Firstly, this is an American point of view, but I believe the concepts could work anywhere.
To understand my plan, we first have to discuss the benefits and drawbacks of both socialism and capitalism.
I hope that you will, for the sake of this piece, put aside your preconceived notions of what these concepts are and allow me to break them down piece by piece.
Let's start with capitalism. Capitalism is an economic system in which the free market dictates pricing through supply and demand. The concept of this is simple.
If you have a product that people really want, and there are limited quantities, then you can charge a lot.
On the other hand if there are excessive amounts of an item no one wants, then it becomes worthless.
The free market inspires innovation. It creates a competitive marketplace that is constantly innovating and developing new ways to appeal to consumers, and cut costs.
This can be a double edged sword, as any parent who has bought a childrens toy, only to have it break immediately would tell you. Sometimes, too many corners get cut.
There is also the problem of necessities. Let's say I have a disease, and you have the only cure. Without it I will die.
No one else is allowed to produce the cure, so you can charge whatever you want.
In this scenario the supply and demand curve is broken. That is one reason I believe certain sectors should be under public domain.
Sectors like law enforcement, education, military, fire departments, etc..
These are sectors that have been deemed too important to charge families for, and thus they have become part of a socialist portion of our society.
For those of you who detest socialism I am sorry to inform you that our country is already very socialist. Social security, the above mentioned public sectors, and more.
These are all socialist systems, and yet they are still necessary systems, because, as per my example with the medication, the free market isn’t always the best approach.
Additionally, Scandinavian countries have adopted portions of socialism with great success. The concern however, comes in two forms.
Concern that the government will control everything, and concern that people will become completely dependant on the state.
While the later will certainly be true of some, I think we give people too little credit for wanting to work. I don’t believe that the majority of people are lazy.
In fact I believe the great majority of people will want more than the bare minimum.
I also think we need to be realistic about how wealth is distributed. For years now the rich have grown richer and richer, while the poor struggle. It seems so pointless to me.
I live and support a family of 4 on an income of 55,000. It is tight but we are lucky to own our home, we’ve all our basic needs met, and I can reach the world through my computer.
So someone worth billions can spare some, and still be worth billions.
So why am I telling you all this?
It’s so you will understand the balance that I am proposing, and maybe, it can gain some traction.
I would rework the government as such.
Do away with the electoral college. Popular vote for president. Voting would follow the example set in Maine, where the voter ranks the candidates from favorite to least favorite.
Then, whoever’s last gets dropped off and the persons vote changes to their second choice, and so on until they have established a winner.
It might be someone who wasn’t a lot of peoples top pick, but who a lot of people like reasonably well. I would institute this nationwide for as many positions as possible.
It would effectively do away with having only two candidates for president, or other offices for that matter.
Both major political parties would be forced to support multiple candidates, no longer would it be a choice between only two.
I spoke about capitalism earlier, and I still believe in the free market, just for non essentials. Essentials would be provided for everyone.
If you want it nicer, you could get it nicer, but you’d have to work. This would also cost less money than our current social safety nets.
I know people out there don’t like government, and that’s why it would stay out of most markets entirely, barring safety issues.
Things controlled in the public domain and available to all people would be as follows.
Universal base income (small amount)
These would be basic accommodations, nothing fancy but enough to survive.
I can’t help but look at the vast amount of wealth some people have and think why is anyone homeless? Plus, how does a homeless or mentally ill person get better?
With a place to live and bathe, and the therapy and the medication necessary to treat them, that’s how.
But what's even better about this approach? It is actually pro small business. You see, I myself would start a business but my need for healthcare coverage. I know there are others like me.
And knowing the bases were covered would give me enough security to be an entrepreneur.
Lastly, how do we pay for this? Nobody likes taxes, but I think most people will agree that those base needs are genuine needs, if not for adults, then at least for their children.
Simple. A flat sales tax, on non essentials. With an exemption for one primary car per person, and one primary residence per person. Additional cars, houses, etc… and you can afford the tax.
That is how I would save America.