Seven Suggestions for President-Elect Trump

Though I am just another powerless peon, I’d like to offer seven suggestions to President-Elect Trump and his transition team:

1. Make sure your administration is as diverse as America. No single act will give your enemies more ammo than populating your cabinet and administration with the Usual Suspects: Caucasian elites from Ivy League universities. These privileged “experts” have bankrupted the nation financially, morally and spiritually while enriching themselves and their privileged cronies.

Populate your cabinet and administration with entrepreneurially minded, honest, hard working, forward-looking people who just happen to be African-American, Hispanic-American, Asian-American, female, gay, mixed-race, etc.

Having a cabinet that reflects the diversity of America (or just the diversity of New York City or Los Angeles County, for goodness sakes) will send a powerful message not just to the nation but to the world: America’s diversity is America’s strength.

If you want an example of how to do this, follow in the footsteps of the U.S. military. Yes, it’s imperfect, but for a large-scale voluntary institution, it’s done a lot better than most to promote a diverse spectrum of Americans.

2. Wage total war on regulatory capture and bureaucratic fiefdoms. Everyone knows federal regulations are completely out of control on several fronts. Yes, there is a need for regulations to protect the nation’s air, water and resources from despoliation, its labor force from exploitation, its food supply from unhealthy additives and foreign-sourced toxic products, and so on. These safeguard regulations should be rigorously enforced.

But K Street lobbyists and the Corporatocracy they represent have mastered the art of regulatory capture: digging regulatory moats so deep and so wide that competition cannot possibly afford to meet the regulatory burdens imposed by the central state.

This is how we’ve ended up with a high-cost, ineffective, inefficient state-cartel economy.

The only way to tackle this issue is retire/sunset ALL federal regulations every few years, and require a constant streamlining to limit the number of regulations, lower the cost of compliance and ensure regulations are clearly composed in plain English.

The only way to root out corruption, collusion and regulatory capture is to require total transparency and open competition in all government functions.

3. Accredit the student, not the school/college. America’s education system is unaffordable and failing for one simple reason: we accredit the school/college, not the student’s knowledge/skill. The inevitable result of this is a cartel of self-serving fiefdoms with soaring costs which routinely graduates students who have learned essentially zero of productive value in the emerging economy.

I have described this in my book The Nearly Free University and the Emerging Economy: The Revolution in Higher Education.

By accrediting the student’s knowledge/skill, we would be testing and accrediting what actually matters. By eliminating the central-planning accreditation racket of schools/colleges, we would take away the power of this cartel to relentlessly strip-mine taxpayers and students while providing ineffectual near-zero-market-value education.

The only way to make America great again is to increase productivity via distributing higher level skills across the entire populace. The current education complex has failed and the only way to truly reform it is to accredit the student, not the school/college.

4. Promote decentralized, bottoms-up localized solutions rather than top-down centralized programs. As I discussed in Now That the Presidential-Election Side Show Is Finally Ending…., the current mode of production is a legacy of World War II, when the federal government took complete centralized control of the U.S. economy and society.

The war’s success led to the fatal assumption that the solution to every problem was to aggregate more power in centralized bureaucracies.

What worked in the cartel-state economy of 1945 is now failing, with catastrophic consequences. Decentralized transparent networks that share a wealth of solutions and offer localized participation are not only more cost-effective, they enable the blossoming of 10,000 solutions rather than smother the economy with a bloated centralized system that imposes crushing costs on the nation (think ObamaCare, which burdens healthcare with thousands of pages of costly regulatory requirements) while squelching local solutions.

America is an increasingly diverse nation. What sort of insanity is it to reckon that one centralized bureaucracy can come up a single system that works well for every community and household?

Replace the mindset that the “solution” must be a centralized, top-down, bloated, unaffordable bureaucracy with the understanding that centralized, top-down, bloated, unaffordable bureaucracies are the problem, not the solution.

5. Lower the corporate income tax rate to a flat 5% for all domestic corporations. An incredible amount of precious capital is squandered on tax avoidance schemes, and incredible sums of precious capital are being held overseas to avoid the absurdly perverse 35% U.S. corporate tax rate.

This perverse set of incentives costs the nation, not just corporations. To those who wish to impose high taxes on all those evil greedy corporations–you can’t do it. There will always be loopholes overseas.

