As the Tax Day is about to hit us over the head or under the belt line again, it makes sense to give a thought or two about how proper or improper our tax system is.
Clearly, lots of people across the political spectrum hate taxes, or at least their own taxes, or would like others to be taxed more, or – in some cases – gladly pay their taxes as a contribution to the society that grants them a civilized life. (I once belonged to the latter group.)
But how many of us have actually thought this through? What our taxes are for and what they could be used for instead?
Since many of us are busy meeting the deadline, I want to keep this article as short as possible, only throwing out a funny historic remembrance and some food-for-thought seeds for our future. Continue reading “Proper Tax vs. Iɯdɹodǝɹ ┴ɐx”
When the rules of a game are bad, the obvious thing to do is to change the rules. Many people today realize that capitalism is working against them but aren’t sure what to do about it while others are still wavering in doubt. Let’s take a closer look then and discover a simple solution that would leave the markets intact but remove their oligarchs and our systemic corruption, harm, and suffering; healing our economy, democracy, and lives. Continue reading “The Smooth Way Out of Capitalism”
In a video I will share this weekend, I heard the following phrase: “In the criminal justice system the people are repressed by two separate but equally important important groups: the police who defend private property and the policy makers who criminalize disobedience”. When I heard “the police who defend private property and the policy makers…” my mind spun ahead completing the sentence with “the policy makers who define private property”.
Why did that pop up in my head? Well it is because of the immoral and cruelly corrupt system of human life into which I was born and in which I therefore have had to utterly waste my short time on Earth. It arranges and justifies its inequality and its abuse of people – and even the destruction of our life-supporting environment – on the concept of private property.
And what is that concept of private property? How is it defined for us?
Continue reading “The ‘Private Property’ Demon behind Inequality”
For many of us, each Happy New Year turns into yet another Crappy Old Year. Who or what is to blame? We are trained to blame ourselves, but are you, or am I, really guilty of causing economic crashes or sudden health crises, mass lay-offs, and the like? Are we the creators of a profit-driven health insurance system that refuses to cover millions and covers many others only incompletely, so that the majority of American bankruptcies result from health crises? Are we really to be blamed for not being rich when our society is formed like a wealth pyramid with an impoverished broad base and a tall wealthy spire that rises many miles above the rest of the pyramid, all the way into outer space?
Continue reading “Happy New Life!”
Twelve great videos befitting our Thanksgiving week. The first is a report on the current GOP tax scam and the near future our oligarchs are planning for us. Ack! The other 11 videos are thoughts from around the world about the UBI portion of the great future we must fight for. Various angles, differing views… I left out the bogus status-quo-worshipping and economic-evil-justifying claims from disgusting people since I don’t want to spoil anyone’s weekend… luckily I didn’t come across a lot to begin with. Phew! — So, let’s move on to a bunch of thoughtful and uplifting, yes uplifting (except for the 1st one, I suppose), weekend videos.
I. The Present Mess:
The future the current lords are planning for us:
(Note: if the video linked above gets deleted, you may search the Internet for the title: “Bankers Unwittingly Admit Tax Cuts Don’t Help Workers“)
II. Thinking About the Future — Various Views on a UBI
In my “holy trinity” proposition of a great economic system forming a shared assets economy using these three parts – a universal basic income (inherited citizen’s dividend), an earned (through work) assets dividend, and a public monetization of needed work (federal job guarantee) – the UBI is one of the currently most discussed measures:
Even the rich see sense in a UBI (mostly a safeguard against our pitchforks, for sure):
(Note: if the video linked above gets deleted, you may search the Internet for the title: “Why the World’s Richest Say a Universal Basic Income is Good Policy!”)
Continue reading “Video Weekend 11-25-2017 (12 Videos)”
The beautiful vision of an achievable future, this Thanksgiving, is one that goes beyond merely resisting Trump or the GOP’s tax heist. It even goes far beyond merely installing Medicare for All or getting money out of politics. The beautiful vision for this Thanksgiving is one of a Star-Trek-like economy of the “live long and prosper” mantra, in which we all live lives of plenty.
Contrary to the doubts of many, it is eminently achievable in a modern economy where we overproduce and waste food and things like there was no tomorrow, there being produced enough for everybody’s needs (although many never get it), and where the rapid rise of automation will soon make most human labor unnecessary to produce everything we need and want. Continue reading “A Beautiful Future (Happy Thanksgiving)”
Yesterday, I introduced Yanis Varoufakis’ proposal of work compensation via shared assets as a means to end the division between an owner class and a working class. These assets would provide an earned residual income combining perfectly with an inherited Universal Basic Income (UBI) and a Federal Job Guarantee, to create a virtually Utopian society of prosperity for all, a society in which everybody would be financially secure and, if they so wished, could earn a desired raise of their income in a fair and reliable fashion.
In this combination of a quasi-holy trinity, the UBI — which is a citizen’s dividend based on our national economic resources that we all, not just a few plutocrats, deserve to inherit upon our birth — would provide a safe minimum income for everybody, gainfully employed or not, while the asset-based work compensation would provide a raise for those who want more money, and the federal job guarantee would provide paid work opportunities often missing in a purely profit-driven “free” market — as the millions of un- and under-employed wannabe-workers who are desperately looking for properly paid jobs these days clearly show.
Since the article was getting a bit long, I decided to perform further elaborations in a second article, which is the one on hand. Basically, in this article, I want to flesh things out a little more, both the current system and the one we can aim for, and also what we must do to get there. Continue reading “The Shared Assets Economy – Part 2”
Something that Yanis Varoufakis proposed in a speech I previously shared on a Video Weekend got stuck in my mind, making me want to dedicate an entire article to it. An article I have announced and promised a view times. Today, I finally fulfill that promise to me and you.
Besides explaining the mechanisms of democracy’s decline, in his speech, Varoufakis also proposed an amazingly fair economic system, one that would end the division between an owner class (from which arise the robber billionaires who ruin this world for the rest of us) and a working class. In this model, we would all become owners. If you want to skip to this part of Varoufakis’ recorded speech, it stretches from 10:00–11:49 minutes:
(Note: if the video linked above gets deleted, you may search the Internet for the title: “Capitalism will eat democracy – unless we speak up | Yanis Varoufakis”)
Varoufakis lays out an ingenious alternative to – or variant of – capitalism, a kind of fairly shared capitalism or universal ownership society, a fairly shared assets society — a Star-Trek-like utopia instead of the Matrix-like dystopia where we are currently headed. It is an intriguing economic system where there is no more disparity between wage-based and asset-based income, a system where we all become asset holders and will no longer be ordered around by a few ownership lords who condemn us to live out our lives as their oppressed serfs and puppets. Continue reading “What if We Were Paid for Work in Assets rather than Ephemeral Wages?”