Wednesday, March 16, 2011

What do we really need in America?

President FDR is reported to have said that no American, after taxes should have more than $25,000 (figure in today's terms, around $300,000). I would raise that somewhat considering how money is evaluated differently now (as you saw above) and have a buffer for problems, national crisis, etc., and say maybe $10 Million dollars.

But, can you imagine if that happened, as FDR thought, that the government should be using that extra money they would have to take care of the American citizens (including all the country's concerns, within and without its borders), its infrastructure, college for all kids, healthcare for everyone? When did we get so greedy? Why do we need $100 million? Or a $1 billion? Or even $10 million?

"In 1942, only a few months after Pearl Harbor, President Franklin D. Roosevelt proposed a 100 percent top marginal tax rate. At a time of “grave national danger,” the president advised that April, “no American citizen ought to have a net income, after he has paid his taxes, of more than $25,000 a year. Roosevelt was proposing, in effect, what amounted to a maximum wage—at an income level that would equal, in our contemporary dollars, about $300,000.

"Imagine, for a moment, what would happen today if John Kerry—suddenly inspired by FDR’s bold example—were to propose a 100 percent tax on income over $300,000 to help wage the war against terrorism. Kerry would be hooted off the political stage, maybe even tagged a terrorist himself for trying to disrupt and destroy the American economy.

"The opposition to FDR’s income cap proposal would go about its business behind the scenes. The mandarins on the House Ways and Means Committee would quietly refuse to give the president’s cap any serious consideration. But Roosevelt would not be deterred. Shortly after Labor Day, he repeated his call for a $25,000 income limit, “the only practical way of preventing the incomes and profits of individuals and corporations from getting too high.” Congress would eventually relent and tilt in the president’s direction. The Revenue Act of 1942 would leave America’s most fortunate paying taxes on income over $200,000 at a tax rate well over 90 percent. The war years would go on to become, notes historian John Witte, “the most progressive tax years in U.S. history.”

"Today, by contrast, we are waging a war amid what have become the least progressive tax years in modern U.S. history. Pulitzer Prize-winning tax analyst David Cay Johnston estimates that our nation’s wealthiest households are now paying federal income taxes at a mere 17.5 percent rate, after exploiting all available loopholes. America’s richest households in 1943, after exploiting all available loopholes, paid nearly 78 percent of their total incomes in federal tax."

From The Rational Radical

It just came to my attention, that one in 20 people in the US are agnostic or atheist and there are NO stated atheists in congress.


First of all, I don't think so.

Second, we need the first one, to stand up, say it, get into congress, and not be fearful to be so. As someone said, don't be afraid to say you don't believe in a talking snake. Or floating paranormal entities born immaculately of woman.

I also find it's annoying that religionists say they have "Faith" as if no one else, no atheist, has "Faith". Or they will say yes, you too can, but you have "faith" where we have "Faith".


How condescending. No?

Someone also said, why are the stated atheists saying they have have such a rabid fear of religionists, isn't part of being an atheist not giving a damn what they are doing? But someone does need to stand up against ignorance, stupidity, foolishness, important decisions that can get people killed based upon fantasy, satiating emotions and beliefs not based on hard facts.
 Not to mention, some atheists are simply afraid of "True Believers". And that on any and all sides.

Why do we now have empty houses with people crowding homeless shelters? Why are we kicking out some of those people who are losing their homes, rather than fix it so they can keep them, if its shown they didn't do something stupid to end up in that situation? Why do we allow people to lose their homes, so then the banks can sell them extremely cheaply to someone else?

Why not sell them extremely cheaply to those who have, perhaps, illegally, immorally, but to no fault of their own, lost their homes?

What are we doing? What are we allowing to be done? There are a lot of things going on we should put a stop to. But how? This reminds me of Thomas Jefferson. He thought every generation requires a revolution and its long overdue. Not a blood and gore one, but one that actually changes things to make them better.

We have too long gone along with the corporate mindset. Perhaps we should have made a corporation and entity, a person, when we did decades ago. But perhaps now is the time to end that. Times change, things change, we have to institute change. Corporations have too long run our lives and our government. No doubt about that. They need to be reigned in. And now is late in the game, we need to do it yesterday.

There is a lot of change going on in the world today. We have some momentum and we need to keep it going. The heavy weight is moving, keep pushing so it gains more speed in the right direction, which is people. There is a lot of talk about socialism. People, are social. If socialism is about making the world better for PEOPLE, then what is wrong with that? Perhaps what we need is to redefine some words.

Communism, isn't for me, I'm too solitary for that. Socialism, if it means, not allow people to be abused, might be for me. I don't think it means dole out to everyone, out of the community coffers, even the losers, the low lifes, but we should all have certain benefits of being a part of a country. And if this is the most wonderful powerful country in History, why are we working so damn hard just to maintain our lifestyle? Granted, some of our lifestyle is unsustainable and we need to be educated and make some changes there.

But, we should be getting more time off, not less. We should be making more money, not less. Some things we pay for, should even be free. Why, are people held in such low esteem in this country? Yes, it's far worse elsewhere, but does that make it okay? No, I don't think so.

Should we unionize? Force corporations to pay us more, give us more? That misses the point. It's how we think, how we spend our profits. A CEO gets $500 million as a bonus? Something is wrong when you have that kind of disparity between the highest and lowest paid wage earner in a company.

So, in the end, what do we need? We need a paradigm shift. The trouble is, usually there is only one way that happens. By way of damage: Natural disaster, revolution, economic crash. But why? Are we that damn stupid that we have to be forced to evoke change? Or, can we simply start a grass root change? Just, as Nike says, Do It.

It has to start somewhere. It has to start with you. No, really. You. Because if you can change, others can change and if others can change, then we can have a consensus. And if we have a consensus, we can have a movement; and a movement can lead to an alteration in how a country is run. And that is what we need. A country that is run differently. Better. More intelligently, with more thought to what is right and less to making a buck for mere greed. There is more than the stock holders. There are, the people.

Be one of the people so that the county can once again be, of the people, by the people, for the people; so that it shall not perish from the earth and will propagate the world over. We were once a great nation. We can be again.

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