Saturday, June 09, 2007

Reviving the Hamilton Agenda

David Brooks lays out his Hamilton Agenda.

When it comes to what Hamiltonians are actually for, two big themes stand out. First, the overall economy has to remain dynamic. The biggest threat is the looming wall of entitlement debt. We Hamiltonians would break the current campaign silence on the issue by raising the retirement age and tackling medical inflation to make Medicare affordable.

The second big theme is a human capital agenda. No one policy can increase the quality of human capital, but a lifelong portfolio of policies can make a difference.

Children do better when raised in stable two-parent families. Bigger child tax credits and increasing the earned income tax credit can reduce the economic strain on young families (and shift the tax burden to older, affluent ones). Extending government income support to young men in exchange for work would make them more marriageable.

Nurse practitioners who make home visits can stabilize disorganized, single-parent families. Quality preschool can help young children from those disorganized homes develop the self-motivation skills they’ll need to succeed.

The most important thing in a school is quality teachers. That means there should be merit pay for the best, and a change in the certification rules (we should allow more people into the profession and weed out the mediocre ones, regardless of their certification).

Senior citizen groups could mentor students to keep them emotionally engaged during college years. National service should be a rite of passage, forcing city kids to work with rural kids, and vice versa.

Middle-aged workers need portable pensions and health insurance so they can move and take risks. The immigration system should reward skills, like the college admissions system. The government should increase funding for basic research, especially in math, engineering and physics.
I think that sounds pretty good. The idea of senior citizen mentors is similar to my Retiree Corp idea.

via Times $elect

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