Michael E. Arth
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Michael E. Arth
Michael E. Arth in 2019
Michael Edward Arth
April 27, 1953
|Known for||Art, film, photography, architecture, landscape design, urban design, political science, community organizing, futurism, 2020 Democratic presidential candidate|
|Awards||"Michael E. Arth Day" (both City of DeLand, and Volusia County, FL, 2012)|
Michael E. Arth (born April 27, 1953) is an American author with experience in public policy, politics, futurism, architecture, landscape design, urban design, construction, fine art, photography, and filmmaking.
Arth has published Democracy and the Common Wealth, which discusses the flaws in the American political system and proposes solutions; as well as The Labors of Hercules. He also founded LOGOS, a public policy wiki, a model for governance based on facts and reason instead of ideology and politics.
- 1 Early life
- 2 Art
- 3 Filmmaking
- 4 Building Design and Construction
- 5 Urban design and town planning
- 6 The Garden District
- 7 Solution to homelessness
- 8 New Urban Cowboy
- 9 Democracy and the Common Wealth
- 10 The Labors of Hercules
- 11 Futurism
- 12 Florida Governor campaign
- 13 2020 U.S. presidential campaign
- 14 Books
- 15 See also
- 16 References
- 17 External links
According to his website, Arth was born on a United States Air Force base in England, where his father was serving as a noncommissioned officer. The eldest of seven children, he was raised Catholic in New Mexico and Texas, mostly Texas. He attended St. Ann's Catholic School in Midland, Texas, but has considered himself a secular humanist since age 17. All his professional interests can be traced back to his childhood hobbies.
As an artist, Michael E. Arth has worked in a wide range of media. In 1970, at age 17, he did watercolor portraits at Six Flags Over Texas, and worked as a street artist doing pastel portraits and architectural renderings while going to college. At age 19 he apprenticed to illustrator Don Ivan Punchatz at SketchPad Studio in Arlington, TX. At 21, while living in Austin, Texas, he did rock concert posters for the Armadillo World Headquarters. In 1974, he changed his focus to fine art and had early success doing original prints like etchings, serigraphs, and lithographs, as well as paintings and photography. He started an art publishing company, Linnaea Graphics, to handle sales of his work. During the 1970s and 1980s, reproductions of his work were sold internationally, and he earned enough from royalties to live and travel abroad for several years. His etchings can be seen in the 1983 film Betrayal, and in period pictures like Will Ferrell's Semi-Pro, set in 1976, and in Season 1: Episode 6 of the Netflix series Stranger Things, set in 1983.
Arth lived and worked in Paris from 1978 to 1981, pulling his etchings at Joëlle Serve's Atelier 63 in Montparnasse. In the early years his work often included exotic botanical themes, but his subject matter and style ranged as widely as his choice of medium. A large format book of his work, Michael E. Arth: Introspective 1972-1982, was published in 1983. He began teaching himself architecture in the mid-1980s, but also briefly worked in the animation business—mostly as a background artist—in Los Angeles for Marvel and Filmation 1986-1988. He fully shifted focus over the same period to architecture, urban design, and construction, which he considers to be “human scale, livable sculpture,” but he continues to do fine art, as well as architectural drawings and photography. In recent years, in connection with his writing, he is working extensively with digital art.
This was followed by two other feature documentaries in 2012. Gov'nor: A Man on a Bicycle, With no Money, Takes on the Fat Cats, Special Interests (and His Wife) to Run for Governor of Florida is about his run for governor. This film has been re-edited into The Politics of Michael E. Arth. Out of the Woods: Life and Death in Dirty Dave's Homeless Camp follows the life and death struggles of homeless people living in a camp in the woods for four years. Arth directed, shot and edited Out of the Woods by himself.
End the War on Drugs is a 2019 feature documentary that calls for an end to drug prohibition, which Arth sees as an echo of the earlier alcohol prohibition.
