If you were a politician and you could push through one policy, or one law change, or perform one major action.... what would it be?
Ignore the protocol, I know that you have to get things agreed, but if that was not the case. Your choice was final, like a genie in a bottle, what would it be?
Mine would be (I am British) for a national minimum wage increase to £7.40 (it is currently £5.80). In other words a 'liveable wage'.
The treasury would actually save money by doing so, seeing as the taxpayer currently props up the 'tax credit' system for those on a low wage, as well as housing and council tax benefits.
In other words, an increase in minimum wage would see corporations carry some of the burdeon which is currently placed on everyday tax payers, whilst the standard of living for millions would improve.
One policy would reduce our national deficit, lift millions out of poverty, and end the exploitation of legal workers.
What would your policy be?
My policy -- I am American -- would be that every citizen would have access to adequate health care. Health care would be paid for by the government, as it is in other countries.
Doctors would be well compensated for their expertise.
No one would be denied coverage, nor would anyone have to pay obscene amounts of money for their coverage.
The cost of health care would not be a burden on businesses, on wage earners, or on the HC provider system.
Decisions about appropriate care would not be made by so-called "death panels" or by insurance company beancounters. They would be made by the doctors.
Under my system there would be a cap on malpractice awards as well. Sorry all you trial lawyers, but you will have to find some other ambulance to chase!!!
Good topic, Ryan. Seems like you are feeling aok?
Yes I am fine thanks Mightymom.
No pain, a little discomfort - more irritant than pain. I have a dressing shoved right down my ear (all the way to the ear drum). It doesn't get taken out until the 12th October.
Even walking the dog is frustrating, because people are keen to talk to you about the puppy. Not being able to hear at all out of my ear is making verbal conversation difficult.
But for hubpages, yes I am fine I did start a little early though, I should have had a few days completely away, instead of a few days half away!
Thanks for asking anyway!
I second this!
If you become a politician before me and get this implemented, then my second choice would be to phase out subsidies for oil and gas companies and agribusiness, and use the money to increase funding by about a bajillion percent for clean energy and sustainable agriculture R&D.
"My policy -- I am American -- would be that every citizen would have access to adequate health care."
You're a little too late for this, that was signed into law in 1986 by Ronald Reagan.
"Health care would be paid for by the government, as it is in other countries."
I know you are a liberal (a nice one I might add) and have no idea how things work so I'll help you a little. The "government" does not have money, it neither manufactures anything nor produces anything that earns money. All money is confiscated from those that "do" and is redistributed to those who "don't".
"Doctors would be well compensated for their expertise."
What do you call someone who finished dead last in medical school?
Would all Doctors be "well compensated" for their expertise? Compared to you and I they have expertise, that does not mean they are good doctors.
"No one would be denied coverage, nor would anyone have to pay obscene amounts of money for their coverage."
Its your legislation and you already said the "government" would pay. I guess what you mean is Doctors will be well compensated and medical treatments will be cheap. Someone will have to pay obscene amounts.
"The cost of health care would not be a burden on businesses, on wage earners, or on the HC provider system."
Thank God there is a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow
My act as a politician would be to force people to attend "How the real world actually works" classes.
"What do you call someone who finished dead last in medical school?
I know this is supposed to be a joke, but you do realize that people who finish medical school do not have the right to actually practice medicine, right?
"I know this is supposed to be a joke"
And yet you feel compelled to state the obvious.
Are you sure you know it was supposed to be a joke?
So, what's your point? Yeah, some people who'd make lousy doctors make it through medical school. Some even make it through the boards, the match, and 3+ years of residency. But that's true of any system and to claim that it would cause incompetent physicians to be overcompensated is fishy.
Incidentally, the rate of medical errors and "poorly coordinated" care in the US is nearly double that of the Netherlands, and over a third higher than France and Germany, and also higher than the UK, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand, all countries with one degree or another of socialized medicine. Maybe we're the ones overcompensating incompetent doctors.
Jim Hunter - I love you, man. Your breakdown of the 'i have a right to healthcare' argument is brilliant.
