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A Modest Proposal for Economic Justice

A "modest proposal" to eliminate poverty in the United States. It's radical and would increase taxes, but it would, naturally, increase business.

In the beginning, early 1775 let’s say, our political leaders – white, ruling-class, European Christians, if you don’t count Deists, agnostics, and atheists – hoped to create a nation that offered economic justice for all its citizens. That justice would be reinterpreted in the course of our economic history – including conflicts between rural and citified citizens – changing as the nation changed, to include economic justice for people of color, women, rich and poor, even people of various faiths and beliefs. As life became more complicated, and people became more self-centered, economic justice for everyone became everyone for himself. “What’s mine is mine,” became the mantra of many. “Take what you can get,” became the goal for some. And those of us who still believed in economic justice for all became “Liberals."

Today we define economic justice in terms of the percentage of taxes the government requires each of us to pay for the protection, health, and education of us all. Our government is responsible for drugs (FDA), health (finally), public schools, and more. Our government of the people and for the people hears our various complaints about who gets what, and the majority wins. Well, not always. Too often, our elected representatives buy their way into government with corporate cash, undisclosed contributions, and PACs of special interest groups, then begin to represent their wealthy sponsors. We just stamp our feet and walk out of the voting booth.

Tea Party Republicans don’t believe in the concept of taxation. They want to keep what they earn: all of it. They say taxes are a form of theft, which they reluctantly tolerate, but they hate anyone or any party that tries to tell them how much they “owe” in taxes. They “owe” nothing! They would prefer to rely on charity and the free market to fund hospitals, highways, the electrical grid, global warming, elections, public lands – everything, it seems, except the military – just ask Grover Norquist.

Laissez-faireism – let the free market preside without government interference, restrictions, regulations or even philosophical objections or comments; it’s our way, or no way – is the ultimate goal and operating principal of the Tea Party. Norquist’s party can’t abide any form of government interference. They will, however, rely on our rudimentary knowledge of market economics, and our deer-in-the-headlights reaction to the words “free market,” in order to shoot down any progressive opposition that stands in the road.

Here’s the thing: if we all agree there should be economic justice for all, and our goal is to eliminate poverty, we should aim for a basic minimum, state-mandated income for every adult, not just a minimum hourly wage that is often ignored. This is, admittedly, a radical proposal, but not a new one, and would almost certainly increase taxes. In the philosophical war between socialism and capitalism, there are opportunities for radical thinking.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Mel Content December 11, 2012 at 01:43 AM
Bret, it's one thing to debate or disagree with others, but it's another issue to just make things up. I have a problem with 2 areas of liberal spin. One is accusing those who disagree with them on social or immigration issues of being "racists". The other is claiming that conservatives/libertarians/Tea Party people are opposed to paying taxes, which is simply a gross exaggeration. These clowns make these nonsensical arguments and then are allowed to get away with them. I make a point to challenge their nonsense at every opportunity.
Gregory Brittain December 11, 2012 at 03:18 AM
Don’t say we didn’t warn you, #18 More great moments in socialized medicine “U.K. Politician Gives Gut-Wrenching Account of Husband’s Final Treatment by NHS: ‘Normalization of Cruelty’” http://www.theblaze.com/stories/u-k-politician-gives-gut-wrenching-account-of-husbands-final-treatment-by-nhs-normalization-of-cruelty/ But as they explain, socialized medicine is free at point of service. Coming soon to a country near you.
Michelle Mowad December 11, 2012 at 03:30 AM
Here's a good read from a new blogger Mike S: http://patch.com/B-cFNv It's titled "The Art of Fiscal Cliff-Diving"
Watts December 11, 2012 at 06:43 AM
Where do you copy and paste your posts from and why do they rarely have anything at all to do with the articles?
TVOR December 11, 2012 at 05:03 PM
The best bway of regulating a species is natural selection. Unfortunately this species has used its intelligence to defeat natural selection. This will ensure the species will not survive in the long run unless natural selection again takes hold.

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