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Capitalism isn’t broken, democracy is

By Unemployed CEO / April 18, 2016

The following is a guest editorial from a reader in response to yesterday’s “Was Justin Trudeau’s Quantum Computing coup staged?”

Hi Mark,

Like you, I was infuriated when I saw the press about this farce. He can barely tie his shoelaces let alone understand what quantum computing is. While reading your article on your website “rebooting capitalism” it struck me that capitalism is not what needs to be rebooted but rather democracy is what needs a reboot. The destruction of capitalism is a symptom of the cancer and not the root cause. The root cause is that we as a society have decided to let the dumbest half of us pick our leaders. Until we fix that nothing else will get fixed because everything else (capitalism, fiscal policy, central banks, wall street etc.) are only symptoms that will disappear once the root cause is fixed.

So how do we fix this absent a dictatorship? Well, we have a great example in how public corporations are governed. The shareholders elect the board which governs the company and hires and fires the CEO based on his/her performance in achieving the goals set by the board. If the board screws up, the shareholders get to elect another board or change out certain members of the board at every AGM. Sounds like a democracy doesn’t? Yes, it sure does with one simple exception. Rather than one shareholder one vote, it is one share one vote. Or translated into a country, one tax dollar paid on your tax return that year gives you one vote that year.

Let’s see what that would fix?

First of all, it is the people paying the bill that get to decide how the money is spent. If they give themselves too many tax cuts then they stop being able to decide. They won’t rack on debt because being the largest tax payers they will foot the bill.

 

phb_epiphanyThe biggest argument about this model is that they will slash spending and cut all the social programs to reduce their own taxes. Well part of that needs to be done, because the kick-the-can-down-the-road method will eventually run out of road. But will they cut too much to create social unrest? I don’t think so for the same reason boards of public company don’t cut expenses to the point of killing the company in order maximize profits.

 

Second, and perhaps more importantly, the board can go out and recruit the best CEO (aka PM) for the job. Suddenly, because you don’t have to go through an election, all kinds of genuinely qualified people will want that job. After getting the job, the CEO’s main focus will be to achieve the board’s goals so he doesn’t get fired rather than start campaigning for the next election on his first day in office (like what we saw at the presser).

Third, by virtue of the fact that the dumbest half pay a lot less taxes, we can start having some semblance of natural selection (the law that got us to the 21st century as species) in who makes the decisions for our society. We need to get smart people back in charge. People like Trudeau, Trump, Cruz, Hillary or even Sanders would never see the light of day in system like this. Instead the next CEO of the US or Canada might be Elon Musk, Sergey Brin, or Kyle Bass for that matter.

I suggested this system a few years ago on Facebook in passing (just a one liner) and was defriended by several people. It is certainly very unpopular but that is the point isn’t it!

It will take a revolution to get us there but if don’t, we will repeat history and revert to a dictatorship.

 

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Unemployed CEO

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