Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Partial list of my favorite things . . .

Partial List of My Most “Controversial” Views
(in no particular order and subject to change)
  1.  Government should ideally exit fully from the activity of funding, administering, sanctioning or otherwise engaging in education. As a second-best solution, the government should only facilitate the funding of education by fixed-amount vouchers issued directly to parents and redeemable by any entity that can demonstrate to a non-government third party that they are an education provider. A qualified third party would be one that a significant number and variety of education providers themselves would recognize as being a legitimate if not desirable third-party evaluator.
  2. Free movement of people into and out of the United States of America should be allowed unencumbered and unlimited except for those who are known felons or who are carriers of highly dangerous communicable diseases.
  3. As a corollary to the previous, the free movement of goods, services, and investment should also be free of encumbrance except for the most extreme cases of vital national interest with great burden of proof put upon the justification for any such limitation. 
  4. The federal government of the United States should eliminate fully the income tax (both personal and corporate), all taxes on capital including dividends and capital gains (short and long term), all excise taxes, and all taxes on estates. There are two desirable replacements for the current tax structure: One is a payroll tax of a certain and consistent (i.e., flat) rate applicable to all employment arrangements whereby the tax is assessed on the fair market value of the total compensation (salaries, wages and benefits) earned by an employee. Another perhaps preferable solution would be a certain and consistent (i.e., flat) rate of sales tax applied to the purchase of all final goods and services. As a method to reduce regressivity, a federal tax rebate could be created whereby all adult citizens are issued a refund equal to the sales tax rate multiplied by the dollar value of the poverty level of consumption and all citizens claiming a dependent would be issued a refund equal to 25% of the sales tax rate multiplied by the dollar value of the poverty level. To aim further in adding progressivity to the system, a marginal 10% payroll tax could be applied to all total compensation above $100,000 with this threshold indexed to grow with inflation. 
  5. All narcotics and other drugs should be completely legalized.
  6. Nearly all if not all zoning laws should be discontinued and dissolved.
  7. Prostitution should be legalized.
  8. The state should cease and desist from all activities involving sex offense registries and notification requirements.
  9. Copyright laws and rules should be very significantly reduced in scope and scale.
  10. Patent protection should be considerably rethought with the aim to greatly reduce their anticompetitive and antidevelopment characteristics.
  11. There should be no occupational licensure enforced by law.
  12. Most not-for-profit, charitable activities are slightly counter-productive at best, highly destructive at worst.
  13. Price controls are an extremely poor solution that fails on efficiency as well as liberty grounds. They should be avoided to every extent especially in times of emergency and crisis. 
  14. Central banking should be replaced by free banking (first-best solution), replaced by a gold standard as described by George Selgin, et al. (second-best solution), conducted with fixed rules in a regime of NGPD level targeting as described by Scott Sumner, et al. (third-best solution).