This section is strongly looking at ending America’s agonizing dichotomy of an economic policy that equates to “The lifestyles of the rich and homeless.” With the United States being the richest country in the world and containing 40% of global wealth (from 195 countries) we somehow still have poverty – 14% overall poverty rate with a 22% childhood poverty rate. One of the Nordic countries which is far, far smaller than ours has the lowest poverty rate in the world – 3%. If they can do with significantly less national wealth than we have then imagine what we could do? The United States might be the country which could most easily end poverty because we have much of global wealth concentrated here.
The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much it is whether we provide enough for those who have little.Franklin D. Roosevelt (January 20, 1937)
Income inequality and poverty are the two most devastating and powerful forces globally. We need to aggressively attack and solve these two deadly issues. We have the resources and money to do so. Globally, extreme poverty kills over 20 million people each year and this needs to stop. We can do our part in the US to stop it here and to ensure that no one lives and suffers anywhere near poverty, and can live a life that may allow them to maximize their potential which not only benefits them, but also our communities, our states, our nation, and Humanity at large.
We have the knowledge.
We have the technology.
We have the resources.
We just need the will to make it so.
If you have not read the two books The Spirit Level and The Inner Level which are mentioned in the section The 4 Books You Need to Read, then please do that now, because they powerfully cover the harms of inequality.
Economies for the Common Good
See the page for the Economies for the Common Good which is under Philosophical Foundations section. This will form the core backbone for a new economic model which will care about reducing inequality, Humanity and the environment.
<insert page to read: Economies for the Common Good>
- All banks need to be converted to publicly owned banks
- Banks need to loan money through consideration of the Economies for the Common Good.
- Post Offices should offer basic banking services in general which greatly benefits more rural areas which do not have access to banks. Other countries have postal banking too, so why don’t we?
- Stop charging fees due to low activity or to those who have less than a certain amount of money in their accounts, which is penalizing people for NOT being rich or for being poverty stricken.
- Replace slavers and other historical people with questionable human morals on our money with civil rights leaders, peacemakers, and scientists instead.
- Slowly stop producing coins and bills and begin the shift to an all digital economy similar what one of the Nordic states (Finland?) is trying to accomplish.
The current global monetary creation method is essentially a pyramid scheme where the bankers at the top get rich at the cost of destroying global economies (war profiteering by funding both sides of the conflict) and it is imperative to fix this.
- End the Federal Reserve as a private entity. It must be returned to the people.
- The owners of the current Federal Reserve shall have their accounts frozen and all assets returned to the US (or their respective countries from which the money was absconded from) and they shall be jailed. The Rothschilds should be jailed.
- Money that is created by the Federal Reserve and made available for the banks shall NOT have interest charged and shall NOT be created through the issue of bonds or any other interest of fee bearing manner (interest free money creation).
- End Fractional Reserve Lending – require 100% reserves for lending (Switzerland is trying to do it!)
Shift to a Digital Economy
We need to start to shift to an all digital economy. We are wasting billions of dollars creating physical money when we do not need it. An all digital economy would be considerably cheaper, easier to track, and easier to work with globally. Finland is starting to do this.
We can start by phasing out the basically useless penny. In fact, the penny is so ridiculous that it costs 1.76 cents to create each penny while people hate and do not use them. Pennies: Last Week Tonight with John Oliver (HBO) (Nov 2015)
Then we can shift to reducing amounts of each of the other types of physical currency and increase the availability of cards such as debit cards to access money.
General Business Reform
We need radical reform in business laws and to what defines a business and its purpose within society. The core issue that capitalism (and monetary systems) has is that Tension problem where the only that matters is profit no matter the cost to Humanity or the Natural World.
The default assumptions for all businesses has to be reformed to reflect the 8 Philosophical Pillars for Peace so as to work towards stemming the tide of corruption inherent within that tension of monetary systems, and also a shift towards a Regenerative Open Source Circular Economies (ROSCE) as mentioned in my Environmental policies.
Profit should not be the primary drive of businesses, but service to Humanity and the Natural World should be. Profit should be a tertiary concern. Bank rates, loans, taxes, grants, etc… should all be adjusted to support this as well through the Economies for the Common Good.
