Back when I was a retail marketing analyst, I used to make formal presentations to my clients about every month or so, each aimed at different audiences within the company — buyers / merchandisers, operations, marketing / advertising and senior management (the last being more of an annual high-altitude presentation, of course).
Because of the volume of data I had on hand it was almost impossible to show all of it, so I would provide summaries, but with all the data on hand in case there were any questions requiring a deep dive into the supporting numbers.
I would then make a summary of the summary, and give each executive an action plan consisting of three, and only three things that had the highest priority with the greatest impact, with the suggestion that they tackle those three items immediately after the meeting. (Their bosses, of course, got the list of all the departments’ action items so that they could follow up to make sure that they’d been addressed.)
That habit has stayed with me ever since, especially when, as today, I see an enormous problem that needs fixing. What spurs me on to even greater efforts is when I see that the people who are supposed to be fixing the problem either not doing anything (a massive clue that they don’t know what to do), or are timidly tinkering around the edges of the problem when in fact, the remedies are quite simple, but usually radical.
Here’s what I’m looking at right now. Read this article first, please, and then come back below the fold.
Whenever economists start blathering on about interest rates and the money supply, my eyes start to glaze over. There is a very simple fix to the economic problem facing the United States, and it requires that government do three things immediately. They are:
1.) Lower Tax Rates
This means lowering the top individual rate (from its current 40%) to 30%; corporate taxes to 5%; and capital gains taxes to 5%. Every time these tax rates have been lowered, the tax receipts (what the government actually takes in) have grown exponentially. It happened with JFK, with Reagan, with G.W. Bush and even with Trump, and there is absolutely no reason to suspect that the same wouldn’t happen now.
2.) Energy Indepence:
a.) Increase Domestic Oil & Gas Production (and Exploration)
The government needs to open up the oil / gas fields, encourage the oil companies to get more out of the ground by releasing the many existing oil and gas leases, and fast-track the building of at least four more refineries to handle the increased output. Needless to say, all pipeline systems should be expanded, beginning with the reinstatement of Keystone XL.
On a parallel track:
b.) Build 10 New Nuclear Generating Facilities
If we are going to go all-electric eventually, there is one and only one way to ensure that the national demand is met, and that’s through nuclear power. This would require that government relax or abolish most of the pre-construction regulations that the Greens have encouraged. It goes without saying that the existing nukes facing closure should be brought back up to speed ASAP.
3.) Freeze Government Spending for Five Years
By this, I don’t mean “cutting the increase” (which passes for budget cuts in Congress-speak), I mean freezing all spending at 2021 levels. The only exception is defense, which has to be allowed to grow. (All those Javelin missiles taken from our armory and given to Ukraine, for example, have to be paid for.)
Excluding defense spending therefore, I expect government spending to look like this: 2021: $1 bazillion (whatever it was); 2022: $1 bazillion; 2023 $1 bazillion etc.
This does two things: it encourages government to keep inflation down (i.e. print less money) and it forces government to do what every U.S. citizen is required to do: make do with less. It will also force government to stop getting loans from overseas, which lest we forget, would be a Good Thing.
Taken in conjunction with the increased tax revenues (see above), this would restore the national balance sheet to at least something approaching sanity, as opposed to what it is now: a bubble waiting to burst.
Of course, the current government will have nothing to do with the above, in that their existing actions (you can’t call reckless destruction “policy”) are in fact diametrically opposite to what I’m demanding. Instead of lowering taxes, for example, the government is talking about windfall corporate taxes, high individual tax rates, and “a billionaire super tax” — all of which have historically failed to do anything to boost the economy. The same is true of oil and gas production and government spending.
So we’re faced with the fate of lemmings as we all happily plunge over the precipice together.
If I’d ever had a client in a similar situation, and who refused to take my advice to correct it, I’d have resigned the account.