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We don't seem to have a Manifesto. I've seen the odd article here and there, but not much that sets out basic principles that we can all get behind.

Democrats don't seem to get behind much at all, and that may be because too many of them are unprincipled, or that they have their priorities wrong, or they aren't really Democrats at all.

Anyway .... We have a 1% problem, and a 47% problem and the solution seems to lie in closing the gap.

It used to be Communists who were accused of a desire to "Redistribute Wealth and Income", a feat they never really managed to accomplish to any great effect.

All the time America was busily engaged in scouring the dusty "sub-bed" region for stray Reds, the Right in this country were busy getting on with ..... Redistributing Wealth and Income ..... Upwards!

You see it was never true that the GOP and it's attendant megalomaniacs were fearful of a redistribution of wealth. All they were actually concerned about was the direction.

So my first principle will be the following:

To each according to his needs, from each according to his ability

Although that phrase, or similar is popularly attributed to Karl Marx, Marx appears to have used a phrase in common parlance, as a conclusion to his vision of a society living on a higher plane.

Indeed, it may even be traced back to a Biblical origin:

Matthew 25 11-27

11 While the people were listening to these things, Jesus proceeded to tell a parable, because he was near to Jerusalem, and because they thought that the kingdom of God was going to appear immediately.
12 Therefore he said, “A nobleman went to a distant country to receive for himself a kingdom and then return.
13 And he summoned ten of his slaves, gave them ten minas, and said to them, ‘Do business with these until I come back.’
14 But his citizens hated him and sent a delegation after him, saying, ‘We do not want this man to be king over us!’
15 When he returned after receiving the kingdom, he summoned these slaves to whom he had given the money. He wanted to know how much they had earned by trading.
16 So the first one came before him and said, ‘Sir, your mina has made ten minas more.’
17 And the king said to him, ‘Well done, good slave! Because you have been faithful in a very small matter, you will have authority over ten cities.’
18 Then the second one came and said, ‘Sir, your mina has made five minas.’
19 So the king said to him, ‘And you are to be over five cities.’
20 Then another slave came and said, ‘Sir, here is your mina that I put away for safekeeping in a piece of cloth.
21 For I was afraid of you, because you are a severe man. You withdraw what you did not deposit and reap what you did not sow.’
22 The king said to him, ‘I will judge you by your own words, you wicked slave! So you knew, did you, that I was a severe man, withdrawing what I didn’t deposit and reaping what I didn’t sow?'
23 Why then didn’t you put my money in the bank, so that when I returned I could have collected it with interest?’
24 And he said to his attendants, ‘Take the mina from him, and give it to the one who has ten.’
25 But they said to him, ‘Sir, he has ten minas already!’
26 ‘I tell you that everyone who has will be given more, but from the one who does not have, even what he has will be taken away.
27 But as for these enemies of mine who did not want me to be their king, bring them here and slaughter them in front of me!’”

and Acts 4 32-37:

32 All the believers were one in heart and mind. No one claimed that any of their possessions was their own, but they shared everything they had.
33 With great power the apostles continued to testify to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus. And God’s grace was so powerfully at work in them all
34 that there were no needy persons among them. For from time to time those who owned land or houses sold them, brought the money from the sales
35 and put it at the apostles’ feet, and it was distributed to anyone who had need.
36 Joseph, a Levite from Cyprus, whom the apostles called Barnabas (which means “son of encouragement”),
37 sold a field he owned and brought the money and put it at the apostles’ feet.

Being the "inclusive" Socialist that I am, I am happy to help the believers (the real ones), with Scripture ... and I am happy to quote it verbatim, I believe that it is out of copyright.

So a guiding principle appears to be that we should give where we can, and take what we need.

Let's look at the "wealth" bit of the equation:

There are a million of these diagrams, I found this one.

Photobucket

Wealth, per se, is less of an issue in the hands of the person who originally accumulated it, than it is in the hands of those who inherit it. The inheritors contributed nothing, nil, zip, nada. I don't begrudge the fortunate offspring of the wealthy a decent start in life, but I do object to the creation of an "entitled ruling generation of super rich", who contribute nothing.