Once the core drive of all businesses is shifted away from profit then we will start to see radical change with how the world works.
End Tax Malfeasance
- Basic Tax Evasion
- Get rid of ALL tax loopholes and greatly simplify the tax code.
- Return all money from tax havens to the US and it should be taxed and fined for back taxes. (Panama Papers anyone?)
- End Tax Inversions
- US Based Companies Leaving the US for the Purposes of Tax Evasion (ask Professor Wolff)
- Require a minimum of 3 years of notice with significant penalties for leaving early. This will give the workers and their families, the community, and their unions time to prepare for the eventual loss of the business.
- The public shall be informed that this is happening so that they can take actions such as boycott, legal action, and protests, etc.
- Such companies will lose access to federal or other government contracts.
- Fines and fees shall be paid to compensate for infrastructure created to support their business, as well as to pay for tax cuts, subsidies, etc that they have benefited from.
- If the violation is severe enough the business shall be seized and offered to workers as a worker coop which will increase competition for the leaving company and mitigate many of the problems created, but fines, taxes, and fees are still to be paid.
- Ethical Government Spending
- All local, state, and federal governments need to perform a spending review to ensure that money is being spent how it should be. Too many politicians abuse and waste the people’s money especially for personal enrichment because accounting departments are afraid to anger the person in charge. They need to start speaking up.
- There needs to be an Independent Ethical Spending in Government Agency for spending oversight and for people to report abuses to.
- End Artificial Spending Constraints as Political Cover for Amoral Politicians – End the absurdity of the following because they are only used as a political weapons to harm Americans to to give more money to the 1%. These are always manipulated around so as to be completely ineffectual in practice and have NO use in today’s economy. They give amoral politicians political cover so that they do NOT have to explain that they are opposed to universal healthcare, increasing Pell Grant funding, or increasing education funding. They can feign empathy and say that their hands are tied by these rules directly or by the deficit indirectly. The federal government can always pay its bills.
- Debt Ceiling
- PAYGO Rule
- Byrd Rule
- Privatization and austerity are NEVER the answer.
- All trade agreements have to be reevaluated period, especially for its conformance to Economies for the Common Good and Human Rights and the Rights of Nature.
- Too big to fail is too big to exist and should be broken up.
- End stock buy-backs
- Any local national business which has a monopoly over an industry in over more than one state should be broken up. Any Transnational corporation which has the economic power of near the smallest nation should be broken up.
- Localization of Production – We need to work to localizing as much production as possible to our communities/counties which will result in more factories and jobs in the country as well as the attendant rise in unionization, and therefore increases in pay. This will also start to pull manufacturing from China and other countries and then create a higher level of productive resilience for our country.
- All bankers and investors who have funded and profited from war should be tried for Crimes Against Humanity.
- Greatly increase funding for IRS to attack corporate fraud and tax evasion because there is billions of dollars sitting there because it is hard to prosecute and research giving corporations and the rich a further level of immunity from taxation. Workers from the Federal Jobs Guarantee can be shifted for this very important work.
US Postal Service (USPS)
- The USPS is NOT a business. It is a federal government service and it is NOT required to create profit.
- End the 1970 Postal Reorganization Act that Nixon signed which shifted the USPS from a department of the Federal Government to a corporation.
- End the 2006 Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act that Bush signed which required the prefunding of retirement health benefits. No other federal agency has to do this nonsense and is one of the primary reasons jacking up the USPS’ costs of operation.
- see Basic Banking (3) Postal banking from above
Wages, Taxation, and Benefits
The primary goal here is to radically and aggressively reduce income inequality and to prevent such horrors like we are seeing today from every happening again. Here is a spreadsheet on Google Sheets that puts this all together.
