What would you do to fix the economy.


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Profile William Rothamel
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Message 1266664 - Posted: 2 Aug 2012, 10:30:31 UTC
Last modified: 2 Aug 2012, 10:33:24 UTC

Assume you were a benevolent dictator and were knowledgeable in Global economics, politics, science, energy production, medical system dysfunctionality, motivation etc.

What would be your prescription for fixing the mess that we are now in the US, primarily; and elsewhere in the world,

Please be specific . Assume your proposals could be implemented given time and money. How long would it take to cure our ills and what would you do first etc.

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Message 1266672 - Posted: 2 Aug 2012, 10:50:51 UTC

Blimey you're not asking much are you! I'll need a bit of time to think about that one ....

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Message 1266679 - Posted: 2 Aug 2012, 11:12:06 UTC
Last modified: 21 Mar 2014, 15:21:14 UTC

--

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Message 1266801 - Posted: 2 Aug 2012, 19:38:13 UTC

I would banish the lazy who think they are not lazy (including 1%er laziea) to Dante's Fourth Level of H311.

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Message 1266859 - Posted: 2 Aug 2012, 22:38:40 UTC - in response to Message 1266801.

Ah -- so you, like Gary, would 'eliminate' from our country those who don't fit...

By the way, he also wants to 'cull' the lazy. I suspect your definitions might differ though <smile>

I would banish the lazy who think they are not lazy (including 1%er laziea) to Dante's Fourth Level of H311.

Profile William Rothamel
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Message 1266862 - Posted: 2 Aug 2012, 22:46:59 UTC - in response to Message 1266679.
Last modified: 2 Aug 2012, 23:36:47 UTC

I guess I would concentrate on the area of food, energy, capital erosion, health care and manufacturing as well as right sizing the government and eliminating criminal activity in our markets. You see that we are flat broke. our capital has gone to the middle east oil barons, the chinese, the farmers, the financial markets via bailouts and to wasteful taxation and spending by the government. and the health care goughers. It's no wonder we can't buy that badly needed new car or take a weekend getaway or invest--we have no money left over.

Specifics are the key.

Energy: I would ban the use of ethanol for use as a motor fuel. It would cut food prices in half. The farmers would howl but special interests should not be allowed to prosper at the expense of the population at large. People would have more money in their pockets for other things.

I would release drilling permits in the Alaska and Artic area at once. I would build the Keystone pipeline forthwith.

I would prosecute those who are manipulating the price of oil and natural gas. I would raise the margin requirements for oil and gas contracts by a factor of four.

I would establish a time-stamped Stock trading system that would eliminate the ability of brokers and market makers to front-run their own accounts without an audit trail.

I would fire the head of TVA and announce 10 new nuclear plants to be built each year for the next ten years each having 4 reactors--locating them in secure locations; perhaps in old mines if the cooling towers could be figured out.

I would also build a similar number of coal-fired plants in the Powder River basin, locating them in the desert where they would never be seen. I would need 1 million volt DC transmission lines to bring this energy into the metropolitan areas where it is needed. The Lignite Coal found there is dirt cheap. We need cheap energy to restart our industrial engine.

I would establish desalinization plants to provide water to Atlanta and other west-coast areas--powered by nuclear.

I would mandate a 10% per year reduction in headcount and budget in all federal agencies except the military. Here,I would close half of our 800 overseas bases in the next two years and cancel questionable weapons sytems and planes. I would probably combine agencies as they have a lot of ovelapping functions.

I would slap a 25% tariff on all Chinese goods.

I would re-launch an ambitious space program. This would include: Space station, a moon base and maybe Mars exploration if feasible.

I would eliminate social security for all people under 45--pay them what they put in and allow them to contribute up to 20% of their salary into an IRA for their retirement. I would allow a Health Care Savings account up to 10% of income -Tax free. I would bid drugs and equipment on a National basis for use in medicare/medicade. I would allow free trade in insurance sales accross state lines.