At least two more films are forthcoming, Midwives, and The Labors of Hercules: Modern Solutions to 12 Herculean Problems. Midwives follow Arth's two midwife sisters, one of whom was apprenticing under the other. The Labors of Hercules will compare the mythological labors of Hercules to 12 modern problems and offer solutions.
Building Design and Construction
Arth designed, built, and landscaped a small number of private residences in Southern California from 1986 to 2000, most notably "Casa de Lila," a seven-story Spanish style villa integrated into a mountain ridge in the Hollywood Hills. He also designed two houses and a cul-de-sac out of an abandoned stretch of the famous Mulholland Highway directly under the Hollywood Sign. He built one of the houses himself with help from a few laborers over a period of 15 months in 1988 and 1989.
Urban design and town planning
In 1999, Arth founded a more pedestrian and ecology-oriented version of New urbanism called New pedestrianism. His new approach calls for very compact new towns and neighborhoods where tree-shaded, pedestrian and bike lanes are in front of all residences and businesses, with tree-lined automobile streets at the rear. While the pedestrian lane idea is not entirely original (examples of rear loading garages with front sidewalks that replace streets were built in Venice, California, as early as 1905), his fervent emphasis on New Pedestrianism as a panacea to address aesthetics, quality of life issues, ecology, and safety makes his work distinctive.
Arth asserts that living in what he calls a pedestrian village, coupled with a compact, mixed-use neighborhood or village center, will ameliorate a wide range of problems related to urban living. Having such a development built near a downtown area or newly created village center reduces the amount of travel time that would normally be spent in an automobile, thus increasing the physical activity of the homeowner and saving energy. In more densely built new towns or developments, he claims that this new form of housing would greatly reduce the dependency on the automobile and the resulting village-like towns would vastly increase both aesthetics and quality of life. He also promotes the creation of similar pedestrian amenities that can be retrofitted to existing towns. Arth develops projects that follow the principles of New pedestrianism.
The Garden District
In 2000, while working on a book and documentary, The Labors of Hercules: Modern Solutions to 12 Herculean Problems, Arth found a small slum in DeLand, Florida, where he could try out some of his ideas. Subsequently, he purchased 33 dilapidated homes and businesses, which he restored over a seven-year period. Running out the drug dealers and rebuilding the inner-city slum into a mixed-use, mixed-race, mixed-income neighborhood won him the support of the community and a number of awards. He changed the name of "Crack Town" to Downtown DeLand's Historic Garden District. Arth enhanced the existing infrastructure by planting trees and by building pedestrian lanes, gardens, courtyards, and bike facilities in the district.
Solution to homelessness
In 2007 Arth proposed a national solution for homelessness that would involve building nearly car-free pedestrian villages in place of what he terms "the current band-aid approach to the problem." A prototype, Tiger Bay Village, was proposed for near Daytona Beach, and the ground was broken on a scaled down version of his plan in 2017.
He claims that a holistic, transformational campus of services would be superior for treating the psychological as well as physical needs of homeless adults, and would cost less than the current approach. It would also provide a lower cost alternative to jail, and provide a half-way station for those getting out of prison. It could also provide a community for those in drug treatment and the non-violent mentally ill who are either incarcerated or living on the street. Work opportunities, including construction and maintenance of the villages, as well as the creation of work force agencies would help make the villages financially and socially viable. An extensive website explains the village concept in detail.
New Urban Cowboy
New Urban Cowboy: Toward a New Pedestrianism, a feature-length documentary, was released in April 2008. The film chronicles Arth's cross-country odyssey from Santa Barbara to DeLand, Florida to rebuild a drug slum known as “Cracktown,” “The Bottom,” “Dead End,” and “Dead-End Road.” Within a year Cracktown had become Downtown DeLand's Historic Garden District. In the film, Arth tells the story of the transformation but also his philosophy behind New Pedestrianism. The end of the film ends with a vision for the future that presaged his entry into politics as a policy analyst and citizen reformer.
