Table of Contents

Business Operating Regulations

36. Industry Congress Funds & Administers Their Own Infrastructures

All business entities within an industry should be required to pay, proportionately, for the construction and maintenance of all infrastructures needed for the proper functioning of that industry. For example, airlines should be required to pay for the construction and maintenance of airports, air traffic control centers and inspection and security systems, including the FAA. Roadway vehicle users (trucks, buses, cars, etc.) should be required to pay for the construction and maintenance of roads, signals, etc. The railroad industry and water transportation industry should pay for infrastructures needed or used for their respective needs and wants. Natural gas companies, water companies, telephone, fiber optic and cable companies should fund entirely all construction, maintenance and other costs associated with their respective infrastructures. As much as practical, each industry should require no external input of funding for its proper maintenance and support. All of the common infrastructures shared and used by companies within the same industry should be considered public goods (prohibited from private ownership), but managed almost entirely by the industry, with government oversight and large-scale planning approval.

Industry Congress

To properly govern the decision-making process relating to the construction, maintenance and management of infrastructures which benefit multiple companies within an industry (such as airports, power line networks, etc.), a congress of representatives proportionately representing all businesses within the industry should convene on a regular basis (weekly or monthly, perhaps) to plan, design, and fund new projects, resolve disputes, discuss standardization issues, etc. Perhaps this congress could publish a periodical informing businesses within the industry of relevant news concerning the industry. Of course, civil government agencies would have the final authority, as they do now, to approve major industry construction projects, provide proper zoning for activities, etc.

Infrastructure Records Agency

Every company, business and industry should be required to keep track of where exactly all of their infrastructure and equipment is located, whether still in use or not and whether it is underground, undersea, in space or anywhere else. A government agency should be created specifically for the purpose of being a central repository for this type of information so that if anyone in the country is digging, drilling, tunneling, or otherwise working in an particular area that person could contact this agency and find out quickly if there are any power lines, water or gas lines, or any other kind of both active and retired infrastructures in the area where they are working. The database should not be available to the general public for security reasons, but only to people who can show they have a legitimate need for such information. Every company would be required to notify and file a report to this agency of any changes in the placement or status of their infrastructure.

Funding This Proposal

Each company would also be required to pay fees that would go to fund both the industry congress and this infrastructure records agency. This fee would be proportionately based, at least in part, on the amount of infrastructures, both in use and retired, that belong to that company and which would necessarily be on file with the infrastructure records agency. This proportional fee would generally mean that a company with twice as much infrastructure as another company would pay a fee that is twice as large. In cases where several companies may share the same infrastructures, such as electrical power companies, each company’s fee should be based on its share of usage of that infrastructure.

The fees charged to all the companies within an industry should be enough so that the total revenues generated result in financial self-sufficiency for all operations undertaken by the industry, including funding for the industry congress. The activities of the infrastructure records agency should also be fully funded by all the industries for which it compiles records. The rate charged for retired infrastructures should be at least the same as but perhaps significantly higher than the rate for active, in-use infrastructures. This would encourage companies to remove infrastructures that are no longer in use resulting in cleaner, uncluttered maps, greater peace of mind, and potentially less pollution of the environment.

Transitioning/Selling Privately Built Infrastructures To Industry Management

Companies who invested in and built infrastructures using their own money before such infrastructures were opened for industry-wide uses, should have the right to charge a fee from the subsequent companies to recover the original company’s inflation-adjusted costs of building the infrastructure(s) as well as to receive a reasonable return on its investment, maybe somewhere between 200% to 500% of the original investment. After proper compensation has been realized, the original company would become a participant just like all other companies in the industry.


37. Receipts for Every Transaction

Receipts should be printed and distributed to buyers, sellers, and any other parties involved in economic transactions unless all parties agree otherwise. Receipts should be detailed enough so that anybody looking at it will be able to know exactly what was purchased, when, and for how much. A detailed price breakdown should be included that clearly indicates the product cost, tax, discounts, etc.

Healthcare Receipts

Such receipts should also be included for services, such as doctor visits. Doctors should give each patient a receipt of their checkup visit (as well as every other type of visit). This receipt should show all the measurements taken by the doctor or nurses such as weight, blood pressure, heart rate, etc. It should also include any comments or recommendations made by the doctor. It should state how much the visit cost, as well as how much both the patient and the insurer paid or how much the government paid (or was forced to absorb) if an uninsured patient could not pay himself. The appointment time, visit start time, and perhaps the times that the various procedures were taken and the release time could also be noted on the receipt.


