- Posted November 2, 2008 by
economic stimulus (9): change politics
Changing politics has everything to do with an economic stimulus package. Today's politics, not just in America but the world over, is broken, corrupt, inefficient, too big, and too expensive.
As I have shown in my series of articles, we are facing an economic contraction more than 27% and more from unemployment, caused by a $1000/month income/cost gap of the average American. Market mechanisms fail and risks from derivative bets need to be contained. Governments need to sweep up the unemployed through infrastructure, education, and military programs in order to tighten the labour market. State and local governments have to keep their cost up and rely on the Federal government for massive deficit funding. The food and energy supply needs protecting in order to avoid disastrous consequences. Our future investments need to focus on geothermal energy production and hydrogen distribution. In my last article I proposed abandoning corporate income taxes in turning the education system into a competitive mechanism in order to render America the most competitive nation in the world.
What do our leaders mean when they call out for Change? Does it mean kicking some Republicans? What do they mean when they promise to reach across the isle? Does Change mean tweaking a little here and scratching a little there? Is that the Change that America is expected to believe in from their heads of state? The politics around the globe are broken, the school systems are embarrassing, the laws are for the haves, the health systems are corrupt, the world's security is one scare, the poor gets poorer, violence is the norm, ethic is absent, the economy turns sour, families are falling apart, veterans and the elderly are on their own, and the list goes on. America is no exception.
For all this the educated citizens pay higher taxes than during the times of the Roman Empire in all sorts of hidden and non transparent forms. Americans possibly pay higher taxes and have higher debts than ever.
Can Americans look to their leaders and expect change? Our past leaders have promised a cake and have delivered mud over and over again. There is no indication that it is going to be much different this time around. There is just too much stretching the truth going on. It's a disgrace. "They" will say w-h-a-t-e-v-e-r to be elected. The election circus is a hilarious disgrace and it gets worse. Cycle after cycle there is more polarization and more partisanship as if everyone simply ignores that there is apparently about half of "the others" that seem to have a different opinion that might have some truth and that there must be a middle path where necessity rules. After all the education that we claim to have, can't we focus on the issues that matter?
People starve for change. People listen up on the line "enough is enough". Those future leaders should listen carefully. What resonates is "Enough is Enough!" from the people. It goes right down the spine and through the heart. Unfortunately, Change is not going to happen unless it is made by the people.
"Partisan" politics has prevailed for far too long and is the core reason why things are broken. This cycle needs to be stopped. With all respect to the American Constitution, it has outlived itself and needs a serious revamp. Our praised democratic systems are in danger to going down in history as the single biggest failure of all time. The people of the free world need to prevent that the only reason why democracies would have "won" over socialist societies will have been because they had gone bankrupt a tad bit earlier. The strive for power needs to be curbed in order to bring forward solutions that work for the vast majority. Faith in governments the world over can be restored by institutionalizing a healthy distrust in them.
Distrust rules against large alliances
Governments have enacted antitrust laws for businesses in order to stem monopolies and prize controls that would hurt the consumers. In order to protect the citizens, similar, healthy "distrust" rules are needed in politics such that parties can't grow bigger than maybe 1/5 of the "power" base and they should not be allowed to form alliances or to raise barriers to keep new parties from forming, no matter their views (except for those that call for violence and "extremists" with criminal behaviour). No party of any sanity would break itself up voluntarily and give up their power base. I guess We The People will have to force it onto "them". If America want to progress, the perpetual struggle for power and majorities must be stopped in order to bring about change. If an issue can't find SOLID majorities, it might just not be important enough to even be discussed.
Small but powerful governments
I believe in free markets. However, markets are not free. I also believe that markets need certain rules and regulations if our systems need prevention from collapse, if the environment needs protection, if toys should not be poisoned, if consumers need restrictions. Simply put, there will always be the greedy that prays on the needy and that needs certain regulations. In essence, we have to become Republicans with a Democrats heart and Democrats with a Republican hat. However, the role of the government has to be clearly restricted to the most important issues. Those omnipresent government dinosaurs are not working for the people. They are working for themselves. Government systems have to become simpler and much more transparent. The best way to sort out what is important and what is not, is by going through each government role and mandate and take a new vote on it. If it can't achieve a solid majority of 2/3 across both parties, it needs to be put either through restructuring or through the shredder.
Change the rules for elections
We must also look beyond the capability to read off teleprompter scripts of candidates that aren't even their own. Unless those practices are ditched, how else can we distinguish between a TV host and a smart politician?
In order to hold office, each politician should take a test, similar to those tests that are conducted for master's programs at universities. Also, they would need to undergo a standardized IQ test. The idea here is not to qualify or disqualify a candidate through those tests. The idea is to make those tests publicly available in order for the people to better learn about the weaknesses and strengths of their candidates.
This has everything to do with a stimulus package because, our leaders won't agree, will water plans down, and will end up doing the wrong thing, and thus aggravate the economic and societal situation.
This article is part of a series of articles focussing on what local, state and federal governments need to do now in order to address the upcoming economic Depression.
economic stimulus (1): the disabled consumer
economic stimulus (2): focus on income and equity
economic stimulus (3): quarantine risk
economic stimulus (4): sweep up the unemployed
economic stimulus (5): bailout state governments
economic stimulus (6): protect food and energy supply
economic stimulus (7): invest into the future
economic stimulus (8): be globally the most competitive
economic stimulus (9): change politics
economic stimulus (10): prepare for budget cuts
Please comment. I will try to address questions, if I can.
H.R. Tschudi, economist and entrepreneur, Vancouver