Knight Kiplinger is the editor in chief of Kiplinger’s Personal Finance magazine and Kiplinger.com, and in the November issue, he has published an editorial that gets to the core of what must be done to adapt to today’s economic reality. A link to the online edition of the article was sent to me by a publicity agent, but despite thism I wanted to share it with readers.
Kiplinger, the individual, has nothing to lose by making bold statements about the economy, unlike our presidential candidates who have to worry about alienating voters. The editor in chief does report to the board of directors of the publishing company, so I’m sure he couldn’t fly too far off the handle. Appropriately, the editorial is fitting the rest of the publication.
First, he lists America’s eight toughest economic problems, summarized here:
- Overconsumption and undersaving by individuals and the federal government
- Soaring old-age entitlements
- Addiction to fossil fuels
- Dependence on imported oil
- An overly ambitious foreign policy of promoting democracy by forcible regime change
- Failing public schools and inadequate vocational training
- Uneven access to health care
- A broken immigration system
Kiplinger goes on to provide solutions, both governmental and private, for these issues. Some of these solutions may be controversial. For example. here’s what the article proposes to reduce federal spending.
Voters should insist that Congress begin reducing the federal budget deficit, starting first with spending restraint. Tax hikes could come later–but only if proved to be needed.
My nominees for frozen or gradually reduced federal spending: military hardware; a wide array of subsidies to business, especially energy and agriculture; and health care for the elderly and poor (not less care, but more efficiently delivered).
My candidates for higher federal spending: support for elementary and secondary education, basic scientific research, and infrastructure (bridges, airports, harbors and parks).
The article contains a number of interesting suggestions for improving the economy and the quality of living in the United States. Read the article, A New Economic Agenda.
Published or updated October 8, 2008.