If you want a little more perspective on the inequality issue with the 1% read this long post by ProPublica:
- The Secret IRS Files: Trove of Never-Before-Seen Records Reveal How the Wealthiest Avoid Income Tax (ProPublica, Jun 2021)
Wages, Salary, and Income
- Minimum Wage
- The Minimum Wage should be set to $75,000 (including
waiters, food servers, etc..) (Mic on Facebook 2015) (Inc 2015) (Quartz 2015) (TYT on YouTube 2019)
- Eliminate lesser minimum wages and tips for such jobs as waiters and servers, etc. One minimum wage so all can have a living wage.
- It should also be adjusted to inflation (and cost of living).
- The Minimum Wage should be set to $75,000 (including
- Maximum Wage: If your favorite politician or activist does NOT have Maximum Wage as a main part of their policies or reform then they are NOT serious about dealing with inequality.
- Implement a Maximum Wage @ 9x the lowest wage (including any outsourced work too) ($75,000 x 9 = $675,000)
- including all forms of compensation monetary or not – including:
- stock options (?might have to relegate some of this to Wealth Tax in cases of business startups?)
- use of business resources (jet, housing, etc)
- everything else
- read the book: The Case for a Maximum Wage.
- Federal Poverty Line
- The Federal Poverty Line needs to be recalculated for today’s world which has many more costs like internet, phone, cars, utilities, etc… to take into account. Once this is done we will find out that our poverty rate is significantly higher than we think it is.
- This also needs to be tied to inflation so that it does not fall behind when Congress fails to adjust it each year.
- Pay Equity
- Golden Parachutes shall be outlawed.
- All should get paid the same for their time. Eliminate gender inequality and other pay disparities.
- All businesses shall be required to list the pay ratios from the lowest paid individual (including outsourced work) to the highest paid, and their taxes be adjusted based on such a ratio through the Economies for the Common Good.
- Ethical Taxation – Increase taxes on businesses through Economies for the Common Good:
- outsource jobs out of the country
- reduce jobs through automation or efficiencies
- pay someone beyond the Maximum Wage or below the minimum Wage
- Progressive Basic Income (PBI) – I have a significant problem with a “Universal” implementation of Basic Income because those who are well off will just invest or save the basic income and therefore result in further exacerbating our already historically high levels inequality. Exacerbating inequality is ALWAYS bad!
- Locally Framed – based on local poverty rate and local Cost of Living (CoL) – $2000 in my home town will go a lot farther than in New York or Los Angeles.
- Inflation Adjusted – it should be automatically adjusted for inflation each year
- Progressive – Those at the bottom need more and those at the top need nothing. Having the affluent have access to PBI would greatly exacerbate income inequality, because they could just invest it.
- 0 – $50,000 = $2000 per month (100%)
- $50,000 – $65,000 = $1500 per month (75%)
- $65,000 – $70,000 = $500 per month (25%)
- $80,000 and more – $0 per month (0%)
- As an example of potential implementation:
- Federal Taxes – It could first be tied to yearly taxes which the government gets access to as people file for taxes. So, following the filing of your taxes if your income is adjusted into or out of a PBI bracket then your new PBI benefits gets adjusted for the rest of the next year until the next tax season.
- Job Change – This is mostly for if your employment income gets adjusted down. If your work income is lowered you can go to the Unemployment Office or other appropriate office and report the income change and then your PBI level is adjusted until the end of the next tax season. You can also go in an say “Hey, I am making too much money so you can stop PBI for me.“.
- Social Services – The various social services who also have access to financial data can also update this information and trigger the PBI benefit too.
- The US government needs to have a tax website where everyday people can file their taxes
- The government needs to automatically aggregate all of the basic tax info (W-2), etc which will also save on paper.
- Progressive Personal Taxes with a Marginal Tax Rate of 100%
- Progressive Corporate Taxes with a Marginal Tax Rate of 100%
- Get rid of tax caps (make all income taxable) which will shift the burden of payment to those of higher economic tax brackets.
- Investment transaction taxes:
- 0.5% tax on stock trades
- 0.1% tax on bond trades
- 0.005% tax on derivatives transactions.
- Progressive Net Wealth Tax
- with a marginal tax rate of up to 8%. This will be used in order to combat the gross levels of wealth inequality
- Once it is all reduced then we only only need the Max Wage with its 100% Marginal Tax Rate.