So the next principle will be:

Inheritance (Wealth) Tax will be zero on the first two million dollars, fifty percent on the next five million and ninety percent on the remaining estate above five million dollars.

That is sufficient to make ones children very comfortable, without  adding them to the worthless super-rich. There would be some exemptions. For example .. "lifetime gifts" would be taxed as income to the recipient, except for college fees, medical bills and reasonable help towards a first home, etc.

I do not seek to help the rich man to pass through the eye of a needle, merely to prevent too many people from receiving too much of that which they haven't earned.

Wealth in the hands of those who originated it is a minor issue, easily resolved. Income is less so.

How much income is too much? Not an easy question to answer, but in many cases it can be related to the income of those who contribute their efforts  to that end. For example, were I the CEO of a major company, how much would it be reasonable for me to earn? Quite a lot, I would think. It is both an incentive and a reward. But I do not run the company myself, all the employees help and I do not have a company to run without them. So it's not unreasonable that my efforts are rewarded as a proportion of theirs. I will have the highest salary, because I am the "innovator", the driving force, the visionary, the Boss. My workforce is equally entitled to share the rewards, because they do the actual "creating".

So, next principle:

No company employee can earn more than 25X the hourly rate of the lowest paid employee. Stock options are salary, deferred and taxed when redeemed. Stock Options cannot be redeemed for ten years after they are granted. Stock Options, if offered, have to be offered to all employees.

All company employees shall have equal access to the same health plans and pension schemes

The effect is a simple one. The company can pay it's CEO whatever it wants, but to do so it must also raise the salaries of all of it's employees, in direct proportion. The delay on the stock options means that the Board will be very keen that the company is not just healthy this year, but healthy for at least the next ten years. Short term planning for profit just went out of the door. The wealthier employees will be tasked with protecting the long term futures of all the employees, in order to stay wealthy.

All income will be taxed at the individuals marginal rate, wherever that income comes from.

It might seem to some that these stipulations are a little harsh, or not, but historically they are pretty representative, certainly in terms of income; even if the Wealth Tax proposal is a bit radical.

Since 1947, the Census Bureau has employed a commonly used measure, the Gini coefficient (also known as the index of income concentration), to measure family income inequality. With two exceptions, the Gini coefficient decreased between 1947 and 1968. During this period, the Gini for families indicated a decrease in income inequality of 7.5 (±2.1) percent.2 Since 1968, however, this trend has reversed. Income inequality for families, measured by the Gini coefficient, increased between 1968 and 1998 (see Figure 1). The net effect over the entire 1947-1998 period is an increase in family income  inequality.

Get the whole grisly story from the US Census Bureau.

Before I am accused of "the Politics of Envy", let me ask a few simple questions:

My neighbor, Garth Brooks, is sitting on an estimated $150 Million. Fair play to the guy, he earned it, but would he really be all that distressed if he only had $50 Million in the bank? He has three charming and delightful daughters, one in college, one about to go and a High Schooler. I hope they enjoy college without a care in the world, but have they earned the inheritance that is in their futures? Will they be better people when gifted tens of millions?

Sam Bradford left OU, a Public University, as number one pick in the NFL Draft. A contract estimated at $80 Million was his reward. Would he refuse to play football for $2 Million?. or $10 Million? Could not the balance be used to fund the futures of hundreds of other college students who would also like a full ride scholarship?

The vastly wealthy "Captains of Industry" do not draw their massive salaries and bonuses, then regard the money in the way that the rest of us regard our income. They already have more than any decent human being could actually spend. When we receive our monthly check, it is used to meet our personal and family needs ... to those other guys it is not ... Accumulating wealth is simply a way of keeping score!

We need to help them find a more productive scoring system.

Imagine too what we might accomplish with the revenue that would be generated. A healthier, happier and better educated workforce. One result would be that the rich actually find it easier to get rich in the first place, and that we all would be happier.

It's not a bad, Socialist, ambition.

Sure there is more, much more, but that's enough for all the "too long, didn't reads" among you.