Make it difficult to make a profit and do business here, and business and profits will go elsewhere–and so will the jobs. Not liking this reality won’t change it.

6. Increase the security of America’s work force and households by encouraging entrepreneurism and food/ energy/ manufacturing security in the local community economy. It’s essential that you hire people who understand the Digital-Industrial Revolution that is remaking the global economy, whether we like it or not. We all have daily experience of how this new mode of production is disrupting one sector of the old mode of production after another.

We as a nation have to learn to do more with less–more productivity, more community-based security, more wealth that is earned by skilled labor and entrepreneurism, more broadly distributed ownership of wealth-producing assets, while consuming less energy and less capital and reducing the cost burdens imposed by self-serving fiefdoms, pay-to-play corruption/collusion and centralized sclerosis.

I lay out how to do this systemically in my book A Radically Beneficial World: Automation, Technology and Creating Jobs for All and on an individual/household basis in Get a Job, Build a Real Career and Defy a Bewildering Economy.

7. Dismantle the corrosive sense of entitlement that has infected the nation.Obsessing over illusory “rights” and “what we were promised” leads to a politics of resentment and a corollary obsession with get-rich-quick schemes and avoiding the dirty work of actually building wealth rather than skimming and scamming asset bubbles.

The way to dismantle the dead-end ideology of entitlement is to promote earning, not getting, and learning real, practical, marketable skills that have value in the emerging economy.

Nobody owes anyone anything but the right to pursue happiness and the civil liberties stated in the Bill of Rights. To survive, much less prosper, we need a society and economy based on accountability and the willingness to do the dirty work, the nitty-gritty work, of making sure goods and services actually work, and to reward those doing the hard work with security and opportunities to take ownership of the engines of wealth creation.

President-Elect Trump, more policy tweaks, more promises of more government free money and more symbolic gestures won’t fix anything. You must dig out the rot in our system of governance, destroy needless and burdensome state-cartel-imposed costs and encourage transparency, competition, accountability and locally based community-economy solutions.

Thanks to Chad D. and Cindy F. for suggesting that I draw up a list of recommendations for the President-Elect.

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  • jrrrr

    Actually diversity is meaningless, as every problem, experienced by every human being on the planet, is resolved by “accurate thought,” not a diversity of either physical differences or opinions.

    • tom

      I think we all understand that diversity, in this situation, would be mostly a cosmetic measure to reduce discontent among the governed. While ability is certainly the most important criterion, if able people from diverse backgrounds can be found, so much the better.

      • Manfred

        Trump = Obama on steroids (meet the new boss same as the old boss)

        “People as uninformed and as gullible as Americans have no future. Americans are a dead people that history is about to run over.”
        Dr. Paul Craig Roberts was Assistant Secretary of the Treasury for Economic Policy during the Reagan administration.

        • diogenes

          Manufacturing that gullibility is a huge “industry”. It includes the entire media and educational apparatus as well as the “entertainment business” and a large portion of the ministry (my what a warm spot is waiting for THEM) as well as the entire political puppet show.

          One reason why there’s a lot to learn by reading primary sources in American history and civics dating from 1895-1925 is that they were confronting exactly the same oligarchy (their great-grandparents) presenting exactly the same problems, only they still had a firm grip on American traditions of democracy, were well informed by the remaining elements of a free press and a proportion of educators who were not hired liars, and had not been addled by a century of lies and bullshit and treachery and deceit and sheer hireling filth.

          But my, haven’t we progressed since then.

          • Bullseye. Bill Moyers had a piece where he observed that a farmer in the 1880s knew, with great sophistication, the forces arrayed against him and some coherent strategies to overcome them. Now, the few farmers left are corporate tools or sharecroppers howling at the moon.

          • diogenes

            Also American farmers in 1880 didn’t have thousands of hired liars talking shit at them 24/7 to keep them bewildered. There were plenty of shit talkers but not nearly so many, proportionally, not nearly so professionalized, and they didn’t have electronic media to make the barrage pervasive and constant. The biggest plague on America is its hired liars — “educators,” “journalists,” “reverends,” “advertisers,” “publishers,” “agents,” etc. Whores for Satan.

          • Yellow journalism was invented then. It’s been perfected now.

