how do we improve the economy and quality of life?

As I juggle thoughts of improving the quality life in my mind, I often find myself thinking it's a zero sum game. Though, it being a zero sum game depends on how you look at it - no doubt we can discuss some ideas here and everyone will have a different opinion on them.

What are some issue that you think need solving and how can we solve them?

I really hope the Supreme Leader Patrick, his right hand man Andy or whoever is in charge doesn't shut down this thread, so while I encourage you to really let out your honest thoughts, please address flaws in others' arguments but do not turn this into a shit throwing contest.

 

Comments (38)

 
  • Prospect in IB-M&A
Jan 14, 2021 - 9:22pm

Prospect here to save the day.

Lower taxes, break up unions, and massively deregulate to spur our economy.

Turn Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, SNAP, and other wealth transfer programs into UBI. Every year, each American gets a set amount of money tied to the rate of inflation, with the seniors getting more. Will massively reduce bureaucracy and stop Medicare and Medicaid from getting huge discounts that raise prices for the uninsured. Americans can spend their UBI money however they wish: save for retirement, save up in a personal healthcare fund, buy food, etc. We'll have a progressive tax system so the wealthy are effectively "transferring" a portion of their income to the people who are in lower tax brackets.

Somehow force countries like the UK and Canada to start paying up our healthcare companies. Their socialized healthcare systems get enormous discounts for drugs and other medical goods, and American citizens are forced to pay the difference (Medicare and Medicaid do the same thing within our country, which is why they should be turned into UBI). Why is the American consumer pulling the weight of global healthcare R&D? Our poor should not be subsidizing the healthcare of these wealthy countries!!!

Abolish the minimum wage or at least only apply it to large corporations (how we determine these corporations would be the tricky part). We shouldn't have poor, low skill workers getting "priced out" of getting their first crucial job because of an arbitrary wage set by the government.

Break apart/regulate monopolies like Big Tech/Social Media. Lowers costs for companies trying to advertise, more competition so little guys like Parler can survive, and better experience for the consumers and content creators.

 
Jan 14, 2021 - 9:25pm

Being a prospect or student doesn't disqualify you from having an opinon or being able to express your opinion.

Go, Go, Excel

 
Jan 15, 2021 - 8:22am

Yeah... listening to neoliberal podcasts doesn't make you a public policy expert and those recommendations of yours are all quite terrible.

 

First of all, UBI is a good idea. But it cannot replace medicare/Medicaid because people dont have the same healthcare costs. Someone undergoing cancer therapy might need far more money to finance his treatment than UBI (which gives equal money to all) could finance. And sure, he could get an insurance, but with a pre-existing condition like that premiums will go through the roof. Practically, the UBI "safety net" will fail to hold for a not so small proportion of the population. To replace Medicare you need a system that accounts for prior and posterior asymmetry in healthcare costs. 

 

The idea that evil foreign socialised healthcare programmes make pharmaceutical costs larger for the US population is has been debunked several times, but is still a large talking point for people who assume economics does not extend beyond "markets are efficient". Prices are high for US citizen because the US is a hostage pharmaceutical market (necessity good with patent protection + little regulation = $$$). Abolishing socialised healthcare globally would just make the hostage market even larger. Industrial organisation suggests that pricing is most efficient when the parties negotiating are roughly of equal negotiating power. That is not achieved by having a few big pharma corps vs billions of individuals. 

 

Finally. Big tech is a problem, but "breaking them apart" is ridiculous. How would you go about breaking Google apart lol. A better solution is to have increasing taxes for corporations (just like for people), the proceeds of which go to finance startups in the respective spaces. That way you ensure healthier competition. 

 
Jan 15, 2021 - 1:23am

Purely for quality of life, if the technology were ready to be deployed (and the infrastructure were capable of handling it), if you could snap your fingers and turn all vehicles into autonomous, electric vehicles that would vastly improve air quality, vastly reduce noise pollution, nearly eliminate vehicular deaths and injuries, and totally eliminate the stress of traffic from people's daily lives. I can't think of any technology on the horizon that would so vastly improve human quality of life as electric (or hydrogen!), autonomous vehicles. From a fiscal perspective, 100% use of autonomous vehicles would double road capacity (thus lowering long-term new road construction needs) and would more or less eliminate hugely expensive public transportation projects (that, frankly, we no longer have the money for anyway). 

As purely an intellectual discussion, we could transform America for the better if 5-8% of the population were "disappeared" entirely (interpret that as you will), as somewhere around 5-8% of people commit about half of all crimes. I'd say, if you could permanently disappear the most sociopathic and violent 5 million Americans, this would be a totally different country.

