Fixing America (9): A Comprehensive Solution

The solution to America’s greatest ills is getting clearer and clearer in my mind lately. It involves a simple set of programs and policies I’ve written about in some previous articles, and I’m beginning to see how they’ll work together to solve nearly all of this country’s most serious problems, including….

  • Soaring national debt,
  • Growing gap between rich and poor,
  • More people falling through economic cracks, becoming homeless, losing their life savings…
  • High unemployment,
  • High cost of social welfare programs,
  • Swelling prisons,
  • Crumbling infrastructure of roads, electric grids, communication networks…

Here’s the simple framework of the solution:

  1. Every adult American receives a tax-free basic income of $1,000 per month. It would be a free income to all adults, above and beyond whatever salaries, tips, gifts, and investment incomes they earn.
  2. The only condition for Basic Income is that adults do something useful. If they don’t have a job and can’t find work, they can do volunteer work at humane societies, homeless shelters, churches, cleanup sites, and infrastructure renewal projects. In any case, every adult receives $1,000 per month and is expected to do something productive.
  3. Income tax and capital gains tax would be replaced temporarily by a wealth tax. For the first year, all adults (and probably every corporation and for-profit organization) would be taxed 3 percent of all of their current wealth or assets. Secret, untaxed assets (such as off-shore bank accounts), when discovered, would be assessed a 10 percent penalty. The wealth tax would pay for the basic income program and the President’s budget, and it would start to pay off the national debt. The second year, a 4 percent wealth tax would be levied. The third year, a 5 percent wealth tax. Fourth year, a 4 percent wealth tax. Fifth year, a 3 percent wealth tax. After the fifth year, we could begin to phase out the wealth tax as the traditional taxes (income, capital gains) are gradually phased back in. Or, we might choose to continue to with a small (less-than-1-percent) wealth tax perpetually in order to continue to supplement Basic Income and to keep the gap between rich and poor from growing out of control.

With Basic Income, the costs of welfare programs and prisons would shrink considerably as everyone has at least subsistence-level income. Homeless shelters would not be as crucial for the survival of America’s poorest.

Society would go through lots of major changes as it heals from its current ills, but the result would certainly be a society of growing vitality and a healthier, happier population.

A Basic income program supplemented by a wealth tax may sound too good to be true… or too radical to be accepted… but as I assimilate the idea in my mind month after month, the more certain I become that it will work and work well.

Short of the Vitality Ratio (which the world is probably not ready for), a $1,000 Basic Income supplemented by a modest wealth tax is the only thing I can think of that will solve most of America’s biggest problems in a very thorough way.  It will work.

While the specifics outlined above are tailored for the USA with its unique problems, a similar program could be tailored to work in any country with a reasonable birth rate. (Read more about that limitation…)


Other articles in the Fixing America series:

Northern Europe Does it Right
1  The Problems
2  Basic Income, One Solution
3  More Thoughts on Basic Income
4  Wrap-Up on Basic Income and Wealth Tax
5  Basic Income and the Fertility Rate
6  Restoring a Good Reputation
7  Contending with Savage Forces
8  Being a Noble Force
9.  A Comprehensive Solution
10. Marching Toward the End Time
11. The Destructive 1 Percent
12. Overcoming America’s Oil Addiction




About Mark Macy

Main interests are other-worldly matters ( and worldly matters (
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2 Responses to Fixing America (9): A Comprehensive Solution

  1. This is a good start Mark.

    However, the consciousness of people must be changed. We must change consciousness into a wide embracing of sustainable more eco-sensitive life styles.

    Americans have been marketed through fear tactics into addictive lifestyles which are way beyond our means. People in this society feel entitled to live way beyond their means, and so they do. Big corporations have made it their post WWII business to insure that we stay addicted to the fix.

    Such is our modernity.

    The big corporate entities like Big Agro, Big Pharma, Big Auto, Big Fast Fix, and any Big You-Name-It Industry have to buy in to help change the current pervasive consciousness of for-profit and entitlement to one of sustainability.

    That is the only way I see the Basic Income of $1000 per month working in any meaningful fashion.

    Big industrial conglomerates which are currently wrecking the planet have to be healed. Think of the MIC and the Monsantos as simple examples. The individual leaders in these wrecking balls have to be healed through some kind of miracle and grace into a new consciousness. Then they can promote a new culture in their company consciousness to assist the planet and all of its inhabitants instead of the current destructive course.

    If the individuals have to do some meaningful and productive activity, then the corporations have to do the same 10,000 fold.

    It’s a good start. Thank you.

  2. Mark Macy says:

    Hi John,

    I agree, the most serious problems here in the States are created by the rich and powerful, whose relentless efforts to compete and prevail step on the rights and well-being of just about everyone.

    The wealth tax could be especially useful here… as incentive to behave. The more the rich and powerful piss and moan and cause problems (like the Koch brothers and their hucksters are doing with low-blow advertising just about everywhere you look nowadays, for example bashing Obamacare…, and with the creation of low-brow organizations like the Tea Party), the more the sane policy makers raise the percentage of the wealth tax. If the rich and powerful start behaving, keep the wealth tax at a very small, reasonable level.

    Use the wealth tax as incentive to discourage the rich and powerful from behaving badly.

    This might not really work. I might have just woken up this morning in a cranky mood. 🙂

    In any case, I fully agree with your assessement of the problems…………..

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