problem solving in private industry.
I have worked as a dishwasher, a mason's helper and a farm laborer. I was a member of Local 132 of the American Federation of Musicians while I was a student at Cornell.
My priorities are
- fix our economy and put America back to work.
- change our energy infrastructure so volatile oil prices don't break the economy just when it starts to recover.
- do that safely.
I also believe that universal health care and education are important, because Americans are the most important resource America has.
An example of how an experienced creative engineer says no to big government without saying goodbye to humanity is a plan I call Bottom Line Regulation. Bottom Line Regulation is a plan to avoid and fix financial crises. It has the following advantages:
- Bottom Line Regulation is simple. There are no complicated accounting rules that big company lawyers can get around. It's a simple, "I don't care what you did. You break it, you pay for it" approach to hold the people who run the economy accountable when they break it.
- Bottom Line Regulation is forward looking. It's not a reaction to the last crisis, like Sarbanes-Oxley -- It's designed to fix the current crisis and prevent future ones.
- Bottom Line Regulation automatically provides stimulus money when Wall Street breaks the economy. Stimulus spending is the only proven technology for fixing a bad economy. It has been used by Eisenhower (the Interstate Highway System) and by Roosevelt (the New Deal). It worked both times. Nothing else has ever ben proven to work.
- Bottom Line Regulation provides an incentive to keep the economy running well by offering a tax cut when the unemployment rate is kept low.
Another creative plan for the economy is improving Capital Gains to encourage capital investment in American companies and American factories. And especially to encourage investment to deploy renewable energy technology.
Both of these plans are compromises, by the way, because they strategically increase and decrease taxes -- in a way designed to boost the economy!
Our country is facing a long-term economic downslide that will not be resolved without an all hands on deck effort to reduce our dependency on foreign oil. This makes it a unique period in history and it is important that our elected representatives be capable of understanding technology: We need at least some representation with the ability to understand when technology is dangerous and stop it -- You just can't legislate the laws of physics and you can't negotiate the rules of mathematics!
For example, if we attempt to use dangerous technology, it's only a matter of time until we have a catastrophe in the United States. The Chernobyl nuclear accident has killed between 9000 and 900,000 people over 20 years (it's hard to figure out exactly how many -- the experts disagree wildly) and will continue to kill at a similar rate for the next 400 to 500 years. The Fukushima Daiichi accident is in the same class and has the potential for as many long-term casualties.
Who do you want making the decisions that will affect the safety and health of your children, grandchildren and the thousands of generations that come after them: Some photogenic showboat or an Engineer who actually understands the difference between hairspray and nuclear fallout?