The Spend Management Platform

On this post Election Day in the US, I have come to seek your support of my platform. Perhaps you're thinking about the next election already (given the mainstream parties this year and what they stand for, I know I am). Or by chance you've not heard about my party -- the Spend Management party -- and what we stand for, and you'd like to get a quick introduction. As a member of the Spend Management movement, I hope to inspire and generate interest in ideas that will support the accumulation of wealth, for the poorest of the poor and the richest of the rich. Some of our party thoughts you will read might prove unpopular, but considering how both US parties are moving to restrict markets and trade -- not to mention pandering to their own special interests, be they unions or the whims and fancies of select big business -- I believe they need to be heard.

On this morning, I stand before you today on a virtual soapbox. They'll be no kissing of babies or pandering to special interest groups (such as the UAW or Halliburton). Rather, I have come to talk about the issues that concern as all as procurement and supply chain practitioners. I ask not for your vote -- it's too late for that -- but for a few minutes out of your busy schedule. Lend me your ear for less than the time it takes to pick up a Starbucks and I promise you'll come away educated, if not enlightened, as to what issues matter for global prosperity, free trade, and the little philosophy called Spend Management that I preach on these pages.

As members of the Spend Management party, we stand for issues that the mainstream Democrats and Republicans abandoned long ago. Many of our ideas are unpopular in the political mainstream today. Perhaps the term "classical liberal" best describes our outlook on life. Above all, we place stock in the individual -- be it a person or private company -- to make better decisions than an elected official, especially about trade, tariffs, commerce and taxation. As Spend Management party members, we believe the role of government should be to improve commerce and trade, not stifle it, or worse, shift it to special interests for self gain and preservation.

But trade should not be unchecked when it comes to environmental issues. We all must live and trade on the same planet, after all. Our platform strongly supports the trading of environmental credits and offsets which force companies and nations to justify and pay for the cost of pollution. While we often turn to Europe for vacation -- not to mention wine, food, and culture -- we also believe that the continent's move towards green procurement and green policy should serve as a jumping off point -- if not a model -- for our own policies in the new world. After all, if we cannot pass on our environment, what will future generations have left?

On the subject of monetary policy, we believe in a realistic valuation for the US Dollar and Yuan. Given the challenging and risky nature of China's large US debt holdings, we think it would be dangerous to force the Chinese hand and have the Yuan instantly float to a higher level. Rather, a reasonable currency migration overtime will be best for trade and overall relations. And what about tariffs and quotas you ask? We would invest heavily in rolling back all barriers to free trade and forcing the economic hand of nations that protect their own failing policies (e.g., government mandated 35 hour work weeks) by erecting walls that block the fruits of other's labor.

Above all, we stand for the open exchange of ideas, information, and human capital. Western migration policy should be loosened just as social benefits for the "poorest" residents and citizens -- seriously, anyone who has spent time in the third world knows that real poverty does not exist in the US and Western Europe -- should be limited, at least eventually. Let the invisible hand determine the ideal mix of available labor capacity and the rewards for those who seek it. Why not, for example, enable a new type of low cost onshore empowerment zone in Texas and Arizona -- or Southern France, for that matter -- with labor available at low, sub minimum wage rates, but production done onshore? Of course protectionist union supporting Democrats and xenophobic Republicans will have none of this, but just think for a minute about the potential that such zones could introduce for those who work in them, not to mention the country overall.

That's my Spend Management party rant for the today. You can bet we'll be back in force in two years, brandishing a platform that supports trade and opportunity for all. To paraphrase Benjamin Franklin and our general philosophy, if we all studied "economy" rather than "the economy", we'd all be much better off. Heck to push these aims, we might even create a procurement PAC (or toss our weight behind The Club for Growth if we get lazy -- very lazy). But most important, I promise that we'll continue to focus on the issues that matter most to Spend Management professionals and thinkers worldwide.

Postscript: I wrote this post before the early returns were in on Tuesday night. But regardless of the outcome, I firmly believe that the mainstream of both US political parties today pretty much stand for the same thing, and that's certainly not Spend Management!

Jason Busch

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