 

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  • Analyst 1 in IB - Gen
Jan 15, 2021 - 11:56am

real_Skankhunt42

if you could snap your fingers and turn all vehicles into autonomous, electric vehicles that would vastly improve air quality, vastly reduce noise pollution, nearly eliminate vehicular deaths and injuries, and totally eliminate the stress of traffic from people's daily lives. 

Also eliminating 5 million jobs of truck and uber drivers. The mass unemployment of truck drivers are going to be the coal miners and steel workers of the 21st century. Not arguing against it, just stating an inevitable result of automation and innovation.

As purely an intellectual discussion, we could transform America for the better if 5-8% of the population were "disappeared" entirely (interpret that as you will), as somewhere around 5-8% of people commit about half of all crimes. I'd say, if you could permanently disappear the most sociopathic and violent 5 million Americans, this would be a totally different country.

Instead of making them disappear, we should actually focus more on rehab like and help them get at least a minimum-wage job when they get out like some European countries, so we don't continue this endless mass incarcenation.

 
Jan 15, 2021 - 12:22pm

 

 

Instead of making them disappear, we should actually focus more on rehab like and help them get at least a minimum-wage job when they get out like some European countries, so we don't continue this endless mass incarcenation.

You really can't rehabilitate psychopaths. There is a small percentage of the population that was born broken and then grew up in circumstances (single-parent household, etc.) that put them on a path that rewarded anti-social behavior. They aren't fixable on any meaningful scale (obviously, some individuals may be "fixable"). If you could snap your fingers and those people disappear, everything would change in this country for the other 95-98% of the population that is endlessly victimized by a tiny % of extremely evil people. 

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Most Helpful
Jan 15, 2021 - 9:05am

1. decrease moral hazard - ban lobbyists, political donations by non-persons, have term limits (3 senate, 9 house), and rules around politicians entering industry which one regulates after office (at least for a time), stop federal aid to all corporations, for profit and nonprofit

2. overhaul the tax code - treat all income the same, allow no deductions except charitable, this would also include changing corporate tax code, banning deductions for depreciation, amortization, interest, and basically all costs of doing business (marketing, advertising, etc.) aside from employee compensation (because that's being taxed already)

3. overhaul education - break up unions, look into allowing charter schools to compete, consider funding mechanisms not being tied to property tax receipts so schools in the hood get similar resources to schools in the burbs, allow student loans to be discharged in bankruptcy and force universities to have some skin in the game, increase K-12 teacher pay to be competitive with non-PhD professors

4. overhaul healthcare - increase transparency on pricing, start nationwide PR campaigns to get people healthy the old fashioned way (diet & exercise) and fix all of the sins of the past related to nutrition research. legalize recreational drugs and increase funding for mental health initiatives/clinical trials, taking some notes from Portugal. massively increase funding for the NIH. by and large, healthcare industry is its most profitable when everyone's a little bit sick, taking a pill for this or that, but society as a whole would be best off if everyone was healthy, in this case the profit motive is at odds with what's good for society, so I think some public funding has to happen

5. I don't know how you legislate this but with regard to jobs, we need more trade schools and specialized training and need to stop asking everyone to have a 4 year degree. 

6. nationwide campaign to get the entire country online with at least 3G speed, aside from protected lands

7. fix incarceration & crime - look into the Portuguese model of decriminalizing all drug use and consider legalization of certain low toxicity/dependency drugs like cannabis, LSD, psilocybin, free prisoners who wouldn't be in jail under current law and expunge their records, offer transitional training to help them get jobs/education. increase funding for police departments, increase transparency, increase training. andrew yang's idea of every cop being a blue belt in jiu jitsu is a novel idea, but basically I want people protecting our streets to have more than an entrance PT requirement and occasional training, it should be ongoing. to that end, increasing police pay, bust up unions to make it an attractive career but one that doesn't reward coasting. I also have a feeling that increasing school funding and job opportunities via trade schools will help the crime issues 

8. overhaul immigration - if you want to come here and work, come on in and immediately start paying taxes. make transient work easier (e.g. mexican farmers coming to FL for one season to pick oranges and then going back to MX, so long as they pay taxes), and stop the "they took our jobs" narrative, it's not true last I checked.

9. overhaul infrastructure - modernize airports, highways, waterways, and railways (why tf don't we have high speed rails and France does?)

 
Jan 15, 2021 - 12:23pm

Be nice if we had a leader who was active on social media and used it responsibly to listen to individual voters vs adding to the smoke that is online toxicity. What kills me is that everyone acts like they have the answers that will solve all problems and make everyone happy, yet it's those same people who end up causing a ton of anger in someone else. Someone who, for whatever reason, seems to believe the total opposite, and thinks others with different opinions are evil forces of the dark side.

Other than stronger leadership, I would say, cure world hunger and bring world peace would be a start to improving quality of life.