That all elected servants will abide by and have held to them the same laws, edicts and care without consideration, as are due and processable to the states and citizens of the United States, and notwithstanding, they shall be fined, held accountable and imprisoned for all offences as decided by the laws which they create, without prejudice or compromise and they shall in no way be exempt from any laws because of their elected status. Any elected servant shall, without further cause or consideration, be removed from his or her elected post upon having been convicted in a court of law by a jury of their peers, and with fair trial and counsel, of any crime above a misdemeanor in any state or possession of the United States.
Ryan, I'm British too and on top of your minimum wage I would introduce negative income tax. Everybody on reaching the age of 18 or perhaps 21 would be paid £10,000 pa by the IRS. This would replace income support, tax credits, unemployment benefit,housing benefit and all the other benefits which we are told are all open to fraud.
Their would be an immediate saving of rents on office premises, reductions in staff and more. More people would be brought into paying tax and if it wasn't past my bedtime I'd have more positive points.
£10k per year seems like a hell of a lot!
I get tax credits by the way, about £2600pa. I still get them now, even though I am self employed. And I will until I double my income (which is currently still low).
I rejected the opportunity to continue council and housing tax benefits when finding my last job (following 3 months on JSA). Although I was entitled to benefits worth about £2k for those too.
That was whilst working for a little over minimum wage. So I had the opportunity to take £4600 a year in benefits, but instead took about £2600. The reason being that I sat down with a calculator and decided that the tax credits effectively subsidised the shortfall for my rent and council tax payments. Most people would have happily taken both.
Thankfully I just landed an inheritance and bought my flat outright anyway. The irony is that had all of my earnings been tax and national insurance free, I would have saved about £2300. I wouldn't have needed the tax credits either.
Now, imagine the amount of money being spent by the employer in calculating and taking my PAYE, the inland revenue in checking and processing payments, and the tax credits office in processing my applications etc. And again, imagine how much work would also be involved in processing council tax and housing benefits etc. It is all a cost to the tax payer.
So imagine I did take my £4600. Add that to my £12000 annual eanings. That is £16600. I worked a 37.5 hour week by the way. Ignore NI, I dont know the tresholds. Deduct my income tax, approximately £1100. The total is £15550.
If I were earning £7.40 per hour, that is £14430. Take away my benefits. Seeing as I didn't take the £4600, and actually took £12k salary + £2600, which is £14600, I am no worse off if you take away the benefits.
In fact, raise the income tax threshold to £12000, as an easy example, and I am actually better off. After tax I took £13500, under the new system I would take £14600.
The treasury loses £1100 in tax revenues, but saves £2600 in benefits. It actually saves money by raising the tax threshold and minimum wage. That is why this country is so f'd up, it doesn't make any sense. You can £1000 on top of the £2600 to pay the costs of the government departments processing the claims. The argument is that a rising minimum wage would result in rising unemployment. My argument is that the private sector would need to create a more equal pay structure, the people at the top would have to sacrifice. I am sure that they could legislate this too.
The treasury would have saved approximately £2500 using me as a case study. The higher earners could, in the long run, save money. Alternatively, they could reinvest the savings into services which REALLY matter. The fire services, police, education... all of those are having budgets cut in real terms.
They'd try and outsource as many jobs as they could to India first. Or employ illegal immigrants at below minimum wage.
I'm a bit uncomfortable with the whole idea of the minimum wage tbh. In any country that has a welfare state, then all it means is that you're robbing Peter to pay Paul. (If there's no minimum wage, then people have to claim benefits like tax credits/housing benefits in order to make up the shortfall. If there is a minimum wage, then there are fewer jobs because employers are more reluctant to take on new people due to the fact that it's too expensive, or they'll go down the outsourcing route first.)
