This guy, one of my heroes, makes so much sense with so few words it's scary. Sad that his words are not listened to more closely in Washington, and elsewhere.
Q: If the federal government does move to private accounts, does the $3 trillion that President Bush says he would have to borrow to get that moving cause a greater stress on the American economy?
A: No, because we already have that obligation. What we are talking about is replacing an unfunded debt with funded debt. We already have an obligation to all the people like myself who are currently on Social Security. The difference is it is not written out as funded debt. So when you talk about borrowing, they are not really changing the total government debt, they are only changing how much they recognize, and what is open and above board and how much of it is hidden in other funding. ...
Q: Since most of the immigrants to the United States are Mexican, what kind of effect is that having on the Mexican economy?
A: At the moment the Mexican economy is benefiting from the salaries that the Mexican immigrants are sending back home. The Mexican economy is, of course, losing its labor force, but the Mexican economy has not done a good job at creating jobs or job opportunities that these people would be suitable for. The real problem in Mexico is its policy as reflected in the whole economy. There is too much monopoly, too much regulation, too much restriction. All of that needs to be changed to get the Mexican economy growing at a rapid pace....
Q: Should the U.S. federal government look toward moving away from an income tax-based system to a consumption-based tax system?
A: That would be a very good idea. The disadvantage to taxing income is that it establishes a disincentive for savings, because income that is saved is going to be taxed twice. It is taxed initially when you earn it and save it, and again when (that savings) earns income, because that income is taxed again. With a consumption tax, you would tax it only once, when it is spent, not when it is saved.
Q: Do you believe like some people argue that that would put an unnecessary burden on the poor?
A: Who benefits from the saving? What's really helped the poor over the long period is having a productive economy with a larger amount of capital producing goods and services. The consumption tax, in so far as the people who receive an income don't spend it, in so far as they devote it to investment and savings, they are not eliminating what the poor have. On the contrary, they are building a platform that creates income for everybody....
Q: Do you think that as the U.S. moves to a service-based economy from a manufacturing based-economy that the country will continue to create the same type of high-paying jobs that the manufacturing sector did?
A: Absolutely. They have. Just look at the salaries that are being paid in Silicon Valley.
Let's go back to the basics. What is the real problem so far as the poor is concerned? In my opinion it is the lousy school systems we have, a school system in which something like a third drop out before they finish high school. And why do we have such a poor educational system? Because it is a government monopoly that, with the exception of some private schools, is run by the government, and like everything run by the government, it produces a product that is expensive and of a low quality. So if you want to do something about the poor, the most respective thing you could do would be to privatize the school system and allow parents to have a choice as to where their children would go to school.
Q: Nearly 50 years ago you were the first proponent of school vouchers. Why do you feel vouchers would help?,
A: Where in the country can you find a great advancement that has been produced by a government monopoly? All the great advancements we've had in automobiles, in telephones, the radio, you name it, all of those advancements have come about through private enterprise. Through competition in an attempt to make money from a better and cheaper product. But that has not been allowed to operate in the case of schooling. The government has monopolized the production of schooling. It's through parental choice that you will provide more competition. Then you will produce the kind of increase in quality that only private enterprise and competition is capable of doing.
Well worth reading the rest of the interview here.