 
Jan 15, 2021 - 1:12pm

Give more representation to BIPOC transgender women. Everybody knows lack of inclusion is costing us trillions every year. Studies show.

Can be summoned to make fun of liberals at will. 

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Funniest
  • Analyst 2 in IB-M&A
Jan 15, 2021 - 1:40pm

Might as well try it, can't be any worse than the rest of Italian economic policy that gets you to 35% youth unemployment

 
Jan 15, 2021 - 2:43pm

 

Might as well try it, can't be any worse than the rest of Italian economic policy that gets you to 35% youth unemployment

That's what happens when you have liberal retards in power. You will see it soon enough. California leading the way.

Can be summoned to make fun of liberals at will. 

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Jan 16, 2021 - 2:03am

iercurenc

No one saw the sarcasm?

If that doesn't tell you volumes about the future of your country...imagine actually getting offended that someone questions an utterly retarded idea.

Can be summoned to make fun of liberals at will. 

  • 1
 
Jan 15, 2021 - 3:34pm

Set up a giant sovereign wealth fund, have each person be given a certain allotment of equity when born. Lock up these shares for the long term and everybody gets fucking rich through forced betting on the future growth of the US

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Jan 15, 2021 - 4:09pm

I could've sworn I read somewhere that you could cut almost all social programs if we just allocated a certain amount to every person at birth and let it compound till they're 18. At that point you could give them a fat stack and send them on their way, and if they fuck it up beyond that that's 100% on them. No more government bailouts for businesses or people.

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Jan 15, 2021 - 4:07pm

Preventing the government from picking winners and losers with its policy would be a start. The only regulation the private sector requires is to minimize or prevent negative externalities, that way it's in the private sector's best interest to deliver the most value to the most people. The market moves infinitely faster than any government can because it's profit driven and constantly receiving feedback vs the government which only really changes around a set number of elections and has access to an infinite source of cash they can waste (you and your great-great-grandchildren's tax dollars).

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Jan 15, 2021 - 5:51pm

PrivateTechquity

Preventing the government from picking winners and losers with its policy would be a start. The only regulation the private sector requires is to minimize or prevent negative externalities, that way it's in the private sector's best interest to deliver the most value to the most people. The market moves infinitely faster than any government can because it's profit driven and constantly receiving feedback vs the government which only really changes around a set number of elections and has access to an infinite source of cash they can waste (you and your great-great-grandchildren's tax dollars).

Modern government has always picked winners and losers. What do you call royal charters to the London Company that established profitable Jamestown crops?

 
Jan 15, 2021 - 6:03pm

Billion with a B

Modern government has always picked winners and losers. What do you call royal charters to the London Company that established profitable Jamestown crops?

I'm sorry, the founding of Jamestown is considered "modern" times now is it? I knew there was some experienced grey hair on WSO but damn dude. I feel like it should be pretty obvious we're at a minimum talking post industrial-revolution before we start calling things modern. But I'm particularly referring to markets in the modern technological age where there's just inherently more efficiency.

Array

 
Jan 15, 2021 - 6:23pm

PrivateTechquity

Preventing the government from picking winners and losers with its policy would be a start. The only regulation the private sector requires is to minimize or prevent negative externalities, that way it's in the private sector's best interest to deliver the most value to the most people.

+ To mitigate certain market failures (yes some markets fail sometimes according to economics). But besides that yeah. I'm sure LITERALLY all economists can agree regulations SHOULD ONLY be placed to handle negative externalities and market failures. But which government actually listens to economists besides the Singaporean one?

The market moves infinitely faster than any government can because it's profit driven and constantly receiving feedback vs the government which only really changes around a set number of elections and has access to an infinite source of cash they can waste (you and your great-great-grandchildren's tax dollars).

Generally yeah because competition is involved. By that I mean 99% of the times.

Sometimes market forces may decide to form a cartel of a literal monopoly.

Sometimes (Rarely), some smarter governments use tricks to force State-Owned Enterprises to compete against one another. Recently learned about how the subway system works in Seoul. Apparently the city owns the railroads, but different SOEs operate different lines. And there are like 15 different lines whose stations are so close together that people can actually choose which line they want to take to get to the same place. And different SOEs get to pitch what different lines the city "should have" to the city government.

 
Jan 15, 2021 - 6:33pm

Just adding your own details to augment? Because we're in agreement here. I'm a fan of Singapore's government structure aside from the punishment side of things at the civil level, I feel they could be a little freer in their "recreational" limitations. The no income tax and minimum wage though >.> *swoon*

Array

 
Jan 15, 2021 - 6:06pm

My personal opinion is to lower income taxes and raise the sales tax. Giving people the choice of where to spend their money versus the feeling of being robbed can really alleviate some financial struggles

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