38. Permanent Garage/Yard Sale Lots

More than two annual garage/yard sales should be prohibited from taking place at people’s homes. Instead, people should be required to bring their items for sale to dedicated locations specifically set up as a flea market/swap meet and held, preferably, on a daily basis, or at least on weekends. These locations could include several booths of various sizes to accommodate the demand and a small booth rental fee could be charged, enough to cover the costs of operating the flea market.

Alternatively, people with things to sell but who are not interested in investing the effort to sell them themselves could sign an agreement with the managers of such a facility to sell such things for them. In return, the facility would get a percentage of the proceeds from these sales. Perhaps the items sold in this way could have their prices reduced every day or few days until they are either sold or worth so little that they could be recycled or otherwise disposed. Perhaps items that didn’t sell could be placed into a ‘free’ pile of stuff that people could scavenge through and take for free.

Taken a few steps further, items brought to these locations could also be photographed, described, assigned a few key words, and placed on the Internet where a much larger market is available. The prices could be set by the original owner of the item or by the managers of this facility if that was agreed to. The price would then be lowered a little bit every day or few days until somebody buys it or until the price gets so low, that it is not worth continuing the listing. In such cases, the item would remain listed for a few more days as free. If nobody wants it, it would be recycled or otherwise disposed of. The operators of this system would naturally get a percentage of the sales to finance this system.


39. Security Research Analysts and Investment Advisers Must Remain Separate

There must be an enforced separation between the research and investment banking departments of an organization because of the inherent conflict of interests between them. Human nature is just not capable of maintaining an honest separation over the long term when the financial stakes are so directly related. Public confidence can best be maintained only by this enforced separation.

Many of the elements imposed by the Sarbanes-Oxley act of 2002 are valuable regulations to maintain and expand throughout the industry to minimize the potential of another market shaking runaway financial evolution. For example, banning research personnel from advertising any products to potential clients and prohibiting the investment banking division from having any input regarding questions as to whether or not research should be initiated or terminated for any security are both good regulations.

In addition, full disclosure of any relationships security research analysts and investment advisers/bankers may have with each other must be made publicly available. Transparency is usually the best fail-safe measure of all to defuse potentially catastrophic future threats.

Ultimately, these artificial markets entail the creation and trading of investment securities which are simply financial instruments which create little, if anything, of intrinsic value. Yes, they do allow greater liquidity in various markets, which is beneficial, but such high levels of liquidity is of questionable necessity, except, of course to enable short-term investors, day traders, and high-frequency trading to occur with little slippage.

Greater stability can be brought to these markets by reducing the efficiency of trading. The imposition of a sales tax on every transaction would increase the cost of each trade, removing, to some degree, the incentive for people to participate in these markets for the mere extraction of money, without any significant connection or ‘investment’ with the underlying product. Such a tax would reduce the most volatile segment of the trading community to a level that is far less likely to dramatically alter market dynamics which could potentially lead to unusual market fluctuations or even partial or total collapse. The size of this proposed sales tax could be adjusted so as to provide the desired effect.


40. Ban Hostile Takeovers

Hostile takeovers should be illegal. No company should ever be allowed to buy out or otherwise acquire a target company without the permission of its board of directors and the approval of a majority of its shareholders, if its shareholders comprise more than a 50% stake in the company. If the shareholders comprise less than a 50% share in the company, shareholder opinion would be legally irrelevant.


41. Incorporation: Purpose & Protection

Purpose for a Corporation

Corporations should not have their primary purpose be to maximize profits for its shareholders.  Originally, states chartered corporations to achieve a specific public purpose (such as building roads or other public infrastructures).  However, that purpose has devolved into the singular purpose of maximizing profits for a corporation’s shareholders.

Governments should impose on corporations the requirement that their primary purposes, as stated in their Article of Incorporation, be something other than the maximizing of profits for its shareholders. These ‘benefit corporations’ should strive to operate in order to first fulfill the purposes for their incorporation, then try to make as much profit as possible in order to help ensure that the corporation is financially self-sufficient so that its continued existence in the future is assured.

Redefining the Protections Offered by Incorporating

An incorporated business should not shield its members (especially owners, top-tier managers, etc.) entirely from personal financial losses in the event of a bankruptcy, lawsuit or other financial obligations. Rather, the financial liabilities of a corporation should be paid first, naturally, from the assets of the corporation, then from the personal assets of its members, beginning with the owner and top level management. People lower down on the chain of command would be protected from all losses unless they were involved in illegal or unethical activities, or criminal mistakes that resulted in liabilities for the corporation. However, the last $5,000,000 in a corporate member’s assets should be protected from all financial liabilities relating to the corporation, unless the violations of the corporation were willfully egregious. In such cases, the courts may decide to lower the asset protection threshold to $1,000,000 or even less.