Rather than increase the minimum wage yet higher than it already is, I would LOVE it if they abolished it and increased the tax threshold in the UK to something much bigger than it is now (say, £15K for a single person). But given that by far the biggest chunk of UK government spending is on welfare/benefits, they'd have to cut benefits accordingly in order to save money. Perhaps that's a good thing - it would mean that people had a real incentive to find work. Although there would be more competition for jobs, given that a whole load of government employees would find themselves out of work if my ideas were implemented...
in Canada....in relation to children/youth that are emotionally/physically/sexually abused....i'd change the age for what is classified as child abuse up to the age of majority or adult...rather than up to 12 years of age as is the case now. With the increased age, psychological evidence from experts would be used and there is no need for long drawn out criminal court cases with a 'child/youth says...vs adult says' situation...most times in a criminal court the adult wins because there is no evidence...eg witnesses, nor expert witnesses...which is normally the case for this kind of abuse, especially sexual abuse...however when a child is 12 or under, the experts are called in as witnesses....and the adult abusers do not get away with it....right now when an adult abuses a child/youth, the abuser gets away with it, over and over and over again...when children/youth finally reveal after they reach 12 years of age. The current federal criminal code currently does not work in these cases. Why would anyone want to put a child/youth (over 12 years old) through a criminal court situation with no experts called upon to provide a psychological assessment, etc. to back up the claims, finally revealed by a child/youth? No wonder so many abusers get away with abuse in Canada.
I'm about to start advocating for this change too btw.......one of my new purposes.....should keep me busy for a while.
To increase subsidy for college funding and to lower student loans rate.
I would introduce some kind of policy that would end inflated pay rises for these nugget politicians, they flaunt their cash all around whilst we pay for their mistakes and shite policies!
Fire all congressman and remove all tax burdens upon everyone.
1) destroy the federal reserve, return to sound market-based money, and make certain that no central bank could ever come into existence.
2) make a constitutional amendment that proclaimed the right of a state to secede from the union.
Return? You apparently do not know American history. The first Federal Bank was initiated right after the Constitution was ratified, with the strongest proponents being Alexander Hamilton and James Madison. It did not have its charter renewed and in 1816 the second Federal Bank was started, and then had the same problem. The only difference is that the Fed controls money supply, whereas opponents think that role should go to Congress and that Fed has the motivation to help the bankers and not the nation as a whole. If you want an example of how that works, see Zimbabwae. Your Ron Paul bumper sticker points don't hold water buddy. Go back to school.
you're right. The first federal bank WAS created after the Constitution was passed. In fact, the reason why it was passed was because of George Washington's greed - he wanted to be able to see the capital from his home, and so he traded sound money for it.
I'm not even going to argue with you further, you're too mean. I'll buy gold, and you can sit on dollars. We'll see who's right in the long run.
I'll just give you my final warning - the money supply has tripled in the past 10 years, and it has doubled in the past 2 (the doubling of the money took under 6 months to accomplish). There was over $1,000,000,000,000 created out of thin air in the last 3 years or so.
G'head and ignore the facts
I would guarantee the right to follow any religion - and ban any kind of proselytizing including religious so-called schools.
I would re-enforce the Red Flag Act of 1865. This requires someone to walk in front of every motor vehicle, carrying a red flag, to warn of its approach.
This would provide employment and healthy exercise, while simultaneously showing up the private car for the bloated heap of scrap metal it has always been.
Dave... Few activities bring as much joy and pleasure to my life as driving my 63' MG Midget on a mountain road at full throttle...the muted sounds of a rumbling downshift, the anticipation of an approaching curve to be taken at speed, and the sheer joy of the wind and sun on your face as you race to the top...almost sexual in context...
I love to walk, but the pleasures given are quite different..Why not have both..? As to unemployment, there is an overabundance of Red flags waving right now...Larry
Larry - You still have a '63 MG Midget? OK, as a special for you, we'll provide you with a Norton Commando outrider. How about that? But he'd have to wear red feathers...
I would require the government to stay out of people's lives: no economic intervention, no bans on free speech, no bans on proselytizing on your own time and at your own expense, no forcing people to buy or sell any product, including but not limited to health insurance. In short, I would put an end to all the policies the rest of you are suggesting.
Paraglider, aren't you the one who wants the government to pave people free roads? If we go my way, you won't need the red flag.
