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Friday, March 10, 2017

Highest Order Purpose of the U.S. Federal Government

Since at least 2010, I have proposed that the highest order purpose of the US Federal Government is to “Optimize the return on national resources.” If you can think of something better, I would like to know it in your feedback.
Here is what this means. Given the nation's natural resources, land, infrastructure, materials, capital, and human resources, the job of government is to create an optimal environment in which citizens, their corporations, both public and private, can perform to the highest level of their capacity and ability.
Governments at each level collaborate with the Federal Government to produce optimal rules that provide incentives for good performance while dissuading or preventing bad or dangerous actions by people and their entities. The Federal Government is the citizens' instrument for achieving these things and for addressing essential outcomes as proposed here.

America's Priority Outcomes
  1. Nation secured economically - 100%
  2. Nation has a sustainable economy - 100%
  3. Nation secured militarily - 100%
  4. Homeland secured from terrorists - 100%
  5. Employment opportunities for all who can work - 100%
  6. Upward mobility for all who are prepared commensurate with ability - 100%
  7. All persons provided minimal sustainment as a baseline to start - 100%
  8. Social security assured for all persons - 100%
  9. Clean air and water - 100%
  10. Best education in the world - #1
  11. Freest nation in the world - #1
  12. Lowest crime rate in the world - #1 in the least crime per capita
  13. Healthiest population in the world
The rationale is as follows:

The nation must be secured economically because anything less than that undermines everything else. When the debt and deficit are too large, the national integrity is at risk. The U.S. experienced a national crisis in 2008 following a period in which the Presidential administration and Congress initiated foreign policy that we could not afford while simultaneously lowering taxes to the wealthy and corporations. Therefore, the nation’s precarious financial condition was made worse from revenue shortage.
Second, the nation must have a sustainable economy. The present economic model is one of regulated capitalism. The economy has operated on the notion of ever expanding markets, growing population, and unlimited energy supply. The present paradigm has been fossil fuels. Fossil fuels are in limited supply and burning them to produce energy creates an environmental hazard. Therefore, capitalism based on those ideas is unsustainable.
Short-sighted politicians who are corrupted by “Big Oil” and “Big Business” influences support corporations who want to maximize profits at the expense of being socially and environmentally responsible.
A sustainable economy is one that is managed to produce the required amount of upward mobile opportunity (jobs) that satisfy a progressive population. There are debates about how to best measure economic progress. The old approach is Gross Domestic Product. One new approach is Genuine Progress Indicator (GPI). GPI starts with personal consumption expenditures, a major component of GDP, and adjusts it using 25 components. The point is that the nation must continuously review its economic model in light of advancing ideas.
The nation must be secure militarily. A nation that cannot defend itself is not viable. The U.S. engages in a strategy to be the strongest military force in the world, and to be able to conduct a couple of world conflicts simultaneously. The Department of Defense manages different branches of service, each with a unique brand of warfare and capabilities. The DOD, like the entire nation, cannot stand still and must continuously improve.
Homeland Security is a new invention designed to combat and prevent domestic terrorism and violence. It is an immature organization with wide reaching responsibilities. As with economic and military security, citizens may well expect the DHS to keep the nation 100% secure. When political leaders try to hedge on that commitment, they are ripe to answer questions about it.
Coincident with a sustainable economy is ensuring employment opportunities for all who can work. That is a foundation for ensuring that there is no poverty in America. We know that is a deficiency today.
It is not enough to be employed. Citizens who invest in personal and professional development deserve comparable opportunities to apply themselves.
Every citizen deserves a minimum standard of living that is above poverty.
Social Security must be guaranteed to all citizens for their lifetime.
Without clean air and water, human habitation is impossible. Government must ensure this through proper environmental regulation. The present government of the Executive and Legislative branches are withdrawing that commitment. Citizens have every right to resist and to demand better performance.
Americans deserve the best education system in the world and that is not the status today. Deficiencies in education and training undermine the #1 priority and that is economic security.
We have every right to expect that our Constitutional guarantees are met. The present government is failing to do that.
As a nation, we have every right to expect the cities and states everywhere to have the lowest crime rate in the world. Today, we are failing that measure.
I admit than over several years, I omitted “healthiest population” as being a priority which it surely is.

Sustainable Economy

Producing a sustainable economy deserves special description and discussion in order to properly perform the next. Here is the basic argument.
Since fossil fuels are running out in the foreseeable future, continuing reliance on oil and coal, for instances, is an economic dead end. Furthermore, the continuing use of fossil fuels pollutes clean air and water. Rather than engage in the false-flag debate about climate change, let’s stick with the facts that America’s air and water is at risk from how we have polluted the environment, which includes significant contributions from automobiles. An economy based on fossil fuel burning energy is unacceptable.
The current capitalist paradigm is unsustainable because it is based on ever-expanding populations and ever-expanding consumption. On our planet and in our own nation, there is a limit to how many people can live acceptably with limited natural resources.

The current leaders in the Presidency and Congress are failing to address these realities and the necessity to either make capitalism sustainable or to replace it with a different economic model. Citizens are woefully uneducated about this important consideration to which they should be active participants.

By James A. George (c) 2017 All Rights Reserved

Sustainable CapitalismA Matter of Common Sense

Front Cover
Kumarian Press, 2005 - Business & Economics - 211 pages
* Addresses the philosophical and scientific roots of sustainability
* Examines neglected ethical and moral aspects of capitalist economic theory
* Advocates a new sustainable paradigm for all living organizations, businesses, economics, and societies

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