Random Observation/Comment #641: Understanding incentives helps with seeing how and why certain issues are pushed forward.
Why this list?
I very rarely write about politics because it’s such a touchy subject. Anything I try to avoid at a holiday dinner table is taboo for me to write about. However, I think it makes sense to think about these choices in a broader sense of what we care about within our country.
I think capitalism inherently runs on percentage-based returns, which means more money yields higher returns. Rich will always get richer and the barrier is usually the first base of $1-2MM leading to the next $10-20MM. A passive income of %5 (or recently index funds of +15%) on $1MM investment leads to $50k per year or $4k per month pre-tax. Using money to make money will always have higher yields than salaries. On the other side of the extreme, debt builds more debt and we’re now starting the new Gen-Alpha in $100,000s of debt.
There’s way more than 30 aspects of this because it’s super complex, but here’s my engineering perspective on it. It’s okay to not be on the left or right on these issues – people tend to be a blend. Overall, my values lean towards being humane and getting things done to help people in need.
- Taxation – Tax brackets, Corporate taxation, and Tax distribution – Tax the rich, please. They can spare it.
- Education – Part of tax distribution and payments for preschool or universities – Make sure the money goes to the teachers, please.
- Environmental – Participation in Green New Deal / Paris Accords, Climate change commitments – Build incentives that make real changes
- Healthcare issues – Insurance, low-income health subsidy, public healthcare options – Universal healthcare makes sense. I think most people just want cheaper every day 95% pharma medicine that covers the majority of the illnesses.
- Immigration – Building a wall or increasing restrictions on immigration visas – I am an immigrant built on the hard work and hope. I hope we provide help in this.
- Global Trade – Tariff increases – This is complex. I’d prefer to help US-based companies and reduce baseline costs, but current policies are actually hurting our US companies because someone needs to eat the cost.
- Drug policy – Marijuana legalization likely more state-based – My main purpose for this is to increase taxation, reduce crime, and reduce police infrastructure spent on petty crimes.
- Military spending – Size of military – I think too much money is opaquely siphoned into war. It’s such a large percentage of our taxes that aren’t helping at home and building missiles we really don’t want to use.
- Foreign policy – Involvement in wars, NATO – Can’t we all just get along?
- Women’s Fertility rights – Abortion – I don’t think anyone is every ready for parenting, but I’m supportive of specific financial situations. I would rather not force people into debt through this route.
- LGBTQ rights – Gay marriage, gender identity, adoption – We’re all people.
- Oil / gas drilling – Fracking locally or overseas – This is a tough one as commodities runs a lot of larger business trends. I want the US to be a prominent leader here, but I don’t want our environment to suffer any further.
- Maternity leave – Not everyone works somewhere that gets guaranteed 12-weeks – Being a Mom is hard. We should help families with the conversion.
- Public transportation – Investments into improvements – This is more state/city-level, but I do hope that the policies address the everyday smooth operations and improvements for commutes.
- Crime – Levels of offense for prison sentences, programs for post-prison – I feel like the majority of people arrested are a result of a larger problem stemmed from general poverty circumstances. I also feel most of the white collar sentences are reduced way too much.
- 2nd Amendment rights – Should be split from Assault rifle, universal background checks, or gun magazine size restrictions, but these often get conflated with full-on gun bans – Bullets are expensive. There’s no reason for someone at a range to shoot a whole clip in 3 seconds.
- Religious freedom – I think community is a very important part of religion that needs to stay preserved. Beliefs are very powerful.
- Electoral issues – Gerrymandering, Lobbying – Fix the loopholes and corruption. What happened to integrity?
- Large corporation regulations – Tech monopolies – Tech companies should pay taxes and the incentives across businesses should be split to preserve some pieces of user data privacy.
- Net neutrality – Could be grouped into corporate monopolies, internet throttling – Stop taxing us for everything. We’re already paying way too much on all our recurring subscription services.
- Social Security, Retirement – If this is even a thing in the future – I don’t know if anyone will retire in the future. I think it’s actually a good thing to keep working. Retirement sounds boring.
- Salary – Equal pay, minimum wage, and universal basic income – I think bumping up people’s disposable income will relieve a lot of family pressure.
- Consumer healthcare impact – Drug price regulations – I don’t want to resort to public shaming on this one. You should not need to choose between your meds or eating for the day.
- Mandatory vaccinations – Don’t get me started…
- NSA surveillance – There’s no more privacy, but it’s freaky to put a public social score and use facial recognition to track everything I’m doing and then sell that data for targeted ads.
- Foreign aid – Help other countries with resources – I think we should support groups that genuinely help in these situations
- Campaign financing – The rules around this outright seems like they’re buying votes and introducing bad incentives to get more constituents. I think the maximum limits from individuals and limitations of donations from corporations helps in preventing this as a tax shelter for wealthy.
- Term limits – Change it up and bring new ideas for senators and congressmen – It’s like tenure – you’ll get a cushy job and care less about doing a good one and more about a status quo.
- Space exploration – I’m biased here. Exploration of space inspires young minds.
- Bitcoin / Cryptocurrency – Regulations are important, but please make clear decisions.
~See Lemons Rant About Politics