Gas Tax or Maximum Wage?

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Gas Tax or Maximum Wage?

If food were becoming scarce, would anybody recommend a tax on food to drive down demand? No, of course not. So why on earth would the good people at Daily Kos be pushing for a "regularly increasing gas tax"? My gas is already taxed $0.50 per gallon at the state, federal and local levels. So the people at Daily Kos are advocating I pay even more in taxes? That's crazy.

The naturally rising prices of gas will curb demand on their own. And the increases look like they are going to come fast enough that any proposed tax on top of what we're already paying would be counterproductive.

Let's get a little more radical about this. The current maximum wage in the United States if roughly $350,000 an hour. It would take the average fortune 500 CEO less than 2 minutes to make what I make in an hour. How long would it take a fortune 500 CEO to make what you make? Click here to find out. Now, can you imagine anyone doing everything you do in a day of work in 15 minutes? It can't be done and the sad truth is these bastards don't make a dime. They don't create any wealth. They simply live off the wealth created by their wage slaves.

What I am saying is that if we want to address one of the largest crises we will ever face as a strong nation, we need a strong redistribution of wealth. We will not go hungry while the rich insulate themselves from the rest of the world. What I advocate is not new in this country. A maximum wage was introduced by F.D.R. in this country and was implemented in Japan by General Douglas Macarthur.

We lost our way, folks. The great advances we made through the labor movement and civil rights struggle are being devoured by the corporate elite. One of the things we fought against the most was the concentration of wealth. The people had seen what huge concentrations of wealth can do: the ill effects it can have on democracy. And as they fought those concentrations of wealth and established labor unions the middle class grew, and the 1950s and 1960s saw the greatest middle class in the history of the world…The first middle class.

We need to find out way back. If we're all Americans. If you've got my back; I've got yours. If we really are in this together, we need a massive redistribution of wealth. Bill Gates doesn't need $60 billion dollars; neither do the Waltons need nearly a $100 billion. There is not one iota of justification for awarding an employee with a $400 million retirement package when the average American is scraping by to get to work and back.

In 1942, FDR proposed what amounted to a maximum wage, a 100 percent tax rate on all individual income over $25,000 a year. That would be about $300,000 in today’s dollars.

One of the ideas proposed in the paper I just linked to above is to create a dynamic minimum and maximum wage. That is, we would determine that the maximum wage could be no more than 10 times the minimum wage. That way the overall wealth disparity never gets too out of wack and yet there is always an incentive to prosper.

Really there is nothing very radical about this idea. Far from being a radical socialist or any such thing, F.D.R. was the savior of capitalism. He made just enough concessions to keep the wheels of industry spinning. So this is still a solution within the mainstream of possibilities.


Published in: on April 19, 2006 at 10:13 pm  Leave a Comment  

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