What do we want?
When do we want it?
There are 10 tried and true policies that would rekindle American prosperity. These will work even in the face of the doom and gloom strewn by the pandemic.
These sort of policies ignited an "economic miracle" after WWII. After the world war Germany was an economic basket case, far worse off than pandemic America. Then, Ludwig Erhard used free market policies to turn the zombie economy around, fast. West Germany became the prosperous colossus of Western Europe.
Each of the "Capitalist Ten Commandments" has power. They're not a left vs. right thing. There are varied carols of free market capitalism. One end of the capitalist spectrum (Hello Democrats!) is ordoliberalism, "socially conscious free markets." It also provides lots of government-supplied social insurance. (Hayek approved!) The Nordic states thrive by this. The other end (Hello Republicans!) is laissez faire, "classical liberalism," leaving it to the private sector to provide universal opulence. Hong Kong and Singapore prosper.
Both are authentic capitalism.
Then, there are some prosperity-strangling, dignity crushing, illegitimate alternatives. On the left, socialism and its bratty little sister, progressivism. On the right, fascism and its bratty little brother, nationalism. Both pave a road to Hell. Democrats are toying with inane socialist nostrums like the Green New Deal and progressive nonsense like minimum wage legislation. Republicans are descending to insane crypto-fascist government spending orgies and nationalist schemes like tariffs.
What to do?
America is a republic. Its citizens — yeah, I'm talking to you, Bub! — have the power and duty to direct our officials in the right direction and to retire officials who are incapable of delivering equitable prosperity. Every two years we conduct well-publicized national elections for the House of Representatives and one-third of the Senate. Every four years, like 2020, we are treated to the flamboyant sound and fury of a presidential election.
That's the easy part.
As the continuing poor performance of our economy shows, elections, while necessary, are not sufficient. We "folks back home" need to provide adult supervision between elections. But … how?
Observing the Capitalist Ten Commandments would get the economy growing again. President Clinton, like President Reagan, honored most of them. It's not a partisan thing. We got the "rising tide that lifts all boats" that JFK prophesied. The side effect under Clinton was such a large federal budget surplus that then-Fed Chairman Alan Greenspan went about sounding the alarm that we might actually pay off the national debt!
Here they are:
1. The highest marginal income tax rates for individuals and businesses shall not exceed 28%.
2. There shall be no reduction or elimination of income tax deductions and credits unless matched dollar-for-dollar by further reducing tax rates.
3. All assets will be indexed to inflation for the purpose of calculating capital gains.
4. No gift, estate or inheritance tax shall have a top rate of more than 10% and no such tax shall be imposed on any such transfers of $10 million or less, annually adjusted for inflation.
5. The federal government shall generously fund research and development which are the foundation of the nation's prosperity, skilled jobs and material quality of life.
6. The dollar shall be defined as a fixed weight of gold legally convertible thereunto by any person or entity, foreign and domestic.
7. The Treasury and any other instrumentality of the United States shall not incur any additional bonded liabilities except upon approval by two-thirds of the legislatures of the states.
8. Civil asset forfeiture to the federal, state, or any municipal government is prohibited and criminal and civil fines shall be proportional to both the ability of the adjudicated party to pay these and to the severity of the infraction.
9. No regulation affecting more than $100 million in economic activity shall be adopted until enacted by the Congress of the United States and signed by the president.
10. No government shall exercise control over wages or prices, including the pricing of telecommunication services, rent or imposition of a minimum wage.
Are there other policies worth adopting? Sure!
That said, conservatives are competitive, even fractious. They like to jostle each other to advance their pet ideas (and win the attendant glory). The Ten Commandments of Capitalism picks the best of the best of these ideas. They unite the right.
Because … united we stand, divided we fall.
Bonus! The Ten Commandments invite the left to compete via socially conscious free markets.
Because … country over party!
Now all that's needed is for enough citizens to teach our national elected officials, especially our representatives (whose job it is to Represent us!) and even our senators, the Ten Commandments of Capitalism. Equitable prosperity will follow.
It's up to us.
What do we want?
When do we want it?
Ralph Benko, co-author of "The Capitalist Manifesto" and chairman and co-founder of "The Capitalist League," is the founder of The Prosperity Caucus and is an original Kemp-era member of the Supply Side revolution that propelled the Dow from 814 to its current heights and world GDP from $11T to $88T. He served as a deputy general counsel in the Reagan White House, has worked closely with the Congress and two cabinet agencies, and has published over a million words on politics and policy in the mainstream media, as a distinguished professional blogger, and as the author of the internationally award-winning cult classic book "The Websters' Dictionary: How to Use the Web to Transform the World." He has served as senior adviser, economics, to APIA as an advocate of the gold standard, senior counselor to the Chamber of Digital Commerce and serves as general counsel to Frax.finance, a stablecoin venture. Read Ralph Benko's reports — More Here.
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