Since, as I'm sure we'll find out during this election, it is frequently necessary to present the same information in multiple outlets in order to raise exposure and facilitate discussion, here is a copy of my forum post:
To get straight to the point of this post, it is my opinion, and I believe it a justified one, that economic policy will be the dominant force in these upcoming elections. The candidate who will win is the candidate who shows he can do the most good for the most people. With that said it is key that we work to establish a simple but effective outline of economic actions. Most important in the forward mentioned is the price, they’re either free or pay for themselves, thereby making them sellable economic fixes in our current mess. Here is where my suggestions come into play for simple three point platform.
1. Tax Equality
It is common knowledge in America today that the wealth gap has become incredibly large, with the richest 400 Americans controlling more wealth then the bottom 150 million combined. One of the primary reasons for this is a bloated and archaic tax policy which remains intact only because those in Washington benefit from it. What I propose the Justice Party support is a simple and “bracketless” tax progressive tax system. In other words an equation is devised whereby you figure out your tax rate as part of a smooth curve with a cap at, say, 50%. This would avoid two people in very different circumstances paying the same rate as we see in the current system.
Key to this idea is an elimination of tax loopholes. Charity is good, and should be encouraged, and perhaps it should be tax deductible, but a corporation shipping its jobs to China should not receive a break. Therefore we need to essentially scrap the code as it stands today and rebuild it in a simplified and transparent manner.
Furthermore, in addition to a more progressive, smooth curve tax plan, it is necessary that America create a “silent wealth” tax. Essentially this creates a relatively small tax, say 7%, upon unused wealth above $1,000,000. This excludes businesses, houses, ect, but rather includes money sitting in trust funds and bank accounts and money invested in stocks and non-livable real estate. Remember key to this is that only that silent wealth above $1,000,000 be taxed, therefore excluding almost all Americans while still creating a new revenue stream.
Although several other smaller pieces must be included in tax policy, the last suggestion of mine in terms of taxes is a 4-tier corporate & business tax program.
1. 1. Small Businesses (under 250 Employees) who employ only Americans*: Lowest bracket.
· “Small Businesses” who employ non-Americans would be subject to big business taxes.
2. 2. Big Businesses (Over 250 Employees) who employ at majority Americans: Second lowest.
3. 3. Big Businesses (Over 250 Employees) who employ majority workers in fair labor markets (i.e. Europe and others practicing fair labor laws): Second Highest.
4. 4. Big Businesses (Over 250 Employees) who employ majority workers in cheap labor markets (i.e China, Thailand, ect.): Highest.
2. Co-Determination and Co-Operation
This section is a bit briefer then the above, however it still bears a great amount of importance. Here the goal is to get workers more involved in the running of the corporations they work for and therefore incentivize harder work while also creating a more equitable distribution of wealth and thereby creating a larger and more sustainable consumer market.
First is a little discussed idea in American politics and economics, Co-Determination. The idea is a simple one, on all boards of corporations, keep in mind this therefore excludes most small businesses and community shops, the workers be allowed to elect representatives equal to 50% of that board, or in cases where they equal an odd number, 50% -1 (otherwise it would never pass). This creates a much more neutral and logical form of corporate governance. On one hand no stupid or utterly detrimental move could be made by the workers, this being the primary argument against worker management, on the other management would no longer be able to make decisions beneficial only to themselves but detrimental to the corporation at large and specifically to the workers.
This would have a second major benefit in making labor-management relations a much smoother process. When labor becomes part of the management it negates a great deal of the tension frequently seen there, there in by eliminating a significant portion of strike situations and disputes.
Finally, as stated before, it creates a greater incentive for hard work if laborers feel they are directly responsible for the corporation and will directly benefit from its successes. Furthermore it creates, again as previously stated, a more equitable distribution of wealth, as inherently workers will favor higher wages, without the need for direct government intervention, thereby creating greater consumer demand, more purchasing, which in turn creates higher wages and so on in an upward spiral.
A second, more minor piece of this would be the encouragement of cooperatives and the creation of a new legal class of businesses for them. In cooperatives ownership of the company, store, farm, ect. is collectively owned and controlled. Like in co-determination this creates a greater incentive for hard work and a more equal share, in fact totally equal share of the proceeds. In order to encourage these I propose the Justice Party favor making the co-operative entity itself tax free, and taxing only the income from each individual.
3. A National Minimum Wage
Another very important and potentially very beneficial piece of legislation that would cost the federal government nothing, the creation of a national minimum wage to be set at $10 an hour and to increase with inflation will create a major boost to the consumer market. This needs a much briefer explanation then the first two parts and is a much simpler concept. Those on the bottom rung of employed society, those making minimum wage, cannot and therefore do not save their money. This means raising the minimum wage around the country to a more liveable level would not only serve to put our citizens in a better, fairer position in the world, but would also serve as a sharp shot in the arm, a major boost to the economy.
I thank you all in advance for reading this and would like to take a moment to say how much I support this idea of a collectively suggested and decided platform for this party and I hope that this will serve as a jumpstart for discussions on economic policy.