Economic growth requires tax reform

Wake Up America !

We have placed ourselves in a very dangerous place economically. We are out of step ideologically with the rest of the world with our “free” economy and “hard-core capitalism” yet we insist on being part of a global economy. As a result we have given up our “labor “ segment to the rest of the world, as if we were too privileged for manual labor. The result is massive unemployment and economic unbalance.  History would tell us that this is a system that generates unrest, revolution, and agonizing adjustment.

Is there an adjustment to our thinking that would resolve some of our problems? I believe there is.  It is a combination of two ideas put forth before separately and rejected.  If packaged as a concept we could put our nation back to work. The two ideas are the “Flat Tax” on all manufactured goods which has been put forth often in recent years, and a new idea, which has been named the “employee tax credit rebate” which would financially encourage employers to hire taxpaying US citizens……

The flat tax does not need much clarification. It is simply a “National Sales Tax “ paid on every manufactured product sold in the USA regardless of its point of origin.  For the initial discussion it could be 5%, and would exclude a food products and services.

The tax rebate idea is at present very simple. Every manufacturer paying a “flat tax” would receive a rebate for every employee who pays Federal income Tax. We would suggest a 100% rebate to encourage recovery from our unemployment problem.

The strongest incentive for these changes is the current status of our “broken” tax system which is horrendously expensive to implement and virtually impossible to control. We spend billions of dollars monitoring and collecting taxes that is both unnecessary and ineffective. It is simply broken and needs to be discarded.

The Search for Leadership

Does anyone else share my concern and disappointment for the present status of our search for a new President? I think we need a “Do-Over” to try and move those at the top to the bottom of the list. Some strange inexplicable force has caused us to get this process upside down!

What are we looking for? The ability to brag, bully, pout, and insult your opponents? When I was raised, these were all considered “BAD BEHAVIOR” ! Our present top candidates have these characteristics “honed” to perfection!

So what characteristics do I think are important? Well I am glad you asked!  Intelligence, statesmanship, diplomacy, and good temperament are the top four characteristics that come to my mind. A good leader has to interface with the extremely intelligent, the completely irrational, the belligerent, and the divinely informed and inspired. That is a tough job for the very best of us.

I think that Jeb Bush, Chris Christie, John Kasich, Martin O’Malley, and Marco Rubio would qualify. These are listed alphabetically. When you are asked to name your favorite candidates, please do not include braggarts, bullies, and those of mean temperament.  Focus on those who are focused on issues and solutions. We have a lot of problems to solve, a lot of changes to make. We need real leadership, not wealth, economic success, or debate skill.

Acceptance of the Unknown

Acceptance of the Unknown

I have spent most of my life firmly believing in human intelligence;  and that we possess a vast amount of knowledge regarding the universe in which we exist. Today I have concluded that I was wrong.  Although we have explored nearby planets and multiplied our knowledge base many times since I was a child………… ignorance still rules.  We are still in the very low percentages of the total knowledge and understanding of our universe….. perhaps some fractional slice of 1%……. So what?

Can we do better? Should we do better? Must we do better? What would we change? My first enemy would be arrogance; the type that stems from the “vast knowledge” that we claim to possess. Far too many of us are quick to judge the “ignorance” and the beliefs of others as being wrong, with an implied “ and only we are right” .   However if we reverse the telescope and recognize the limited 1% that we presently “see” or understand, we can cast away the constraints of arrogance and open our hearts and minds to what is yet to be learned.

If we teach our children nothing else…… we must teach them this!

There are critically important questions that we must all consider now and try to find better answers.  My own arrogance stimulates me to present a few.

Is there a limit to how many people we can sustain on our planet?  If so, do we try to manage population irrationally ( war & famine ) or rationally ( birth control).

Does the reduction of plant life in combination with the combustion of fossil fuels for heat, transportation, and energy create the possibility of an atmosphere that will not sustain mammalian life?

Is there any purpose or benefit in “protecting” our planet for the full period of its natural life? This might be 100 million years or more, as opposed to 100 years or so continuing with our current plans, policies, and refusal to accept scientific evidence if it interferes with economic growth.  How in the world do one become more important than the other?

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Peering into our economic future

I had a rude awakening yesterday. I was watching a TV show called “Shark Tank” where new product and service ideas are presented, presenting the “sharks” with an opportunity to support the ideas with investment. This becomes a sorting process, bringing the best ideas to market.

A young couple had designed a wonderful new product, made of plastic. The molded components were manually assembled and packaged for shipment, creating a huge labor input for final delivery of the product to the retail seller.

The inventors were patriotic as well as clever and wanted to have the product made in the USA. Unfortunately the “sharks “ were not so patriotic, bundling their offers of investment with an insistence that production be moved offshore to reduce product cost to a minimum. The owners tried to resist but the investors were insistent.  Their cost target was to be less than 20% of the product retail selling price. To do this the product had to be manufactured offshore.

These venture capitalists are the designers of America. What we will be in the future will be greatly affected by the thinking of these economic leaders whose economic design parameters have a single focus; the creation of personal wealth for themselves.  The result of this limited focus is “economic blindness” with regard to America’s welfare, and future blindness with regard to the impact of our   crisis level problems; global warming, overpopulation, and limited supply of hydrocarbon fuel sources .