Today I decided to write up my perspectives on the major issues facing the United States as if I were running for office. Would you vote for me if this was my platform? Here we go...
The United States has to re-evaluate nearly a century of foreign policy. Times have changed and so have we. We must to return to doing what we do best: innovating and pursuing an unwavering commitment to liberty. With a global economy and greater interconnectedness our position in the world must be maintained by merit, not by force. Wikileaks and its ilk have confirmed that the US has conducted long-suspected campaigns of subversion that do not serve the interests nor represent the values of our great country. We must hold ourselves to the same standards we hold the rest of the world if the world is to be a safe place for our families.
We cannot afford to continue as we have been either politically or economically. The soldiers must come home. The wars must end. The bases must close. The black ops must cease. The United States is entering a new age of introspection and soul-searching that will strengthen our resolve in ways counter-terrorism efforts never will. A New American Century should be earned, not stolen.
The past twenty years have seen an incredible erosion of our civil liberties here at home and abroad. This is unacceptable. Our country was founded on explicit declarations of freedom and we have turned our backs on them. We might quibble on the letter of the law but surely the spirit of the law has been forsaken.
We must return to rule of law, which does not merely mean rewriting the law to suit our policy objectives. This means respecting the Constitution and the Bill of Rights: no surveillance without warrants or due process, no suppression of free speech, no drones murdering people and watching every move, no violations of dignity when we travel.
The moment the United States ceases its obsession with controlling the agendas of the world we will no longer need to control our own population.
Citizenship and residency are two separate concerns. Citizenship should remain a high bar. Residency should be as simple as applying for a driver's license.
The United States is a country of immigrants. Our legal immigration procedures attract top talent because in an open and free market we have a lot to offer. Meanwhile we have millions of undocumented immigrants working and living inside our borders who cannot navigate our notoriously difficult procedures for legal immigration. This has to stop. By opening the borders and decriminalizing residency we can unshroud a black-market labor economy that is detrimental to everyone. The de-prohibition of residency would provide greater incentives and transparency for all working people and employers while ensuring the human and civil rights of residents can be protected.
One cannot tax a nation into prosperity.
Tax-funded government programs are inefficient and unethical means of solving social problems. A government with the power to tax by force has all the power needed to subjugate the population against its will while inhibiting the community's capacity to solve its own problems its own ways. Nearly every government program funded by tax dollars constitutes a missed opportunity for social (and cultural) innovation.
We must approach education with an open mind and re-evaluate our notions of what an education means in these modern times. Information on all subjects is immediately accessible via the Internet. People no longer hold the same job in the same industry for their entire lives. We have immense diversity in our populations and greater specialization of labor than ever before. Isn't it time we take a genuinely fresh look at the educational needs of our children?
Education must be diversified and modernized. One way of achieving this is through a voucher-based education system. In such a system each child would receive an educational voucher of common value which would be applied to the educational pursuits of the guardian's choosing. Ad-hoc education systems could be formed by coalitions of parents and guardians who share common needs, producing the innovation, diversity, and vitality needed to educate for the modern world.
Much like how we must modernize education we must approach the issue of healthcare with an open mind by dropping our assumptions about what a healthcare system can be.
Insurance is not a right and should not be mandatory. While nobody should be denied access to healthcare, the payment of healthcare costs is a private matter. Individual mandates or injections of public funds into the healthcare sector only serve to perpetuate a healthcare system that is inefficient, ineffective, and anti-competitive.
Most politicians merely discuss whether or not our healthcare system should be regulated, public, or private. This assumes that the system we have is the system we want! By deregulating what healthcare can fundamentally be we could allow for an economy of ideas where the best ideas can flourish. This will never happen by crafting solutions around broken premises. The fact is that we're all very different and we should have the liberty of choosing the methods of healthcare that make the most sense to our health, not those that make the most sense for the state and for business.
Industries change, boom and bust. We do ourselves a disservice if we stifle progress by artificially stimulating industries that need to turn over. The role of the government is to protect liberty, not to protect the interests of those with power.
The bailouts were wrong. The US government stole money from the taxpayers, gave it to the people who need it least, and defibrillated bad practices that should have passed on. When these industries do finally collapse it will be much more spectacular and devastating than if we had allowed economic ecology to take its course. In order to provide for innovation we must allow antiquated industries to collapse and for new, vibrant ones to emerge. This idea of industrial turnover applies to many troubled sectors in the United States such as the media, banking, investment, and real estate industries.
The time for decisive action on the environment is now. We must not ignore the science any longer. No amount of political posturing will change the ecological reality we face today. Everything depends on the integrity of the environment and indeed there can be no economics, no politics without a planet to support them. The policy of the Unites States has cripled attempts for global action to protect our planet. The US holds an incredible amount of influence and can serve as an example to the rest of the world. We must cease subsidization of oil, mandate transitions to renewable energy, and slash our consumption of resources regardless of its anticipated economic impact. This will be a big, difficult shift for us all but it will be a change for the better and an investment in a future for our children.