Posted 5 years ago on Dec. 22, 2011, 12:27 p.m. EST by greekmt
This content is user submitted and not an official statement
When one sees the rich getting richer and the poor getting poorer because of the crisis, one can only wonder if there is actually a crisis, or another magnificent way that allows a better distribution of global income in the hands of the most powerful (countries and individuals). What triggers this line of thought, is a few figures and a surprise of how this is possible. The Forbes 500, saw their income growing by 8%, while the rest of the world had either entered or was entering a recession. Germany is calculated to have grown in GTP by 18% more compared to what it would had achieved outside the EuroZone. So is it possible that all this crisis, people not paying taxes, looking for the easy way out, working few hours, having too many public workers e.t.c. e.t.c. is part of this beautiful capitalistic system that allows just a few (countries and individuals) to grow bigger and bigger in wealth? And if so, what is next? History repeats itself. Ancient Greece and Rome, Byzantine Empire, Emperors and Monarchs, French Aristocrats, Feuds; in each era a small number of individuals (or countries) gathered the global wealth. Our system, the system we learn at school as the ‘free market system’ the system that is ‘self regulated’ is depicted as the best (and only) working system in the world. The collapse of the Soviet Union, the black colors in which this system was depicted, as well as the inequality which exists in the only ‘communistic’ big power in the modern world – China – show to the rest of the world that we have the perfect system and that no other system can exist. However, the problem persists in every society. A small number of individuals own the wealth of entire nations. Economies are about to collapse, the middle class is becoming poor, the poor are becoming poorer and a few countries and individuals are becoming richer. And some of the rich, are well known, and saluted for their entrepreneurship and brilliant minds. Others are not well know, and nobody knows their net worth, as this is well hidden in offshore companies and charity foundations! I am not a communist and do not believe that a communist system is what is needed here. It might be a ‘just’ system, from a distribution of income point of view, however I strongly believe that it is not within the human nature, to accept someone who is a free rider, less smart and in general contributes less than you, to receive the same benefits as a hard working and smart individual that is a ‘net contributor’ to society, allowing everyone to progress. I also do not believe that people should avoid paying taxes or make money in illegal ways or tax-free ways. I believe in a system that is equal to everybody, providing the minimum social resources such as free education and health insurance, and allowing the poorer person with a strong mind to climb up the social and economic ladder. However equal means that neither the poor avoids paying taxes nor the rich employ consultants and lawyers that allow him to ‘legally’ avoid paying taxes nor the super-rich employ lobbyist and control parliament members and senators. A communistic system may not be the solution, however the fact still remains, that the existing system allowed too few to make too much. In other words you are allowed to squeeze out of the system a lot of money, not because you did something wrong or illegal (a few may have also done that) however because the system allowed you to do that. I would suggest three fundamental changes to what we know up to now:
- No property (land or building) is allowed by companies. Individuals need to own the property, even if this means they own just a tiny part of it. As long as fiscal entities are allowed to own property, no-one may know who owns what and what is his net worth!
- Capital tax should be employed. Something which is done in Switcherland, but even more. This should be high enough not to allow the ‘squeezing out’ that is being done so many years and forces countries and individuals to go bankrupt, and low enough not to halt entrepreneurial activity. Also the bar should be set high enough, for successful talented individuals (like doctors, professors, lawyers, sports players) to make enough money to incentivize them to share their talent with the world and become better and better. Personally I would consider an income tax of 80-90% for all income above 1 million dollars per year as something fair. If someone is making a billion per year, his life will not change dramatically if he is taxed at 85%. And if someone who makes that amount of money, believes that giving 90% of his net income to the government will only make politicians more corrupt and lethargic, he should be allowed to invest instead of cashing out this money. He can invest in expanding and creating new jobs. Or he could simply donate the money in specific public works. Renovate a school, construct a school or a hospital, construct a bridge, a road, a park, a museum e.t.c.
- A strong re-structuring of the capital market should be done, with maybe less rules and regulations that actually hide what is being done. Let’s move a couple of decades earlier. Let’s only have stocks, where companies are allowed to draw capital and investors make some money on good ideas (or lose money on poor ideas). All the rest for me is pure gambling, what allows people to make money out of ‘thin air’ and investment bankers and consultants to create lucrative positions for themselves. All the aforementioned suggestions of course can not work, unless countries work together towards this common goal. If you raise taxation in one country and lower in another, no one will stay in the high-taxable income country. To sum up, it is the writers opinion that the current system, which was set-up by capital through all the mechanisms that it can employee (lobbying, lawyers, consultants, school book writers e.t.c.) allowed the inequalities in the world to become more vast. This is not sustainable for much more, unless we return in an era with feudums and protectorates.