This is really interesting. Capitalist Nick Hanaeur did a TED presentation where he makes the case that the rich are NOT job creators and that instead it is a feedback loop, that more consumption drives job creation.
Watch for yourself:
I cannot believe TED didn’t have the gall to post this on their site. They’ve had some fairly radical speakers in the past, things that would rock the political sphere, so why would they suppress a rich man explaining that and those like him are not job creators, that a healthy and robust middle class creates more jobs.
Instead our politicians over the years have given all sorts of tax breaks and incentives to the rich, while cutting the social benefits for the people. I’m sure you’re aware that right at this moment congress is proposing ever more tax breaks for the rich while at the same time threatening to cut safety net programs like food stamps, unemployment benefits, etc.
So here’s my proposal:
1) Expand the food stamp benefit – double the amount you get per month. When you even have the woman whose dissertation was used as the template for food stamps saying that the amount wasn’t meant to be fixed you know something needs to be done. Maybe fix food stamps to the consumer price index. What it means is that the benefit would go from an average of $175 a month to $500 to $600 a month.
2) Expand unemployment benefits, instead of 1/3 of salary, make it 2/3’s or 3/4’s. And unemployment benefits should NOT be taxable.
3) Enhance the federal minimum wage by doubling it. If we did that today it would go from $7.20 per hour to $14.40 per hour. A person working 40 hours a week would go from a gross of $288 per week, net $190.08, to $566 gross, net $380.16 per week.
That last part would add $190.08 per week, $832.05 a month, $9,876.55 per year. What do you think people would do with the extra money? They’d buy things like televisions, cars, homes, computers, food, appliances, all sorts of bigger ticket items.
And the higher demand for the above items would mean a ramp-up in production and higher employment.
Now you may ask, how do we pay for those enhanced benefits that I outlined above. Mr. Nanaeuer touches on it in his video when he mentions that the tax rate for capital gains is 15% while income tax is about 35%.
Just invert the rates. Make the rate on capital gains 35%, and the rate on income 15%. Or maybe do 45% on capital gains, 10% on income.
And of course I have to touch on the fact that infinite growth is not possible. We live with finite resources. However technology is increasing at the point where we are actively considering mining asteroids. But we need to set limits, where demand may not match supply. Because if we don’t we end up with BNL in the movie Wall-E.
But if we refuse to act, we end up returning to the dark ages, to fiefdom to life where as Hobbes put, is nasty, brutish and short.
We need to get our politicians heads out of their asses and start helping out the middle class. Because if the middle class disappears, this country returns to an era we haven’t ever seen because we never had Fiefdom here. If the people have no money, business collapses.
So get in touch with your legislators, at both the state and federal level. Let them know we’re not going to take it anymore. Call, email, even send a paper letter. If you’re not sure who your elected representatives are I can only tell you to seek out your Secretary of State’s web site in your state and start there. Most have an elections section that will tell you who you representatives are just using your address.
And for the sake of a non-existent deity, register to vote. Even with the Voter ID bullshit out there most states have the capability to issue Voter ID’s. I know that is the case here in RI, just head over to the Sec of State’s office and present your health club ID card, and you get a voter ID.
Get out there, don’t just vote but talk to your legislators. They are people just like us. Tell them we aren’t going to take it sitting still anymore. That we’re going to get active. Because our lives depend on that political activism.