But if we go my way we'll save billions, when people come to realise that walking and cycling are better modes of transport than driving. And trains are certainly better than motorways for long distance travel.
You mean = no protection from the neighbourhood thugs, no protection from the local supermarket single chain operation that forces you to buy from them at their price because they kill all oppostion choices ?
Nice but naive thought
Nobody can force you to buy anything except the government. I have written hubs precisely about how to avoid buying products that you don't need or want. I make my own soda pop. I brew coffee on a defunct coffee maker. People buy things because they choose to. They could choose not to, and often they do. You don't have to be rich to have choices. You just have to think for yourself.
This is not about you buying wisely and making things work for you - it is about corporations owning the market, the production and the transport in between. without regulation they can close every supply for miles around - and if they own the production etc then buying from your local store is buying from them ultimately. Prices are already artificially maintained at very high levels, those cheap shoes you buy for $10 made in China only cost $1 when they leave here !
They can't own everything. They don't own my chickens. And they don't own the chickens that belong to my neighbors. The price of eggs has recently gone down in the store, precisely because people are creating their own supply.
It's true. The price of eggs went down because lots of people, including me, started to raise their own chickens. Now there is a surplus of eggs and the price went down. Which part of that do you not believe?
I heard a discussion just now on NPR/BBC about a prison reform proposal being advocated in the UK which would provide work opportunities at market pay rates for inmates in UK prisons. This would provide income for the inmates family, an opportunity to learn a trade or occupation, and improve the likelihood of successful re-integration into British society. In response to the possible objection that the prisoners would be taking jobs away from ordinary citizens the advocate replied that this would be a small effect because, as I recall, there are only 20,000 individuals serving long term sentences in UK prisons. The opportunity to work would be voluntary, not compulsory. Seems to me like a "no brainer." I've often wondered why we don't do this more widely in the U.S.
In the auto boom of the 1960s when labor was scarce, the Pontiac division of General Motors worked out an agreement to provide jobs for 100 carefully selected prisoners in it's plant in Pontiac, Michigan. The prisoners were moved to a facility where they were housed near the plant in Pontiac and bused back and forth to work. By agreement with the Auto workers union, they were paid full wages and benefits and allowed to accumulate seniority. This arrangement worked quite well for a time until a recession and layoffs came. Sadly, the project was never revived because there was never again a period when there were no regular GM employees who were unemployed and who had rights to job openings.
Prisoners in the UK have it far too easy.
Televisions in their cells, games consoles, as many cigarettes as they wish, easy access to drugs.
We are already in a situations whereas many WANT to go into prison because their standard of living is better.
A guarenteed income, at a time when so many are unemployed, only adds another incentive for crime.
I am certainly a leftie when it comes to most of my personal political leanings, but I - like many - want to see prisoners have a horrendously unenjoyable experience in prison in order to encourage them not to go back.
I wouldn't want a situation whereas 1% of our population is incarcerated, like the US, but I hate to think that many people do not see prison as a genuine punishment.
I would sooner see them do voluntary charity work whilst in prison, e.g. making things for charities to sell for funds. Or perhaps even heavily supervised community service - such as cleaning up the streets.
I have friends who cannot get a minimum wage job right now, are probably tempted by crime, and yet walk the line. The idea that those who do resort to crime, at societies expense, are guarenteed an income during their time inside - well that doesn't seem too fair to me.
Our prisons become more and more like Camp America, and I am sure that many criminals would love to do a 6 month paid stretch in Camp Prison if they can get out with enough money for a holiday and a massive drink and drug bender.
Sorry Ralph, can't agree with this one.
The proposal didn't contemplate a "guaranteed income." The prisoners would have to work and earn whatever they were paid. Do you think it makes more sense for them to sit idle and, as you pointed out, watch television? Seems to me the idleness of 20 or 30,000 prisoners is wasteful. Also, I don't know what the recidivism rate is in the UK but it's very high in the U.S. Prisoners are not prepared to be released in society and get an honest job. A very high percentage simply return to their previous life of crime.