- Inheritance Taxes
- Progressive Marginal Death Taxes up to 100% which should follow the standard income progressive tax rates with the inheritance itself considered as another income source.
- Effort should be made to keep businesses and organizations in tact, perhaps by turning them into cooperative owned or employee owned to allow for family farms and other businesses to stay together.
- More Aggressive Expatriation Tax Rules
- taxes and have them due prior to expatriation.
Lotteries should be utilized as a powerful extension to UBI which is aimed at catapulting a person and their family beyond near comfortable and into the ability to do much, much more – invest, more education, pay off loans, buy a new car, buy some luxury items, etc…
The basic lotteries we have (scratch-offs, Powerball, MegaMillions, etc) should be ended and melded into this one nationalized program that will be implemented individually in each state.
- Lotteries need to be broken down into winnable chunks of $250,000 instead of one ginormous sum. This will allow more than one person to win which will actually make a difference in more people’s lives, instead of giving 1 person an insane amount of money, then blowing it all, and then destroying their lives in the process. With more people having access to more money this will lessen inequality and give more people the ability to progress and live a more fulfilling life. As an example, a million dollar prize is broken up into four $250,000 lotteries. If there is one winner drawn then 3 more (randomly selected from purchased tickets or auto-entered entries) must be selected to give out the full $1 million.
- This income shall be immediately taxed at the individual’s base marginal progressive tax rate which will give those who have less the ability to potentially keep all of the winnings, and those who have more to take home less.
- Those who have too much (perhaps income > 250k a year cannot win) as well as those with a substantial net wealth >350k.
- Each household can only win once a year and no more than twice in 3 years.
- It will be required to have at least 1 winner each week in each state. If a winner is not drawn then a winner will be drawn from the pool of those that are most in need.
- This will first be powered by taxation with individual entries proportional to their amount of need. Those with less will have more entries (most likely based on submitted taxes or other social analysis perhaps as entered through other governmental institution) and those who have more will have fewer or NO entries.
- remove caps on taxable income
- increase Minimum Wage to increase income amount taxed
- return the money stolen from Social Security by Republicans over and over again
- Repeal the absolutely stupid law that says that if the Social Security Trust Fund cannot fully fund its benefits then benefits cuts must be made.
- Here is a quote from Alan Greenspan, Chair of the Federal Reserve in 2005 – “I wouldn’t say pay-as-you-go benefits are insecure in the sense that there’s nothing to prevent the federal government creating as much money as it wants in payment to somebody.“
- Adjust Social Security benefits payout yearly based on cost of living and on inflation.
Employment and Management
As entire industries are devastated by automation and we are facing a level of employment change unlike any other industrial revolution we have ever seen. We need to make sure that we can deal with the massive levels of job loss or we will face massive levels of poverty, violence, and suffering.
- Outlaw Right to Work Laws for they are a corporate subversion of workers rights.
- In all workplaces workers should always have a seat at the management’s table, if not own the business outright.
Federal Jobs Guarantee (FJG) and Job Retraining
As entire industries are devastated by automation, 3D printing, and AI, then, with a highly digitized government infrastructure where we can gather the known skills of the people and the skills needed by employers, we can connect the two through:
- job retraining
- subsidizing moving expenses
- training pay and apprenticeships
As well, a Federal Jobs Guarantee (FJG) can ensure there is plenty of work for those in need and to be able to support those projects that are useful to society from:
- environmental restoration, conservation, and remediation
- building and maintaining new sustainable energy
- building and maintaining new sustainable infrastructure
- caring for people in need – the elderly, the disabled, young children
- retraining to become a teacher or other useful work
- ALL industries should be unionized globally.
- Once a business reaches a certain size (say 25 employees or more) that they choose either to be unionized, coop, or employee owned.
- It should be the the default assumption that a business’ employees workers are unionized.
- Strong support of unions and protection of worker rights and safety.
- Make it a crime for businesses to promote anti-union media such as videos, employee and management training, etc.
- Unions should be seen as the transitional state prior to Cooperative or Employee Owned Businesses.
