I was our hiking today, and usually when I do my mind wonders and thinks about all kinds of things. One of the topics today was about what an administration focused on building our future would look like, one that would try to ensure a prosperous nation past their administration’s time in office.
1. Growth and Education
Democracy can’t exist without a growing pie. The case for this made excellently by Robert Wright in their book, Nonezero. How can we draw more focus to the investments we’re making in our economy’s long term future? Another important aspect is improving our dated education system. This would absolutely be one of those future focused efforts that likely wouldn’t improve much of anything immediately. Perhaps that’s why we don’t see it talked about much. Focus in creativity building not memorizing useless facts. Teachers should focus on preparing kids for their futures, not preparing them for the teacher’s past.
Just taxing the rich can’t solve all of our problems, but will likely be a component for sure. I heard recently that if we took every penny from every billionaire we‘d barely put a dent (~10%) in our national debit. Furthermore, the average person doesn’t think their tax money is being used efficiently. Tbh there’s likely some truth to this. Creating more transparency here would help improve the average citizens feeling on the tax money they give. And if it doesn’t, honestly there’s a good chance it’s because of a spending problem citizens have the right to realize is going on. Hell, something like a personalized report for every tax payer would be a great step in this direction. I get exactly this when I invest in a private company. Why should I not see where my tax money is invested too? Some of this information can be looked up, but we should make it much more easily available to citizens.
3. Social mobility and GNH
I’d love for the very important but harder to measure things get more attention. GDP is very important, yes, but what about our Gross National Happiness? Is there more or less social mobility (is the American Dream thriving or dying)? Coming up with reasonable heuristics for these and putting them front and center in our state of the union address would, from my perspective, be a huge step forward.