Top Ten Ways to Reduce Wealth InequalityAlpha101 Wealth inequality has been in the news very frequently for the past couple of years. First off,etc get something straight. Wealth inequality, in and of itself, is not bad. On the contrary, it's what spurs innovation and investment. We can all agree that a Walmart cashier does not deserve to have as much wealth as Bill Gates. However, wealth inequality is only good if these two conditions are met. One, the people who control the majority of the wealth do not abuse it. Two, the people at the bottom have a decent standard of living. Currently, neither of these two conditions are being met. Incomes for people at the bottom are declining year after year, while incomes for the wealthiest individuals in society are exploding. Also, many wealthy individuals misuse their wealth to bribe politicians and business partners, extort people, commit fraud, launder their funds, make incredibly risky investments and provide risky loans which destabilize our economy. So, currently, wealth inequality is a big problem. It's possibly our biggest problem that we've ever faced. So, how should we face it? Here are ten ways to reduce wealth inequality in the U.S.
The Top Ten
We currently have one of the most embarrassing education systems in the industrialized world. Children are pressured into high-risk testing instead of learning a love for knowledge. Teachers see their children as dollar signs instead of the next generation of humans. Our system has been like this for decades, yet no president has done anything about it, regardless of party or platform. If we reform the education system to cater to each students individual needs and teach a love and lust for knowledge instead of treating children like they're cogs in a machine, we can only stand to benefit. - Alpha101
We also have one of the most complicated and inefficient healthcare systems on the first world. Millions have no healthcare, and those who are lucky enough to have it can rarely use it because of sky-high deductibles. Our healthcare system is one of the major causes of poverty, and little is being done about it. While the ACA may have been a step in the right direction, there is still much more that can be done. Most countries have realized decades ago that healthcare is a right, and yet the U.S. treats healthcare no different than a candy bar or a shirt. If you don't have the money, sucks for you. We need a universal system where everyone, regardless of income, has at least a basic level of coverage. Contrary to many Bernie Sanders supporters, this system does not have to be ran by the government. Switzerland has universal healthcare, and yet their system is 100% private. Everyone who wants coverage gets coverage, and has many options and choices on what their coverage will be. ...more - Alpha101
I've talked about a basic income in another list, so feel free to check it out for a broader explanation. In short, a basic income means that everyone in the country will receive enough money to keep them out of poverty. A basic income also incentivises work, unlike our current welfare system. - Alpha101
While our tax system is progressive in theory, in reality, it isn't. While the top bracket rises with income, very few people at the top pay anywhere near this rate. Instead, many rich people pay an income tax rate very close to what many middle class families pay. Sometimes, they pay even less. To make this worse, we also have many regressive taxes that mainly hurt the poor and middle class, and have very little effects on the rich, such as payroll taxes, sales taxes, etc. If we raise tax rates on the top earners, or, better yet, eliminate loopholes in our current system, we would have more funds to invest in education, healthcare, job training, or to provide the poor and the middle class with a tax cut, which all economists agree is a way to grow the economy and to reduce wealth inequality. - Alpha101
The truth will out: "They can afford it". You obviously did not understand my statement about government waste, just remember the $700 toilet seat and the $2000 wrench. Class envy has always ended badly, please Google Papa Joe. by the way, I would be categorized as "poor" where I live in California, since I cannot afford even the cheapest entry-level house price to get that deduction for mortgage interest. Oh yeah, we have a STATE income tax rate here of up to 13%, some folks call it the "sunshine tax". As for myself, some bad luck, some bad decisions on my part, but all up to me to fix, not the government.
You conveniently leave out that mass wealth inequality is the main reason that countries turn to authoritarianism, such as the USSR. Most economists support ending the mortgage interest deduction because it subsidizes house purchases, which, in and if itself isn't bad, but it can grow to become a bubble, like it did 08. A better way would be to increase the standard deduction, or to increase tax credits for low income households. - Alpha101
Even 50% is confiscatory and ridiculous. The so-called "loopholes" have another name; "deductions". There is already more than ample funding for government, all they need to do is reform the unbelievable waste, bloat, and total inefficiency that plagues every single facet of what they do.
Exactly. The tax code shouldn't be riddled with hundreds of deductions. I do believe that we need to cut waste, but we also need to provide our citizens with a good education and good health care. There are two ways to do this. Raise taxes on the poor and middle class who have been completely ignored for the past five decades, or raise taxes on the very rich, who has directly benefited from our nation's fiscal and monetary policies, and can afford to pay an extra ten percent in taxes. - Alpha101
So, please enlighten us with exactly how much of their income somebody who works hard and is successful should pay; 50%? 70%? 90%?
Everybody wants to help the helpless, but not the clueless. You are clueless.
I said that I would prefer to keep our current tax structure and eliminate loopholes, instead of raising rates. However, if we can't do that, we should raise rates. Even though we have a top marginal rate of 50%, the effective rate would be much lower, just like it is today. - Alpha101
Out prison system obviously needs reform. For decades we've been fed the fallacy that long, harsh sentences deter crime. This is an outright lie. If it was true, we wouldn't currently have the highest incarceration rate on the world, and countries with laxer laws and penalties companied with strong rehabilitation programs wouldn't have some of the lowest crime rates in the industrialized world. Our prison system needs to be reformed, in order to rehabilitate criminals and allow them to enter the job market in order to provide for themselves and their families. - Alpha101
While copyrights and patents are good in theory, they usually do much more harm than good. Companies can extend their copyrights and patents repeatedly, which results in less competition and more accumulated wealth in the hands of a few. If these laws were rolled back, there would be more competition, which would lead to bigger distributions of wealth and lower prices for American consumers. - Alpha101
One of the major reasons behind wealth inequality and unemployment is licensing laws. You need to be licensed in order to run a hospital. This isn't really controversial. Okay, why is it that you need a license to be a manicurist, or a hairdresser? Basically, the government has a monopoly over many industries in the economy. If you can't get a license, you can't work, and are condemned to poverty. If we scale back licensing requirements for safe occupations, unemployment will be lowered and more small businesses will emerge into the market. - Alpha101
If a private organization provides risky and unsafe loans to people, and the people do not repay the loans,the organization should go out of business in a healthy capitalist society. That isn't what happens. Bad busineses are bailed out, so they actually receive a reward for hurting society. That's right. Fat cats literally get paid to make you unemployed. End all government bailouts, and this problem won't be nearly as common. - Alpha101
Is there any good reason why large corporations, such as Walmart receive money from the federal government? No. No, there isn't. Subsidies to large businesses should be completely eliminated. If a business can't make it on their own, they shouldn't ask the government for a hand out. - Alpha101
Inflation is a hidden tax on the poor, and a hidden handout to the rich. Inflation robs one of their savings, so if you get a two percent raise, but your currency has been inflated by three percent, you have, unknowingly, had a one percent cut on your wages. On the other hand, inflation causes stocks to rise in value (in artificial value, not in real value), so the rich get to sell their stock for a profit, even though their stock isn't really more valuable, it's just more expensive. I'm not saying that we have to drop everything and return to the gold standard, but the least we could do is raise our already artificially low interest rates, which is the major cause of inflation. - Alpha101
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2. Improve the Healthcare System
3. Enact a Basic Income