As we near the start of the new year and a new presidential administration under Joe Biden, I wanted to outline what my Top 10 ideas are for them:
- Get money to those in most need and most impacted by COVID. We don't need blanket checks for everyone. My proposal would be to have everyone file their taxes and then make people whole who actually lost wages between 2019 to 2020 up to say $10K. Also, ensure every person has access to basic needs - food, shelter, clothing, education, healthcare.
- Implement a policy where single family dwellings can only be owned by persons, not corporations, and no person can own more than 2 dwellings at a time (or the equivalent of 2 in cases of fractional ownership). This means a married couple can own up to 4 single family dwellings which is plenty to generate income and have seasonal living options. This would unlock much needed housing supply and open up this key wealth-generating opportunity for more Americans. This would exclude apartments and other purpose built rental housing.
- Take Obamacare to the next level where each person can procure their own insurance from the marketplace instead of only having their employer's options available to them. Move employer plans to the marketplace. And try to create a federal competitor for certain aspects of healthcare. Perhaps that includes all preventative care, any generic prescription drugs, and certain non-surgical injury treatments (like physical therapy).
- Interpret the Second Amendment where the right to bear arms in a public setting is only for an organized militia. Privately, people can bear arms and can still hunt. In addition, make sure our police are never the first to shoot. Using a weapon by our trained law enforcement needs to be the last resort not the first and only when actually attacked.
- Allow the technological revolution to take hold but ensure it does not create winner take all companies and platforms with job losses in its wake. This will require changing antitrust laws to be more broad than simply if the customer is harmed. It will also require a change to education where anyone can learn new needed skills without going into debt.
- Allow businesses to pay dividends without shareholders needing to pay additional taxes so buyback manipulation can be avoided. This will also create another source of retirement income not present today.
- Create a carbon tax or some other way to properly measure the impact that businesses and individuals are having on the environment. This will create a proper market to solve the common goal of reducing climate change. And it is a clean way to tax the wealthy since they will by nature have a much larger global footprint than the average American.
- Pick a new Fed leader that recognizes their policies do not actually impact unemployment but they do impact inflation and wealth inequality. Then encourage the Fed to increase interest rates so short term rates equal inflation so savers can confidently retire without having to bet their life savings in speculative ventures.
- Allow asset prices to fall and for equity and bondholders to take losses. Create an efficient way to convert debt into equity, and perhaps even for employees to become the new business owners by buying the business assets at pennies on the dollar from the lenders/bondholders. And be ready with a new FDIC type insurance for 401ks and IRAs. Maybe if in 5 years, someone's retirement fund is not back to where it was plus inflation, the government makes them whole (up to a certain point so the wealthy don't get this backstop).
- Be ready with a New New Deal where anyone is guaranteed a job with the government if they want it. This will be key support for job losses if there is any economic fallout. This will also have the added benefit of ensuring employers provide better pay, more opportunity, and a better work environment for their associates in order to attract them away from a government job.
These ideas will go a long way to improving wealth inequality, improving health and decency, improving the environment, and creating opportunities for all, not just the privileged.