Purple Wage

[2013-03-13]

A related discussion occurs at https://www.facebook.com/curtwelch/posts/396638047100452?comment_id=2164261&offset=0&total_comments=3 and  https://www.facebook.com/curtwelch/posts/460955933975984 and https://www.facebook.com/curtwelch/posts/10151378416549317 .

[added 2013-03-04]

Those who think government is the problem have to argue how it is possible not to have one. Pending hearing and being convinced by that argument, I assume there will be a government. As long as there is a government, it’s the duty of all us citizens to do what we can to make the government behave in an adequate way for justice for all. It wouldn’t hurt to also have a goal of comfort, so people aren’t miserable from shortages of the materials they need for life.

I think people should regard the molecules that come from the ground (iron ore, petroleum, phosphorus, copper, etc. etc.) as common property. If there is to be a market economy and if private interests are to be allowed to control industrial activity, then I say the government, representing the public’s interest, should exact a toll on the uptake into any industrial process, of raw materials. The rates of this toll should be adjusted to pay for all the needs of government for its operations. Then they should be still higher, with the surplus money going to a “purple wage”, which is to say a payment of a fixed amount of money per month to each citizen. I would regard the purple wage not as charity or a handout, but the payment of just rent for the use of molecules that are common property. With this system, there would be no need for payroll or income tax or point-of-sale type taxes. I think labor should not be taxed, only materials. Since people provide labor, and labor may sometimes be necessary in some nonzero quantities to provide for peoples’ material needs so they can survive and be comfortable, the rate of the purple wage could be adjusted according to the demand for labor. When more labor is needed than people are willing to provide for the sake of love, interest, fascination, pride, and public service, they can be squeezed for it by offering wages for useful labor and reducing the purple wage.

[above is also at https://www.facebook.com/curtwelch/posts/568220983190891?comment_id=6782027&offset=0&total_comments=8 and people could be commenting on it there.]

[rewritten Sat Feb 23 06:37:06 UTC 2013]

When I talk about “purple wage”, I’m advocating that as part of the system of taxation, the government would pay a fixed periodic payment (e. g., could be monthly) to each citizen. This would be the same amount for each person, regardless of whether they were rich or poor or in the middle. The sources of revenue that I advocate include taxation on the uptake of raw resources, and on any activity that causes pollution or any threat to public health, and on any activity that needs to be regulated. Imports should be taxed according to the raw materials that seem to have gone into their making, plus enough to pay for the studies necessary to determine or measure or estimate such raw-material content, plus enough to pay for all other overhead costs of enforcement of the import tax. I oppose payroll tax and income tax. Labor, in my opinion, should not be taxed. I predict that if the US switches to the system of taxation that I advocate, people will tend to buy new stuff less often and will have their old stuff repaired more often. That’s because I don’t want to tax the repair work, but as for the making of new stuff, that usually takes up a lot in raw resources (iron ore, oil, river water, and so on), which I want to tax heavily.

Imports should also be restricted according to the level of respect for workers evidenced in their making.

(The above text also appears on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/groups/384536298228450/permalink/611819822166762/?comment_id=612144198800991&offset=0&total_comments=2).

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