New Book Enlists Nature's Help in "Fixing Our Broken Institutions"

Dan Hurwitz's new book considers new ideas in economics, sociology, politics, and religion.

Fixing our Broken Institutions by Dan Hurwitz

Dan Hurwitz, a retired engineer, starts his book, “Fixing our Broken Institutions,” by "wiping the slate clean" to establish a sound footing for his wide-ranging critique of the United States' economic, social, political, and religious organizations. Gone is the traditional left-right scale that normally dominates political comment. And gone too, are those shibboleths that, in his opinion, prevent rational decision-making.

On the topic of inspiration, Hurwitz quotes a line from Niccolo Machiavelli's famous political treatise, "The Prince":
"There is nothing more difficult to take in hand, more perilous to conduct, or more uncertain of its success than to take the lead in the introduction of a new order of things."

There is nothing more difficult to take in hand, more perilous to conduct, or more uncertain of its success than to take the lead in the introduction of a new order of things.

Niccolo Machiavelli, Author of "The Prince" (1532)

Hurwitz’s efforts to start from scratch constantly bring him into contention with conventional practice — often as not on fundamental issues. For example, he contends that the American citizens' dependence on just one monetary unit to control our incredibly fragmented economy is pitifully inadequate. Hurwitz asks, "How can we expect interest rates to adjust the value of the dollar, determine the volume of construction activity, stabilize credit markets, reduce unemployment, and lower stock market volatility? Common sense suggests that any change, deemed favorable in one respect, is bound to unfavorably impact a host of other factors."

In this case, as in several others throughout his book, Hurwitz calls upon his seer, nature, to offer alternative options. Noting that her design of the human anatomy employs twelve distinct systems, he concludes that Nature relies on defining responsibility and follow-up accountability to manage complex systems.

Based on that observation, Hurwitz, in his book, advocates dividing our society into two parts based on their fundamental activities.

A productive part, the "commercial" sector, and a consumer part, the "private" sector. To enable him to apply different rules to these sectors, he likewise divides the money into two states — the yen and the dollar respectively — and dictates their exclusive use in their assigned sectors. By manipulating different rules for each state, Hurwitz claims his fictional society would enjoy benefits that far outweigh the inconvenience attendant to handling two monies. These benefits include:

  1. In the yen world, tax-free operations incentivize commerce — a society’s only source of wealth. Since all companies are employee owned, no outsiders hold common stock, there is no stock market, and, consequently, no boom and bust cycles triggered by the market.
  2. In the dollar world, nothing prevents individuals from enjoying a sumptuous lifestyle as a reward for their extraordinary industry, their skills, their innovation, etc. However, a punitive tax measure prevents them from transferring their wealth to their heirs hence there is no social class structure.
  3. Since individuals are paid exclusively in yen, they can shelter as much of their earnings from taxation as they choose. However, those yen savings cannot benefit their holders unless first converted into dollars with the result that large sums of hoarded yen are eventually donated to charity and other worthwhile causes.
  4. Interest can be earned on personal savings, bond holdings, and bank accounts. It cannot be earned in the private sector with the practical result that credit is not extended to individuals. This may strike some individuals as a hardship but is a boon to society at large.

Hurwitz extends this same unorthodox outlook to his analysis of politics, social work, and, lest he be accused of any trace of self-doubt, of religion as well. It’s clear, then, that he intended to write an important book and, no doubt, worked hard at it. However, his success in the matter is problematic. It must be noted that his book is devoid of statistical evidence, research findings, footnotes, references, or even an index — in short none of the attributes required by a professional study. For all that, “Fixing our Broken Institutions” is an excellent read and contains some interesting ideas that some may find worth looking into. Further information on the book and its author can be found on

Source: Dan Hurwitz

About Dan Hurwitz

Dan Hurwitz is an American author and professional engineer.