The Recent Jobs report is actually a big positive. Let me explain.
1. The dismal job report of September 2011 is a positive report. We see more private sector jobs and less government jobs. This is a trend reversal and as long as it remains we are headed in the right direction. I suggest when we return to a balanced, functional economic situation, one government employee should match up with 13 private sector employees. In 2011 we have 1 government employee for every 5.6 private sector employees. In 1950 we had one government worker for every 10 workers. I suggest this should be the trend because of the long term productivity gains due to technology. We could eliminate 750,000 IRS positions if we reform and flatten the tax codes as mentioned later in this piece… By 2009, there were 383,000 federal civilian workers with salaries of more than $100,000, 66,000 with salaries of more than $150,000, and 22,000 with salaries of more than $170,000. Between late 2007 and mid-2009, the number of federal workers earning more than $150,000 more than doubled, even as the economy fell into a deep recession during that period. (Some interesting trends: 1950 10% of the workforce were government employees. 2011 15% of the workforce are government employees. Federal salaries have grown 33 percent faster than inflation. Their pay and benefits averaged $123,049 in 2009, up 36.9 percent since 2000. Private workers averaged $61,051, up just 8.8 percent during the same time.) as reported by CBS news on 8/11/2010. All I can say is where is the next tea party gathering. Another reason for my dismay is the fact that government jobs work 35 hours per week for salary and private jobs are based on 40 or more hours for salary positions.
2. The Federal Reserve is not doing anything which is exactly what they should be doing. This is a positive trend. The world needs predictability. That is the strength of the US. If we are constantly changing our monetary policy how can the world function efficiently?
3. The US government is at a stalemate. This is a very positive situation. Anytime the government tries to alter the free market there is a price to pay. If the government’s hands are tied then the free market can function.
4. T Boone Pickens is a man of great vision. He has identified an area of growth for America – Energy. Our government should be throwing all available resources at the mission of energy independence instead of some lame stimulus package that produces one $50K private sector job for every $500K increase in the public debt. I know of a small company that has been trying to get seed money for their energy idea. They propose converting pine chips to ethanol. 1/3 of the chips can be converted to ethanol easily. When Germany was cut off from oil during WWII, Hitler converted wood chips to ethanol the very same way. The company can unlock the remaining ethanol by heating the chips in a slurry using the waste product from a barrel of oil. A barrel of oil has 10 gallons of oil that is not usable because of high sulfur content. This small company has a patent that removes the sulfur during burning. Now this waste product is shipped to China at a cost to refineries and where it is burned ending up in the atmosphere. This makes no sense wasting energy to ship this product back to China where they end up putting the sulfur into the atmosphere. So much for the EPA and keeping the world air clean. This company claims there is enough annually renewable pine chips to provide enough fuel for all the cars in the US using their system. At full capacity they would be adding over 100,000 jobs in the poorest areas of the US. They can’t get seed money from the Federal Government or from others.
5. Social Security first started out paying persons that reached age 65. Back when it started the average life span was 62. What should have been incorporated into the SS act was the qualifying age should be adjusted every year based on the average life span. Today the average life span in the US is 79. Based on how Social Security was laid out Americans should collect when they are 82. Review the collecting age every year and adjust the collecting age to be 3 years more than the average life span. To take pressure off social security means test recipients. Stop all other payments such as disability. Limit SS to only those who live long enough to collect. This solves the Medicare problem if people were covered at 81 instead of 65. End of story. Any modification to SS would require the same approval as would be an amendment to the Constitution.
6. Health care. Implement the Australian Health Care model. They have both private and public hospitals and are moving to a private system as the public one is not sustainable. If Obama Care is law then a reciprocal system should be established for those who want to opt out. These persons should receive a tax credit equivalent to the per person cost of Obama Care. Americans demand freedom from government regulation. This will put pressure on any government system to remain competitive. Changes can be ongoing but there needs to be a system that rewards healthy choices.
7. Education reforms are necessary. Degrees cost too much and their utility value is negative. Permit every person in the US that is in a licensed profession to grant qualifications to a single individual to enter their profession based on the equivalent degree period. Similar to how the trade’s operate. For example an MD can certify another person’s ability to qualify for a Medical License every 6 years. This person would be able to take the MD Exam for credentials same as a medical school grad. This would put pressure on the University system to be competitive and improve the value returned.
8. Tax Code Reform is needed and should be contained within a 5 page document. Changing this number of spaces would require the same procedure as amending the constitution. Flatten our tax code to a simple tiered system. 0-10,000 no tax, 10-25,000 5%, 25-50,000 15%, 50- infinity 25%. No deductions. Credits can be offered only to the point of tax liabilities in a given year. Make this the same for Corporations. Dividends would be free of personal tax since they are taxed on the corporate side. This provides incentives for persons to invest in quality stocks to provide for retirement. The goal would be to take pressure off the Social Security System since it would be means tested. No more 401s or other inefficient gimmicks. As Americans we want people to invest and be free of social security. If your income from dividends and working income exceeds 100K your SS payments are not paid and can be credited to your children’s SS account or direct reduction of US debt in your name. Let’s do one more positive step. For every $5 invested in dividend paying stocks that person will get $1 credit of taxes/SS tax.
9. Our election system needs reforming. The voting will be open for 6 months online. There will be a nominal fee paid using a credit card, debit card or bank check to verify identity. The fee will go into a fund split between the top 20 candidates reimbursement. The standing would be available instantaneously. Candidates could borrow up to the previous payout amount. Their borrowed funds must be made public on the website. Any infraction in disclosure would block them from ever holding public office presently and in the future. Persons in office could only campaign the last 3 months of a race as they are being paid to perform duties of an office. They would not be eligible for reimbursement nor could they accept or borrow campaign contributions. Their previous public service record must be sufficient.
These are simplistic solutions to our simple problems. These problems are not like going to Mercury, DNA decoding or how the move 500 ton stones without machinery. The American system works with incentives (tax credits), limited regulation, and predictability. Russia proved central planning does not work. We have a military that is outdated and oversized. Scale back the present military by 90%, sufficient to protect our borders. For targets outside our borders private services similar to the foreign legion would be utilized. For example ex patriot Iraqis could join the foreign legion and fight for the independence of their country. These foreign legion services would be open to all citizens and available to all free nations. They would be organized like any Multinational Corporation except a higher transparency standard will be maintained with a 3 month delay in reporting requirements. Officers of the corporation would be held at a higher legal standard and would receive the same penalty imposed on any of their employees. For example, Qaddafi would not have recognition with the foreign legion services but the rebels of Libya would. There source of payment would be the Qaddafi reserves held in foreign banks. This same model would have worked for the Iraq and the Afghanistan situation. The model would put dictatorships at a disadvantage with the powers of democracy. Democracies would be deploying their most powerful weapon freedom.