There is not a single “wealth” generating activity on this planet that isn’t tied to the use of a natural resource. We do not use our brains to think money into reality and even if we did, that paper or money had to come from somewhere.
Even if your brain could digitally create money it would have to be stored on a hard drive somewhere and the information transferred through either satellites or physical medium somehow to have any real value outside of your mind.
At the root of every income generating activity, as with almost any activity, is the use of the Earth’s natural resources.
If you are religious you may believe we are all God’s children and the planet was put here by God for us all to share and enjoy equally. If you’re not religious you may still have come to the same conclusion via logic or common sense. If you are spiritual, you would probably still believe the world is here to be shared equally, not just amongst us, but by all living things.
At the heart of income inequality is the argument that everyone should be allowed to keep the fruits of their labor, whether that be from physical or mental exertion. At the heart of class warfare is an ego battle between the have and have nots.
Even if we ignore the obvious fact that people are not created equally and that we all have genetic predispositions for athletics, intelligence, or beauty; we still have to admit the fact that we did nothing to earn those genetic traits that oftentimes give us an economic head start.
Does that then mean that we should share more economic freedom than others because the genetic predisposition we were born into has a greater economic value?
Why? What did we do to earn that?
And then there is the argument of well I used my brain, I stayed motivated, I put in longer hours, I took a risk, and I put in more work so I should be entitled to keep the results from my actions.
Sounds reasonable and fair from an ego standpoint.
This argument is oftentimes in response to taxation of a person’s income which then gets redistributed to “lazy” people on welfare who do not work and don’t deserve anything because they are capable of doing the same thing you did.
A fair point perhaps.
However, when I first heard President Obama in an interview talk about if you own a business or a company, you didn’t build that, someone else helped you along the way. As a republican/libertarian minded person I immediately took aim at that saying.
“What do you mean I didn’t earn that, I’m the one that put in the work and made the sacrifice while others did nothing!!.”
Needless to say I found the phrase kind of offensive and just another ploy to steal more of my hard earned money to redistribute to those lazy bums that don’t deserve it.
But when I put my ego in check and started to think about my genetic predisposition, having an above average intelligence, which has allowed me to learn and perform many tasks faster and better than my peers, it got me to thinking.
Does that entitle me to be economically better than someone else that does not have such a predisposition?
Sometimes I put in long hours of work, clearing over 450 hours of combined work with minimal sleep in a single month just to make the money I did from running my own business.
Does that entitle me to be economically better off than everyone else?
I don’t know, maybe it does, maybe it doesn’t.
But I realized that the valuation of our natural resources is misguided.
That when a multi-billion dollar mining company pulls gold, silver, or copper from the earth and sells that into the market, they pay corporate taxes off those profits and all their employees get hit with an income tax on the wages.
Do those taxes represent the value of that natural resource, a natural resource that I would claim belongs to the people of Earth, or at least to the people of the country where it came from.
Then that very same gold, silver, copper, or other minerals gets sent off to a multi-billion dollar electronics company where they make good profits off of processors and motherboards.
Do those corporate and personal income taxes represent the real value of the natural resource?
Those boards and processors are then sent to yet another corporation, perhaps a multi-billion dollar company like Apple that uses them to make iPhones, Computers, and other products.
Do those corporate and personal income taxes represent the real value of the natural resources that were used?
And yet again, those iPhones and those computers are purchased by consumers that maybe pay a sales tax, maybe they don’t. This technology is then used to form multi-billion dollar corporations that rely on servers, storage, and computing power to even function, on the internet or offline, we rely on these technologies in almost every business.
They are again taxed in the same fashion, do those taxes represent the value of the natural resources used?
Maybe, maybe not, but at the root of every income producing activity, every non profit business, every single type of activity on this planet, even sitting and staring at a wall for no reason whatsoever, is the use of natural resources.
I feel we are all equally entitled to these natural resources in every form they take.
If we are all equally entitled to natural resources, and all income generated on this planet is generated from the use of natural resources, why then are the people not entitled to their fair share of that use?
Where did the money of the people go?
You see targeting rich billionaires doesn’t solve the problem. If we took 45 billion dollars from Warren Buffet and divided it up equally among the 243 million adults in the United States every person would only receive a check for $185.
What are you going to do with $185? Buy an iPhone on a 2 year-contract?
Besides the fact that if Warren Buffet had 50 billion dollars and we took 90% away in the form of a tax to redistribute to everyone equally that we would only receive $185 each, the truth is we’d never see that money.
The people’s money is tied up in a 4 trillion dollar budget by our very own government used for welfare programs, military spending, and many other things.
If that’s not bad enough as is, we actually have to borrow more money than that each year and are unable to even pay the interest on our national debt.
