Saturday, May 6, 2017

Redistributing Our Nation's Wealth

Redistributing Our Nation’s Wealth
P. Schultz

After posting an article on how the nation’s wealth was being redistributed in favor of the wealthy, a friend asked how I would redistribute the nation’s wealth to favor the less wealthy. This is my response.

“I misread your comment. Sorry about that. First, I would get rid of those Democrats and Republicans who control those parties. I would also institute term limits, limiting Representatives to two terms, Senators to one term of six years [and having the entire Senate up for election every 6 years] and Presidents to one term of 6 years. I would also donate the White House to the homeless or turn it into a museum and force presidents to buy houses in the D.C. area, while providing them with an office building to do their work in. They would also have to stop for red lights once again and, preferably, drive themselves. Air Force would, of course, have to be mothballed. I would compromise by allowing presidents to have their own jet but nothing as elaborate as Air Force One. Oh yeah, and no presidential, legislative, or bureaucratic pensions of any kind. I would also limit Supreme Court Justices to terms of, say, 8 years, at most.

“These are steps that would, I think, undermine the oligarchic character of our governmental institutions, thereby entrusting more power to those who understand what it means to live "in the real world," where people have to balance budgets, fly coach, stop for red lights, get stuck in traffic, and be told when they are being assholes! Those who seek wealth or perks or social status would be less likely to do so by seeking public office. Second, I would reform our tax laws to make them, once again, less regressive; for example, like the highly regressive social security tax. The home mortgage credit should also be killed. Third, I would stop our wars in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, and probably in Iran [covertly], as well as in Africa, while also ending our "war on terror." I would also cut the "defense budget" by 50%, at least. And, finally, I would rechristen the president our "caretaker in chief," rather than our "commander in chief."

“If these recommendations seem absurd, that would be logical because, as I see it, our most important issues are systemic; that is, it is not just this or that particular policy that facilitates the wealthy prevailing but, rather, it is the very structure of government that does that. As Ben Franklin said at the constitutional convention in 1787, when you create offices that appeal to the greedy and the ambitious, you are in for trouble. And, indeed, that is what we today, offices that people seek to gain wealth and status.

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