Democracy and the Common Wealth
Democracy and the Common Wealth: Breaking the Stranglehold of the Special Interests is a wide-ranging, 480 page book published in 2010 that exposes what Arth calls the “dirty secrets” of America's electoral system. Arth proposes solutions to fix the electoral system, and then gives a long list of solutions to failed policies that could result from having a truly representative democracy led by effective, trustworthy leaders, who would be elected by a majority, and who would not have to spend their time raising campaign funds, or catering to paid lobbyists. The book also tells the story of the first year of Florida's 2010 gubernatorial race. In the main text, and in the postscript, Arth writes about how he became an independent candidate for governor after being “frozen out” of the "undemocratic" Florida Democratic Party for not having millions of dollars, and for suggesting that campaigns be about issues instead of money.
The first sixteen chapters are about how to break up the oligarchy and make "a more perfect union" that creates what Abraham Lincoln called a government "of the people, by the people, and for the people." To do this would require trading the winner-takes-all voting system for ranked choice voting in single member elections, and replacing single-member congressional districts for multi-member congressional districts, which would use proportional representation and a form of ranked choice voting called single transferable voting. It would also require doing away with private campaign financing, paid lobbyists, and most campaign advertising; and replacing influence-buying and propaganda with highly regulated public campaign financing that would cost a tiny fraction of what is spent now. "Pre-voting," by the electorate, with publicly financed micro-payments during the campaign, would determine both placement and ranking on the ballot in order to simplify the process and get voters more involved in thinking about the issues.
The Labors of Hercules
In 1994, Arth began writing The Labors of Hercules: Modern Solutions to 12 Herculean Problems, which he states has turned into his own Herculean task. He also began filming a documentary with the same title during a trip around the world in 1997 and 1998. Finally in 2019, after completing the illustrations, he began shooting the documentary. The book and the documentary are organized into twelve herculean political problems in need of solutions:
- Labor I. Politics: Capture of the Nemean Lion.
- Labor II. Overpopulation: Defeat of the Hydra.
- Labor III. Inequality: Capture of Artemis’ Hind.
- Labor IV. Drug Prohibition: Capture of the Erymanthian Boar.
- Labor V. The Environment: The cleaning of the Augean Stables.
- Labor VI. Justice: Defeat of the Stymphalian Birds.
- Labor VII. Economics: Capture of the Cretan Bull.
- Labor VIII. Energy: Taming the man-eating Mares of Diomedes.
- Labor IX. Sexism: Seizing the Belt of Hippolyta.
- Labor X. Health Care: Capture of the Red Cattle of Geryon.
- Labor XI. Religion: Return of the Golden Apples.
- Labor XII. Artificial Intelligence: Capture of Cerberus.
LOGOS: Public policy wiki
LOGOS, which refers to LOGOSwiki.org and UNICEwiki.org, is the name of a not-for-profit, open source, public-policy wiki and aid to governance that Arth has been developing theoretically since 2008, and as a proof of concept since 2015. LOGOSwiki.org will utilize non-anonymous policy analysts as editors, while a companion site, UNICEwiki.org is being developed for anonymous editing by anyone. Artificial intelligence will allow for extremely advanced data processing and analysis that will organize nearly limitless data into evidential and rational policy recommendations. Eventually, LOGOS will be able to take on any appearance and interact with any person in their own language. According to Arth:
Public policy in our 'post-truth era' is being cruelly distorted by politics and ideology… We need compassionate, evidence-based policy, and the only way to do that is with reason backed by real world data. This could be accomplished with public policy wikis, augmented by artificial intelligence. LOGOS could develop fair, efficient, and decisive supranational governance by organizing nearly limitless data into clear, easily understood guidelines to public policy. A critical aspect of this is to counter widespread misinformation, ‘fake news,’ ‘alternative facts,’ conspiracy theories, dogma, factionalism and propaganda, with facts and reason. Justice is impossible without the unfettered dissemination of accurate information presented succinctly in proper context, otherwise we are vulnerable to the breakdown of democratic institutions by those using emotional appeals to exploit prejudice and ignorance.
