I apologize in advance for this self-serving post. I also apologize to my Sophies Soapbox Facebook readers since this will be a partial repeat of a prior Facebook post. I recently had a book published and much of the material was taken from prior posts to this blog. The book is titled Resurrecting Respect.
Our country has fallen from a position of leadership and respect that it had earned after WW II. What made the U.S.A. the example for the rest of the world has eroded. The reasons are complex and not the work of any one political party or faction. The “blame game” runs rampant and as a result, we have not been willing to work toward reclaiming our status. This little book attempts to examine the issues with an apolitical view. While the first part is essentially a “moan” the second part offers many practical solutions.
All of the opinions and solutions in the book support the following principals:
- In the USA, our citizens and permanent residents deserve freedom of speech, worship and freedom from want & fear, affordable quality healthcare, and an affordable education.
- Over time, many of our past successes have eroded and now require evaluation and change. There are many areas where we were once an (if not “the”) world leader, but are no longer. Changes will be required to make the U.S.A. great again.
- Our founding fathers intended to create a system where the common people ruled and not the “Royals.” We have created a new class of Royals, if not in the title, but for certain in practice.
- Service to country (and the earth) is more important than individual gain.
- Individual freedoms are sacrosanct as long as they do not infringe on the right’s other individuals
- Short term benefits should never unduly mortgage future generations.
- Government spending should be accountable to the taxpayer, and borrowing obligations should be “transparent” both in terms of current deficits and future “unfunded” liabilities. Both areas should be subject to reasonable limits that congress would not have the ability to override.
- Unskilled and semi-skilled workers should receive, at a minimum, the compensation required to provide the entitlements in #1 above.
- When the economy (real GDP) is growing the middle class deserves its fair share of this growth. The middle class is paying more than their fair share to fund our government.
- Persons and families in need deserve our support. We should give those in need the opportunity to maintain their self-respect. Everyone should have the opportunity to “contribute” to the country commensurate to their abilities. All subsidies should have limited terms except in cases of ongoing and legally documented disability.
- The role of money in our election process and determining the outcome must be reduced.
- Least government is the best government. Citizens in service to the Federal Government will be paid fairly, but not overpaid. By that, I mean their total compensation should be in line with comparable positions in private industry. Where possible, productivity standards should be in place for all government workers.
- The time available for election campaigns requires reduction. We need more time governing and less time campaigning.
- Capitalism is the preferred economic system as long as it provides for most of the citizens to participate in owning capital. Participation in capitalism should include all classes other than those requiring subsidies.
- Taxes come in many forms. For example: When your government chooses to support an inefficient and costly system when cheaper and better alternatives exist, then you are being taxed.
- Worldwide free markets are most efficient in the long-term, fostering innovation and productivity
- Growth for the sake of growth is not the best measure of economic viability. Productivity ultimately determines effective resource utilization and well-being. This measure becomes even more important for countries when their internal population is declining. Measures like GDP per capita are a better economic measure of success.
- Our elected representatives should play by the same rules as the voters that elected them into office regarding benefits and entitlements.