I’ve been thinking about what legal changes I see along the lines of the Thirteenth Amendment. That amendment helped resolve the most partisan issue in the nation’s history, including hundreds of thousands of young men killed in the Civil War. Today it unites us.
I envision the following proposals transforming our culture and leading to unity, though people who profit from the old ways will resist, as they did with slavery. I’ll add to the list as I come up with ideas.
Treat addictive products and services by law how we treat other forms of coercion and undermining of free trade, including slavery. We recognize coercion through confinement, violence, and threat of violence makes trade not free. We make slavery illegal. Coercion through addiction also not free. Humans have mechanism that we can become addicted. Taking advantage of that mechanism to create compliance is like taking advantage of the mechanism that if we threaten people with violence they’ll comply too, but we don’t allow it.
Treat advertising to children how we treat tobacco or heroin for children. Treat advertising like an addictive product or service. I don’t see why we should allow advertising to reach children any more than tobacco or meth.
Pollution, part 1: Ban bringing things from outside the biosphere into it. The biosphere has everything necessary for life and thriving. Bringing things from outside that hurt people impinges on life, liberty, property, and the pursuit of happiness. Nearly everyone agrees one of the roles of government is to protect those things.
Pollution, part 2: Ban creating persistent polluting molecules. We have created molecules that poison people and don’t break down. Ban creating them.
End car dependence, step 1: Tear down highways in cities. Suburbs and exurbs that require driving evolved when they built highways into cities. Once they existed, people wanted to live at the ends of them, not along them. The process took generations. To reverse it, tear down highways into cities and in cities, like the Cross-Bronx Expressway. Make it into a park.
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