He writes that the use of shared, electric, driverless cars, combined with the increased use of virtual reality for work, travel, and pleasure, could reduce the world's 1.5 billion cars to half a billion within a few decades. Arth believes it should be the aim of public policy for various environmental, safety, and economic reasons.
Overpopulation and the environment
Arth believes that the carrying capacity of the Earth could be sustained primarily through population control, economic reform, New Pedestrianism, switching to renewable fuels, and replacing the vast majority of the world's vehicles with shared, self-driving, electric vehicles. Self-driving cars would solve the last mile problem with public transportation. In an academic paper addressing overpopulation in the least developed countries he stresses the role the rich countries must play in addressing environmental issues, including climate change. Arth advocates both reducing consumption and fertility. He cites a study showing that having one less child is the biggest contribution any single person can make to reducing one's carbon footprint, and that quickly achieving a birth rate in the poor countries comparable to the global North is the fastest path out of poverty for the poor. This goal is already being met in most of the developing countries, with women having an average of a little over one child each, discounting immigration.
The Eco Initiative
The Eco-Initiative is a plan to solve overpopulation, environmental degradation and poverty. Arth is concerned that most human-related problems, especially poverty and climate change, are severely impacted by the 220,000 people being added to the planet every day. In 2015 the United Nations projected that, in this century, Africa would quadruple in population and that Asia would add another billion, while the developed countries would maintain zero or negative population growth. He proposed anti-natalist incentives as well as a "marketable birth-license plan" or birth credits that would protect both individual choice and the rights held in common to allow people to have as many children as they want, while still establishing sustainable population levels in all countries. More recently, he has emphasized direct incentives over birth credits in high-fertility countries where extreme poverty also needs to be addressed.
His Eco-Initiative calls for a newly-created pan-African currency, the “eco,” which would be guaranteed by a basket of rich countries with their own currencies. The eco would be managed by the guarantor countries and have currency controls until the 55 African countries reach economic stability. The eco would be spent into existence by a newly created African Central Bank and be used to create full employment, incentivize family planning, and create an alternative-energy-based economy. Under this plan, excess production of solar panels would go to citizens in other countries at little or no cost. Eco-villages like the proposed Kisima Kaya would be built as administrative, health, and economic hubs with solar manufacturing plants on the periphery. 
Florida Governor campaign
Arth began running for Florida governor as a Democrat in June 2009. At the 2009 Democratic Conference, held in October, Arth was prohibited from speaking, his material was confiscated, and his exhibition table was given to someone else. After his material was returned, he was assigned a table in an empty room to keep delegates from meeting him.[better source needed] Believing that reform would have to come from outside the two-party system, Arth reluctantly switched to independent status for this election cycle.
His campaign emphasized the importance of radical transparency and better representation through voting rights reform. He criticized the private campaign financing system which he says elects fundraisers in the place of good leaders and marginalizes the issues. He wanted to do away with the winner-take-all voting scheme and replace it with Instant Runoff Voting and Proportional Representation. He called the War on Drugs "a war on the poor," and pointed out that Florida's incarceration is eight times higher than Canada's. He pointed out that Florida prisons are growing faster than any other state because of de-institutionalization of the mentally disabled, drug prohibition, and minimum sentencing laws.
