A New Beginning for District 72

Candidate

BY ALISON FOXALL SRQ DAILY SATURDAY PERSPECTIVES EDITION SATURDAY JAN 20, 2018

Are the people of District 72 really represented in the Florida House of Representatives? Obviously not since Alexandra Miller resigned. But more than that is, perhaps, why she is no longer there. Florida has a long history of ensuring that all senators and representatives toe the party line. Does “toe the party line” mean the same as “listen to and represent the people of one’s district”? No, it does not. As Reason Magazine, a libertarian publication has stated: “Republicans and Democrats work hard to limit our choices when it comes to politicians. But when it comes to the stuff we buy and sell, Americans can meaningfully choose ‘none of the above.’” Translation: the private sector is responsive to consumers; politicians much less, if at all, since they are often beholden to party leaders and special interests.

Several issues require less “business-as-usual” political action, like the items below.

1.  Jobs and the economy. How to easily increase employment? First, reduce unnecessary occupational licensing. Florida has some of the most burdensome licensing requirements in the U.S. We regulate well over 300 occupations. Studies show that licensing does not offer consumer protection. Why does an interior designer need a license? It’s not required in 47 other states.

2.  Energy. Florida is the “Sunshine State.” It has ample sun for individuals to power their own homes. Why don’t more go off grid and do this? The courts have ruled that living off the grid is a violation of the International Property Maintenance code. Some courts are fining residents and jailing people who have gone off the grid. This is an injustice.

3.  State Budget. Great budgeting means trimming unnecessary, wasteful spending. Eliminate corporate and sports industry welfare. Does Florida need to have state-paid offices and advertising to let people know it is a sunny, fun place to go? It is second in US tourism despite having half the population of California, the number one state. It is not the role of government to fund various private sector industries. The proper role of government is to protect our rights.

4.  Health care. Health care is a massive industry here and important to us all. Florida, by average age, is the oldest US state. Sarasota residents are older than the Florida average, and growing older still. We need to repeal hospital “Certificate of Need” laws and end many occupational licensing requirements for medical technicians to drive down costs.

5.  Drugs. Legalize marijuana. Decriminalize other drugs. How? Look to Portugal. 17 years after decriminalization there are now 3 drug-related deaths per million citizens per year. The U.S. is closer to 200 drug-related deaths per million. In 2016, Florida had 250 deaths per million. The War on Drugs is killing us. Addiction is a health crisis. We populate, at great cost, our prisons with sick people, not criminals. The criminal justice system is a wreck. Why build more prisons for marijuana users? For the prison lobby?

6. If James Buchanan will not listen to us now, he will not meet his opponents in public venues, how can we expect him to speak for us later?

Alison Foxall isa Libertarian candidate for state representative in House District 72. The election is scheduled for Feb. 13.

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