(UTOPIA) Tax Alert : Stop 150% tax pledge increase
shane at hathawaymix.org
Sun Apr 20 03:16:58 MDT 2008
Jonathan Duncan wrote:
> This has been the longest thread I have seen on PLUG in quite a
> while. And a good one at that. I think we should all stay. I think
> we just had a very good conversation. It might have even been more
> entertaining over dinner.
Threads like this are indeed far more interesting in person. I'd rather
hear a shortened version of everyone's viewpoint rather than read all
these essays. OTOH, writing essays improves writing skills, so the time
is not wasted. :-)
FWIW, I have my own take on tough political matters: I think we need to
apply agile development techniques much like we do in software
development. In other words, we need to be more scientific.
Health care seems like a good candidate for this technique. Many
Americans need better health care, but can't afford it. The right
solution is not the least bit obvious, so we should test different
solutions in different cities. Some cities can try taxing the rich to
fund universal health care, others can attempt to rely on donations and
incentives, others can provide universal care for children only, others
can create a donation system where health insurance policy holders
voluntarily raise their premiums in order to fund others, and so on.
The tests must have a fixed time limit and each experiment must produce
scientifically sound reports. The best solutions will surface and will
have not only opinion but facts to back them up. There will be room for
creativity and innovation, since individual cities will be expected to
invent their own solutions rather than wait for the federal government.
Solutions that would require a constitutional amendment will be
automatically disqualified. Cities whose solutions were proven less
effective will be required to adopt more effective solutions once the
testing is over.
Are there downsides to this approach? Formalized testing should
dramatically raise the probability of overall success. People will
engage their own local government if they think they have a good idea
for a solution. Parties will continue to banter over solutions, but
much of the arguing will be squelched when the best solution emerges and
it turns out that neither of the leading parties thought of it.
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