The United States has suffered from many serious problems and many limitations in dealing with those problems for far too long a time. The country’s inability to function in constructive and progressive ways to meet the modern challenges within our nation and the competition with foreign nations has weakened us on both fronts. Anyone who studies the situation sees poverty, strife, waste, paralysis, blaming and greed in our economics and politics. We have been suffocating the changes that are necessary for any effective and efficient function.
The changes that are necessary and sufficient to allow a more effective and efficient function as a nation are opposed by large and very strong special interests who have perpetuated a now archaic system of operation. Newer technologies would permit many improvements in the strength of the nation, our citizens’ lives and the status of our nation among other nations.
Nearly any American can suggest helpful and necessary changes that are long overdue. But with knowledge and grace we will find that a few basic changes can be implemented that would expedite any other necessary and beneficial change without serious economic or political upheaval. Antagonists to change can resist for any number of real or fabricated reasons, but the revolution is coming and it is necessary. We can make this revolution effective and efficient as well by keeping it simple, and harming as few citizens and special interests as possible.
The changes that are necessary involve both the political and the economic spheres. But both changes, although radical are completely legitimate and acceptable to a democratic government and a capitalistic economy. The two changes are:
1) Politically change our current federal government voting system to a more directly democratic model.
2) Economically change our current federal government income taxation system to a more directly transactional model.
To briefly examine the possibilities of these revolutionary changes we can consider them separately and then we can conceptualize the synergistic effects of both of them at work simultaneously. To institute a more direct vote on federal elections and on major US policy legislation we could use any combination of mail in votes or votes by electronic media. We already have good capability for this method of voting with the telephone and the internet. Design of secure balloting with voter verification and secure line capability would be effective and efficient as well as cost saving. It would certainly be more democratic. Our elected officials would still have functions as educators on the issues for the populace and as refiners of the issues into votable forms. The citizens could more directly determine national policies on matters like subsidies to corporations or illegal immigration with successive votes on those issues.
To institute a more direct, transactional taxation system the USA could equitably enact a very small tax, perhaps at the .4 percent level, of all transfers of money from any person or organization to any other person or organization in the entire country. This tax would be separate from and additional to any other existing taxes, but it would eventually replace all forms of income tax and many other forms of federal taxation. This .4 percent would be levied on private and public transactions whether individual or corporate, non-profit or for-profit and include all charitable, religious and political spending as well as payment of wages, interests, dividends, insurance or legal disbursements that use any monetary transfer in our free society that must be protected by our federal government. Over the course of ten years this new transaction tax would be increased incrementally until it replaced most other federal taxes, but particularly income taxes.
To prevent this flat taxation from becoming regressive a year end rebate of the .4% would be paid to each citizen (not corporations or non-profits) at the level of income and consumption set to double the poverty level – approximately $300 per person.
These two changes would make our society more just and more free – with a more effective and efficient approach to solve our nation’s many other political and economic problems. Can it happen by 2013? Certainly it’s possible, and the longer it’s postponed the longer the nation will deteriorate.