I would repeal Obama care and require taxation of income and property of all churches -allowing them a credit for all charitable works, medical payments and schools. I would allow corporal punishment in the school system. I would try to fund an immediate 50% increase in teacher pay--eventually more good people would go in to teaching if it would allow them to support thier families as well as business, law, finance, medical arts or engineering.

I would institute a 2-year sevice requirement for all 18 year-olds either in the military or in inner city service. If we think that we don't need a large standing Army to properly defend out interests we are sadly mistaken given the current state of world affairs. States that harbor religious zealots that do harm to our society would wake up one morning and have no missiles, atomic weapons or Air Force. A week later they would have no Navy.


lastly, I would proscribe a single 6 year term for senators, congress men and the President. I would prohibit campaign contributions by other than individuals and limit them to $200 every six years. Pacs etc would be outlawed under the notion of special interests are detrimental to the society. Freedom of speech being violated. ?? I think it's freedom from bribery and graft.

The president would be elected by popular vote--run-offs might be required.

Lastly, I would have the FDA and Consumer Affairs agency prosecute all of the phoney snake-oil salesmen on radio and TV . No more "ageless male" or credit card debt reduction or IRS 85% debt reduction baloney. Compounds with no significant, verifiable benefit would be banned from the market and their purveyors prosecuted for fraud.

I would also track down these internet fraudsters of all stripes and see them in jail as well.

So you see it's all elementary my dear Watson.

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Message 1266868 - Posted: 2 Aug 2012, 23:14:42 UTC - in response to Message 1266862.

Wm, your proposals would certainly change things! Lots of good stuff there and a couple that are not well thought out. The nuclear power sounds good since I'm old enough so the spent fuel would not be my problem. Certainly allowing the Keystone would be a big help, the Canadians being able to sell their oil at the world price should be asset for us.
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Message 1266874 - Posted: 3 Aug 2012, 0:19:05 UTC - in response to Message 1266862.

William -- and I thought you were for reducing the size and scope of government. Much of your energy specifics actually increase the role and scope of government.

Some comments, rather than a flat out ban of ethanol, simply eliminating the government subsidies might be better (smaller government approach letting the market make the changes since without the subsidy corn for ethanol is not profitable).

There is a major drilling permit activity going on -- Shell Oil - not in the reserve though. Realize that any permitting there has a long lead time until oil and natural gas shows up. 5 years or more.

Prosecuting manipulators -- government intervention.

Nuke plants -- that would require a LOT of government intervention -- the market for *safe* nuke plans makes things a very expensive investment.

Coal plants -- hmm, perhaps, if it was clear enough -- but it seems a better bet to utilize the burgeoning natural gas production for this -- definitely cleaner and perhaps not as expensive.

Desalinization plants -- sounds like government intervention here.

I'd think you couldn't get the 10% headcount reduction in DOE with what you are suggesting. Not that what you are suggesting is bad -- just at cross purposes.

That 25% tariff not only would be in violation of existing treaties, but also would seriously increase the price of goods in this country -- especially at the lower reaches of our population. If attempted, it might lead to a trade war. Protectionism in various economies really deepened the depression in the 1930's.

Relaunching the space program -- big government there -- so you'd increase funding (and staffing) to NASA -- not decrease it.

Interesting stuff there -- but NOT the stuff of small government.

As to Social Security -- what would you do for those over 45 to insure that the fund stays alive for them?

As to taxation of income and property for churches -- as to property -- that might be a revenue source, but as to income, you just end up having accountants offset income with operational expenses.

Increases in teacher pay -- needs a funding source for sure.

I like a fair proportion of your suggestions -- but don't see them reducing government at all -- not a bad thing -- just a bit of a surprise from you.








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Message 1266881 - Posted: 3 Aug 2012, 1:11:10 UTC - in response to Message 1266874.
Last modified: 3 Aug 2012, 1:32:09 UTC

Thanks for your reply. I am for our legal system being able to protect us from fraud. I am for the regulators that we are already paying actually regulating. That is always the dilemma; regulation vs getting in the way. I don't think regulating to achieve an honest market comes down on the negative side of the ledger. You could argue that policing is government intervention as well but it's necessary for order as regulation is in the markets.