Originally posted to Every Part of You Belongs to You on Thu Oct 27, 2011 at 08:39 AM PDT.

Also republished by Community Spotlight and Street Prophets .

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Comment Preferences

    •  Seconded. (14+ / 0-)

      Motion carried.

      This comment may not be reproduced or excerpted on other sites without my express written permission.

      by psilocynic on Thu Oct 27, 2011 at 08:53:26 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Some of that stuff won't work: (0+ / 0-)
      No company employee can earn more than 25X the hourly rate of the lowest paid employee.

      So you're in favor of a law that forbids a company to hire an individual at a rate both mutually agree to? That's quite a limitation on economic freedom. Plus, it's arbitrary. Why 25x? Because it's a even quarter of a hundred? Any research to back up this number, or did you just pull it out of the air?

      Are we talking contracted labor, too? If not, you'd see companies lay people off en masse, and only retain their highest paid staff as part of the company. Then most people would be without the benefits that come with full-time employment. And if we are talking about using contracted labor as the benchmark, how would you measure it? Companies would hire people by the job and make them bid for the jobs.

      This idea is completely unworkable, and it is a violation of human rights.

      Stock options are salary, deferred and taxed when redeemed. Stock Options cannot be redeemed for ten years after they are granted. Stock Options, if offered, have to be offered to all employees.

      This doesn't make any sense at all. Stock options are offered to counteract the effects of agency theory. The idea is to align management's financial interests with the interests of shareholders. They're worth nothing if the stock goes down. Also, waiting 10 years to redeem them will have two effects. First, when the person leaves, their most recent options will be mostly dependent on the performance of the next manager. That doesn't make any sense.

      Second, why should everyone get stock options? The average worker has very little control over the success or failure of a company. Their financial interests don't need to be in line with shareholders. Even if you did make this a law, how would you write it? Do they have to be offered the same number of options? You'd just see companies stop giving options, and consequentially, you'd see worse management of companies because senior management is just doing whatever they want to without caring about the profitability of the company. This is a really bad idea.

      Look, there is a real science of management out there. There's tons and tons of published peer-reviewed research on this stuff. We have the system we do for reasons. Trying to tweak the way things are without understanding why they are that way leads people to making stupid recommendations like this.

      All company employees shall have equal access to the same health plans and pension schemes

      Well, companies will just jack up the contribution rates and pay the executives more so they're the only ones who can afford it. Oh, and they'll convert their labor to contract to get around the pay issue again. You can't fuck with the system like this. Our system can get a lot lot worse. And if we listen to the voices of the uneducated on these topics, it will.

      The obvious answers are wrong. That's why we aren't doing them already.

      by atheistben on Thu Oct 27, 2011 at 04:54:58 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  So .... (6+ / 0-)

        That is just the kind of defeatism that will keep us poor.

        Clearly I offered a broad outline, the detail comes in the policy and the regulation.

        But it is workable, it isn't a violation of anyone's rights, and we'll just have to do it without the naysayers.

        I hope that the quality of debate will improve,
        but I fear we will remain Democrats.

        by twigg on Thu Oct 27, 2011 at 05:14:36 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  atheistben is a troll, see his comment history (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Regina in a Sears Kit House

          Pearls like this...

          "I just think you all are deluding yourselves about what your protests can actually accomplish regarding improving the lives of Americans." by atheistben

          His highbrow opinion of himself is thus obvious in another comment...

          The average person who failed out of their freshman year of art history has just as much knowledge as the guy with the engineering degree and the finance masters. And we need to treat their opinions as equally plausible. It's bullshit.

          And it brings up another point about why I don't think the OWS protests will work. They can't advocate for good wide-reaching policies because they don't know what they are. The average person doesn't know the difference between bond amortization and a call stock option. And you want all these people to fix the financial industry? Good fucking luck.


          He really should be banned in my opinion. He is subversive to DKos.
          He is working on his MBA. I am going to laugh my ass off when he is downsized from the financial industry he so covets. He will be in the same sinking boat as many Engineers and other WELL educated upper middle class Americans. That is unless he is the son of one of the current crop of Robber Barrons.

