How to fix a broken economy?
Begin heavily investing in infrastructure: education and physical infrastructure such as roads, bridges, 21st century rail systems, environmental restoration and renewable energy.
Investing in infrastructure was exactly what Franklin Delano Roosevelt accomplished through proven agencies such as the Works Progress Administration, Civilian Conservation Corps, the Tennessee Valley Authority, the Bonneville Power Administration and later the GI Bill. In retrospect, FDR had the luxury of a solid dollar and practically no national debt to carry.
How can we do this is in an age of massive federal deficits and a $10 trillion national debt?
The truth is that promoting the general welfare in these times is going to be difficult. First, it should be abundantly clear by now that reducing taxation, if only for the wealthy and corporations, does not stimulate the economy. In the long term, in fact, it has the opposite effect. Runaway deficits and debts combined with under-investment in infrastructure leads to declining productivity for individuals and our economy.
Taxation is the price we pay for civilization. There are no self-made men or women. Just ask their mothers, fathers and mentors. There are no self-made industries. All of us benefit from the efforts and infrastructure made by previous generations. Taxes are the dues we pay to keep roads maintained, clean water coursing out of the tap and for police and fire protection whenever we need it.
We will need to re-allocate funds. In my opinion, that of a Jeffersonian Democrat, we have been over-funding the military since the Truman administration. The Cold War ended a generation ago. If it is true that republics don’t do empire, then we no longer need military bases in nearly every country in the world and two wars going simultaneously with no end in sight.