Tuesday, August 28, 2012

What would your 5 Point Plan be?

We (appear to) sit at the precipice of a large economic chasm. Something needs to be done and that something cannot be tweaking at the margins.
Obama seems to suggest more of the same. But Mitt Romney has come out with his 5 point plan (note his 5 points are buried in a single paragraph halfway down that article). I personally do not feel it focuses on the right things nor is bold enough.
We all obviously have dozens of policy differences with our conservative/liberal counterparts and I recognize that many reject the entire edifice of govt and others advocate a complete govt takeover. But from a pragmatic viewpoint, if you were limited to just 5 specific issues to address with the knowledge that we may hit a huge economic crisis during the administration of the winner of this election, which 5 would you advocate to voters, which 5 do you believe are most important to accomplish to avoid an economic collapse and set things on track for improvement?
Here are my 5:
  • Monetary Policy - I believe we cannot continue with our current monetary policy and it must be decoupled from the current monopoly cartel. The most politically viable, in my opinion, as well as probably the smoothest transition would be to legalize competing currencies in concurrence with a full audit of the Federal Reserve. I only hope it would be sufficiently effective in time.
  • Foreign Non-Interventionism - I believe that we waste enormous resources, life, and liberty with our current approach. All while inciting the type of animosity that requires more "security", more resources, more loss of life and liberty to deal with. This cycle must stop.
    • While this may not have the direct economic impact of some of the other issues, I believe it is critically important to a free society.
  • Corporate Protectionism - There is a great deal of agreement, on both sides of the aisle, that corporations do not need the level of govt protection, guarantees, promises and bailouts. Without govt to "socialize losses", corporations would have to be more conscious of risk.
  • Taxation - Taxation in general is not only overly complex, but, in my opinion, the worst part is how unseen it is. So many hidden "sin" taxes, excise taxes, fee taxes, etc. The income tax (as hidden as it is since it's taken out before you ever get the money) is still one of the most visible and certainly most talked about. Taxes need to be simplified and reduced.
    • Govt spending is the other side of this coin, and while I obviously believe we need massive curtailments to spending, I think that putting a check against profligate abuse of our monetary policy may actually help in this regard (plus ending foreign interventionism and corporate protectionism will reduce spending a fair amount).
  • Regulatory Reform - Regulations hamper virtually every industry now. What's worse is that the vast majority of these regulations are written by unelected bureaucrats. While I obviously think a free market (without govt bailouts/guarantees/protections) is the ideal, I think the most politically viable would be something like Write the Bills Act. Requiring all regulations be written and voted on by Congress itself would, I think, go a long way to reduce regulatory red tape (or at the very least, to put a speed limit on its growth).
    • Whenever one considers reducing regulations, concerns about protecting consumers arises. So part of regulatory reform should also look at strengthening private property protections for individuals.
Honorable Mentions:
    • Ending Drug War - While I feel this is important for a free society, it didn't make my list because I am not educated about the economic impact of doing this.
    • Ending Patents - This I cannot determine exactly how impactful this would be to the economy. While I think it is important, again, I cannot justify adding it to my top 5 without more knowledge of the impact.
    • Ending minimum wage - Encouraging additional hiring as well as providing additional work experience for many low skilled workers.
    • One Subject at a Time Act - just necessary for a responsible representative govt.
    • Entitlement reform - Though this seems to be more of a mid/long term problem, I feel that putting this on a path to better sustainability could go a long way toward improving market confidence, currency stability and credit prospect.
    • [others I'm sure I forgot]
    So what would your 5 be?

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