Cooperative and Employee Owned Businesses
The economic benefits of democratically owned companies are considerable. They are more productive, more resilient in times of crisis, more conducive to change (such as a green transition), more oriented toward the long term, sustain a higher degree of employment stability, and have larger incentives to serve the common good outside the workplace itself.Denmark’s “Democratic Ownership” Agenda Shows We Can Run Our Own Lives (Jacobin, Dec 2020)
- Concentrate on promoting employee owned and cooperative ownership of all businesses.
- Create an advertising campaign to promote Democratic Businesses with logos much like the Fair Trade with a registration and oversight organization.
- Grants and loan preferences as well as tax incentives these businesses, or for business who are undergoing the startup, or transition from private business to a coop or employee owned business.
- Employees should have the first right of refusal on all attempts to sell a business in order to purchase the building as a cooperative or an employee-owned business, with incentives, benefits, and support in doing so.
- Increase taxes on those companies which are not coops or employee owned.
- Prevent coops and employee owned businesses from being taken over by venture capital or converted to another form other than coop or employee owned.
- There needs to be a city-wide solidarity movement in each and every city to move towards this.
- Worker Cooperatives: Expanding Democracy In The Workplace (Second Thought, Oct 2020) YouTube
- What’s the Difference Between a Worker Co-op and an ESOP? (Cooperative Development Institute, Oct 2014)
Accountants as Public Servants
All accountants should be public servants that serve the entire public and not just the rich and the corporations. The people also need easy access to accounting and management skills for budgeting, saving, investing, long term planning, and so on.
They also need access to accountants for business management especially small businesses who lack easy access to accountants which can be costly, and end up suffering because of it.
Making accountants public servants will also work towards destroying the opposition towards greatly simplifying the tax code and the government hosting a simple tax application, so that everyday citizens can directly submit their taxes simply and easily instead of using a 3rd party application. Currently, the accounting industry is the largest opponent against this.
National Worker Benefits and Standards
Reduce Hours per Required Work Week for Full Time Pay
- A study should be done to specifically scale the hours worked per week for full time pay based on age. There are plenty of articles on the benefits of shifting to fewer hours per week especially as we age. But, in any case, we need to reduce the numbers of hours worked.
- This is especially important as the amount of work being done by automation, AI, and 3D printing greatly increases while the amount of available work decreases.
- Shift to a 3-4 day work week and work hours per week need to be reduced to near 21-24 hours per week for current full time pay. Those who are younger work more for full time pay. Those who are older work less for full time pay. Perhaps, something like:
- <= 30 – 4 days @ 32 hours per week
- 40’s – 3 days @ 24 hours per week
- 50’s – 2 days @ 16 hours per week
- 60’s – 1 day @ 8 hours per week
National Tracking of Benefits
- We should nationally track and maintain benefits such as vacation, sick time, wage advancement, etc… so that when a person moves from one job to another that they do not lose all of the benefits that they have accumulated over the years. A person who has worked 10 years and has given 10 years to Humanity and its progress should not lose all the benefits they have worked for when they change jobs.
- These minimum employment benefits standards should be based on periods of age appropriate full time work – accruing a full time week based on age to hours per week numbers from above, and not calendar weeks worked – a 32 year old working that 32 hours in a week and that 50 year old working 16 hours in a week would both accrue a single full time work week that would apply to benefit accrual. A 35 year old who worked 80 hours in a week at a gaming company would accrue 2 full time weeks in that single week of work.
- Companies can give more above and beyond the accumulated minimum, of course, but only the national minimums and their accumulation would be maintained as the bottom floor for the vacation and sick time, etc… for a new job.
- This data also needs to be easily accessible and managed online by a person.
- Retirement age should be 50 years of age.