          "We are a Plutocracy, we ought to face it. We need, desperately, to find new ways to hear independent voices & points of view" Ramsey Clark, U.S. Attorney General.

          by Mr SeeMore on Fri Oct 28, 2011 at 09:11:39 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  We know your fucking opinion (0+ / 0-)

            You don't like me, and you'll take any argument I present as an opportunity to attack me personally. Got it.

            I'm subversive to this community because my opinions are well-reasoned and make sense to a lot of people here. The reason for that is that a year ago, I had quite mainstream views for this site. And I know how to present arguments to smart people who hold my old viewpoints.

            But as you said, yes, I am getting an MBA. I don't know what you're doing with your Monday nights, Wednesday nights, and Sundays, but I'm guessing that it isn't graduate level courses in economics, finance, accounting, management, etc. It turns out that this is a pretty important field of knowledge for designing an economic system or diagnosing the problems with one. I get that you don't value that education. That's fine, it just means your opinions will have gaping holes, and you'll resort to attacking me personally because you can't argue the points.

            And as for looking with joy at the possible unemployment of another human and member of this community, fuck you. And it doesn't matter anyway. I have real skills. Do you know what I did last weekend? I won a marketing case competition for which the prize was $3,000. I'm great at what I do, and I'm even good at what I don't do. I won't be in a sinking boat because I have the ability to add a shitload of value and wealth to this world, and I know how to demonstrate these talents in order to get hired and promoted. The world and this country aren't awful for people like me.

            Also, my quotes are accurate. This whole post by twigg is an example of what I was talking about in your second quote of me. The policies developed by people who don't have formal expertise in economics, finance, accounting, tax, management, etc are piss poor and will do more harm than good.

            The obvious answers are wrong. That's why we aren't doing them already.

            by atheistben on Fri Oct 28, 2011 at 10:35:33 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  It's not about naysaying (0+ / 0-)

          And you can't defend these positions by saying they're just a "broad outline." You bolded items are not broad. They are specific. And they'll cause very specific problems if you try to implement them. And they do violate rights. Who are you to vote on what kind of contracts are allowed between two other parties? That's a fundamental problem. What do you think gives you that right?

          The obvious answers are wrong. That's why we aren't doing them already.

          by atheistben on Fri Oct 28, 2011 at 10:38:30 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I have the right to (0+ / 0-)

            make any proposals I want.

            You have the right to object to them, but your objections are meaningless without specifics.

            It's the easiest thing in the world to sit on the sidelines and crap on the ideas of others, much less easy to formulate an idea and put it out there, with your name attached, and give folk something to discuss.

            Shit, or get off the pot.

            I hope that the quality of debate will improve,
            but I fear we will remain Democrats.

            by twigg on Fri Oct 28, 2011 at 01:29:23 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  You do (0+ / 0-)

              have a right to develop and advocate for any proposals you think will work. Certainly you have that right. Perhaps the tone of my first post was overly agressive.

              Honestly, I thought my initial response contained a lot of specifics about why your proposals won't work. I don't fault you or have any ill will towards you for presenting ideas. I actually have a lot of respect for that. And you're right, it is easier to find flaws in someone else's idea than it is to develop your own.

              Specifically, I think you're going to have hard time implementing the 25x rule you define in the diary for a few reasons. First, I don't know where government derives the power to say what two parties can agree to through a contractual agreement. Second, the 25x seems very arbitrary to me. Third, there will be ways around this, by reclassifying work as contractual so it is much more difficult to regulate. Fourth, I think you would see good leadership flock from big public companies (where they don't make much money), to start their own businesses with VC capital - so effectively, their income would come from equity. This would have the very bad effects of increasing mismanagement in the companies that play major roles in our lives, and it would reduce the opportunity for average people to invest in good companies. Just to address one rule you mention...

              I have ideas about what to do. I think we should be advocating for higher income taxes progressively, but across the board. I think we can raise capital gains and dividend tax rates. I think we need to fund education a lot better. I think we should be advocating for Obama's jobs plan. But I don't think our system is in need of the massive reforms a lot of people here are talking about.