An individual member of a corporation having assets which exceed the threshold for protection offered by incorporation should be allowed to pick and choose what assets to keep, in any combination of real estate, cash, bank accounts, vehicles, art collections, or any other possible kinds of possessions. For example, if the amount of assets an individual is allowed to keep is determined by the courts to be $2,000,000, then any amount in excess of this $2,000,000 level would be required to be liquidated in order to fulfill the corporation’s debt obligations. That individual can choose, for example, to keep his $1,000,000 house, $400,000 in the bank, a $400,000 art collection, $100,000 in miscellaneous household items, and four $25,000 cars. The court cannot, in any way, impose on how the value of these remaining assets should be distributed. That would be left entirely up to the individual.


42. Insurance Company Clearinghouse

There should be one central database or clearinghouse that all insurance companies could access to check the records of any insurance applicant or existing member for claims (and all related information, like outcome) they have made against other insurers. This way, potential insurance scammers, who often scam from many different companies, could be spotted more quickly.

Perhaps this information should be included in the Civilian Records database to make for a more streamlined system to quickly identify discrepancies or incongruities in a person’s activities.


43. Government-Owned Businesses

Any government entity should be allowed to compete directly with the private sector in any area of the economy by forming its own business to service that market, just like a private business would do. As long as this government-owned business is run without any form of government subsidy or assistance which its competitors do not enjoy and as long as it doesn’t receive the lion’s share of the market or cause adverse market reactions, such activities should be allowed. In short, such an entity must play by all the rules governing private entities. The only difference is that some of the profits from such business enterprises would be used to supplement government tax revenues. Eventually, if enough businesses generate enough revenues, actual public tax rates could possibly be reduced.

Examples in which government business enterprises can become involved are virtually endless. There could be government-run transportation companies (possibly serving public transit), movie production companies (perhaps specializing in historical and documentary films), garment industry businesses (using prison labor which would also be available to private businesses), etc. The possibilities are endless and they will have the decision-making flexibility that private businesses possess.


44. Government Non-Interference in Business Operating Schedules and Pricing

No level of government should prohibit any kind of business from operating during any time of the day, week, month, or year. The government has the right to restrict the amount of noise traveling across the business property’s lines, especially during nighttime hours, but no business, for example, should be required to regularly close down every Sunday or sell certain products (like Christmas trees) only during certain times of the year, etc.

In addition, governments should not be involved in directly setting prices for or mandating the free use of products or services produced by the private sector. For example, governments should be prohibited from preventing or regulating Automated Teller Machine (ATM) fees charged by either the banks or other ATM owners.


45. Renter/Landlord Relationship & Responsibilities

Real estate property renters should be financially responsible for wear and tear maintenance and cleaning expenses (up to $200 per job) of their rented property. Tenants should be responsible for all cleaning jobs no matter the cost if they are solely responsible for the mess. However, tenants must get landlord approval for any maintenance, repair or major cleaning work planned for the rented property. Tenants should leave the rental units in the same condition and level of cleanliness as when they moved in.

Property renters, not owners, should be solely responsible for any illegal activity taking place on the property. Landlords should be held responsible only if they knew of the tenant’s intentions or activities and refused to take either preventive or corrective action against them or begin eviction proceedings against the tenant.

Apartment owners and other property owners/landlords should not be allowed to discriminate against renting to people based on race, religion, sex, ethnic background, disability, marital status, presence of children, or age. However, they should have the right to ask questions concerning these topics.

Landlords should have the right to protect the peace and quiet among the rental units by setting fairly strict standards on noise generation and being allowed to evict tenants (including children and pets) who consistently (at least an average of once a week) make more than the contract-stated maximum amount of noise (such as playing loud music, kids playing loudly, dogs barking, etc.).


46. Gardeners’ Responsibility

Professional gardeners, or anybody else who is responsible for the maintenance of landscapes and vegetation, should be required to maintain that vegetation so that it is in compliance with all relevant codes, especially those pertaining to sidewalk and street clearance. Failure to do so would result in fines being imposed upon the entities responsible for the violation (such as the professional gardeners) and/or the owners/managers of the property.