- Capitalism and Alternatives -

Reformist, yes. Revolutionary, no, but it could be a step toward one.

Posted by: Jerry on January 19, 19100 at 11:02:11:

In Reply to: A Maximum Wage posted by MDG on January 18, 19100 at 18:12:28:

Marx dealt with issue, and essentially he said the proletariat shouldn't beg at the table of the bourgeoisie.

Putting aside for a moment Marxist objections he reformist road can be even easier if it focuses on funds already public. That is, forget about income caps, the U.S. could easily cut $200 billion on military spending, put income and corporate taxes to post-WW II levels and thus free up four to five hundred billion dollars for social needs.

Reformist, yes. Revolutionary, no, but it could be a step toward one.

: Converting a capitalist society to socialism, communism, or some other "ism" will be a lengthy and cumbersome process -- at best. In the meantime, and in the interest of promoting social justice and equality, I advocate a maximum wage, i.e. the total amount of wealth (not wages or salary) a person is allowed to earn per year.

: To start, let's set the maximum wage at $5 million. That's an arbitrary figure, to be sure, and to some I'm sure it's way too much, while to a very, very small minority of people, it's way too little, but to me it's a fine place to start.

: Five million dollars a year is plenty of money -- in fact, it's astronomical. However, people are used to the idea of multimillionaires and (god help us) billionaires, so the max wage should satisfy their expectations. Five million makes one extraordinarily wealthy, and since we as a society expect, and even demand, the chance, no matter how slim, to become very wealthy, we need to provide such an opportunity; hence, $5 million.

: On the other hand: all wealth above $5 million will b
: e subject to taxation. People can give the extra money to charity, reinvest it in their businesses (increased wages for their workers, new machinery, etc.), but on the last day of the year, whatever is still in their private possession goes to the Government.
: This would provide billions of additional monies with which to improve public society -- money for infrastructure and housing and health care and education and natural resource protection and other societal benefits, even for the military, where necessary. In short, there'd be plenty of money to make one's nation, and by extension the world, a better place for everyone.

: As everyone's living standards improve, and the disparity between the poor and wealthy, i.e. powerless and powerful, decreases, the stage will be set for further experimentation and change to even more egalitarian economic and political systems.

: Any takers? Any grief givers? Blast away, but don't be rude.

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