To put that in perspective, $4 trillion dollars is the equivalent of about $16,460 from each of the 243 million adults in America.
So instead of shrinking the government which is too large to support, the solution is to tax corporations and tax the rich because somehow that is going to solve a problem caused by the government spending all of the people’s money.
Why not take another approach, here’s an idea to mull over.
In the United States in 2015 I believe something along the lines of 15.3 trillion was earned in personal income and corporate profits were around 9.1 trillion dollars.
For the sake of argument, pretend that we were to do away with the IRS and just implement a simple flat tax of 25% for both corporations and the people. Right now the average corporate tax is around 35% and personal income tax ranges from 10-39.6%.
With a new flat tax it essentially means that the people of the United States have decided that all income producing activities owe one quarter (25%) of their profits to the equally shared natural resources of this country.
The corporations would have paid taxes in the amount of $2.275 trillion while the personal income tax would have brought in about $3.825 trillion, keep in mind this is just the federal level not the state levels or other taxes.
No loopholes, no tax evasion, no credits, no subsidies, plain old simple just 25% of everything for everyone equally.
The 2015 Budget of the USA was $3.8 trillion.
Theoretically, just the personal income tax alone at 25% would be enough to pay for the budget, however, the government has shown it is completely incompetent in spending the people’s money.
In the richest nation on Earth and maybe in the history of the world, we have welfare programs and yet people are still living in poverty.
How can you be in poverty when so much wealth is produced in the USA and everyone should have an equal claim to its natural resources?
For entertainment value, let’s pretend that both the national deficit and the budget should be handled by corporate taxes. Let us pretend that we need the government to regulate these corporations and that the corporations use a lot of infrastructure. Therefore, the $2.275 trillion would go directly to the government to pay off national debt and to fund things such as military, infrastructure, etc.
The problem is that the current budget exceeds the $2.275 trillion.
This is where it gets interesting.
What if we did away with all of the welfare programs, the subsidies, and everything else aimed at helping the poor and those in poverty, and instead, just gave back the money equally to every qualified adult in the United States for their ownership in the country’s natural resources.
Perhaps these programs would no longer be necessary with even just a 25% simple tax on all personal income; no limits, no minimums, and everyone pays their equal share. Whatever work you do, you can go ahead and keep 75% of it for your efforts.
This would allow us to shrink the government budget and spending levels below the $2.275 trillion.
Before you object to this idea, let’s split $3.825 trillion dollars collected from personal income tax between the 243 million adults and see what that looks like.
In 2015, every person would have received a check for $15,740.
I would think that would be enough to take care of health insurance, food, and some basic necessities. And if you made $8 an hour you would still keep $12,480 of your money after tax in addition to that. Pretty good for working near minimum wage right?
By giving the people back some of the money in this way from their share of natural resources we could eliminate poverty, a lot of mental illness (caused by stress, anxiety and depression), a lot of domestic abuse (women with children wouldn’t feel stuck with their husband or boyfriend), and so much more.
No one would starve, no one would go without health insurance. People would become more productive when they don’t have to worry so much about how they are going to pay a bill or feed their family just to survive. It would encourage people to pursue more productive business ventures or jobs which could propel the advancement of society and produce even more income which would result in a larger distribution each year.
For those hard workers or people with more economically better suited genetic predispositions you still get to keep 75% of your earnings. There is no welfare program to attack anymore, you no longer have to be a middle class person mad at poor people for getting tax credits and doing better off than you are by sitting on the couch doing nothing.
If you make $50,000 a year, you’ll keep $37,500 plus get $12,480 back, which is almost identical to what you made, but your neighbor that doesn’t work is only getting the $12,480.
And if they are receiving that money because we all have an equal ownership in Earth’s resources, how can you complain when you’re receiving the same money? How can you complain when we are all paying the same taxes regardless of income?
If you make $100,000 a year, you’ll get to keep $75,000 plus receive $12,480.
The solution is to shrink the government down to a size that corporations can afford to pay for without making taxes too high while at the same time redistributing money to the people (enough to get by but not enough to quit your minimum wage job because you don’t need it, we still need people to want to work).
I think 25% is a good start, but whatever we do, we have to shrink the size of government which should be easy once people are receiving their fair share of a natural resource tax back to them each year. We have to remain equal and tax everyone equally regardless of income.
If we treat each other as equals and acknowledge we all have an ownership claim to the natural resources of Earth or at least the United States, there would be very little issue, besides our Egos.
The problem in government is when we start to favor or treat people unequally. It’s a bigger problem when we start to treat corporations unequally. Everybody pays, no exceptions, and every United States Citizen of age gets their fair share of the natural resource profits…period.