So as I was showering (most of my blog posts are a result of my thoughts while showering) I dreamed up what it would be like if the President took direction from Salt Lake.
Our country would look like this:
The entire nation would be broken down into small geographic boundaries by neighborhoods.
There would be local leaders appointed from each of these areas. They would be appointed form approximately 5-7 years. And they would work to serve and lead that area. They are not paid for this position. They would do this work in addition to the normal job they already have. Let's call them Shmishops.
Each neighborhood would be blocked together with approximately 5 other local neighborhoods and there would be another set of leaders to address the local needs and serve the individual neighborhood leaders and the group as a whole. They also do not get paid. These leaders are able to tailor their care and attention to the specific area they are in and address any local needs as far as welfare, assistance, volunteerism is concerned. Lets call them a Shmake Presidency.
The grouping of the country continues up into specific areas which that have additional leadership, until the whole country is accounted for.
Every 6 months these areas come together and the leaders are presented before the neighborhoods and all people who live in that area get to give a vote of confidence to them. If anyone in the neighborhood has a serious issue with them concerning their leadership--they will be able to voice their opinion. And at this 6 month meeting of the neighborhoods each leader is to get up and give speeches on values, service, and American Patriotism.
These leaders are expected to have high moral character and lead by example. If anyone is found to not follow high standards they are dismissed at once and replaced with someone else from the neighborhood.
As part of belonging to the neighborhood--each adult in the neighborhood is given a volunteer position. Actually, usually 2-3 volunteer positions.
Every adult woman in the neighborhood has two other adult women in the neighborhood who visit her once a month and check on her physical and mental state and bring her a message with a positive message. If this woman needs help, these two assist her and if it is beyond their means--they inform the neighborhood leadership who then take other action.
Every household in the neighborhood is assigned two men who visit them monthly. Very similar to the women's assignment. These men (one of them might be a youth) visit the home and bring a message of values and moral character, and offer to help in anyway needed. They might mow a lawn, take out the trash, or help level a garden. There job is to serve and to assist. Again, if there is an issue or problem within the home that they can not attend to, the inform the neighborhood leadership.
If during these visits these volunteers notice that a household is struggling with basic needs, it is reported to the Shmishop and he assigns other volunteers under his stewardship to take action.
The household is able to get a food order that they take to the local government warehouse. In this warehouse the family is able to get food basics, milk, bread vegetables. There is no soda, candy bars or other extravagant items. This is a nutrition based program.
If the family has suffered a recent job loss and have exhausted all of their financial means and are in desperate need they may request financial aid from the Smishop. The Smishop then can take funds collected from the neighborhood and pay certain necessary bills for a short period of time. Rent, utilities, phone. These funds will be taken from the local neighbors TAXES.
The person who receives this aid is directed to the neighborhood employment specialist. This person can aid in resume writing, jobs searches and other related programs.
Again---this is to aid temporarily if the person is able bodied.
Helping the Poor
Once a month the entire country over the age of 8 is asked to go without food or water for 24 hours or two meals and donate the money they would have used to a fund for the poor.
Flat tax rate of 10%. Everyone pays their fair share, poor and rich alike. This money is used to run government programs, buildings and aid in helping local needs.
The country will run with no debt, and is required to have a financial reserve.
Due to the volunteer nature of the country--this is possible.
Every member of the country is asked to have a 72 hour emergency kit.
Every member of the country is asked to have a 2 week supply of water and a 3 month supply of food in case of disaster.
Youth and adults are asked throughout the year to be involved in service projects to benefit disaster relief. Create emergency kits, blankets etc.
Major Occurrence of a Disaster (hurricane, tornado, flood)
First, all neighborhood leadership accounts for neighborhood members within 24 hours.
Needs are assessed and neighbors pull together to help one another.
For needs beyond a neighborhood's abilities, the Disaster Relief Specialists come in and work with local leaders.
These Disaster Relief Specialists are made up by well trained, older volunteers who are retired from their professions. This program taps into the vast amount of skills sets and knowledge of these retirees and puts them to use. Since it is a volunteer program things work much more efficiently with much more compassion than the current Federal Response System.
2 years of Service
All 19 year old men will be strongly encouraged to give 2 years of service. This service can be with the military, local non profit organizations, or international organizations. They will not be paid, in fact either they themselves or their families will have to pay a monthly fee for them to be involved. They are to live by strict rules including no intimate relations, a strict dress code and expected to exemplify integrity and American values. They must wake up at 6:30 a.m. every morning and study the constitution and other American documents for an hour each day and be in bed by 10:30 P.M.. They are to service selflessly and incorporate a strong work ethic in the area they are assigned. If any servicemen do not follow these rules they are sent home.
Girls age 21 may also participate in this program. It is encouraged for these girls prior to turning 21 pursue an education or trade prior to their service.
Children age 0-11
Meet weekly and receive lessons once a week on values such as integrity, honesty and service. Program is run by adult volunteers. They also learn music and are involved in quarterly fun activities.
Meet weekly for activities with others of their age group. Adult volunteer leaders are to create positive relationships and set good examples of service and integrity. These activities can range from hiking, camping, to service and culture, to special guest speakers from local Police, Fire, Education System and so forth. The Youth plan each activity which is supervised by the adult leaders.
Each Youth is required to give multiple hours of service and set goals to work toward an award that is overseen by adult leaders.
Once a year each youth is asked to give a speech in public on a topic of values, service, integrity etc.
The Way I see it:
I really could go on and on. I actually wrote this weeks ago and happened to just see this today in an article in the Washington Post:
This week, a trio of sociologists from the University of Pennsylvania and Indiana University-Purdue will release a new study that captures just how deeply committed Latter-day Saints are --not only to their own faith, but to their wider community. According to this independent and robust study of churchgoing Latter-day Saints, Mormons are the most “pro-social” members of American society. Evidently, an average church-attending Latter-day Saint provides more than eight hours of volunteer labor a month compared with the average American’s contribution of about one hour per month. Even when all of their considerable service within the church is extracted from the data, Latter-day Saints still equal the national average for volunteering to secular causes. SOURCE
My degree is in Non Profit Health and Human Services. I have yet to find an organization that is as efficient and effective as the LDS church. Say what you will about Mormons not being Christian, or that Joseph Smith fella but one thing is clear--as a global social organization--it is unmatched.
So what I have to say about a President--ANY PRESIDENT listening to Salt Lake . . .