The Way Forward

by Stan Lass

Last revised 7-22-08.

Introduction

With a good government, many in the "pursuit of happiness" find work that they are good at, enjoy doing, and become happy productive citizens. The nation and it's citizens benefit from productive citizens. The problem addressed herein is how to provide that good government.

Health Care Costs and Fat Kids

Health care costs can reduced substantially by: With this approach, a consumer has both the incentive to shop wisely for health care and the information needed to do so. Then, competition will drive down costs. This is the heart of the approach. More details would be needed to handle special cases.

Finally, limit government, and perhaps employers, involvement in health care to the 2008 level of health care. Then as the technology improves over decades, the cost of providing that health care will decline steadily. This would put the government cost of health care as an unfunded liability on a downward track.

Taxes are so high that many mothers work. Many kids come home to an empty house, then find some comfort food to fill their emotional emptiness. Then sometime later, look in the mirror, see that they are gaining weight, and then eat some more comfort food. And that's why a lot of kids are fat. It's a good reason to put the government on a diet.

More information is at Health Care Cost and Quality

Unfunded Liabilities

Unfunded liabilities in health care can be diminished by limiting government involvement in health care to the 2008 level, then in time technology advances will reduce the cost of that health care. This was discussed earlier.

Unfunded liabilities in Social Security benefits can be held constant in dollar terms while inflation increases salaries. The effect is to diminish the unfunded liability of Social Security. Hand in hand must be a corresponding reduction in the real cost of living.

If one looks at what is essential to a safe comfortable well rounded life, it doesn't cost much. It's high taxes, regulations, etc. that add to the cost. Further, fifty years ago, the economy was largely geared to one wage earner per household. Now, it takes two low wage jobs to support a family.

The intent of enclaves is to provide the essentials for a safe comfortable well rounded life. Enclaves with their own local government, laws and regulations would provide places where new ideas and approaches could be tried without significant risk to the rest of the nation. And then once shown to work, can be adopted nationwide. This is an end run around decades of liberal expansion of government, including regulations.

Manufacturing that would otherwise be out sourced to a foreign country could be performed in an enclave. Wages can be lower in an enclave because the cost of living is lower. Federal regulations that aren't relevant to a particular case could be ignored, saving costs.

Nursing home care in an enclave could be cheaper because the wages of the employees could be lower.

In hard times, e.g. a depression, the non-essential aspects to the cost of living are largely stripped out. Enclaves are a way of stripping out those non-essential aspects without going through hard times.

There's more information and more ideas at: http://showcase.netins.net/web/stanlass/enclaves.html

Observations

How one feels about the country, the government and one's prospects for the future influences how productive one is. If one feels powerless, trapped in a boring job, a cog in a bureaucratic machine, etc., one is likely to tune out and go thru the motions daily until one retires. On the other hand, if one feels good about things, one is likely to be engaged, productive and perhaps innovative.

It's known that much innovation comes from small companies. Often the success of a small company depends on innovating successfully. In contrast, a large bureaucracy in government or in a large business, is often threatened by innovation, i.e. anything disruptive to the status quo.

When it comes to government, we need good innovations. For example, suppose that each state government was responsible for education within the state. It'd be likely that some state would get education right, as indicated by good test scores. Then other states could follow the good example. Federal control of education makes innovation less likely. The moral is to decentralize government as much as is reasonable.

In much of the United States history, the conditions were good for innovation. Today, there's too much regulation and taxes are too high. There are great opportunities to innovate, to get government right.

Innovation in lowering the cost of living could greatly lessen the unfunded liabilities.

Aside from the inefficiencies of government bureaucracy, there's the danger that many people would become so dependent on the government that the politicians promising government help would get elected each time. Once this has happened, politicians could tighten their grip on power. And so that's how the United States could slide into a dictatorship. Beware of those that seek to expand government.

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