These are three principles I strongly believe in.
1. Prosperity from technology
Creating prosperity is how everyone’s lives get better every year.
Most real economic growth comes from technological progress. The US government has turned its back on this basic law of economics, and no longer provides funding for our best and brightest to build a better future. Instead, we’ve built an increasingly financialized economy, and steal from our future with debt. We are getting beaten by other countries.
Obviously, technology cannot solve everything, and getting policy right is more important than just getting the technology right.
But technology is a prosperity machine, and the US should be the technology center for the world.
We should invest in our nation’s future by investing in true scientific breakthroughs, the kinds that will cure disease, end poverty, and provide great education for everyone.
We used to be the best in the world at doing this, and we desperately need to get back there. We do a little of it today, but not nearly as much as we need to be doing.
We can also use technology to do more with less, and deliver government services that we can afford. The basic political fight today has been reduced to cut taxes or cut services (and especially health care)—there is a third option, which is to do what we expect from the business world, and figure out how to get more efficient every year.
We can make the cost of living cheaper and the quality of life better—we can dramatically lower the cost of building houses, we can build more infrastructure and greatly reduce traffic, we can stop polluting the environment, and we can, over time, cure almost all disease.
We must also be pro-business, which includes reducing overly burdensome regulation and rewarding long-term outlooks. The current rate of businesses leaving the state is disastrous.
Without a return to real economic growth, we will either go bankrupt or break the promises that previous generations have made. And generational theft is a legacy that no one wants to leave.
2. Economic fairness
The economic growth we generate must be shared by all Americans. We can’t stand for a society in which all of the gains (or more recently, more than all of the gains—life has gotten worse for a lot of people) from progress accrue to a small number of individuals.
I’ve benefited from our current system in a way that would have been nearly impossible for a poor person born just a few miles from where I grew up, where it feels like a different country. The two most important gifts I got in life were the love of my parents and a great education—a great education should be a right for every child.
I believe that economic justice is social justice, and that we will not have true justice until all Americans, regardless of their background or how they look, have equal economic opportunity.
We need a system where workers rights are protected against large corporations, and we must ensure that average compensation grows at about the same rate as the economy. We cannot continue to have a world where the earnings of CEOs of public companies increase so dramatically while average wages remain stagnant (especially when it’s so often not even tied to creating real wealth).
We deserve a country where our government works to keep the cost of living affordable, instead of letting rich people drive it up to increase their own wealth. We especially need a country where young people can see a future they can afford once again.
We need to do a better job of providing the essentials—health care, education, and affordable housing. And people who work hard and take risks and succeed should enjoy the benefits of success.
Many decades ago, economic inclusivity led to more wealth generation than any other nation in history, but now the people in power in our country are protecting their own wealth at the expense of young people’s futures. Long-term, this will hurt everyone.
3. Personal liberty
Freedom is the bedrock of America. We must preserve and defend the freedom to choose who we are, what we want to be, what we do with our bodies, how we want to express ourselves, and maintain our privacy in the face of technology. The authoritarian streak currently running through the country is deeply troubling to me.
These are my 3 core principles, but a lot of people probably agree with them. Here are 10 more specific policy proposals I’d like to see candidates enact.
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