If I Ran the Country

This is a great exercise to see where you really stand politically and what great ideas you might have down deep. Don’t think in terms of left or right, democrat or republican, but think through what’s right and good. My list is below – use it as a starting guide to write down your own thoughts about how this democratic republic should really be run.

General Economy

  • trickle down economics don’t work
  • markets work
  • don’t stress the budget deficit until economy is humming
  • work towards a balanced budget that works towards a long game
  • trim expenses by simplification, efficiency and cutting waste
  • raise revenues

Taxes

  • greatly simplify income taxes
  • keep personal income tax rates as low as is prudent, but close loopholes
  • if we create personal tax incentives, let those be for the poor rather than the rich
  • adjust the corporate tax rate to be competitive with the most forward-thinking European countries and close loopholes

Strategic Investment

  • invest in hard infrastructure as a needed improvements and job stimulus
  • invest in technology infrastructure (fiber optics) and delivery methods in the same way… both a white and blue collar investment

Healthcare

  • look to the successes in Europe
  • create a nationalized, socialized healthcare system
  • create a national wellness program
  • don’t mess with a woman’s right to choose

Art/Culture/Society

  • keep and increase funding for arts and humanities (NEA, NIH)
  • don’t attempt to regulate personal moral choices
  • let humans marry humans – it’s a legal contract – churches can do what they want
  • create a simple path to legal status for immigrants
  • keep religion out of government
  • work to keep the Internet a free information exchange system

Military

  • invest in new defense technologies
  • for offensive technologies, think the long game: create offensive technologies that are not designed around killing humans but rather incapacitation of humans, machines, network systems and such

Energy

  • go ahead and tap into new sources of oil and gas, but do it in an environmentally responsible way
  • don’t make the goal “independence from foreign oil”… think a longer game than that… think “independence from fossil fuels”
  • invest in research to find commercially-viable energy sources that replace fossil fuels, because they WILL RUN OUT someday
  • innovate with other countries and share tech with other countries
  • we’ll only reverse global warming if we can give developing countries a viable, cheap alternative to fossil fuels

Science/Technology

  • invest heavily in energy research
  • enhance the NSF SBIR investment program
  • let real science be taught in schools
  • push the space program and space research
  • push research on quantum effects and string theory (quantum computing)

Agriculture

  • do a long-term evaluation of US farm subsidies – are they needed down the road?
  • work to create a best-practices resource system for small holder-farmers around the globe
  • incentivize genetic crop research to best help small global farmers
  • work with world organizations on sensible, long-term population control policies
  • integrate urban agriculture requirements into large scale urban zoning policies
  • work to support local CSAs and best practices for seasonal vegetables for dietary variety in all sectors of the country

Foreign Policy

  • do not start wars in other parts of the world
  • do not be the sole global moral authority
  • only act militarily on foreign soil when a member of a coalition force

Education

  • No Child Left Behind does NOT work
  • require a national core curriculum, but keep it as minimal as possible – test to the minimal curriculum
  • allow teachers and local school districts to teach and expand the curriculum beyond the core based on local needs and teacher expertise and interest
  • pay teachers better and give them a national path of professional development
  • create a national online system of higher education that’s free for all US high school graduates
  • explore virtual reality as a delivery method for public schooling (specifically grades 7-12)