Freer Markets Within the USA lays out its agenda quickly and clearly: to advocate for the creation of freer markets by leveling the playing field for the working person. Doug Seger probes the details, recommending ways to increase fairness and encourage economic growth by changing the current systems of taxation, healthcare, Social Security, unions, and other institutions.
Seger has clearly studied the issues, and has some bold ideas to offer. He suggests taxing earned income at the same rate as capital gains. He advocates linking estate tax rates to the tax rate of the individual inheriting the wealth, not the size of the estate. He reviews flat tax and Fair Tax systems, and points out the problems with privatizing Social Security.
While the author has interesting ideas, however, the book feels like a work in progress because his language never demonstrates full commitment to a given course of action. He peppers his recommendations with qualifiers like “might,” “it seems,” “probably,” “likely,” and “to some degree.” It’s admirable that Seger acknowledges that the future is bound by uncertainty, and that his recommendations might need to be modified, but it also detracts from the power and ability of those recommendations to convince. He offers six well-chosen charts and tables to support his arguments, but in a book as far-ranging as this, more of them would have helped to make the author’s points.
The proposals in the book often seem sensible but are undermined by grammatical errors (“less” instead of “fewer,” “affect” instead of “effect”) occasional misprints (“…a 2.3% excise tax on taxable medical devices in 3013.”) and repetition. A better-edited version of Seger’s book would make his points more succinctly.
Nonetheless, readers willing to overlook the book’s flaws will find some gems in Freer Markets Within the USA.
Also available in hardcover and ebook.