NASA has already been cut by Obama. We could fund valid proposals along a broad outlined plan and give contracts to private companies--NASA did a lot of that anyway. I feel that the spin off from this will turn out to be as great it was in the race to the moon.

Yes at the moment natural gas has been competitive with coal especially if nutball requirements for CO-2 reduction, scrubbers and carbon sequestration come into play. In the past Natural gas has been kept off the market to raise the prices. Many wells are run at the mimimum required to keep them open in the hopes that gas will skyrocket again. We are now the Saudi Arabia of Natural gas as we are of coal.

We would have to fund socialst security for those over 45 just as we do now except that there would be no more people under 45 to pay into the ponzi scheme. This would be a huge one-time monetary hit. Maybe fund it from my proposed 10% per year cut. I might raise the retirement age and I would have to look for a huge chunk of money to pay back the under 45 as well.

I wonder if we could provide capital and standard designs to private power companies to achive the nuclear build-out. Maybe TVA under a new director could lead the way. It is quasi private now. I would expand the nuclear program by creating a new academy in the Navy for nuclear operations. They could serve as enlisted and officers and maybe private contractors after a few years of service. Maybe a good tracking for my 2-year service requirement.

As for the churches. There is no more burden on them than any other business in reporting income and having to pay property taxes. Another special interest group that is skating on the edge of fraud.

I might also legalize marijuana and tax it as well. A few life sentences for possession of harder drugs might just dry up that problem as well.

As for Chinese goods--borrowing from the Chinese is already adding to inflation. They are playing us for suckers in not leveling their currency. Right now every thing I buy is chinese. Our stores are Chinese PX's--these goods usually fall apart or malfunction in short order. I would gladly pay 25% more for a higher quality product from an American factory.

what do you say ??

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Message 1266887 - Posted: 3 Aug 2012, 1:47:51 UTC - in response to Message 1266859.

Ah -- so you, like Gary, would 'eliminate' from our country those who don't fit...

By the way, he also wants to 'cull' the lazy. I suspect your definitions might differ though <smile>

I would banish the lazy who think they are not lazy (including 1%er laziea) to Dante's Fourth Level of H311.


Precisely the point.

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Message 1266888 - Posted: 3 Aug 2012, 1:51:59 UTC
Last modified: 3 Aug 2012, 2:17:09 UTC

The clear contrast is saving habit of a society that chinese save a lot versus western society abuse individual credit accounts and as a result chinese has financial muscle and now more western countries beg money from them following suit of mighty old america. Habitual change maybe ...

" in the United States and China finds 59 percent of Chinese urban households save for education, compared to only 19 percent of US households." http://www.futurity.org/top-stories/family-savings-higher-in-china-vs-us/
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Message 1266893 - Posted: 3 Aug 2012, 3:03:30 UTC
Last modified: 3 Aug 2012, 3:05:32 UTC

The OP reminds me of an old woman I stumbled across some time ago.

When are rules supposed to be wrong (as opposed to being correct)?

Please don't forget - fire a gun in the streets of Los Angeles and it becomes the final day of your life as well.

So it goes.

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Message 1266931 - Posted: 3 Aug 2012, 6:40:03 UTC - in response to Message 1266881.

William, while you might pay 25% for an American product (if one was available -- think of just how much of our electronics currently could not be made in the US) for someone at the lower half of our society, that would be a severe reduction in their standard of living.

That presumption of low quality Chinese goods sounds quite similar to a presumption regarding Japanese goods in the 50's and 60's and into the early 70's. While some goods are of relatively low quality (though again in some cases there is nothing built in the US to compare it with), much is not. Prices are lower in China due to exchange rate handling and VERY low cost labor. As China becomes increasingly urbanized and modernized, that may change (as it did in Japan starting in the 60').

Again, the 25% duty would be in violation of international agreements (don't know if that bothers you though), and would launch a trade war -- after all, as you noted, China has a LOT of US debt to use to play havoc in response.