  • Scoot Wad

    Yeah more diversity, yay. I have a feeling that Jewish Americans will be heavily overrepresented as usual, and likely referred to as white as usual when it suits their purpose. Maybe we can even have a foreign national Indian on the cabinet to represent all the high paying tech jobs those guest workers take from Americans like we have all of the dual Israelis in our government making decisions now.

    • We have extreme over representation of Jews at all the highest levels only and there needs to be a public debate about it. I accept the challenge. Anybody want to join me?

  • tom

    “Nobody owes anyone anything but the right to pursue happiness and the civil liberties stated in the Bill of Rights”.

    And the right to enjoy pensions and other benefits that have been paid for in full up front. Those are debts, plain and simple, and Uncle Sam is no more entitled to dodge his debts than anyone else.

    • diogenes

      In the phrase “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness” the word “life” means “livelihood,” ACCESS TO LIVELIEHOOD, not access to LIES.

  • diogenes

    Dear Santa …

    decrease the corporate tax rate



    • dayanmao

      Thank you, some of these points were so off the mark they were mind boggling.

      • diogenes

        Not mind boggling when you consider the source. For Smith, they’re entirely par for the course.

        • dayanmao

          I guess I’m not familiar enough with the author.

          • diogenes

            lucky you

  • Westcoastliberal

    How ’bout instead of achieving “diversity” we actually hire the best person for the job? Oblunder’s admin went the diversity route for obvious reasons and look where it brought us.

  • Zap

    Wishful thinking from CHS, Trump is just going to be another front man for the CFR and the other central banker controlled “think tanks” that make up the real government just like every other president before him going all the way back to Nixon.
    No walls will be built, immigration will continue especially the Muslim immigration the CFR is currently so keen on, the TPP will be pushed through and Trump may even be the one to sign it, Dodd Frank wont be overturned or something even more egregious will be put in it’s place, free money for financiers will still be the order of the day, Gramm Leach Bliley wont be repealed, Glass Steagal will not be reinstated, the Commodities Futures Modernization Act wont be repealed etc etc etc etc….

    these are all band-aids. But of course he won’t do that since he wants
    to bring the head of jpmorgan as head of treasury. Folks, this is more
    bait and switch. NOW IS THE TIME TO PUSH REAL CHANGE. See

    • diogenes

      Yes, absolutely, you nailed it. But stupid to expect any such thing from Smith.

  • As long as corporations and pentagon “entitlements” are also addressed. It’s always assumed cutting entitlements never includes them be definition somehow.

  • sufferingsuccatash

    Charles HS delivers another libertarian gas storm—-historically ignorant and another Randian argument in defense of selfishness. This site could do a lot better than present this corporate/banking defender who’s championing of liberty would put the working class in chains.

    • Yo suffering, have you written anything?

      • sufferingsuccatash

        Oh lots and lots and taught too at various universities——econ and political philosophy. CHS is a libertarian who believes in the Friedman/Hayek free market monetary nonsense that came out of the Rockefeller founded Uof Chicago. It is a economic philosophy crafted to defend the pillage by the robber barons who control the economy through monopolies of production, capital, and debt. I find it offensive that it has been amplified through universities and the media industrial complex. We are witnessing the economic despair and inequality that proceeds from capital concentration.

  • CHS you are not powerless. Now is the time for Berns, Greens and Libertarians to get on the Trump train and influence that man before the NeoCons take everything over.

  • November 12, 2016 Trump’s transition team signals return to GOP establishment

    WASHINGTON — President-elect Donald Trump’s transition team is rich with lobbyists and includes a climate change-denier and an ex-federal prosecutor involved in the mass firings of U.S. attorneys.

    • diogenes

      My goodness! What a surprise! Whoever would have guessed!!!

      • I am going to speculate you for Neo-Con Clinton. You still apparently have not figured it out that there is a single war party in D.C.. Wait for it there is even more. November 10, 2016 Who Will Be In Trump’s Cabinet? A Few Possibilities

        After a stunning win that upended the American political landscape, President-elect Donald Trump and his top advisers now must put together a White House staff and Cabinet — a group that may well include some of those same advisers.

  • The folks who read and write at WashingtonsBlog need to organize to influence The Donald.