How to turn the economy around given the absolute mess we are in?
People keep asking me what I would do if I had the power to turn the US Economy around given my decades of experience in the inner sanctum of finance.
Well, here’s my 2 cents…. while keeping it very simple.
Some of the ideas may be too much for some people. I believe though that you cannot cure cancer with a band aid. Our problems need radical solutions.
I believe the first thing to be done is to abolish the Federal Reserve which lacks transparency and accountability. It is owned by and operated for the benefit of the biggest banks in the world. Its sole purpose has been to enrich the few at the expense of the many through its insidious use of inflation and debt issuance. It has been around for over 100 years and has debased the USD by 96%. The U.S. Treasury has the authority to issue the currency of the country. It did so from 1789 until 1913.
The 2nd thing to do would be to reinstitute the Glass-Steagall Act because Wall Street cannot be trusted to manage their risk properly. This would separate true banking activities from the high-risk gambling and contribute to financial stability by preventing banks from undertaking excessive risk that brought the economic system to its knees. Privatizing the profits and socializing the losses is unacceptable.
The Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) would be directed to make all banks and financial corporations value their assets at their true market value. This would enhance transparency and stability in the banking sector and avoid the kind of hidden insolvencies that contributed to the 2008 financial crisis. It would reveal the mega Wall Street banks and corporations to be insolvent. An orderly bankruptcy of all insolvent financial firms involving the sell-off of their legitimate assets to well-run risk adverse banks that didn’t screw up would ensue. Bondholders and stockholders would realize their losses for awful investment decisions. The economic system would be purged of its bad debt.
The currency of the US would be backed by hard assets to prevent inflation and encourage fiscal discipline.. A basket of gold, silver, platinum, uranium, and some other limited hard commodities would back the USD. If politicians attempted to spend too much, the price of this basket would reflect their inflationary schemes immediately.
The 16th Amendment would be repealed, and the income tax would be scrapped. It would be replaced with a national consumption tax which would encourage saving and investment with provisions to prevent it from being regressive and disproportionately affecting the poor. The more you consume, the more taxes you pay. Wages, savings, and investment would be untaxed. The tax code is the source for much of politicians’ power. Its demise would further reduce Washington DC control over our lives.
A downsizing of the US Military to $500 billion annually would be initiated through the withdrawal of troops from hundreds of our bases throughout the world in such a way to ensure it doesn’t compromise national security . Policing the world is bankrupting the empire.
All corporate, farm, education, and social engineering subsidies would be eliminated. All Federal employees would have their pay slashed by 10% , the workforce would be reduced by 20% over 5 years and rotational civil service program would replace the current one with term limits of 10 years set on their employment.. Federal health benefits and pension benefits would be set at average private industry levels.
The Social Security System would be completely overhauled. Anyone 50 or older would get exactly what they were promised. The age for collecting SS would be gradually raised to 72 over the next 15 years. Those between 25 and 50 would be given the option to opt out of SS. They would be given their contributions to invest as they see fit if they opt out. Anyone entering the workforce today would not pay in or receive any benefits. The wage limit for SS would be eliminated and the tax rate would be reduced from 6.2% to 3%.
The Medicare system is unsustainable. It would be converted transitioning from a government program to private market-based voucher system. The Federal mandates, rules and regulations would be eliminated. Senior citizens would be given healthcare vouchers which they would be free to use with any insurance company or doctor based on price and quality. Insurance companies would compete for business on a national basis. Doctors would compete for business. The GAO would have their budget doubled and they would audit Medicare fraud & Medicaid fraud and prosecute the criminals without impunity.
The healthcare bill would be repealed. Insurance companies would be allowed to compete with each other on a national basis. Tort reform would be implemented so that doctors could do their jobs without fear of being destroyed by slimy personal injury lawyers. Doctors would need to post their costs for various procedures. Price and quality would drive the healthcare market focused on competition and transparency which will improve efficiency and affordability.
The entitlement state would be dismantled. The criteria for collecting welfare, SSDI, food stamps and unemployment benefits would be made much stricter Unemployed people collecting government payments would be required to clean up parks, volunteer at community charity organizations, pick up trash along highways, fix and paint houses in their neighborhoods and generally keep busy in a productive manner for society thus encouraging self-reliance and ensuring vulnerable populations are not left without support.
A free market method for avoiding foreclosure and stabilizing the housing market would be for banks to voluntarily reduce the mortgage balances of underwater homeowners in exchange for a PAR (Property Appreciation Right). The homeowner would agree to pay off the PAR to the Treasury (and administered through the IRS) out of future price appreciation on the existing home or subsequent property. The homeowner would be excluded from taking on any home equity loans or executing any “cash out” refinancing until the PAR was satisfied. The maximum PAR obligation accepted by the Treasury would be based on the value of the home and the income of the homeowner. This setup provides a way for banks to recoup some or all of the loss from reducing the mortgage balance.
Revitalize a 3rd world U.S. education system to spur long-term economic shifting towards personalized, tech-assisted learning and redefining teachers as facilitators rather than mere knowledge deliverers and with increased parental involvement in the process. Early integration of practical skill development in curricula and promoting lifelong learning through incentives and partnerships will equip students for future challenges and reduce skill gaps. The implementation of universal pre-K and substantial investment in Science, Technology, Engineering, the Arts, and Mathematics (STEAM) education, with improved access in underprivileged regions, is key to preparing students for a tech-driven economy. Improving access to quality education, implementing job training programs, and promoting inclusive economic policies help individuals at the bottom of Americas economic ladder climb upwards. Policies that enhance income mobility and financial stability not only help reduce income inequality, but also drive economic growth by creating a more robust and diverse consumer base.
Bootstrap Research and Development (R&D) to stimulate economic growth emphasizing collaboration, inclusivity, and future-readiness. Establish open innovation platforms for collaborative projects among academia, government, and private industry, and creating geographically concentrated Innovation districts to foster a dynamic environment among researchers, entrepreneurs, and venture capitalists. Introduce a $1 billion innovation prize system to incentivize risk-taking and attract global talent, while promoting citizen science to leverage entrepreneurial public participation to increase the scale of R&D efforts. Simultaneously invest in futuristic tech education to ensure a consistent influx of innovators not only for economic but also to address environmental and social challenges.
Modernize infrastructure to meet future challenges, stimulating economic growth and societal well-being by developing “smart cities” with IoT technologies to improve urban services, prioritize renewable energy and energy-efficient buildings, expand broadband access to rural areas to enable remote work and learning. Lastly, setting up dedicated funds for regular infrastructure maintenance and upgrade to prevent high emergency repair costs and inefficiencies due to outdated systems.
I’m sure there are many more solutions which non-captured, intelligent, reasonable citizens could put forth to save this country. None of these ideas would be I am afraid acceptable to the country’s owners. They would reduce their wealth and power. What these oligarchs do not realize is that we are in the midst of a Fourth Turning. Those who experienced the last one have died off. The existing social order will be swept away. It is likely to be violent and bloody. Good people and bad people will die. When the Crisis reaches its climax we will have the opportunity to implement good solutions. There is also the distinct possibility that our increasingly ignorant populace will turn to a messianic psychopath that promises them renewed glory. Decades of delusional decisions will lead to a future that will not be orderly or controllable.
The Banks must be restrained, and the financial system reformed, with balance restored to the economy, before there can be any sustained growth and recovery. If the suffering becomes great enough, change will inevitably come, but it may not be orderly or as controllable as the moneyed interests often like to think.
Now you know
The key question becomes: Who in the US government has the guts to make this happen? So far no one ever had…. So don’t expect any real change from the state of misery we are all in.
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