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abumbyanyothername Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 01:01 AM
Original message
'Bum fixes the economy
Musings on equality . . . . Assumptions on US wealth, approximately $40K per capita in income, 350 million people. All dollars are 2008.

1) There ought to be a floor, beneath which no person is allowed to fall. Let us say 1/4 of the per capita, or $10,000 (per person, thus a family of four would have a floor of $40K). Public jobs and public (communal but respectful) housing, food and health care ought to be available to anyone who cannot otherwise provide. The public jobs might range from collective farms using human labor rather than machines, to conservation projects, to home aides for the elderly or day care for children. Not necessarily these specific projects but things that need to be done, that private enterprise is not doing, or not doing at pricing that makes it available to all. If the private enterprise types scream about socialism, communism, etc. then let them come up with a plan to feed the hungry, clothe the naked, etc. Encouragement and support for entrepreneurial enterprises could be provided. Every effort would be made to find productive (i.e., of service to others) outlets for all citizens of all ages and all abilities.

2) No natural person or corporation (or foundation/LLC/partnership) should be allowed to "earn" more than 25 times the median. For corporations or other business entities, dividends and other distributions would be deducted from revenues to arrive at these capped earnings. But no natural person would be allowed to earn dividends which, when combined with other income, would cause that person's income to exceed 25 x $40,000 or $1,000,000. There would simply be a confiscatory tax on all income above that level, but the practical effect would be that people would structure their affairs to avoid the tax. Wealth would be distributed by the populace as they devised methods to avoid the confiscatory tax. Saving would be permitted (although not especially encouraged and certainly not necessary), but outrageous accumulations of wealth would be discouraged since the $1,000,000 cap on income would apply to inheritances as well as ordinary income. The caps especially as they apply to accumulated capital and the earnings therefrom are phased in over 10-20 years to allow people time to direct the distribution of accumulated fortunes.

3) A portion of government capital and spending would be allocated through a more direct democracy method. Citizens who care to are allowed to vote on budgetary matters. Persons and projects deeming themselves of public good can promote themselves and their need for capital and citizens would respond. Government would raise money through a graduated tax on incomes as well as through VAT/sales taxes designed to steer consumption away from socially harmful products and toward better alternatives.

Well, there is more, but already I am seeing that I am just a communist at heart.

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abumbyanyothername Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 02:30 AM
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1. Late night bump. nt
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GodlyDemocrat Donating Member (388 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 02:50 AM
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2. Sorry, this is a horrible idea
Unfortunately or fortunately, money is an incentive for innovation and productivity, for going to school and for working. Some may treat economics as some alchemy, but it's not, just as global warming, physics, and evolution are not.

There are free market ways (remember the 1990s) that the poorer classes can prosper at a faster rate than the rich. It usually involves full employment and low inflation.
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