The Atlantic comes up with a list of 15 ideas to fix some of the things that are wrong in this world (read: in America, most of all).
Each suggestion is a short article submitted by one of their editors or contributors. The issues addressed range from world peace to tax reform, teaching teenagers how to drink properly and abolishing the vice presidency. Some ideas are rather foreseeable, others refreshingly new and controversial, maybe not yet perfect, but worth a thought.
From “Rent your own home”:
Ideally, such a solution would keep underwater homeowners in their homes even after they found themselves unwilling or unable to pay their mortgages; it would stop renters from being evicted from foreclosed homes when they’re up-to-date on their rent; it would slash the number of foreclosure sales, which are driving house prices down nationwide; it would improve the quality of the national housing stock; it would give banks an easy-to-value income stream, instead of an impossible-to-value home, whenever they foreclosed on a property; and it would cost the government nothing. Amazingly, all of this can be done with just one policy: a decree that whenever a bank forecloses on a home, the current occupant has the right to remain in the property indefinitely, simply by paying the fair-market rent.
And from “Unleash the dogs of peace”:
In November 1999, the United Nations Security Council authorized sending peacekeepers to the Democratic Republic of Congo. Since then, despite the growth of the UN force to more than 18,000 personnel, at a cost of more than $1 billion a year, violence and turmoil have killed millions more Congolese…
There is a different, more robust approach to making peace in nasty places: deploy private military companies like Executive Outcomes, whose small, highly trained force defeated insurgencies in Sierra Leone and Angola during the 1990s… We don’t condone “mercenaries,” sniffs the UN. But a system where the top 10 payers of peacekeeping dues (rich countries like the United States, Japan, Germany, the United Kingdom, etc.) rely on the top 10 troop contributors (poor countries like Pakistan, Bangladesh, India, Jordan, Nepal, Ghana, etc.) to do their dirty work sounds pretty mercenary to me.