2016 Platform: Business and Economy

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.  Through work we derive our dignity and contribute to our individual and collective growth.  From it, we also contribute to the tax base for the programs and policies we champion as Democrats that support our brethren who are less fortunate.  Capitalism is essential to our growth across any industry where profit is an appropriate incentive, but government must also work to promote equality of opportunity through 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;
  • 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;
  • Facilitate improved banking services for small businesses and consumers by supporting legislation that offers community 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 to prevent the imposition of 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 while 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 tactics;
  • 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 US tax code so that corporations are incented to hire workers in the U.S. instead of abroad;
  • Encourage an investment in California's infrastructure in a way that will support the state's growth through the 21st Century and beyond; including supporting the efforts to bring high-speed rail to the state, facilitating the movement of Californians around the state while promoting commerce;
  • Reward employers that, instead of moving out of state, 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;
  • Support the implementation of tax policies that provide a higher degree of equity; 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;
  • Provide new funding mechanisms and legislative support for the promotion of progressive businesses to foster the legitimate democratic aspirations of individual investors and employees to build strong, profitable corporations with elected accountable leadership, separation of powers, checks and balances, and other tools of an economically democratic society;
  • Support job-creating businesses and cooperative member/worker owned small businesses and provide for growth of already successful businesses;
  • Phase out unwarranted corporate farm subsidies to create a more equitable and local food market system;
  • Support a uniform criteria for determining a "small business" and eliminate loopholes that allow large corporations to benefit from preferences intended for small businesses;
  • Address the crisis of long-term unemployment by supporting efforts to extend federal unemployment benefits to those who have exhausted their benefits; and,
  • Target resources to the communities of interest who have been most impacted by the economic recession.
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