Platform 2018 : Business and Economy

2018 Platform: Business and Economy
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A robust economy and business climate that creates jobs and economic opportunity for all is fundamental to the promise of the American Dream and the spirit of California. Work provides a sense of dignity as we contribute to both our individual and collective growth. We also contribute to the tax base for the programs and policies we champion as Democrats that support economic justice and the redistribution of wealth. We must also continue to encourage the explosive creativity and innovative intellectual property growth that have come to typify all parts of California and draw people from around the country and the world.

To grow jobs and assure a prosperous future for all Californians, California Democrats will:

Continue to encourage the sustainable growth of small businesses, which serve as the backbone of California’s economy, with special consideration of the challenges faced by rural small businesses;
Promote and guarantee low-interest small business loans to provide the seed capital to launch and expand job-creating small businesses and provide for the growth of already successful businesses;
Expect all California businesses to provide services in a fully accessible manner;
Facilitate improved banking services for small businesses and consumers by supporting legislation that offers community banks, public and municipal banks, and credit unions incentives for implementing new technologies;
Defend consumer banking free choice by supporting legislation to eliminate out-of-network ATM fees and bank fees for use of debit cards;
Support a legislative initiative to provide foreclosure relief to borrowers who were the victims of unscrupulous loan brokers or unethical financial services practices, along with investigating the perpetrators of illegal and abusive financial services businesses;
Support the separation of retail and investment banking in order to safeguard Californians with current deposits in such banks from speculative investment activities and to free capital for loans to businesses and individuals;
Support legislation to convert the California Infrastructure and Development Bank into a depository bank that will allow a 100-fold increase of both infrastructure loans and loan guarantees for small business and concomitantly provide better returns on municipal and pension fund deposits by avoiding high charges and risks of commercial banks;
Support strengthening the state agencies that provide regulatory oversight of banks and financial services;
Continue to support the rights of all employees to organize, select a bargaining representative of their choice through card check recognition, work in a safe environment, and be free from intimidation and retaliation;
Oppose privatization of essential government services and outsourcing of public sector jobs, promote the development and purchase of goods that are made in America, and support the modification of the U.S. tax code so that corporations are incented to hire workers in the U.S. instead of abroad;
Encourage an investment in California’s transportation infrastructure in a way that will support the state’s growth through the 21st century and beyond, including maintaining and improving California’s rural roads and highways and supporting the efforts to bring high-speed rail to the state, thereby facilitating the movement of Californians around the state and promoting commerce;
Reward employers that choose to remain in California by giving the California Treasurer/Board of Equalization the mandate to negotiate a competitive package of discounted state-based fees and/or taxes to offset some of the employer’s anticipated cost savings from moving the business out of California;
Encourage businesses to adhere to the United Nations Global Compact’s Ten Principles that are derived from the following guidance: the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the International Labor Organization’s Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work, the Rio Declaration on Environment and Development, and the United Nations Convention Against Corruption;
Support the implementation of tax policies that provide a higher degree of equity, including a fair self-employment tax rate to support small businesses;
Continue to support and fund job retraining and vocational rehabilitation programs to meet the manpower needs of California’s changing economy;
Support job-creating businesses and cooperative member/worker-owned small businesses and provide opportunities for growth of already successful businesses;
Support the regulation of “payday” lenders and encourage the creation of community-based, micro-lenders and municipal lending alternatives to assist people and businesses needing short-term financial assistance to meet critical needs;
Phase out unwarranted corporate farm subsidies to create a more equitable and local food market system;
Support uniform criteria for determining a “small business” and eliminate loopholes that allow large corporations to benefit from preferences intended for small businesses;
Encourage a pro-employment re-industrialization policy that promotes incentives favoring creation of new employment, industries, and small business ownership specifically through support of environmentally sustainable local enterprises, with priority aid to transition depressed communities;
Address the crisis of long-term unemployment by supporting efforts to extend federal unemployment benefits to those who have exhausted their benefits;
Target resources to the communities of concern, including rural California, that have been most impacted by the economic recession;
Advocate for increased public funding to advance science and technology with re-evaluation of intellectual property ownership rights for the greater good;
Amend the California Constitution to remove the two-thirds vote threshold for the passage of new special taxes and or assessments and replace it with a 55% voter threshold;
Require that all corporate-owned commercial properties with manufacturing plants and massive rental properties, malls, and retail sales properties be assessed at the current market value to ensure an equitable and fair tax system for the public;
Work with the state legislature to increase in the minimum tax rate from 1% to a 2% tax rate on all commercial properties;
Work with the state legislature to find a more equitable tax structure that will provide local governments with the proper funding for the services that are needed;
Mitigate effects of decades-long corporate tax welfare and develop policies that have corporations share tax burdens with tax incentives that will enhance the middle class such as re-investing and growing corporations resulting in job growth with high salaries rather than using profits to buy back stock or pay dividends;
Support a more progressive income tax so those in a position to reinvest in our society and who can lift vulnerable populations indeed fulfill moral and social obligations;
Advocate for transparency in Investor State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) arbitration proceedings; and,
Encourage good corporate citizenship by supporting policies that hold irresponsible corporate decision-makers personally liable for corporate criminal conduct under their watch.

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