WORLD FUTURE FUND
A BIPARTISAN AGENDA FOR 2017
CRITICAL ISSUES ABOVE POLITICS
The World Future Fund is a non-profit organization that has been set up to do research and to educate people about the need for a greater commitment to investment in the future. We have been in business since 1995 and have been monitoring long term trends.
We have put forward a bipartisan agenda of goals that need to be a priority in 2017.
Today thousands of Americans are dying every year from a lack of health insurance. Before the implementation of the Affordable Care Act (or "Obamacare") 50 million Americans were not insured. 45,000 People died every year from a lack of health coverage (Harvard Gazette, 2009). Yet an estimated 30 million people still don't have coverage, even after the implementation of "Obamacare" (Census Bureau, 2015). So this means that it's likely that somewhere around 27,000 people are still dying every year because of a lack of health insurance . Is that acceptable? We think not.
We are the only modern state that does not believe that health care is a right for all. We are the only modern state that does not ensure health insurance for all its citizens.
This is also a very serious national security issue leaving us highly vulnerable to a disease epidemic or even a biological terrorist attack. Giving all our people health care will better protect the nation from the possibility of a mass pandemic.
So there is only one solution to protect all Americans: universal health care.
The Internet is the greatest communication revolution in history. Broadband for all would be the greatest social reform anyone has ever produced. But unfortunately, the state of today's American Internet is a disaster. We are falling behind other countries in terms of speed and connectivity. There are large swaths of the American public who have no access to the internet. The wiring of America has been done on the basis of wealth and profit. So poor and rural areas have been left out. Among low income households (households with an income of $50,000 or less), only 35% have access to the Internet. Studies on Broadband and Poverty.
So it is time to get serious about connecting America to the 21st century. It is time to make the internet available for all. This will involve a series of subsidies.
In 1995, even Newt Gingrich proposed getting laptop PCs for every poor child. We need to do what we can to equip all Americans with the basic tools of the economic future, not just the rich.
Since 1980 America has slashed its research funding for renewable energy by over 75%. The results have been grim. American dependence on foreign oil hit record levels although it has since pulled back a bit. It still remains near 50%. (At the time of Pearl Harbor we were a net oil exporter.) Meanwhile, the lack of safe renewable energy has forced the developing world to adopt energy policies that have totally disastrous environmental consequences. A key cause of deforestation is the use of fuel wood for energy in many third world states.
At the moment, renewable energy makes up a tiny part of world energy production. Without major efforts in government action, this will not change due to hundreds of billions of dollars of government subsidies to polluting energy technologies over the last 50 years. The private industry alone will not fund the renewable energy transition into the future. In the same way that government involvement helped put forth the initiatives that helped bring about the World Wide Web, government involvement is needed now to prevent an environmental disaster before it's too late.
So check out our plan to see what is needed.
Stopping the New Cold War: Peaceful relations with Russia are a key to national security. Current tensions are leading the world closer toward the prospect of nuclear war, few things could be more disastrous for our planet. Russia is the only nation on earth that can wipe America off the map with its nuclear arsenal. We need Russia as a part of the international system of security.
There is no time for complacency. With the victory of Donald Trump, it may seem that America will be heading for a reset in Russian relations. But this may not necessarily be the case. Forces in Congress are mobilizing to stop this before it can take place. Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman John McCain (R-Ariz.) called a Trump plan to cooperate in Syria with Putin's government "unacceptable" and publicly demanded the incoming administration confront Russia for its ongoing activity there. McCain and Sen. Lindsey O. Graham (R-S.C.) have a detailed plan to push back against Trump on Russian policy.
We're not saying we agree with everything that President Vladimir Putin has done. We're not saying that Russia isn't guilty of any wrong doing on the geopolitical stage. But we're saying that America has more to gain by pursuing peaceful relations with Russia, than pushing for war.
Ending the Student Debt Crisis: Consumers now owe more on their student loans than their credit cards. Student loans outstanding today — both federal and private — total some $1.2 trillion. Student debt is also the only kind of debt that is exempt from bankruptcy protection for debtors. Many of America's young people are now being crushed by debt that is unsustainable.
An absolute must is to implement bankruptcy as an option here.
A second goal is education and vocational reform. Employers should be discouraged from requiring college degrees unless absolutely necessary.
The expensive four year college may be a relic of the past for many. Far more attention should be paid to internet learning.
You can also read our Education Spending page for more information.
Taxes on Consumption Must Be Raised Sharply:
No modern state can be financed without consumption and energy taxes.
We favor major increases in consumption taxes and raising taxes on upper income individuals. Meanwhile, taxes on investments should be reduced.
We certainly don't suggest that all these taxes be raised at once but these suggestions provide a framework for what can be done.
For lower income people a system of tax credits or other means could be developed to reduce the impact of all this.
Almost every other modern state has national consumption taxes and high gas taxes.
See our reports:
An Emergency Budget:
Today, public and private debt in America is at its highest level in history as a share of the GNP. Since 1980 America has been on one of the biggest debt expansions in history. We have gone from being the world's largest creditor to being the world's largest debtor.
Can we keep up this debt forever? We think not.
There needs to be a budget plan for the case of a national emergency. Since the financial crisis of 2008 America has used up all the tricks and gimmicks that it has. When the next crisis hits, we are not going to have any tricks left to keep the system going. Not unless we put forward some kind of emergency plan.
Collapse of America's International Investment Position