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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.

Share Our Wealth

  • 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.

Taxes:

  • 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.

Disbursement:

  • 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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Upkeep of roads and new construction also increases jobs. Better road conditions = less wear and tear on cars.
  5. 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.
  6. 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!
  7. 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.

Poll

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59%13 votes
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27%6 votes

| 22 votes | Vote | Results

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Comment Preferences

  •  We could probably do (5+ / 0-)

    much of what needs to be done w/out a legal limit on income. By raising taxes on wealth, putting teeth into them, and taxing the money that is made on market manipulations I bet we would close the gap.

    Mandated vacations are a European model, people need to recreate and take time away from work. They are much more productive workers. We are using the "Salt Mines" model.

    Liked your diary!

    And daddy won't you take me back to Muhlenberg County Down by the Green River where Paradise lay. Well, I'm sorry my son, but you're too late in asking Mister Peabody's coal train has hauled it away. John Prine

    by high uintas on Mon Jan 20, 2014 at 09:36:46 AM PST

  •  Some good ideas. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    KVoimakas, gerrilea

    Did I miss defense?  Where does that fit inyour plan?

  •  Question: (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    KVoimakas, gerrilea

    "Very little tax on income under $250,000 a year. This is made possible by higher taxes on the very rich."

    How do you know the math works out?  THat is, how do you know that the increased taxes on the wealthy will generate the same amount of revenue?  

    •  I really don't. I took a stab at it. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      gerrilea

      This is just a framework. There could be lots of minor (or major) tweaks needed before this could be a viable solution.

      But my head's in the right place. :-)

    •  We have historical fact to guide us. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      KVoimakas

      When Income Was Taxed at 94%: How FDR Tackled Debt and Reckless Republicans

      Congress shrugged that request off, too. FDR still didn’t back down. In early October, he issued an executive order that limited top corporate salaries to $25,000 after taxes. The move would “provide for greater equality in contributing to the war effort,” Roosevelt declared.
      That would be about $350,000 in today’s dollars.
      Could you imagine the outrage the corporate elite in DC would react if a POTUS did that today?

      Portal:Outsourcing America Exposed

      A case worker making $4 million a year?

      CMD Exposes America’s “Highest Paid Government Workers”

      K12 Inc. is a publicly-traded (NYSE: LRN) for-profit, online education company headquartered in Herndon, Virginia. On its own and as a member of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), K12 Inc. has pushed a national agenda to replace bricks and mortar classrooms with computers and replace actual teachers with "virtual" ones.

      -cut-

      From 2009-2013, Packard made over $19 million in compensation, and compensation to his top executives skyrocketed 96 percent in 2013. Thank you taxpayers!

      So, this guy gets paid $5 million a year and wishes to delete actual teachers in our schools.

      How about we compromise and just limit CEO pay to $500,000 a year and tax them at 47%.  They'd still make millions and we could rebuild the American Dream.

      -7.62; -5.95 The scientists of today think deeply instead of clearly. One must be sane to think clearly, but one can think deeply and be quite insane.~Tesla

      by gerrilea on Tue Jan 21, 2014 at 08:40:07 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  I favor most of these concepts (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    KVoimakas, gerrilea

    The disparities in wealth and income in this country are primary drivers of many of the other problems we have.  The fact that the wealthiest are accumulating more and more wealth, leaving a smaller pie for everyone else is extremely concerning.  

    I don't, however, see among the benefits more spending for environmental protection (we need it!) and public lands.  I'm tired of seeing conservation taking budgetary hits over and over and over and over...

    I do wonder how good of an idea this might be:

    So you can distribute 20 million to 3 people, 60 million to one person, or 1 million to 60 people.
    It might not be wise to put a $30 million price tag on the life of someone's sibling.  Just sayin'.  

    Political compass: -8.75 / -4.72

    by Mark Mywurtz on Mon Jan 20, 2014 at 05:26:43 PM PST

    •  How is that different from now though? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      gerrilea

      (In regards to the inheritance thing)

      I also forgot a transactional tax on stock market transactions. We could use a part of that for public lands and environmental protection.

      •  I dunno (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        KVoimakas, gerrilea

        seems different when there's a cap on it though.  

        Either way, I don't see any of this passing--you know, a fully-funded government, elimination of poverty, full employment, adequately-maintained infrastructure, universal health care, equality of opportunity, and high quality of life; who the hell wants any of that?

        The ultrarich have half the country convinced that anything even remotely approaching what you describe here would be a socialist hell.  

    •  Environmental protections are important (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      KVoimakas

      but why don't we just increase the building standards for insulation?  We could reduce our energy needs by 60% just by having buildings meet higher code regulations?

      Then we could give every American home solar panels.  There are 125 million homes in the US, approximately.

      Costing us a mere 1.25 Trillion.  (Averaging $10,000 per home).  We spent over $5 Trillion on the Iraq war.  Bush's tax breaks cost us over $1 trillion (and counting).

      Then we could shutdown all fastbreeder reactors and move to Thorium Molten-Salt Reactors with an efficiency rating of 90%+.




      We've had thorium reactor plans since the 1940's and had prototypes that ran for over 2 1/2 yrs.  The best part of this plan, they could eat up 90% of all current nuclear waste, everywhere.

      8 ounces of thorium would provide 1 person a lifetime of energy needs.

      We have the solutions already, why we aren't doing anything about it is still a mystery to me.  In 3 steps we could immediately reduce environmental destruction.

      The entire planet has over 5.3 million tonnes of it.  The US alone has 434,000 tonnes.  It does not take any processing to be used, dig it out of the ground and poof, throw in in a reactor and you're done.

      -7.62; -5.95 The scientists of today think deeply instead of clearly. One must be sane to think clearly, but one can think deeply and be quite insane.~Tesla

      by gerrilea on Tue Jan 21, 2014 at 08:59:18 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

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