This started out as a reply to a good friends post on Facebook. Let me reiterate so there’s no confusion, a GOOD friend. I have no problem being friends with people I know in real life with diametrically opposing views to my own because I choose my friends. If I choose someone to be a real friend, then I should be able to discuss things of a serious nature. Yes, I’ve made mistakes in the past, I am specifically thinking of a childhood friend who always referred to MLK day as “Martin Luther Koon Day” through high school and then spent months claiming he didn’t have a racist bone in his sloth-like body.
With that said here are my BASIC views on how some aspects of the American economy should work.
“A nation will not survive morally or economically when so few have so much, while so many have so little.”
– Sen. Bernie Sanders
How should taxation and government services in the United States work?
If anyone tells you they have the answer, they’re full of shit.
I am a Scandinavian style Democratic Socialist, and I make no apologies for that, but I don’t claim to know the answer to the question either. All I know is what I believe, and my beliefs didn’t spring from my brow like Athena whole and ready for battle. For forty years, okay maybe more like twenty-five to thirty, I’ve adjusted and rethought my views.
Like a lot of teenagers I had my time as a very Libertarian person, and that’s not a slam on Libertarians—some of the most generous and kind people I know are honest Libertarians. However, I’ve personally known more selfish assholes who either describe themselves as Libertarian or ascribe to the same views than those who don’t. I also went through a period when I looked at true Communism, along with Marxism and Maoism, and considered the real virtues they offered. Of course, in the end, they are no better than the Hyper Capitalism of the Libertarian view in my opinion.
My views started solidifying as my wife and I worked our fingers to the bone in order to provide for our children and were never able to make any real headway. And let me state that again just in case you missed it, we worked our god’s damned fingers to the bone and like so many other Americans we lost ground while the uber rich have flaunted their wealth.
My belief is that everyone owes the society they are part of to an equal degree of what they get from it. Every member of a community is entitled (and no I do not consider that a bad word) to a basic minimum level of income and services based on the level the society can comfortably support. In a developed society there is no excuse for people living in extreme poverty. If you don’t want to look at it as “The Right Thing To Do” then look at it this way, it harms society, and it breeds resentment.
This is how revolutions start people.
“Corporations are people, my friend.”
– Governor Mitt Romney (Multi-Millionaire Businessman)
A corporation and a person are not the same things.
In a fair and balanced (see what I did there) society corporations must pay a significant amount of taxes without the plethora of loopholes, shortcuts, and deductions which allow some multibillion-dollar entities to actually get a refund. Let me be VERY blunt: corporations must pay the absolute lion’s share of their profits in taxes.
Now the view that’ll piss people off. The ultra rich do not deserve what they have. Now when I say rich, I don’t mean people that make upwards of half a million dollars a year (random number I have no solid idea what I consider the maximum income level) doing a real job. What I mean are the men and women who make their millions and billions off the backs of workers and through nothing more than moving money around or inheriting it.
Should they keep a significant amount of the money? Sure, absolutely, but they should pay a much higher level of taxes after a certain level in order to help support the society which allows them to make the money in the first place. More tax money to education, public services, healthcare, infrastructure, and other things strengthen our society and will, in the end, generate more money feeding the engine and creating more wealth sustainably.
Why should these poor rich people be forced to do these things through legislation?
Because it’s their obligation to the society that made them rich in the first damn place. They should not be left to choose on their own how much or how little they contribute. The rich can be incredibly selfish and don’t try to shine my ass by telling me otherwise. Obviously not all, but many, and they must be held to the same rules the rest of us are.
You are, of course, free to 100% disagree with me, but you’re not going to convince me I’m wrong.