Paul Krugman explains what's really happening--
As Politico recently pointed out, every major contender for the 2012 Republican presidential nomination who isn’t currently holding office and isn’t named Mitt Romney is now a paid contributor to Fox News. Now, media moguls have often promoted the careers and campaigns of politicians they believe will serve their interests. But directly cutting checks to political favorites takes it to a whole new level of blatancy.
Arguably, this shouldn’t be surprising. Modern American conservatism is, in large part, a movement shaped by billionaires and their bank accounts, and assured paychecks for the ideologically loyal are an important part of the system. Scientists willing to deny the existence of man-made climate change, economists willing to declare that tax cuts for the rich are essential to growth, strategic thinkers willing to provide rationales for wars of choice, lawyers willing to provide defenses of torture, all can count on support from a network of organizations that may seem independent on the surface but are largely financed by a handful of ultrawealthy families.
Wake up and read the entire op-ed here:
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/10/04/opini … amp;st=cse
"Paul Krugman explains what's really happening"
If Paul Krugman explained it then its wrong.
Go back to sleep the left has nothing new to offer.
Did you read his column? If so what do you take issue with?
No I didn't read it.
I have read many Krugman articles in the past and have discovered he knows very little about about a whole lot.
I take issue with idiocy.
We need to deflate. Krugman wants to inflate. However, deflation should be orderly. And we don't want IMF style austerity. But we are setting ourselves up for IMF austerity if we don't slow spending, except we should increase technology spending to create jobs.
At the outset of the Obama administration Krugman pointed out that the president's stimulus package was too small. He was right then, and he's correct now in advocating additional stimulus to augment the Fed's low interest policy and purchase of government bonds.
But the problem Ralph, is that if the debt becomes too large, the investors will shun our bonds. This is what happened in Greece. We are caught between a rock and a hard place. Bernanke is getting scared that the bond market will collapse. We need a little deflation to help mainstreet, but not so much that we go into the abyss.
"But the problem Ralph, is that if the debt becomes too large, the investors will shun our bonds. This is what happened in Greece. "
That's a theoretical possibility, but there's no sign of anyone shunning our bonds. They are holding up remarkably well. And we are not Greece by any means. Right now unemployment is the big problem. There will be plenty of time to deal with the deficit once we see light at the end of the tunnel on jobs.
I was pretty sure you hadn't read it. I guess you can lead a horse to water.
Why don't you give us your theory on what is wrong with Krugman's position? He's a senior economics professor at Princeton and a Nobel Prize recipient. Why do you put faith in an college dropout, addict like Glenn Beck?
I put no faith in Glenn Beck.
A Nobel Prize winner...wow
Didn't Obama win a Nobel prize for something?
Actually it was for nothing, my mistake.
http://faculty.chicagobooth.edu/john.co … sponse.htm
http://old.nationalreview.com/nrof_lusk … 170833.asp
http://blog.heritage.org/2008/10/20/pau … d-freddie/
Rofl... good ol' krugman.
"Hey, you know how we have 0% interest rates? That's too high... oh, and another thing, why isn't our government spending even MORE money than it is now? jeez!... NOBELPRIZENOBELPRIZENOBELPRIZE!!!!"
Deeds, honestly, i'm surprised someone as intelligent as you puts much faith in what Krugman has to say!! He wanted NEGATIVE interest rates!!! This LITERALLY means that anyone who borrowed money would receive MORE money than they borrowed!! Imagine it: you borrow 30 dollars, and then 10 years from now you got 100!!!
http://catallaxyfiles.com/2010/08/24/kr … est-rates/
I would call a halt to the open door policy on migration to Australia. the world thinks it can continue to solve overpopulation by dumping its excess in Australia. there is the belief that there is plenty of room. This is false. We have been in drought a very long time. We do not have the infrastructure in place for more people. If we don't close the doors then there are countries in this world that will never look to other solutions to overpopulation.
