THE BLOG
01/11/2012 06:29 pm ET Updated Mar 12, 2012

Compound Capitalism: Slaying the Dragon of Debt

Intellectual merit is justly measured by the quality of questions asked. Political merit is justly measured by the answers given. You might be interested in different ways to extend your own lines of 'smart economics' questions, particularly in developing legitimately optimistic, more productive, cooperative and solvent citizens? This recent Q&A sets an example:

Where's Newton when we need him? In falling apples he found the force that held things together, kept them in their orbits. From falling apples, what can we learn about rising debt to hold our financial world together? Beyond the EU, how about massive U.S. debt, both current and future? Sometimes the trick is to pose questions so obvious that people have otherwise failed to consider them, like Newton's apples. Are there fresh concepts worthy of reasoned policy deliberation -- of moral merit to timely national policy discussion? With a $15+ trillion and growing debt, we need gravity and gravitas, not financial graveyards.

In my new book, Compound Capitalism: Slaying the Dragon of Debt, you can more easily consider innovative questions and answers for financing current and long term liabilities. We already enhance humans physically using new technology. Why not enhance ourselves more naturally through strategic economic policy? Is there an undiscovered or unused law of economic gravity? Yes! Compounding and combining cooperative 'human capital' interests and monetary capital interest with mushrooming data are "the falling apples of capitalism." Freeman Dyson calls it 'horizontal cultural transfer.' Economist Paul Romer would call such insights 'non-rival goods,' free recipes for immediate use anywhere. You will note prior comments by public intellectuals Niall Ferguson, Steven Pinker, Joseph Nye Jr., Paul Romer, Tim Harford, James Fallows and others in Chapter 7. Big Bills Left on the Sidewalk.

In fact, an overriding theme of this book is that there are Big Bills Left on the Sidewalk, so titled from a famous paper by the late economist, Mancur Olson, Jr. These bills are available for easy picking tomorrow, bills long overlooked through careless policy inattention. Compound Capitalism shows where hundreds of billions of such "big sidewalk bills" are in hiding now. All told, easily retrievable sources of over $1 trillion dollars annually are pinpointed, and just by U.S. harvesting. There is more for others, and all of this is without increasing taxes, not by a cent, just by being smarter.

The secondary theme is that governments don't often get the opportunity to utilize the miracle of compound interest, because the things they have to pay for occur either right now or in the near term. Albert Einstein called compound interest "the strongest force in the universe." It is also a perfect solution for paying obligations occurring far in the future, allowing bills to be paid with dollars costing 1.25 cents each rather than costing 100 cents per dollar. Our two largest cost items occur well into the future, the first being post age 67 retirement security, and the second being retirement healthcare security, 2/3 of whose costs occur post age 67, 28% in the last year of life alone. Who wouldn't welcome a savings of 98.75 cents on the dollar?

The third recurring theme is cultural and psychological -- the assertion that loading the dice at birth or naturalization changes the lifetime 'luck factor' of every new citizen. Knowing 'stacking-the-deck' with long term assurances levels the playing field for every citizen and makes every individual a capitalist shareholder from the start, we can assert that this changes the lifetime psychological outlook of all, orienting persons toward accomplishment rather than dependency. It's a complete shift toward optimism for the future. This satisfies every political persuasion, as everyone starts with future prospects both much and equally improved.

Running through all of this is the added provision for lifetime educational enhancement for all citizens, those already here and those to come. This includes internet educational opportunities, home schooling apps, vocational training and on-the -job training.

There is much more. All of this is done with found money, not new taxation. So please read the book, coming soon. Your own intellectual merit will be justly measured by the quality of both your questions asked and their answers, and by what you plan to do next.