I noticed you said squash the ACA -- didn't notice what you'd replace it with. Are you one of those advocating elimination of duty of care -- ie if you can't afford care, you don't get it?

Many of your suggestions (even excluding actually getting them done -- not a part of this thought exercise), would take decades to work -- any thoughts as to interim approaches?

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Message 1266956 - Posted: 3 Aug 2012, 8:00:31 UTC
Last modified: 3 Aug 2012, 8:20:12 UTC

any thoughts as to interim approaches?


Yes it would take 5 to 10 years to start seeing the effects of cheaper energy and a reduced government. Dumping a lot of bureaucrats out on the street may also impose a short term hit on having fewer wealthy consumers.

I think here are the short term solutions that I have proposed.

Ban Ethanol as a motor fuel. End ethanol subsidies at once.

Abolishment of Social security would immediately place more capital in the fiduciary side of the private economy and take it away from the government for those under 45.

Abolish the Electoral College . Ban PAC , Union and special interest bribery. (hard to enforce perhaps--a few Senators being given 20 year terms for graft might do the trick) You could also ban any riders on any bill.

Remove barriers to cheaper health care ( central bidding, increased fraud prosecutions, competition for heath care insurance across State lines.

Change to single six year terms. (4 years to have an effect)

Repeal Obama care

Quadruple the margins for strategic commodities.

Close 50% of overseas bases (2 years)

Release drilling permits-commit to build pipeline (may have an immediate effect on fuel prices--I estimate 30% if ethanol ban is enacted along with this proposal along with higher margins on contracts for oil etc. This should immediately knock out the speculative cost of fuel which I estimate at at least 30%..

Institue a draft (public service). This would immediately signal the world that we do have the will to protect our way of life and interests. Might employ those youngster who now can't find work and teach them a few life skills that they don't get in college or living at home.

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Message 1266958 - Posted: 3 Aug 2012, 8:26:17 UTC - in response to Message 1266956.

any thoughts as to interim approaches?


Yes it would take 5 to 10 years to start seeing the effects of cheaper energy and a reduced government. Dumping a lot of bureaucrats out on the street may also impose a short term hit on having fewer wealthy consumers.

I think here are the short term solutions that I have proposed.


Ban Ethanol as a motor fuel.

How about ethanol made from non food item feed stock eg algae or similar instead of corn and sugar cane? What are you thoughts on the non compulsory/non-subsidised use of alcohol as a fuel.

Abolish the Electoral College

How would you work the elections, a country wide majority, or a majority of voters in a majority of states ?

I also think a reform of the candidate pre-selection process is in order. The current Primary system means that the country is in election mode almost 100% of the time. It also takes too long and is too expensive which is why politics has become exclusively a rich mans game in the US.

Change to single six year terms.(4 years to have an effect)

Not sure about about this one. While I agree with a limit on the number of terms a politician can serve I think multiple short terms are better than one long one. That way, if they're good they can be re-elected, if they are bad you can get rid of them quicker.

Quadruple the margins for strategic commodities.

Not sure what you mean here. Do you mean a quadrupling of the profit margins on things like coal and oil ?

Just some points I thought of.

T.A.

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Message 1266990 - Posted: 3 Aug 2012, 10:22:07 UTC

Here's a minor one for you, probably a vote winner.

Who, What, Why: Why are US athletes taxed on Olympic medal wins?

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Message 1266991 - Posted: 3 Aug 2012, 10:25:47 UTC

I don't have a clue as to what would "fix" the economy. What would fix one countries economy might ruin another's Heck I can't even manage my own expenses that well.
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Message 1267114 - Posted: 3 Aug 2012, 16:40:01 UTC - in response to Message 1266990.

Pretty much for the same reason folks get taxed on gambling winnings. Of course if the medal winners can demonstrate their costs of doing business (and let's face it the Olympics competition IS business) than they can offset the winnings with the costs.



Here's a minor one for you, probably a vote winner.

Who, What, Why: Why are US athletes taxed on Olympic medal wins?

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