I'm going to make an assertion right off the bat. Income inequality in the United States is a huge problem.
Take the super rich on one hand and those who work full time, minimum wage jobs in the other. Compare income, benefits, education, insurance, work schedule, and all the rest. What picture do you have in your mind? Does it match the following video? The video below gives you a good picture of income inequality in the US and you've probably seen it before if you follow income inequality at all here on the GOS.
What better way to level the playing field when it comes to income inequality then to employee more people and give them an income since any money is better than none while simultaneously reducing the amount of money the super wealthy take home?
I'd like to point out that I stole most of these ideas from an old, dead, Louisiana politician. I've modified them. Those comments are in bold. This plan does more than contribute to fixing the income inequality problem in this country, so I've included that as well, but the paragraphs following the plan will focus on income inequality.
- Cap personal fortunes at 50 million
Today, that would be 750 million. I'm not sure what people would be missing if they're billionaires and get cut down to only 750 million. Perhaps this should be reduced more.
- Limit annual income to 1 million
This is about 12 million dollars today and still leaves the rich how much richer than the rest of us? Substantially. I wouldn't mind cutting this down BUT I'll stick with Huey's original plan.
- Guarantee each family/household an annual income of two grand (or one-third the national average)
I'd move this to 20k or one-third, to compensate.
- Free college education and vocational training
As a nation, I would think America could only become stronger with a highly educated populace. And with most colleges being 'evil liberal dens of progressivism' we might see a trend politically speaking.
- Old age pensions for 60 and over
This is already going (to a certain extent) with Social Security. I would lower the age to 60. I would also increase the monthly allotments. I'll get to that whole 'paying for it' in a little bit.
- Veterans benefits and healthcare
Again, already going, so I'll just leave this one alone.
- 30 hour work week
With a 30 hour work week, unemployment would be cut. Now, we just need to organize the workers!
- A four week vacation for every worker
I'm not sure if he meant one 4 week vacation or 4 weeks of vacation but I'll submit 160 hours of vacation time a year for the lowball number. We'll go from there.
The ideas below are a mishmash of Long's and my own. To give credit where credit is due, they are mostly his with a smattering of mine either to add on or modify Huey's original ideas.
- Tax 5% between 250k and $499,999.
- Tax 15% between 500k and $999,999.
- Tax 25% on the first million through 12 million dollars made.
- Tax 40% on the next 8 million made.
- Tax 75% on the millions from 20-100
- Tax 99% from 100 million on up.
- Tax inheritance: 60 million to whoever it is willed to. The rest goes into government coffers. So you can distribute 20 million to 3 people, 60 million to one person, or 1 million to 60 people. This would get judged as income under the above tax rates.
- 1% on $250,000 a year or less.
- A tariff on products imported into the country. Say 15% of the item's worth.
- Very little tax on income under $250,000 a year. This is made possible by higher taxes on the very rich.
- Monthly disbursements of money (per household) for anyone 18 years of age and older with a Social Security number and a valid, state issued, picture ID.
- The rest goes into government coffers, which I'm putting in its own special section.
Government funds (where everything else goes) paid out to the states (70%) with earmarks:
- 23% of the above 70% would go towards education: primary, secondary, university/college and vocational
- 17% would go towards utility related items, like restructuring the power grid and building greener energy sources where available
- 16% would go towards the constant construction needed for the upkeep of roads and to built new roads/pave existing gravel roads/etc.
- 14% would be accounted for by increasing internet access throughout more rural areas. Fiber to everyone!
- Note, I mean 23+17+16+14=70%. I wasn't trying to add those numbers up to 100% of 70%.
Funds that the federal government keeps:
- Single Payer Health Care
- Help pay off the national debt
- High speed rail and other mass transportation 'lines' to crisscross the country.
Goals and ramifications:
- Single payer. Do I really need to reiterate on this website why single payer would be a good thing? I would think (and someone please correct me if I'm wrong) that businesses could pay more in income with single payer implemented and people could start up their own businesses without the fear of losing their healthcare.
- Increased money for education. We can hire MORE teachers. We can pay teachers MORE. We can reduce class sizes from 30s and 40s back down to 20s. We can have better facilities to teach IN. Better (and more) facilities means more construction workers working.
- Our energy infrastructure is messed up. Redoing our national energy grid would create jobs. With a more efficient system, there'd be less waste which would lead to less energy usage. Green energy would equal more jobs and less harm to the environment. It's a WIN/WIN/WIN situation.
- Upkeep of roads and new construction also increases jobs. Better road conditions = less wear and tear on cars.
- Internet to everyone: I have to admit that I'm optimistic on some of the benefits of this. Not only do we have job creation, but I'd like to think that with access to the internet, more people would educate themselves instead of just relying on TV news.
- High speed rail: hey look! More job creation! Criss crossing the country becomes less expensive and less polluting than the current drive or airplane routine. Yes, it does become more time consuming; hey look, 160 hours worth of vacation a year!
- All the taxes:
I. Helps remove influence that ridiculously wealthy individuals bring into our political system. They will still have too much influence (money is not speech) but it's at least ONE way to help combat the 1%er's disproportionate influence on our political process.
II. Gives everyone a stipend towards a basic standard of living.
III. Actually funds the items I put forward earlier.
Some further thoughts on how this plan would help with income inequality, piece by piece:
Some of the things I mentioned above will obviously impact the income inequality spread. Less taxes on the middle and lower classes = more income for those people. Higher taxes on the rich = less income for those people. Having an income tax on inheritance means huge fortunes will be broken up. Having the government actively help those who aren't making enough to hit the poverty line also brings up the bottom end of the income inequality scale.
Some of the things I mentioned above might not seem like it would help. I think that, coupled with the taxes on the very rich, a thriving economy would lift all boats. 4 weeks of vacation? Hey, I'm going to spend some of this extra money and stimulate the hell out of the economy when I go visit my aunt or my girl/boyfriend over in Oregon. A 30 hour work week? What will I do with my time? Whatever it is, it probably won't be a zero cost adventure. Look, more money into the economy! What about the tax on imported goods (tariff)? With the US recovering some of it's manufacturing base, we'd have more jobs and more people spending money so, again, more jobs...
So what do you think? And yes, I know some of the list items are blank but I have no idea why.