              The obvious answers are wrong. That's why we aren't doing them already.

              by atheistben on Fri Oct 28, 2011 at 02:19:25 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  The idea behind the 25X (0+ / 0-)

                rule was that we need to have a reference point ... a principle that says 400X is obscene and won't be allowed to happen.

                Sure the number is arbitrary, we have to start somewhere.

                As a set of principles I think they are okay, and they replace the complete lack of principles we have now.

                I don't think I have all the answers, but I have the questions and am perfectly happy to go out on a limb and make a few positive proposals.

                Just about everything in your final paragraph above would form part of it.

                I am, however, deadly (sic) serious about levying extremely high Estate Taxes on the super rich ... That is a ruling class that needs to be broken. The British Aristocracy has ruled the UK for a thousand years at least in part due to land that was given away by William the Conqueror, and held in tax free trusts ever since.

                Lets face it, taxing dead people seems to be pretty reasonable.

                I hope that the quality of debate will improve,
                but I fear we will remain Democrats.

                by twigg on Fri Oct 28, 2011 at 03:20:19 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

  •  Very reasonable, and well stated (9+ / 0-)

    If we don't stop this wealth gap from expanding, we'll all plummet to the bottom of an abyss... hopefully we can use the 1% to break our fall.

    Incremental change frightens excremental minds.

    by cassandracarolina on Thu Oct 27, 2011 at 09:03:05 AM PDT

  •  You Do Realize We Had This Solved for Decades? (22+ / 0-)

    Damned close anyway.

    Rather than setting specific compensation quotas, the steeply progressive individual taxation kept the economy from ever offering today's astronomical compensations at the high end.

    In fact it did a lot more. The 50% bracket kicked in at today's $ 350,000 level, something that horrifies Democrats today. What the New Dealers understood was that upper incomes, starting not at all far above median, has to be compressed in order to keep a broad diversity of economic sectors that are merely-profitable, competitive for talent, ownership and investment. When we don't do that, as we have not since 1981, the jackpot potential of a few sectors like finance and 3rd world imports mushroom to dominate the economy unnaturally.

    Compressive taxation suppresses the casino economy by starving its management of rewards, it makes the economy fertile for stable growth in broad diversity, and it keeps the rich from quickly acquiring all the important wealth and therefore power of society.

    The lowest income inequality between CEO's and workers was during this period, it got down around 40:1 without a specific rule, and the rich possessed their smallest ever share of the nation's wealth at least since industrialization.

    Obviously though there was much regulation on finance, business, trade and for that matter media also, which suppressed the ability of private power to pursue jackpots. So both the demand and the performance sides of the potential casino were heavily braked.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Thu Oct 27, 2011 at 09:06:14 AM PDT

  •  Please go and take over Washington...lol (9+ / 0-)

    I will never understand why with so many really smart common sense sort of people in this country...why we are still heading for edge of the cliffs.

    I knew I'd never be rich....I just wanted to be able to pay my own way and help as many as I can along my way but despite my experience and skills, I make less now than I ever have.

    Hard to encourage my sons ...working hard....good education....not holding alot of reward points nowadays.

    Thanks for sharing,twigg....

    “And in the end, it's not the years in your life that count. It's the life in your years.” ~ Abraham Lincoln

    by JMoore on Thu Oct 27, 2011 at 09:26:22 AM PDT

  •  Hurry up and become (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    twigg, cassandracarolina

    a citizen so you can run for Congress. Maybe we can even rig up a birth certificate so you can run for President.

    On the matter of inherited wealth, there are even now loopholes that allow big chunks to be passed to a child (and perhaps other relatives) tax-free during the life of the grantor. It's used to reduce the overall final value of an estate, so there's less taxable at the end.

    There are also generation-skipping trusts and all sorts of other things, so anyone with as much money as your neightbor Mr. Brooks should have a very good investment and tax advisor who's already set this sort of thing in motion. Each of the Misses Brooks should be able to come into a tidy sum without too much drama. And, yes, $50 mil split three ways is quite sufficient.