I would kick start the economy by building more houses. These really would be affordable housing as I would build with public funding (that was given to the banks - create a government bank - lets call this lloyds tsb lol) and sell these off plus 10%. I would sell these to people on low incomes and, instead of having their 'rent' paid for them by the council, I would simply change the label 'rent' to 'gov mortgage' - this would cost the same as rents and the funding structure wouldnt change.
Now in any bust economy, time has shown that the best way to encourage growth is by building. Not only are you building an economy, you are creating homes for people who cant afford it. You are also creating opportunity and independence thereby giving a feeling of self worth to those on low income.
In building you are providing jobs and people in jobs spend - this has a knock effect encouraging growth in the private and public sectors.
World economic problems solved! Ca-ching!
Since I was a kid new suburbs have been created by buying up farmland. This sort of thing had been going on since the 1960s. We can't keep up this practice without endangering our food supply.
If you build you must take into account infrastructure such as water and electricity. There has to be playgrounds and schools and hospitals with adequate beds, transport, etc. Once the building of the homes is done then there has to be enough work for the people. Lack of forward planning and lack of time in which to implement the plans has gotten Sydney, Australia into one hell of a mess.
Yeah, I agree. Besides, that's how housing bubbles are formed in the first place. Without government financing of loans to bad credit risks, people would have a stable supply of old houses at a reasonable price to choose from, houses they could then renovate and make very comfortable.
Every time a new house is built, this affects the prospects of selling an old house. For house prices to stabilize, owners and buyers need to have a common understanding of what a house is worth and how much they would pay for one, using their own money.
Im writing from the Uk and we have a terrible housing problem. People are homeless and are dumped into expensive bed and breakfast for months on end. What might be relevant for our tiny country, might not be relevant for Aus. Sorry, I didnt make things plain
Thanks for explaining shazwellyn.
Is the housing shortage caused by too many people migrating to the UK? If land that should be left for farming must be used up for increases in the population that have nothing to do with natural population growth then you do have a similar problem to what is being experienced in Australia.
People shouldn't be left homeless. That is a problem for now. You don't want to, however, become a country or kingdom not capable anymore of feeding yourselves. Japan is like that and has been like that for many decades now. The Japanese must import most of the rice they consume, for example, because there is no way their farmers can grow enough to feed everyone. Ten years ago the price of an orange in Japan was equivalent to $10 Australian. I don't quite know what that would be in UK money but it would be a LOT. We don't want to go down that path.
If they can afford to live in an expensive bed and breakfast, why can't they afford to rent a flat? Is it because once somebody moves into a flat, then it's really hard to evict them, so entry fees are exorbitant?
And we've abandoned our cities while creating suburban sprawl with increased transportation and infrastructure costs.
Actually Our cities may be abandoning us therefore the suburban sprawl.
In Sydney for example the infrastructure is very old and was never meant to look after so many people. It can be upgraded of course but whether or not this will happen is the question. Whether we can ever plan ahead to take into account growth of the city in city planning and maintenance is another question. There is apparently one city in the USA where the movers and shakers have actually done all these things. I think Seattle is the place.
There are thousands of empty properties in the UK - the last thing we need is more new builds on greenfield sites. As Rod said, there is always a lack of infrastructure on new, edge-of-town housing developments.
Plus I also think that in a few decades' time, people's housing needs will be different. The trend is towards smaller households - i.e. single people and couples, who would be better off living in a flat in the centre of a town/city, close to all the amenities rather than over-extending themselves financially to try and afford the mortgage on a Wimpy home on the edge of nowhere.
I also can't help wondering if as the price of fuel goes up, more people are going to find that they can't afford to run a car. In that case, they're definitely not going to want to live too far away from shops, schools etc.
term limits for all politicians.
It is supposed to be public service not a freaking career!
Big and desperately needed building projects such as new dams never get started because they take more than four years to complete. In the space of four years any and every government wants to wow the people with what they have done so they can be voted in again. Why start a ten year project someone else will complete and no doubt get the lion's share of credit for? In the meantime old dams appear to be in the wrong places as water catchments because of climate change and no sign of new ones even on paper. Desalination plants seem to be the new answer.
Says the people that founded this country!
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