Saturday, August 5, 2017

The Free Market Manifesto

For Bob

My wife's cousin, Bob, a loyal union man and Democrat whether he admits it or not, has a new talking point. It's actually the same old talking point from the last election that says conservatives only complain and that they have no "solutions". He concludes by suggesting that "you (that's me) spend less time on points indicating you are well read and pose solutions to the ills and maladies that you think are holding us back as a nation."  I keep quoting people who also have good points. He seems to find that troubling. Apparently I shouldn't appropriate the ideas of others, but rely only on original thoughts. Sorry, but I don't get talking points from the RNC or some George Soros sponsored media advisory nonprofit. I get my opinions and ideas from original sources and it's my habit to give credit where credit is due when I can. That's just my style. Not trying to show off.

Bob demands I pose solutions to the ills and maladies that are holding us back as a nation. Okay here's my manifesto on the subjects he suggests:

  1. Healthcare - Get the government out of it as far as possible. Put Medicaid and Medicare on a more business-like basis.
  2. Taxes - Reduce the size of government and reduce taxes accordingly so as to stop punishing economic risk takers who are the builders of a healthy economy.
  3. The environment - Make whoever makes a mess, clean up after themselves. Stop using the EPA to punish political opponents or to suppress economic development.
  4. Minimum wage increases - Quit artificially jacking up the minimum wage. It's an entry level wage. The economy will be healthier if we quit trying to solve income inequity. Workers will learn skills and go get better jobs and the shortage of minimum wage workers will inevitably raise wages for entry level jobs because employers will have to compete for entry level workers. Shut off illegal immigration so we don't have a fear-based slave worker population which keeps entry level wages for unskilled labor artificially low.
  5. Public works - Interstate highways are crucial to the movement of troops so is part of the defense responsibility of the federal government. Ports are essential to defense. Air traffic control and airports are crucial to defense. Parks and wilderness preservation is essential to helping maintain a healthy environment. That's a federal responsibility. Protecting interstate commerce is a public work. That's about it.
  6. Education - None of the federal government's business. States and local communities need to keep their tax dollars for education and handle education there instead of sending a hundred bucks to Washington and getting less than 50 bucks back for education.
  7. National security - We have too many bloated, self-important security agencies. Stop creating new ones but combine and reduce the size of them and have them actually enforce the law instead of deciding what we will tolerate for political reasons and what we'll enforce.  Make it cost less and work more efficiently.
  8. Worker protections - It's a state job, not a federal one. Workers are quite capable of protecting themselves. States are far more effective at protecting workers. Quit spending money on feel good programs, cut the DOL down to bare bones and let states handle their own business.
  9. Civil rights - The federal government has the duty through law enforcement to protect the rights of citizens under the constitution. Just enforce the law for crying out loud. 
  10. Untreated mental illness - Get the federal government out of it. Back in the 80s the Democrat congress passed a law making it virtually impossible for families to hospitalize their mentally ill family members. You practically have to kill someone to be committed anymore. This federal approach to mental health, backfired badly and resulted in millions of seriously mentally ill people signing themselves out of treatment centers and creating a massive homeless problem almost overnight.  
  11. Defense - (I added this one to Bob's list) This is a federal government responsibility. The military is to protect us from foreign and domestic enemies. This does not include American citizens unless those citizens attack their fellow citizens. They are not to be used for law enforcement in general. They are strictly here to protect American interests and security from foreign enemies and to protect Americans in the world. It's one of the few things the government does well, although politicians have used military funding to provide pork for their home districts. That needs to be dealt with. Reducing the size and scope of government will help the media and government watchdogs to spend more energy on those kinds of abuses of power.
  12. The economy/unemployment - (I also added this one to his list).  Quit diddling with the economy. Keynesian economic theories have resulted in more than half a century of economic meddling by government, often with disastrous results. Nixon's price fixing intervention through us into a recession. Carter inherited a  recession when taking office and proceeded to tryto various Keynesian style government interventions and only succeeded in making the whole thing worse. Inflation and interest rates soon reached their highest levels since the second world war. GHW Bush went along with Democrats on taxes and triggered a recession. Fortunately, Clinton had the good sense to not mess with Republican avoidance of meddling and tax reductions and saw the recession end and an extension of the Reagan boom for another 6 years. GW Bush allowed his Democrat congress to meddle with the economy in order to preserve funding for the war on terror and got a nasty recession for his troubles. Obama took over with a Democrat congress and proceeded to go full Keyensian, trying stimulus, taking over industries like healthcare, and increasing taxes on the rich. Unlike Clinton, he failed to cooperate with a Republican senate and house and extended his inherited recession by another. He proceeded to declare that five million unemployed had actually left the workforce on their own accord in order to create the illusion that unemployment was reduced. The solution to the economy is for the feds to quit diddling with it. I don't think they can do that. 
Basically, the solution for all of this is to reduce the size and scope of the federal government and make it more effective. I don't have a lot of hope that that will happen. Power attracts the corruptible and the federal government has become very powerful. We may have reached the tipping point to totalitarianism.

© 2017 by Tom King


1 comment:

Mark Milliorn said...

Keynesian politicians always remember that Keynes said to spend liberally to end a depression. They never remember that he also said to stop spending when the depression was over, to switch to government austerity, to prevent the next depression. Politicians don't want a cure, they are addicted to the medicine.