How about a graduated income tax
Dec 31, 2007 10:00AM EST
May Vote for You Then
Ranging from 5%-100%, with 100% rate topping off at $1,000,000. As to corporations: the cooperatizing and democratizing of them (with the government and their individual workers taking over management/ownership of them) so there would be no need to tax them. Dividends and sales of individual ownership would merely be added to individual income.
I value your vote!
My polices toward the corporations would have the effects you desire, but by a slightly different path which I think will be a little easier to pull off.
I want to get back to the guaranteed minimum income of $1,000 a month adjusted to the cost of living. It is meant to be a safety net rather than a replacement of work. I think most want to work…in an expanded concept of work. But to get a true feeling of what it would be like if you had to live on your minimum income, you have to crank in that you wouldn’t pay for health care, education, mass transit, etc. It all adds up. The combined minimum income couple…or a single parent with a child…would be $2,000 a month. This should provide a realistic basic living. This allows the single parent the option of being home doing the important work of raising a child. But free childcare provided by the universal free education system would open a whole host of new possibilities to the single parent.
The minimum income would encourage people to form the cooperative communal family [of all kinds] groupings who pool their incomes together…using their minimum incomes as a base to create more nourishing homes, to start and maintain small businesses. These communal groupings will be much more financially stable, emotionally nourishing, and environmentally friendly than today’s common isolating model of living.
It is all about caring and choice. If a senior wants to stay in her own home, the $1,000 a month will make that possible as will the home attendants provided by the health care system. This is also true if she wants to live with her family or in communal housing. This will actually be much cheaper than the scary mess we have now. The warehouse nursing home will be a thing of the past. Seniors will be an important, active element of every part of our society. We need everyone actively involved. We simply cannot afford on any level to warehouse portions of our population. It is a waste of potential!
Some people have expressed concerns that the guaranteed minimum income would drain people’s productivity. They ask why people would work. What they are really asking is why people would work without the whip of fear of hunger and poverty. They never ask this about the rich or the corporations, only about the working class and the poor. In reality most people want to work, want to contribute, want to improve their lives. Hunger, poverty, and fear drain productivity. If we are to survive, we need to end hunger, poverty, and fear.
The guaranteed minimum income will tend to keep wages in general higher and working conditions safer and more worker-friendly. This was also true for welfare and was the true root of the capitalist opposition to welfare.
The guaranteed minimum income will be very different from welfare. Everyone will get it. So there will be no stigma attached to getting it. There will be no red tape, no entrapping rules, no case workers drained of their humanity, and the rest of the demeaning rituals of enforced head-bowing associated with getting public assistance. The guaranteed minimum income will be something you get as a citizen, something you can depend on.
I get S.S.I., Med-cal, and money for a home attendant. People say they don’t mind the truly unfortunates who obviously can’t work getting welfare…but all of those lazy bums getting rich on welfare who could get a job…you know the line of thinking. Well, I am what they are picturing as the truly unfortunate. But in reality I can and do do many things. I can’t get a job, not because of my body, but because I would lose my S.S.I., Medi-Cal, and my money for a home attendant. This is an example of how the system is set up to not work and how the people get blamed for it not working. It is hard and scary living on so-called welfare. This is not true for me….at least not as much. I’m a punk, have built a support network of friends, doctors, etc. When I get a threatening letter [they are always threatening] informing me I must go to this certain doctor within two weeks to get a brain cat-scan [for which I would need to get knocked out] to prove I still have cerebral palsy or lose all my benefits, I with Linda can get on the phone and politely but firmly guide the over-worked case manager to turn the pages of my file to find the last yearly visit to check that a miracle hadn’t occurred. But most people in that position are much more vulnerable than I am. They are on their own, without a support network, etc. I don’t know how they survive. I know Nancy, a college student with cerebral palsy in a wheelchair, needing assistance with feeding, drinking, going to the bathroom, etc. She is determined to live independently. But her S.S.I. check is barely livable small. Her attendant hours [at minimum wage] are less than half of what she really needs. So she has to wait for a drink of water. She wears a catheter although it causes infection [hence will probably shorten her life]. To add insult to injury, there is a threat that her needed supplies will be unclassified as medical equipment and will no longer be funded. Because most doctors and hospitals do not accept Medi-Cal patients [because of red tape, low payment, and insane rules], she has to travel hours to the county hospital to wait more hours to be seen. But she keeps on doing what she has to do in order to stay in the game of life rather than being stuck in an institution…which would cost us much more than keeping her out with us. Out here, we can hear her poetry, see her perform. Most people on public assistance do contribute to society. They raise families, do art and music, push for change, etc.
The truth is the system is designed for failure, for easy scapegoats and decoys. As I am writing this, I see the governor of California is again threatening to cut S.S.I., Medi-Cal, home attendants, etc. Well, the web work of the guaranteed minimum income, a livable wage, the universal health care and the life-long education systems will be designed to work. And because everybody will be covered by this web work, this web work will be much harder to screw up!
Erika Shaver-Nelson wrote:
wow! beautiful!!!! personal, taking care of each other, spells out clearly and deeply what $1,000 a month would do for people, human, real, practical, loving each other into full expanded possibility!