    The trouble with quotes on the internet is that it is difficult to determine whether or not they are genuine. -- Abraham Lincoln

    by Mnemosyne on Thu Oct 27, 2011 at 10:24:46 AM PDT

  •  I just love it when you quote "scripture". (5+ / 0-)

    Heh, nicely done. CS in your future. ;-)

    Science is hell bent on consensus. Dr. Michael Crichton said “Let’s be clear: The work of science has nothing to do with consensus... which is the business of politics. Science, on the contrary, requires only one investigator who happens to be right,”

    by Regina in a Sears Kit House on Thu Oct 27, 2011 at 11:54:43 AM PDT

  •  Does investing count as spending? How do you (4+ / 0-)

    determine how much of someones income should be reinvested in equities, or school bonds, or tax exempt municipal bonds before you say they have too much? If they invest in green companies is that ok but not ok if they are investing in Lockeed Martin.

    The vastly wealthy "Captains of Industry" do not draw their massive salaries and bonuses, then regard the money in the way that the rest of us regard our income. They already have more than any decent human being could actually spend. When we receive our monthly check, it is used to meet our personal and family needs ... to those other guys it is not ... Accumulating wealth is simply a way of keeping score!

    We need to help them find a more productive scoring system.

    Some...spoke with strong and powerful voices, which proclaimed in accents trumpet-tongued,"I am beautiful, and I rule". Others murmured in tones scarcely audible, but exquisetly soft and sweet, "I am little, and I am beloved"." Armandine A.L. Dupin

    by Kvetchnrelease on Thu Oct 27, 2011 at 01:32:34 PM PDT

    •  Yeah, I didn't say it wasn't tricky :) (5+ / 0-)

      First ... The disposable income we are talking about will not be the billions, or even the tens of millions that are currently being re-invested in an endless quest for more money ... to re-invest. Much of what you perceive wouldn't arise.

      For a CEO to earn $1 Million per year, his staff will be living pretty high on the hog.

      So the investment needed by an individual wouldn't be far in excess of that needed to live well in retirement. Given the Wealth Tax proposal there would be little point in accumulating too much, and so you may as well enjoy your life while you have it.

      There will, for a long time, still be rich people, even very rich people, but the group will diminish over time, and those excess funds will be better used paying for education, healthcare, childcare etc, for the rest of us.

      I haven't done an actual budget proposal :)

      I hope that the quality of debate will improve,
      but I fear we will remain Democrats.

      by twigg on Thu Oct 27, 2011 at 01:51:45 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Count me out. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    burnt out, justalittlebitcrazy, Pozzo

    I realize we're trying to move the Overton window here, and God bless you for it.  But I don't agree with this:

    To each according to his needs, from each according to his ability

    It's not that it can be traced to the Bible or Marx.  It's just that it really is a public policy recipe for disaster, and the decision about who needs what will always be a political matter.  It seems that lately the needy are all banks and pseudo-capitalist profit-making ventures like Blackwater.  

    I just believe in good non-corrupt government.

    •  And you think it isn't a political (4+ / 0-)

      matter now?

      Income and wealth distribution was far more equitable until about 30 years ago. It was politicians who changed it.

      There is nothing controversial in the idea that, if you work hard and give what you can, then society will ensure that you have what you need.

      I hope that the quality of debate will improve,
      but I fear we will remain Democrats.

      by twigg on Thu Oct 27, 2011 at 02:42:57 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Yes, wealth was better distributed (9+ / 0-)

        and the way it became badly distributed was through bad, corrupt government.

        I'm going to put on and old Libertarian hat for a moment, because sometimes they are right, although they may not realize it in this instance.  Forgive me for this, because I am a hardcase progressive, so let's keep it in that context.

        Capitalism depends on rules.  Regulations.  Laws.  Courts.  Enforcement of laws and torts and the protection of private property, the punishment of fraud.  What the right has been calling capitalism is really plutocracy benefiting the already-rich and the powerful through the loosening of strictures that protect people against theft, fraud, and the violations of their own property rights by those who are more powerful and politically connected than they are.  This is a flaw of many governments, and it crosses ideological boundaries.  