In late November 2009, the Orlando Sentinel reported that Arth would be taking his grassroots campaign on the road, and touring the state by bicycle beginning in Spring 2010. This was a nod to former Florida governor, Lawton Chiles, who walked the state of Florida in 1970 in successful pursuit of a U.S. Senate Seat. Regarding this trip, from Key West to Pensacola, he said, "There are always creative ways to get around the power elite, for justice and democracy to persist." Arth ran as an Independent politician to stay in the race and continue to bring difficult issues out in the open. Despite the potential spoiler effect, the Orlando Weekly Editorial Board still endorsed Arth for governor, stating:
Yes, we know: Arth has neither money nor experience, and the book "How to Build a Robot Army" is on his coffee table. But keep this in mind: The guy pretty much single-handedly converted a DeLand drug slum into a legitimate neighborhood within the span of a year. His ideas are actually his own, and not only that, they're good ideas. Given that Alex Sink left us underwhelmed, and that Rick Scott is, well, Rick Scott, we're giving ourselves permission to follow our hearts on this one.
Republican candidate Rick Scott won the gubernatorial race. As a result of switching from Democrat to Independent, and spending almost no money, Arth came in fifth place, receiving 18,644 votes.
2020 U.S. presidential campaign
Arth filed to run as a Democrat in the 2020 presidential election on May 18, 2018. In an interview and on his campaign website, Arth stated that he is a "reality-based" candidate who wants a social democracy that allows capitalism to “work for everyone.”
Other than an extensive campaign website, he hardly campaigned at all the first year because he was at the University of London, studying for a master's degree in global politics. He admitted in a radio interview that he thought it was better to be learning more about the job than “dialing-for-dollars.” This late start put him at an initial disadvantage in the lineup, debates, and campaign financing. After returning from London in the summer of 2019, he released press releases on various issues and began more actively campaigning, beginning with an interview on idobi Radio.
- Introspective: 1972-1982 (1983) Linnaea Graphics, ISBN 0912467002
- Democracy and the Common Wealth: Breaking the Stranglehold of the Special Interests (2010) Golden Apples Media Inc., ISBN 0912467126
- The Labors of Hercules: Modern Solutions to 12 Herculean Problems (forthcoming)
- Arth, Michael E., Democracy and the Common Wealth: Breaking the Stranglehold of the Special Interests, Golden Apples Media, 2010, ISBN 978-0-912467-12-2.
- Arth, Michael. "FEC Form 1". Federal Election Commission. Retrieved November 15, 2018.
- on YouTube
- Catron, Derek, "DeLand Man Enters Race for Governor," Daytona Beach News-Journal, June 15, 2010 "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2010-07-01. Retrieved 2010-07-13.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
- "Michael E. Arth (2019) "Where I'm Coming From"" (PDF). Retrieved 7 September 2019.
- Michael E. Arth (1983). Michael E. Arth Introspective 1972-1982. Linnaea Graphics. ISBN 0-912467-00-2.
- Michael E. Arth on IMDb
- Patti Light, Michael E. Arth: Local Filmmaker Brings Global Perspective, Floridian View, February 2013, pp. 32-35.
- on YouTube
- on YouTube
- "Michael E. Arth: End the War on Drugs" – via www.youtube.com.
- Matt Sorum interview, "At home with Matt Sorum of Guns n' Roses," Metal Hammer Magazine, July 1996 pp. 24-28
- Laura Meyers "Reality Check: Rocky Roads," Los Angeles Magazine, August 1998 pp. 36-37
- Barbara Thornburg, "Collectibles kick off a mix 'n' match decor," Los Angeles Times, October 8, 2008.
- "Michael E. Arth design and construction autobiography (2019)" (PDF). Retrieved 8 September 2019.
- J.H. Crawford. CarFree Cities. International Books, Utrecht, Netherlands, 2000. ISBN 90-5727-037-4.
- "Pedestrian Villages". www.pedestrianvillages.com.
- "Labors of Hercules". Retrieved 7 September 2019.
- Carolanne Griffith Roberts, "Saving a Neighborhood", Southern Living Magazine, April 2004, Florida Living pp. 22-25.
