Most members here seem to be from the US (it certainly seems like the most-discussed country). It's also unusually important in the world. So what would you say the ten most important domestic policy priorities in the US are, assuming they can feasibly pass?
Here’s my rough list:
- Stricter animal welfare regulations, including a ban on CAFOs, battery cages, fast-growing broiler varieties, and factory farming more generally, as well as government subsidies for plant-based meat and other alternative proteins.
- Reform the US political system, by abolishing the filibuster, making DC and Puerto Rico states, creating independent redistricting commissions, abolishing the Electoral College, and adopting ranked choice voting for most elections.
- Substantial efforts to reduce global catastrophic risk from emerging technologies (e.g. invest in AI safety research, increase BSL-4 security standards, invest in gene sequencing and vaccine capacity for future pandemic prevention, regulate antibiotic overprescription), but also from weapons of mass destruction (primarily a foreign policy problem, so I won’t talk about that in too much detail).
- Substantially (in the range of 2x–3x) increase legal immigration into the US (of both low-skilled and high-skilled workers), and give amnesty to and create a path to citizenship for all undocumented immigrants currently in the US. Also significantly lower restrictions on goods and capital mobility, though these are less important than labor mobility.
- Efforts to reduce global and American environmental pollution (and mitigating their effects), including substantially scaling down the use of coal power, significant clean energy subsidies to reduce solar and wind prices in international markets (as well as subsidies for advanced geothermal energy, which is especially promising), clean energy R&D investments, carbon pricing (and raising the gas tax), expanding the use of other alternative energy sources (e.g. nuclear power, more fracking), and a nationwide lead cleanup.
- Adopt a better macroeconomic stabilization policy, with automatic stabilizers, the Fed adopting an NGDP level target with a “whatever it takes” approach to get there, and staffing the Fed with economists committed to full employment, while preserving Fed independence. Some bureaucratic reform is probably also good (e.g. separating out the financial regulation and monetary policy functions of the Fed).
- Criminal justice reform, including abolishing for-profit prisons, lowering prison sentences across-the-board and abolish mandatory minimums (especially with nonviolent crimes), reforming the bail system, investing to make prisons much more humane and rehabilitation-focused, and the decriminalization of many nonviolent activities that contribute to widespread incarceration (e.g., decriminalize sex work, end the War on Drugs). Also hire more police officers – deter crime through police rather than prisons (while engaging in police reform, such as more representation on police forces and banning police unions).
- Increase investment in antipoverty programs, including significant EITC expansion (possibly restructure it to function more directly like a negative income tax), a universal child allowance, Medicaid expansion, and making section 8 housing vouchers an entitlement for the poor. Also protect poor workers by abolishing occupational licensing, raising the federal minimum wage (and perhaps tie it to local housing costs), and making unemployment insurance more generous.
- Significantly relax land use regulation, including federal transportation funding to incentivize cities to abolish zoning ordinances and increase housing density, banning rent control, and reducing the reliance on public housing to house low-income families. More housing density should be accompanied by better transport infrastructure and street lighting.
- A health policy focused on the supply side – invest in health R&D and innovation (including anti-aging research). This is a good set of health policy recommendations. On the demand side, reduce the reliance on employer-provided health insurance, either through something like allowing people to buy into Medicaid, “universal catastrophic coverage,” healthcare vouchers, or substantial HSAs. My guess is that US healthcare prices are unusually high because of high demand for healthcare (driven by America’s high GDP), rather than traditional explanations from progressives (e.g., high market power on part of the pharmaceutical and insurance industries).
I’d describe this list as “generally liberal, but acknowledging that free markets can do lots of good.” What’s your list?
I’m also (especially) happy to talk about my recommendations for India, though I imagine people here are less interested in that.