Our current economic crises - yes, they are plural and global - stem from many factors. Bad government policies and processes for more than 50 years, unethical and unthoughtful business decisions and woeful strategic thinking have created this tsunami. In the midst of the (programmed) anarchy and polemics, we can miss one very important reality: this situation is reversible in months, not years if leaders have the courage to act decisively and wisely. If the following steps are taken, both the American and global economies will right themselves and we will not have a double-dip or a repeat of the 1930s.
Rein in government spending.
Judiciously privatize many public pension systems, with clear controls to protect the investments of workers.
End special health and retirement benefits for all elected officials.
Transform the tax code, closing outdated loopholes, eliminating double and triple taxation and capping top rates so that investments are rewarded.
Bring our troops home quickly, establish anti-terror military strategies that are mobile and not occupying and start reforming a bloated and corrupt defense industry.
Good ecological policies mean good economics for generations to come. Open new venues for oil and natural gas, while allowing profits from these efforts to fund private-public partnerships for cleaner alternatives. Let's stop both the simplistic, "drill here, drill now" and the "de-development" social engineering and get on with the kind of creativity that built the world's greatest economy.
Reform immigration with compassionate and judicious policies that open doors for legal residency and work while securing the borders and screening out criminals.
Carefully and humanely begin deportation of all illegal immigrants in US prisons.
Reform federal agencies and decentralize as much administration as possible. Instead of more federal money to the states, have a summit with the 50 governors and work on keeping more public dollars at home.
The list could continue for many more pages, but the principles are clear: ethical and fiscal integrity, wealth creation and local/regional socioeconomic strategies that deploy best practices.
Both local and global economies run on confidence. When fear takes over, recession and depression are not far behind. To my friends of the Right - we MUST reform military spending processes and stop being the world's policeman, even while we judiciously confront terror. To my friends of the Left - we must secure our borders and create better efficiencies for public compassion.
Out of the crises of the 1990s both parties had to cooperate and the results were a nearly balanced budget and four million folks off welfare and deployed in the work force.
Will our leaders have the courage to change or will we slide toward Weimar-style amorality and anarchy that opens the door to totalitarian rule? The choice is ours, today and in 2012.