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No Exit Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-10-05 09:19 AM
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Real Pro-Growth Progressives

Dean Baker

1) Free-trade starting at the top all future trade agreements focus on standardizing professional and licensing standards so that it is as easy for a kid born in New Delhi to become a doctor/lawyer/economist in the U.S. as a kid born on Long Island. All current barriers, such as restrictions on the number of foreign medical residents are eliminated. We can maintain immigration restrictions were just replacing custodians and nannies with doctors and lawyers thereby benefiting from comparative advantage (its cheaper to educate people in the developing world.)

2) Free-market drugs patent monopolies are an incredibly inefficient way to finance prescription drug research. Patents are a relic of the feudal guild system. We need a 21st century method of financing drug research. This is a micro change with macro size implications. We spend almost 2 percent of GDP on prescription drugs, this would fall by close to 70 percent if drugs were sold in a competitive market.


4) Universal voluntary accounts according to President Bushs Social Security commission, the government can administer a system of 401(k)s for one-fifth the cost of private 401(k)s. It can also provide annuities at virtually no cost. Why not make such a system available to all workers on a totally voluntary basis where it could compete with the existing 401(k) system. This would raise workers' retirement income from savings by 20-25 percent through pure efficiency gains.

5) Tax stock trading like other gambling If people gamble at casinos in Los Vegas or Atlantic City, they pay a 6 percent tax on their spending (not their winnings, they also pay income tax on these.) They pay an even higher tax if they gamble at the race tracks or on state lotteries. Whats wrong with having a small tax (0.25 percent) on stock trades for people who gamble at the stock market. For the vast majority of people with 401(k)s this tax would be trivial (suppose the capital gains tax were 16% instead of 15%). It would be a big deal for those heavily involved in speculation, and it could raise close to $100 billion a year.


Let's see if the mega-capitalists and their shills can really live by their pious "free trade" pronouncements. And how about we do away with all those banking regulations? I know a guy who has a few thousand dollars to spare, and he wants to lend it out to people to earn interest on it. Why can't he?
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