Millennials are getting disgusted with Capitalism.
Many are taking a close look at socialism. I propose that, instead, they take a close look at reforming capitalism by limiting the growth of corporations and by limiting the wealth and income of individuals.
. . I propose that the really rich learn to compete for status points on the basis of how much they can give away or by bragging about how much they pay in taxes to the Fed. Gov. This is instead of how many mansions, yachts, and private jets they own.
In Thailand there is a 7% VAT tax on most every manufactured thing you buy, but it is not the main tax the Gov. relies on. I pay no other taxes [except maybe to own a car and for gas]. My wife owns 4 acres of land with a house and out-buildings; she pays zero taxes on this land. She tells me that the wealthy pay most of the taxes and the mass of the people only pay the VAT tax, gas tax, etc.
As I see it, the Thai Gov. sucks money from the wealthy at the top of the economy and spends it on the Army, police, courts, infrastructure, education, paying Gov. workers, etc.; and on various welfare payments for the poor and the elderly, etc. This last part and some of the other Gov. spending feeds money into the economy at the bottom. Then the natural processes of capitalism cause it to rise up thru the economy to the people at the top. Then the Gov. taxes it away from the top people and feeds it back to the bottom people where it starts to rise again. It is a never ending process. This seems like a good model for the US after the next non-violent revolution [like the New Deal revolution of the 30s].
I propose that Millennials aim to freeze the below system into American life with a series of Constitutional Amendments. I outline some examples here.
1] Some way be found to isolate the US economy from the rest of the World in so far as profits earned in the US are traceable. That is, not allow bookkeeping to hide profits overseas. What this would be I don't know. I will here assume that this has been done.
2] Have Corporate profit taxes be graduated, like personal income taxes are now. The top rate would be 90%. This keeps comp. from growing too big. That top rate is on corps. that are too big to be good for the nation as a whole, i.e. the people as a whole. I'm intending that there be a big jump between the rate normal size corps. pay and that top rate.
3] Have an inheritance tax on the really rich but exempt family farms up to some size or dollar value [this last for western ranches that are huge].
. . This tax would have 2 brackets. The low one for most rich people and a really high one for people who are filthy rich. The idea is to keep an aristocracy from developing as it has now.
4] Have a tax on wealth, i.e. on net worth over some number, maybe about $33M. Evaluate the value of a wealthy person's stock shares every night and average them over the year. The same with Bond holdings and cash in the bank. Land values don't change that much, so evaluate twice a year.
. . This tax might have a low rate of around 10% for net worths over $33M [= 1500 x $20,000] up to $100M [=5000 x $20,000] and a high rate of 50% for net worths of over $100M/family. The insanely rich can give their wealth to distant relatives or to charity to avoid paying the 50% rate. [Note that at 50% per year in a decade everything over 33M would have been taxed away.]
5] Have a graduated personal income tax. The highest rate would be 90%. Between 0 income and 3 times the poverty level the rate is 0%. Then there would be several (5 to
brackets between this level and that top level (90%).
The top rates are all set by/in the Constitution, so they can't easily be cut.
6] The various tax rates and brackets are indexed and are changed every year.
. . a] The basis of all the tax brackets and the minimum wage is the poverty income level, which itself is indexed to inflation and recalculated every year.
. . . The key idea here is that there are contrary forces acting on the setting of the poverty level. The wealthy may want to rise the poverty level because this also lets them keep more of their income and have more wealth because the brackets all go up as the poverty level is raised. The poor would want to rise it because it increases their wages & income. But, raising it also has effects on the Gov. It always reduces its income tax revenues (raising the brackets means some of the incomes are part of a lower rate bracket, so less revenue), it increases its outgo for welfare. It increases the minimum wage. Ideally, the fiscal conservatives would try to keep the poverty level as low as reasonable to keep the Gov. from spending too much. OTOH, if the Gov. deficit is too much then the tax rates may have to be raised (but never the top rates).
. . b] For example, the beginning of the wealth tax *high* bracket is 5000 times the poverty level. Now poverty for a family of 2 is about $20,000/yr; 5000 times this is $100M. At a 2% rate of return the interest income on $100M is $2M/year, this seems like plenty for 2 people to live on.
. . . . The yearly income top bracket [rate = 90%] starts at $4M/yr, which is 200 times $20,000.
7] There might also be a VAT tax and cigs tax, whiskey tax, etc.
Three other ideas that should be frozen in are:
8] The Gov. shall have a single payer system for health care for all.
9] The Gov. shall have a Soc. Sec. system for the elderly, etc.
10] The Gov. shall have a jobs program like MMT suggests that will hire every person who wants a job and can do some job. It will pay enough to be over the poverty level. More for some better qualified people doing work that requires more training or education. This is instead of many welfare programs and a Universal Basic Income system. Then the Gov. could eliminate many Gov. bureaucrat jobs. Many single mothers might work as daycare workers in daycare centers and take care of their own children as a result.
All of these numbers are a “rough draft” of the ideas. They may need to be changed. After they are set they are frozen into the Constitution. This keeps the rich from getting Congress to change them to benefit themselves. I want to freeze them because I have seen in my lifetime how the rich have chipped away at the New Deal until it is almost all gone now. Only a few policies remain mow, like Soc. Sec., the 40 hour week, and the minimum wage (which is now inadequately low).