Now that we are closing this current period of political idiocy, it’s time to start talking about things that have been put on the back burner. I know government dysfunction will not immediately end when he is finally out of office. There is still an enormous amount of work that needs to be done to make government and politics even a small iota of trustworthy again. That is an ongoing process that will likely take years to accomplish. But, that is not the topic of today’s post. 😎 Instead, it is about some level of guaranteed income. So, let’s get to it.
I know there is a lot of false, or at least incomplete info, about the idea of a guaranteed income. With this post, I hope to give you a little more insight and a logical look at it.
Let’s face it, more and more people will be replaced by automation in the coming years. Even when we finally come out of our current pandemic many jobs will not be around. What do we do with those displace workers when that happens? Here are a few ideas.
Restructure Out Tax Structure
Personal income tax, which our current economic platform almost exclusively rests, was not instituted as we know it until 1913. Before that taxes were collected on imports on whiskey and other specific items. States and localities collected poll taxes on voters and property taxes on land and commercial buildings. In addition, there were the state and federal excise taxes. State and federal inheritance taxes began after 1900. Excise taxes on purchases of goods and services, including gasoline, cigarettes, alcoholic beverages, and airline travel, generated 2.5 percent of federal revenue in 2017.
The basic problem with this kind of taxation is that the vast majority of federal revenue comes from income taxes with corporations only providing 9% of that amount. Given the fact that more of us are being displaced by robotics and automation by corporations whose presently sole purpose is to maximize their profits, this paradigm has to change pretty quickly. In my mind, taxes on corporate profits need to replace personal income taxes.
Quit Looking At What We Do To make Income As Being Who We Are.
Where we get the means to live our lives peacefully and without undo struggles should be a minor thing in the years and centuries ahead. Instead, who we “are” should be about what we want to do with our lives. How we want to contribute to a better world. There are some occupations that simply can’t provide an income sufficient to live on but are still very important to who we are and will become as a nation/world. Artists are part of that group. I am using the word “artist” in a broad sense. They include those who paint, write, and produce much of our entertainment.
Many of us depend on free clinics for our healthcare needs but those who provide that service, by their very nature can’t provide income. Non-Profits provide essential services but have to run on limited resources. I could go on and on, but I think you get the idea.
Universal Guaranteed Income
If everyone had a guaranteed income we could more easily fill those services that are necessary for all of us to have life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. More on that in a future post.
4 thoughts on “Guaranteed Income”
Once again, you are just talking good sense. Any money from a guaranteed income will go back into the economy and be re-spent over and over again–so much more sensible than money to banks to buy back their stock, etc. $1,000 to 1,500 a month seems to be the figure most often mentioned. Anyone who thinks that amount of money will deter anyone from working–would be sufficient to meet anyone’s needs–has no conception of reality. However, it would make a tremendous difference in most people’s lives. The difference between a birthday card or a $20 gift card for a grandchild. The difference between a new pair of jeans or a pair from Salvation Army for a schoolkid. The difference between cooking a hamburger apiece or having hamburger hot dish for family dinner. The difference, now, between paying the electric bill or putting gas in the car to get to the food bank. As poor as we are becoming, this could mean the difference between life and death for many. Considering that water, food and shelter equal health equal life expectancy…yes, life and death is not an exaggeration.
Can the country afford it? Trillions to people and corporations that don’t need it or whatever it takes to keep our population alive, healthy, and contributing to the real economy? It’s a no-brainer, IMHO.
Thanks for the compliment Marquita. I am a logic guy to my core. I think my Aspie traits dictate that but of course, others see that too. A guaranteed income would allow some to go about their life passions without have to work a second job to pay the rent. Most artistic people just aren’t that concerned with money. They just need enough to get by. They say that 90% of published authors can’t live on the money from their work, so that have to allocate their time to things that don’t contribute to the skills. With a guaranteed income school teaches can be teachers and not have to pinch pennies to stay in that profession. Those are the things that make me want a guaranteed income.
But, of course it also allows the rest of us to span our unemployment times without have to dip into our retirement or children’s education funds.
Like you say, it just makes sense, so why don’t we do it. I can give you three letters as to why. G O P… THey are still fighting the battle to get rid of Social Security 90 years ago.
It will be interesting to see what can actually be done in the next four years. I doubt Biden will touch military spending. Half the country has zero interest in providing medical coverage to all or any further social spending. Retiree benefits are the largest pool of assets, but who would have the nerve to take that on. There are many democrats that will not support continued deficit spending. What will congress agree to cut in order to increase spending somewhere else? Upon whom will congress agree to increase taxes to support this new spending? Most likely nothing and nobody. We may well be in a period of time where only a permanent collapse in the social fabric will even begin to push us toward any changes. We are in for interesting times.
I do wander it Joe can get through to Mitch to keep him from stifling anything that helps the average guy. I will soon be coming out with some posts from books with both progressive and conservative authors as to why, as you say half the country has zero interest in being serious “brother’s keepers”. And yet the shout at the top of their lungs that they hate the rest of us who actually carry out some important Christian teachings, at the same time calling themselves Christians.
Total irony is all I can say about this subject…