The most efficient government would be a benevolent dictatorship. As a political option, of course, the problem is that once a dictatorship is established, we have no means to ensure it remains benevolent.
However, for the sake of political discussion, we ask,
“What would you do if you had dictatorial power and (presumably) benevolent intentions? How would you order and administer society if you found yourself El Supremo of the United States as it stands today?”
Hint 1: Capitalism is like cancer – it either dies or grows until it kills its host. Looking at the economy as an organism, we are approaching Stage Four. There are ways to make the body fight cancer but they require a change in the way bodies normally function.
Hint 2: When personal taxes are high, people tend to leave their money invested and when corporate taxes are high, companies tend to use profits to expand or for R&D to improve and develop products and services. The idea is to keep the money working.
Based on the principle of “I am my brother’s keeper”, I would establish that only when the people at the bottom are taken care of would the people at the top be entitled to “gravy”. There should not be such a thing as a billionaire while people are homeless, hungry, uneducated, ill & penniless. To that end I would institute highly progressive personal income taxes, estate taxes and corporate taxes, up to and including 100%. And since Capitalism got a head-start on my dictatorship, I would simply confiscate most of the wealth of existing fortunes.
Granted, this would make it much more difficult for anyone to become wealthy and get wealthier, and opponents of such a “share the wealth” approach argue that no one would be motivated to pursue wealth by doing the socially-useful things which generate wealth.
I don’t believe that. Many who strive for wealth are not really in it for the 3rd yacht or 9th vacation home abroad per se. They are in it because being wealthy and displaying the trappings of wealth makes them feel better about themselves compared to others. It buys them a bit more power outside their wealth-building activity and they’d lose that, since I’m a dictator. They don’t qualify for it anyway, since such “extra-curricular power” does not contribute to the general welfare as (presumably) their business activity does.
Their anti-social attitude is fucked up, granted, but we’re not likely to eradicate it anytime soon so we may as well take advantage of it. If assuring housing, food, education, healthcare and financial security to everyone were the only way the wealthy could keep more money, they would be forced to do things that benefit the general welfare. I really wouldn’t care if they begrudge having to help improve the lives of others, as long as I had their tax money.
Bonus: If some saw the world becoming a better place through their contributions – however forced and begrudged – they might actually develop a more “socialable” attitude toward their fellow man.
Second bonus: If they never change their attitude and the contributions remain forced and begrudged, I would find it funny as hell that their need to appear superior was being used against them.