Life's Better Ideas

Occasional links to, and comments on, ideas that I think will make this a better world, and remarks about things that need fixing, too.

Location: Denver, Colorado, United States

Thursday, March 10, 2005


I've been going to a weekly discussion group for a couple of months now, and we discuss a wide range of topics - everything from current events, politics, history, and a whole lot more. Everyone knows I'm a libertarian and at the last meeting I was asked "how would you get to a libertarian society?" That's a question I've been pondering off and on for a year or two, possibly more, and I'm beginning to have some ideas about how to approach it. I mentioned the 4 ideas below, which would be among the first things I would do, if I could wave my magic wand.

I am intrigued enough by this whole exercise that I will probably pursue it in some depth. That means, to me, determining a logical transition plan that has minimal impact on people. I will attempt to define what steps should be taken in what order in what areas. I've even thought of planning it like a manufacturing project, complete with time frames and prerequisites, but I probably won't; too much work at this time.

1. Corporations: Change corporate governing documents to put the environment, community, and employees on an equal footing with shareholders. Eliminate corporate subsidies and the corporate income tax. Ask for a 10 percent reduction in prices to compensate. Rationale: Corporations are created by government, so government has the responsibility to see that they act in a responsible manner. Changing the corporate charter expresses that thought to the owners and managers. The corporate income tax is, in reality, paid by the people who purchase the corporation's products, so eliminating it and asking for a price reduction helps make products more affordable.

2. Social Security: Shift from wage indexing to price indexing. Begin raising the retirement age by 3 months each year. Move non-retirement benefits to the general fund and the associated taxes to the income tax and reduce the payroll tax. Rationale: Because retirees, by definition, don't work, their benefits should be indexed to prices, not wages. At some point, social security is going to start paying out more than it takes in. You can either raise taxes, cut benefits, or increase the retirement age. Moving the non-retirement benefits out of the social security system will help us focus on the real problem.

3. Federal Government Waste: End those programs listed in the Citizens Against Government Waste’s annual Pig Book. Rationale: Everybody talks about getting rid of waste, so here's the bible.

4. National Defense and Immigration: Bring home those troops who are stationed in nations where there is no military action. Station those troops in the US along the border where illegal aliens are known to trespass across private property adjacent to the border as a first priority, government lands second. Implement some sort of registration process at the border to insure that criminals and terrorists can't enter the country. Rationale: We're kind of killing two birds with one stone here. Reducing our committments abroad and increasing our security at home. Seems common sense to me.
Update: Followup.

This, obviously, is just a beginning. I've been going through the Libertarian Party platform and pulling out those things that I think we should start with, mostly simple stuff that people can relate to and that will begin to help solve the problems we face.


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