Here are the eight highest priority actions required to get the world economy back on track, with a stable foundation and consistent long-term consistent growth. These actions effectively couple personal total cost (PTC) and personal total benefit (PTB) as presented in Give & Take Economics theory.
8 Primary Actions Required
- Balance government budgets: These must be a small proportion of national wealth and include a significant surplus cushion. This is the most urgent issue to tackle as the entire Western world. Debt and deficits are ALWAYS a spending problem, as spending must always be brought in line with revenue.
- Balance international trade: Trade must be explicitly reduced with offenders, because trade flows is the most significant determinant of relative long-term wealth and power. This is also of critical urgency from the perspective of the West, as it erodes its own political power.
- Stop printing money: This does nothing more than cause inflation (or asset bubblation), representing a large effective tax on the middle-class. As the developed world sits in a crisis of living beyond it’s means with massive debt, the solution our leaders are following is to do more of it, by printing massive amounts of money and further deteriorating our wealth.
- Enact benefits-driven vs. revenue-driven taxes: Core taxes must be flat and only collected on a transparent specific need basis (ex. If government pensions are to be increased, a tax must be issued for that). Costs (period taxes or user fees) need to be allocated to those that benefit as closely as possible). ANY other approach just creates a confusing government slush fund to be allocated across lobby groups. Citizens should be able to pay taxes in currency or in hours of service working for government.
- Revise the legal system: Today’s legal systems rarely tie PTC to PTB. Too often leaders of large institutions, whether Wall Street banks or government, are able to gain PTB without bearing any PTC. Gains are privatized and losses are socialized. Compensation and responsibility must follow individuals accountable for decisions and actions.
- Ensure free interactions (markets/government) with accountability: Free markets get all the attention, but markets and government are both just coordination mechanisms. They are both faltering today due to a lack of transparency that protects free riders. All social interaction systems must maximize individual freedom, provide meaningful access and enforce a level of social obligation determined by the majority.
- Reduce the number of professional politicians and bureaucrats: Professional politicians need to be replaced by direct citizen participation. The representative government approach does nothing but disconnect people from the issues. Many government bureaucrat jobs should also not be ‘careers’, but rather workfare programs. This approach enlists citizens in service to society by coupling PTB and PTC.
- Transition to direct government: Citizens have to dig deeper than election sound bites to understand issues. People need to be directly educated and involved on major political and economic issues. Today’s democracies have outsourced decision-making and most citizens vote solely based on broad ideological concepts, not practical approaches. Gridlock ensues. Referendums need to be held on most issues through online voting. Majority decisions need to be implemented, not providing for endless challenges from minority positions.
2 Primary Barriers to Overcome
There are two barriers to such change, yet each requires tremendous persistence to overcome. The first is the current level of rampant vested interests, where existing intermediaries (government, corporate lobbies, unions, corporations, social causes etc. — left AND right) benefit at the expense of others. The second created the first; it is the disengagement of the public—you and I—which has became predominantly complacent and outsourced political decision-making.