Thursday, March 03, 2016

The 2016 Election

I would invite anyone trying to decide how to vote in the general election to visit the sites of all the candidates to actually see the detail in their proposals posted there. You won't find much but a wish list from any of them.

As I see it, the main problems that need addressing are correcting inequality, reducing foreign wars, and reducing the burden on the middle class and small businesses. Correcting inequality boils down to shifting the tax burden to higher income people and increasing wages for working people. Eliminating duplication of government services should also be a top priority, along with eliminating old government programs aimed at problems which no longer exist, like expensive defense programs for aircraft and ships that were designed to fight the last war, not the current conflicts.

I think we can forget about any new initiatives until until the country comes back economically and the middle class is rebuilt to where it can sustain a healthy demand for good and services, particularly those which can be produced domestically. The most promising course to accomplish this is repairing our crumbling infrastructure and passing a living wage. Forget about balancing the budget until demand exceeds our capacity to produce, since only then will inflation become a problem. Right now we are in greater danger of deflation. I'm afraid we're going to have to put major changes in health care and education off until we solve these immediate problems. Of the current candidates, Sanders program has the most detail but is a bit too ambitious, Clinton and Trump the least and the most stuff that goes in the wrong direction. Check it out for yourself.

I think we will be relying mainly on the current government staffing to carry on. All of these candidates lack the experience to address our immediate problems, including Clinton, who will likely continue what we've been doing wrong all along. Sanders knows what needs to be done, but lacks the executive experience to carry it out. Trump is promising some of the right things in the area of trade and jobs, but the way he is proposing to do it will make things worse. If he continues just blowing smoke like he is now it's hard to see how he will accomplish any of the reasonable things he is proposing, and other things he is proposing will be a disaster. Forget the other three. They're either living in the past, governed by ideology, or lack any understanding of political economy.

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