- Universal Free Daycare
Tech and Infrastructure
Fund massive infrastructure work:
- repair the bridges and bypasses
- look at more sustainable and regenerative road and sidewalk options like solar roadways (there are a few countries and projects that are working on or are using this idea: Solar Roadways)
- general building, upgrade, and repairs such as Flint (completely rebuild and replace the cities en toto – see Comprehensive City Planning)
- All loans to Puerto Rico should be forgiven and terminated and their cities be completely rebuilt and replaced en toto (see Comprehensive City Planning)
- shift to sustainable energy, methods, and city designs
- create interconnected green/natural areas with green/wild crossings (Bhutan does this)
- start compensating for flooding due to climate change like the Nordic states are by creating flood ways where excess water can go
- sustainable mass transportation
Digital Government Infrastructure
Completely redesign, integrate, and digitalize the national infrastructure similar to Estonia and Switzerland so we can join the modern era, which will increase efficiency as well as increase public access to services.
- has completely digitized their government
- is issuing E-Residency to people world wide
- is establishing a cryptocurrency (estcoin) which will work with their e-Residency program as well as utilizing blockchain technology with their national infrastructure.
- Idea for Resource management
Foster and promote collaborative works within and between entire industries to strengthen them including tax advantages and subsidies. Would need to keep an eye on this for abuse through shell corps and chains of corporate ownership, etc.
Create a More Sustainable Economy
Create shifts in our economic and social structures emphasizes reuse and repair through:
Enabling and Promote Product Repair
- make it legal to repair all things, especially computers and other electronic devices
- give tax breaks for efficient repair and reuse of products
Creating Resource Sharing Centers
In order to reduce wasted resources found in people buying items that they will rarely use and will end up with most of its lifespan just sitting in a closet somewhere to be used only a few times a year… and every family in the first world is like this. How many hammers and wrenches are sitting there on a shelf every day doing… absolutely… nothing. Yes, there are some people that use these every day and they are not who we are talking about. Why does everyone need one if they rarely use them or buy them once to only use them once during during most of its useful lifespan?
Why don’t we share them? We can have a few hammers and wrenches that is used by hundreds of families each year thereby reducing the number of tools bought and resources wasted by sharing such things. In order to facilitate this we need to create Resource Sharing Centers which act like ‘libraries for things‘ where families can check out tools of various sorts and return them one they are done so others can use them.
- to reduce wasteful purchasing of things that people rarely use we should create Resource Centers, which act like libraries where people can check out things which are not used very often such as
- cameras and tripods
- silverware, bowls, plates, folding chairs for large events
- automotive tools
- building tools: wrenches, pliers, hammers
- parks should have stations where people can preferably share such things as boats, cameras to prevent purchasing unneeded things or things they will rarely use
Democratization of Research and Distributed Computing
All computers should have a distributed computing client on it such as World Community Grid so that national or global research can utilize the combined processing power of all idle computers. The client can be different from vendor to vendor and could be uninstalled if desired. Each person should be able to decide where their spare computing power is used – democratization of research and computing power.
Research, Development, and IP Laws
Research and Development
- need to be radically changed and radically reduced for the good of the public because they are currently very broken and allow corporations to abuse them to stifle innovation and competition
Open and Free Research
- All governmentally funded research such as from various government agencies and all educational institutions should be public domain and available to all under a creative commons licensing of sorts.
- All governmental or other freely available research and IP should have a single portal which can be used to access them which is:
- heavily categorized and tagged
- hierarchically structured (if possible)
- semantic web enabled
- have industry or research area based email updates so people can keep up with the current research
- This site/database needs to be available to have works submitted through accredited organizations so that all of Humanity will have access to it.
We should promote and concentrate on using open source software and other designs (such as 3D) when at all possible including government support or tax preferences or reductions for:
- such non-profits like Open Office, Wikipedia, Linux, or open source Content Management Systems
- open sharing portals for 3D printing designs, etc…
- workers in those industries (even those who volunteer in their free time)
Local Open Source
As well as promoting such things in the commons too such as through supporting:
- local clubs which concentrate in these industries
- places such as libraries which could have spaces dedicated to open 3D printing or open source software clubs and development
Public Good Patent Buyout
We should have a government or public buyout of life saving or civilization changing patents such as medicines or fusion which could have a 5 year patent granted with a buyout plan after that so that things such as insulin and fusion could be freely and cheaply available which would benefit all of Humanity. The insulin situation is a prime example of why this is so very necessary.