- Michael E. Arth, "A National Solution to Homelessness That Begins Here," Orlando Sentinel, January 20, 2007
- Tom Leonard, "Daytona may give vagrants their own resort." Telegraph.co.uk, January 24, 2007
- Etan Horowitz, "Developer defends homeless-village concept," Orlando Sentinel, January 27, 2007
- Rebbecca Mahoney, "Homeless village or leper colony?" Orlando Sentinel, January 20, 2007
- "Villages for the Homeless - Home Page". www.villagesforthehomeless.org.
- BBC World Update, BBC World Service interview with Michael E. Arth on programme about homelessness, December 23, 2010
- ""Democratic Presidential Candidate Michael E. Arth Finally Gets a Homeless Shelter," August 2, 2019".
- Arth, Michael E. "Golden Apples Media". Archived from the original on December 2, 2018. Retrieved January 1, 2019.
- "New Urban Cowboy - YouTube". www.youtube.com.
- "Michael E. Arth". globalbraininstitute.github.io.
- Arth, Michael E., UNICE, a Consciousness Research Abstract published in the "Journal of Consciousness Studies" for the April 8–12, 2008 conference, "Toward a Science of Consciousness," p. 151.
- Logoswiki.org (September 3, 2019). "The Future of Politics is a Collective A.I. Entity Named LOGOS: Presidential Candidate Michael E. Arth has Already Launched the Proof of Concept".
- Alex Birch, "Most Cars Can Be Eliminated in 20 Years, Says Urban Designer Michael E. Arth" Corrupt.org 5/23/08
- Michael E. Arth (22 August 2019). "A critical assessment of the environmental case for, and the ethics of, external interventions to control global South population growth" (PDF).
- Michael E. Arth (18 June 2015). "Time to Panic: UN says Africa's Population to Quadruple" (PDF).
-  Joseph Cox, Will Charging People Money to Have Kids Save the World From Overpopulation, VICE United Kingdom, 24 June 2013
- "The Eco-Initiative: A Zero-Cost Plan to Save the World". 22 August 2019.
- "Rob Field, "Because We Can" Rants of Rob". Archived from the original on 2011-07-15. Retrieved 2009-10-30.
- "Michael E. Arth "The Tide Has Turned," October 13, 2009".
- Scottie Campbell, "Eight It Up: Eight Questions with someone interesting." 
- Jeff Gore “Reality Check: Gubernatorial candidate thought he could play politics by his own rules. He's learning it's not so easy,” Orlando Weekly, Vol. 26,No.42, 10-20-10. 
- Ludmilla Lelis "Michael E. Arth: Dark Horse Candidate for Governor Has Eye on Reform," Orlando Sentinel. 11-24-09.
- Jeff Gore, Billy Manes and Erin Sullivan, Happytown Editorial Board Endorsements Orlando Weekly, Vol.26, no.43,10-27-10. 
- Scott Powers, “It's official: Rick Scott is the all-time big spender.” Orlando Sentinel, February 2, 2011 
- Eichenwald, Kurt (March 21, 1997). "U.S. Expands Search of Columbia/HCA in Texas". The New York Times. Retrieved March 14, 2019.
- Eichenwald, Kurt (July 26, 1997). "2 Leaders are out at health giant as inquiry goes on". The New York Times. Retrieved August 16, 2015.
- "Columbia/HCA reports warned Rick Scott of potential legal problems". TampaBay. Archived from the original on May 2, 2013. Retrieved December 23, 2013.
- Sherman, Amy (June 17, 2014). "Rick Scott took the 5th Amendment 75 times, Democratic party ad says". Politifact.com. Retrieved September 4, 2019.
- Ackman, Dan. "Disaster Of The Day: HCA". Forbes. Retrieved September 4, 2019.
- "Money, message, mad electorate make Scott Fla. gov".
- "2020 Presidential Candidate Michael E. Arth, News Round-UP, It's News to Us with Eddie & Jason". August 6, 2019.
- GmbH, finanzen net. "Michael E. Arth Ends Presidential Run, Endorses Elizabeth Warren | Markets Insider". markets.businessinsider.com. Retrieved 2019-11-04.
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