The last couple of posts have discussed our government and its economic policy. Based on the comments, there seems to be considerable disagreement about the details but a general understanding that the U.S. government seems to be doing something wrong; the GOP and their blue enemies both at fault, more or less.
We've talked about what the U.S. seems to be doing. I would like to hear from the group what they think we SHOULD do. My questions would be these:
1. What would you say are the fundamental functions of a national government - specifically, what should it pay for? Certainly things too big for individuals to do; build harbors, airports, bridges, armies, submarines...but which? And is there a real need for subsidiary governments - provinces, states, regions...and how do they fit into this scheme?
Is medical care for its citizens a good idea for a national government to provide? A state government? How about pensions for the elderly or infirm? Support for science, or the arts? Subsidies for fishermen or farmers?
Is there a sort of Maslow's Hierarchy of governing? Where would you rank these things? If you had to throw something or things overboard to right the Ship of State, which would you recommend?
2. How do you pay for these things? What sort of taxes would you recommend, and how would you apply, administer and collect them? Who should collect more, the nation, or the state/region?
3. And last, to what degree should all of this taxing and spending impinge on the private economy of the nation?
I'm not asking for "perfect" solutions - just ideas. And, I would also ask - to what degree would you consider your ideas practical? Given the state of the nation today, is there any hope, in your opinion, that your ideas could ever be adopted?