Whether you think we are in a recession, depression, contraction, correction, or whatever, the key point is, our economy is headed for a complete and utter collapse in 5-7 years if we don’t act now. Bailing out companies that are built on worthless assets might stave off the trouble for a little while but it can’t fix the root problem. There are a whole host of things we should do as a country to restore our status as the best country on Earth.
1. Get back on a gold standard. This is essential to many of the other ideas, simply because it puts a limit on how much the government can spend (and waste). The government should be run like any other business, and at least attempt to spend within its means. Going to a gold standard would be a solid step in that direction.
2. Phase in the FairTax/phase out the IRS. There are several benefits to doing this. People traveling here from other countries (illegal aliens included) would contribute to our country. So would most, if not all, of the underground economy. Workers earning tips would contribute their fair share. Rich businessmen who shelter their money offshore would contribute. This is the best way to close all tax “loopholes” and to reduce the burden on honest taxpayers. It’s also very transparent, and allows savings and investment to grow faster. Plus it saves compliance costs and could allow us to eliminate the IRS and replace it with a smaller agency in charge of collecting the tax from retailers.
3. End the war on drugs. Clearly all the billions we are spending trying to decrease drug use is not working. People have a strong desire to use chemicals and substances to get high, buzzed, or just escape reality. The suppliers will always be at least a step ahead of regulation. Ending this war on drugs and legalizing them would clean up the streets and it could be treated similarly to cigarettes.
4. Privatize Social Security. People always get this one wrong, claiming that they don’t want to “gamble” with their life savings. The fact is, over a 30 year timeframe the markets have shown great returns. Anyone who can’t survive because their investments have gone down 15% in a year is too heavily invested in risky vehicles. As of now, there is no guarantee that you will get your money back if you pay into the system, so for younger generations, the better option would be simply investing their Social Security money in a simple savings account. The real “gambling” goes on when you allow the government to take your payments and use the money however the hell they see fit, which is what goes on now.
5. Eliminate the Department of Education. Our schools are a joke. We spend billions and the results are horrible. That’s what you get without competition. Funny how the government tries to break up monopolies in the private sector, but can’t survive without being one.
6. Privatize roads/jails/bridges. Our infrastructure is crumbling. We can’t afford to fix it, so maybe we should hand it over to private companies. There’s no sound reason the government builds our roads and bridges and there’s no reason they should manage the jails. All we get is waste.
7. End the Iraq/Afghanistan etc wars. Can someone tell me why we are in these areas, and who we are at war with? There will always be countries that don’t like us, but we can’t afford to just go to war with them for that reason. There’s no credible threat of another 9/11 style attack, and being at war with these countries might actually make us more vulnerable.
8. Get out of the UN. We don’t listen to them anyway, so what’s the point of belonging?
9. Eliminate the Federal Reserve. Clearly, free markets can set interest rates on their own. We don’t need rates set to protect us from inflation, deflation, recession, etc. by anyone except the market itself. When the Fed sets rates based on often faulty assumptions, it distorts the market and the economy as a whole.
10. Allow at least one other party besides Republican and Democrat at the debates. Setting the bar at 15% of the votes is insane. We need some fresh ideas and candidates to be heard. Without exposure, smaller candidates don’t have a chance.
11. Every citizen should be entitled to a report showing where their money goes. Any government spending over, say, $5m should be accounted for and listed on this report. Somewhere along the line we forgot that government works for us, that without OUR money they wouldn’t have any power at all. All the extra money the government would save by adopting the steps above would more than pay for such a report.