The proposals of a free-market economist

Ed Glaeser writes,

Charter schools sadly remain a niche product, so pushing for their expansion—and for greater school-choice options more broadly—is necessary. Another alternative that could open up new education opportunities would be vocational training that bypasses the school system entirely. Washington could pay for programs inculcating marketable skills—from plumbing to computer programming. These programs could be competitively sourced, meaning that labor unions and community colleges and for-profit entrepreneurs could compete to offer them. But providers would get paid only if students learned real skills.

…The Social Security system should also be made friendlier to the young. The payroll taxes that fund Social Security could be eliminated for those under 30 and phased in later in life. Younger workers and their employers would initially pay nothing into the system. That shift would eliminate a large tax-related barrier to hiring the young and make it more financially attractive for young people to work. That reform would reduce revenues, true; but raising the age of retirement could offset the lost funds.

. . .The best way to preserve our vital small-business ecosystem is not to throw money at every struggling business but instead to make it as easy as possible for new businesses to open after the pandemic has passed.

If a state isn’t allowing any construction in high-demand areas, shouldn’t the federal government reduce its infrastructure support? Use money to nudge states—and let states nudge communities.

Yes, we know that these are all non-starters politically. But if we’re going to indulge in fantasies, they may as well be good ones.