        Historically, the People (capital P) tolerate it to various degrees depending on how well the system works overall.  For instance, if people aren't starving in the streets, they'll put up with good King Louis, but once they are, and his wife says, "Let them eat cake," they start building scaffolds.  That, too, is a trend in politics that crosses ideological boundaries, something common to democracies, monarchies, and tyrannies.

        Once you realize that what the radical Right has been pushing is not capitalism (as defined above) but a system that benefits them at everybody else's expense, you can realize that it's not even really a left-right problem we're experiencing right now, and that leftist bromides about "to each according to his needs," misses the real mark.

        We have a corrupt system.  The corruption is in both parties, and you know I don't say that to seem non-partisan, because I'm very partisan.  The Democratic Party is corrupt, the media are corrupt, the aristocracy of the Washington beltway are corrupt, and we may have finally reached a "Let them eat cake," moment.

        So I'm not interested in from-each, to-each.  That's not the problem, and I'm not certain it's a very good solution, either.

        For instance, why is Blackwater, in its new incarnation still getting government money?  Blackwater isn't free enterprise.  Blackwater came into creation solely to benefit the friends of RNC benefactors like Dick DeVos.  It doesn't exist without government contracts, and it does nothing that the US Army didn't used to do for itself and do better and cheaper.  And yet, even after the change of administrations, they're still existing off of government largesse for no constructive purpose other than whatever phony war or occupation they can get their friends in government to promote.

    •  As the world poplation approaches 7 Billion (0+ / 0-)

      I would like to quote Gandhi. (from memory)

      “The world can provide for everyone’s need, but not for everyone’s greed.”

      It's not just the Bible ot Marx, there are universal truthes and wisdom.

      "If the young are not initiated into the village, they will burn it down just to feel its warmth." African Proverb (-6.00,-7.03)

      by Foreign Devil on Fri Oct 28, 2011 at 02:09:31 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  An interesting view (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    twigg, ybruti, zett, NoMoreLies

    through a different lens: Rainbow Pie by Joe Bageant. It rambles all over the place, but explains a lot about rural and recently rural America which, from knowledge of English class history, is quite interesting. A comparison could be made with Richard Hoggart's The Uses of Literacy about the English working class.
    Check it out ;-)

    "Bootstraps are a fine invention as long as they are attached to boots." blueoasis

    by northsylvania on Thu Oct 27, 2011 at 02:53:04 PM PDT

  •  Minor niggle... (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    The Raven, orange dog, twigg, NoMoreLies

    "Inheritance (Wealth) Tax will be zero on the first two million dollars, fifty percent on the next five million and ninety percent on the remaining estate above five million dollars."

    This should read "fifty percent on the next five million and ninety percent on the remaining estate above seven million," unless you want to change "fifty percent on the next five million" to "the next three million."

  •  Garth Brooks earned it? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    twigg

    Garth Brooks earned it?
    150 million for crappy country whinings?
    Perhaps that disastrous Kiss My Ass (Kountry music and Kiss?) Album summed it up for him… no more friends in low places...
    Why did every creepy kid on the planet like Kiss—go figure…

    Nudniks need not apply.

    by killermiller on Thu Oct 27, 2011 at 05:14:04 PM PDT

    •  I take your point (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      justalittlebitcrazy, Pozzo

      But that is a matter simply of taste.

      With the arguments of the Music Publishers model set aside for a moment, then Garth Brooks did indeed earn it.

      He also earned it like the Beatles earned it, and the Rolling Stones, and Bob Dylan ... purely by public demand.

      I hope that the quality of debate will improve,
      but I fear we will remain Democrats.

      by twigg on Thu Oct 27, 2011 at 05:17:05 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I am a huge proponent (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    twigg

    of raising the estate tax in a manner you suggest.  Although conservatives constantly whine about how unfair it is, the estate tax is in fact one of the most fair taxes of all.  You're simply taxing a dead person who lacks any further capacity to make use of that money.

