The classical view of freedom might best be understood as self-ownership.
decades after the revolution produced strange new definitions of
freedom. Many of the definitions appeared in the Hegelian tradition,
which specifically sought to create paradoxes. Hegel loved to create
proofs that showed freedom was slavery and slavery freedom.
I believe that we need to restore the idea of self ownership.
I happen to work in the data industry. Companies and governments spend trillions gathering information about people.
As a data dink, I am prone to ask the simple question: Who owns your personal data?
tradition is that the entity that collects the data owns the data. Your
insurance company gathers information about you, and your insurance
company owns the data. You file an annual tax return and the IRS owns
all that data they collected. Your employer processes the payroll. Your
employer owns that piece of data.
In this structure, third parties own all of the information, and people own very little about themselves.
recent years, powerful entities have been linking all these disparate
databases and creating a massive data structure which supports an inner
ruling elite and that puts individual people at a disadvantage.
attacked the data question from the angle: How can we restructure
things so that individuals own a great piece of their personal data.
Please note, I am not speaking in absolutes.
The two pieces of information that I consider to be the most important are health care and income information.
created two structures to help restore the concept of self-ownership.
The Medical Savings and Loan is a technique for breaking insurance pools
into individual accounts. In this system, each person has an individual
account. All medical expenses flow from this account to the provider.
Information about the expense flows back into the account.
key to this reform is that individuals own their individual accounts.
The Medical Savings and Loan creates a structure that gives individuals
ownership over personal health care records.
incomes are tracked by employers who submit earnings data to the IRS.
This creates a system in which employers and the IRS own our income
I created a reform called "The Object Tax." This
reform is named after Object Oriented Programming. In this reform, we
use Object Oriented Design to create a new interface for implementing
the current tax code.
The Object Tax is not disruptive. The program creates an alternative mechanism for collecting taxes.
this reform, the Treasury Department creates an abstract tax code that
can be implemented as the current withholding system. The model can also
be implemented by third party application service providers (ASPs).
reform invites financial institutions (ASPs) to create more efficient
models for collecting taxes. The ASPs will go through a rigorous testing
and certification process to assure their products calculate the taxes
I envision a product that involves Tax Aware
Accounts. These accounts execute the tax code when people move money in
and out of the account.
There would be a large number
of companies offering these tax aware accounts. People would have the
choice of sticking with the current withholding system or moving to a
Tax Aware Account hosted by a third party.
reform, there are hundreds of third parties hosting Tax Aware Accounts.
These accounts both process and accumulate information about your
income. The Object Tax creates a structure in which individuals have a
greater degree of ownership over the information produced by the tax
We live in the information age. The way that information flows through our society is critical.
we create a system in which people's medical and income data flow
through accounts under their control, we can help restore the sense of
self-ownership that was critical in the American Experiment.