Policy / Political Views

Avram Miller’s plan to save America and maybe the world


I have been pretty negative for some time about our government.  I think congress is disgusting and self serving.  I think the Obama administration is a great disappointment.  We need leadership.  So here I am with my own program to save America.

Health Care

  • We need to focus on prevention and early detection of disease. This means increase research, education about changing life styles and appropriate medical testing.
  • The amount of money spent in the last year of life needs to be decreased. A great deal of this money is wasted on taking care of patients that hardly know they are alive. The money could be better spent on prevention and early detection so that the last year of life would happen several years later (longer life expectancy).
  • Must phase into a single payer system. The best way to accomplish this is to decrease the age of medicare by two years each year.  In ten years the age will be 45.  At that point every one should be eligible. Only a single payer system can balance the long term with the short term.  Insurance companies have no incentive since they  do not know how long they will have a particular member.
  • Move from an employer based system.  One of the benefit of an employer based system is that it creates a large group of people with different medical conditions, ages and sex.  This can be accomplished in other ways.  The employer based system creates an economic disadvantage to companies since the cost of these plans are high and many non American companies do not have to  carry this burden.  These programs tend to isolate consumers from the real cost. The tax deductions companies get without the consumers taxed on the benefits means that the government is paying a significant amount of the medical insurance cost  without being able to influence how this money is spent. The government should provide a tax credit for medical costs and a deduction on medical cost above the value of the tax credit which can be capped.
  • Reform the legal system and change the laws on mal-practice suits. Remove the anti-monopoly exception for insurance companies
  • Improve the IT in health care.  Standards for consumer health data bases should be established which provide for inter-operability and sharing of data bases.  All medical institutions should be required to use approved health care software
  • Consumer Pricing Information. Methods should be developed so that consumers can get access to both pricing and performance of organizations such as testing facilities (like MRI’s).  Transparency is required.

Energy

  • We need a tax on energy especially gasoline.  We should set a floor and then increase the floor in determined and known way.  The money resulting from this tax can be given back to tax payers as a credit.  They can decide to use it for energy or something else.
  • We need a mass works program to develop alternative energy sources.
  • We need to create mass transport and provide incentives for  people to use this transport.
  • All other methods of conservation should be encouraged.

War on Terrorism

  • Reduce direct spending and take money saved and use it to create economic development in key countries like Palestine.
  • Understand that the US wars in Islamic countries only help recruit terrorists.
  • Work with Muslim  leaders to help turn the tide of thinking.

Employment

  • Establish two years of national service after high school for all Americans.  These years can be used in a number of ways from support of public programs, to peace corp. or even armed service.  This will take the 18 and 19 year old’s out of the work force.  It will give them valuable skills.
  • Establish optional two years of national service for adults between the age of 60 and 70.

3 thoughts on “Avram Miller’s plan to save America and maybe the world

  1. Asher the bogger you reference makes a good point. Much can be accomplished by changing the way Americans are taxed and this could be done without a fundamental change in our government structure (although it is doubtful that any changes that would effect corp interests). But I don’t really like his ideas. If I understand his proposal, there would be two taxes. The first would be on resources and the second on investments. My concern with respect to the first is that having the government have a large interest in taxing resources would just make the government want to encourage that. Yes, the taxing might have a dampening effect but that would only make the government try to find more ways to encourage the plundering of our natural resources. The blogger is misguided in thinking that the government has the interests of the citizens at heart. Rather than this, I would be for a tax on natural resources which would in turn be paid out to consumers in the form of tax credits. The advantage of this is that consumers would move away from products that had a higher cost because of higher use of resources and could use the money in anyway they wished. The government would not have any dependency of this tax as a revenue stream. The second point is even more poorly thought out in my opinion and I think shows a poor understanding by the blogger as to how finance actually works. Companies independent of being in the service business or manufacturing business need capital. They get it by borrowing money or selling equity. By being able to do this, they can invest for the future and do not have to support growth only out of earnings. By taxing capital gains and interest (and I assume dividends), consumers will be encouraged to spend money rather than invest for the future. I don’t see how this will help anyone but China. By the way, the blogger did not deal with the issues of trade and trade imbalance. Companies are already taxed on profits. I think that is good since it encourages companies that are well managed and have a long term perspective to invest. I think that taxes could help discourage some of the transactional nature of our finance markets but I am not sure that would do much. I am not sure what is the right approach with respect to taxation but I will think about this and hopefully post my own point of view.

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