Liberal Democrat

Liberal Democrat
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Friday, February 22, 2013

Foreign Affairs: Economy: Jerry Z. Muller: Capitalism and Inequality: Balancing Liberal Economics With Social Insurance: Part 2

Capitalism and Inequality: Inequality is rising across the post-industrial capitalist world. The problem is not caused by politics and politics will never be able to eliminate it. But simply ignoring it could generate a populist backlash. Governments must accept that today as ever, inequality and insecurity are the inevitable results of market operations. Their challenge is to find ways of shielding citizens from capitalism's adverse consequences -- even as they preserve the dynamism that produces capitalism's vast economic and cultural benefits in the first place.


Part 2

Hopefully as I indicated yesterday its not that America has too much economic freedom but that some Americans roughly 20% of the country. Give or take doesn't have enough or in some cases not at all and if you look at lets say the lower middle class for lack of a better term. People who aren't poor enough to collect public assistance but yet struggle to pay their bills. We are probably looking at more like 25% give or take of the United States where economic freedom is probably something they would like to. Have and not have to struggle to pay their bills or survive each day. The problem with America is not that our Federal Government isn't big enough or that we don't spend enough money or that we are under. Taxed as much as Progressives might think otherwise but that we don't spend those resources very well. I hate to point out what's basically my home town but take Washington arguably the richest city in the country. Or damn close to being that yet half of their students give or take doesn't graduate from high school. In a city of 630,000 people headed towards a million by perhaps the end of the decade thats still the economic engine. Of the Washington area and area of roughly six million people.

I point out Washington because they spend the most on their students per capita then any other big city in the country. They do perhaps everything else well economically including becoming a safe big city. But education is not one of them but they are moving in the right direction. Not because they are spending more money but because they are spending those resources better and are reforming their system. America knows what it has to do economically and basically has those things in place. We are still a developed country with all of the resources that any country could want, its not as if we are some. Developing country wondering about where do we go from here, its more of a question of what do we do. With all of the resources that we have and this is still the country where people come to get away from depression. And lack of freedom economic and otherwise to make a good life for themselves.

America no matter how you start out in life you can make a good life for themselves. Take the President of the United States, the question is how do we make the American dream work for more. Americans so they can have the same freedom that everyone else has. Which is what I'll focus on and my plan basically gets to building off what we already do well to make them work as well as they can so every. Other American can take advantage of them. We still have good schools but we don't have enough of them so we need a public education system. Where students go to the best school thats for them with their parents making that decision, instead of where they are located. Thats called public school choice which means low income kids would have the same access to quality schools that middle class and. Wealthy kids have but thats just a start, we need teachers to be paid based on how well their students are learning. Not how long they've been teaching and we need to be able to fire or retrain underperforming teachers in this country.

We need to fund public schools based on need and not where they are located, so thats one area where I would spend more money. Because that would take a new revenue stream but as long as the first two reforms are in place as well. If you know my position on public assistance, you know that I believe that it should be so effective that it becomes obsolete. Thats what an classical Liberal sounds like and what we believe in, that as Bill Clinton said in 1992 when running for President. That public assistance shouldn't be free and when he was talking like this America new he was a different Democrat. And not a Social-Democrat who just raised taxes to take from wealthy and middle class people to give to the poor. That for people on public assistance, they are essentially under contract to improve themselves and work. Their way off of public assistance, this was the foundation that produced Welfare to Work in 1996.

So what does that mean, welfare is not free how could that be, its welfare right. This might sound like Greek or Hebrew to some people not familiar with those languages. It basically means for people who are on public assistance and he was really talking about unemployed people on public assistance. But I would expand that to anyone whose not mentally or physically disabled on public assistance. That the country as a whole through the Federal Government and states will give these people who for. Whatever reasons need this assistance in order to survive this money in return. That they improve themselves, finish school, further their education so they have the skills that they need to be able to take. Care of themselves because now they'll be able to get themselves a good job and work their way off of. Public assistance so we empower people on public assistance even low income workers who lets say live in. Public housing or collect Medicaid or food assistance or a combination of all of those things. To get the education that they need so they can get themselves a good job and get off of public assistance.

These last two blogs are mostly about so called income inequality and how to balance economic freedom with the role of government. And to make Liberal economics another way of saying private enterprise work for everyone and with the right foundation in place. Every American would have economic freedom in this country and the term income inequality would go away. Or thats the goal anyway we'll probably always have low income people in this country but we simply need to get that percentage. Down so we are more competitive with the rest of the World. But we also need to go further in infrastructure and in energy two areas where I believe Congress and the President could work together on this year. And I'll have a blog about those things as well later on.