  •  This is what I've been thinking, too. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    twigg

    I think you've summed up my own lines of thought very well, though your execution may have been imprecise.

    You can't take it with you. We can call it "The Paris Hilton" Tax.

    The victorious strategist only seeks battle after the victory has been won, whereas he who is destined to defeat first fights and afterwards looks for victory.

    by Pacifist on Thu Oct 27, 2011 at 08:33:52 PM PDT

    •  I see the purpose here (0+ / 0-)

      as one of sharing ideas and helping me and others coalesce thoughts.

      Precision is a job for committees :)

      I hope that the quality of debate will improve,
      but I fear we will remain Democrats.

      by twigg on Thu Oct 27, 2011 at 08:36:40 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Is it me? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    twigg

    Or is the Dailykos moving to the Left?

    It's been a while since I've even heard Markos say this is a Democrat (big D) site dedicated to electing more and better Democrats. I might have missed something but Socialism used to be a dirty word around here.

    Ah well, times they are a’ changing.

    And not a bad thing IMHO.

    "If the young are not initiated into the village, they will burn it down just to feel its warmth." African Proverb (-6.00,-7.03)

    by Foreign Devil on Fri Oct 28, 2011 at 01:58:10 AM PDT

  •  Words can be powerful (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    twigg

    When used correctly. This may all seem silly, but I can show you just how..powerful this effect can be. For instance, lets say I was to write a few words down from a song. I am curious exactly how many people will involuntarily mentally recite the entire song.

    "I wanna be the very best, like no one ever was..."

    Heh. A lot of people are pissed at me now. But my point is clear.

    Its like losing the game...I lost.

    But how do you get something to stick in peopls brains like that? The information assimilation never seems to be able to accomplish on purpose. Its very odd.

    The Reason why there are so many colors in this world...white, black, red, green, blue, yellow...is that they can be mixed to create an explosion of new color! Boom!

    by kamrom on Fri Oct 28, 2011 at 04:57:31 AM PDT

  •  woudn't a cap on the wages of CEOs/management (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    twigg

    Just lead to more outsourcing? If I owned a business and coudn't earn more than X percent higher than my lowest paid worker, woudn't it incentivize me to outsource all the lower paid jobs that I could so that the people doing that work won't be my employees?

    •  Not if the regulation (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Pozzo

      were properly applied you wouldn't.

      Remember there is nothing new or radical here. Those wage limits (without actually being legal limits) were the salary structures that applied in US businesses from the forties until the seventies.

      Right through the period that built the middle class, and there was very little out-sourcing.

      I hope that the quality of debate will improve,
      but I fear we will remain Democrats.

      by twigg on Fri Oct 28, 2011 at 01:38:44 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  How do you make that work though? (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        twigg

        I guess you'd either have to ban outsourcing or tax it in some way to make it economically undesirable.
        Also, outsourcing in the sense that we know it is a pretty recently phenomenon. It simply wasn't feasible to outsource many of the functions that are outsourcable today. For example, while it may be been technically possible to have someone in India handle customer service calls in the 70s, the cost said phone call would have been too expensive and the quality of the phone call probably not good at all. I don't dislike your idea in theory, I just don't see how we can make it work AND save the jobs here.

        •  I don't know the mechanic (0+ / 0-)

          However, you could tie the cap to the US based workforce I guess.

          Reducing out-sourcing is largely a matter of taking away the tax breaks that encourage it.

          Much of the extra tax collected could be given in tax breaks for actually employing American workers.

          We could also reduce the overhead incurred on American workers by setting up single-payer healthcare. That would reduce to zero the health costs employers have for their workers, and replace it with a simple 10% Employers Payroll tax to cover health, unemployment and social security ... with no cap.

          All of that makes employing home-based workers much more attractive.

          Like everything else ... Part carrot, part stick.

          I hope that the quality of debate will improve,
          but I fear we will remain Democrats.

          by twigg on Fri Oct 28, 2011 at 03:13:24 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

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