To accomplish the goals and objectives of its citizens, this country needs to go back to an economic philosophy believing in a “controlled capitalistic system”. Capitalism was never meant to be the “Wild, Wild West” as laid out by Gordon Geico in the movie Wall Street. This is nothing new, we simply drifted away from it, allowing giant entities to control our lives with little input from the electorate.
Simply put, we need to go back to a free market system designed in a manner to best achieve the objectives laid out in the country’s constitution as amended. While doing this we must recognize we need some control over capitalism. All societies have objectives that go beyond the maximization of wealth.
The basics of the plan contains nothing new and includes:
- Return effective income tax rates to 1968 levels as summarized in the chart below where the highest rate for a couple filing jointly was 70% on income over $200,000 versus today where it is only 39.6% on income over $450,000. A major change. At the same time we must acknowledge that in order to have the same purchasing power of $1 dollar in 1968 we must have $6.90,
The table to the left is a breakdown of current rates by taxable income at different income levels. The highest level, 37%, starts at taxable incomes above $600,000 compared to 70% starting at $200,000 in 1968. Tax rates decreased by almost 50%.
2. Break up monopolies and oligopolies. Where is Teddy Roosevelt when we need him?
Roosevelt believed the wealthy was getting too powerful and had too much influence on the nation’s economy and thus its future. They were looking out for their self interest at the expense of the country and its ordinary citizens. A small group of citizens were controlling too much of the country and he felt something needed to be done if we as a nation believed all men are created equal. As a result he created antitrust laws under the Sherman Act.
The President’s weapon, the SHERMAN ANTITRUST ACT, was passed by Congress in 1890. This law declared illegal all combinations “in restraint of trade.” Due to Roosevelt’s tenacity he was successful in busting up a company that controlled much of the railroad industry owned by J.P. Morgan, the Northern Securities Company.
Our economy is once again controlled by the wealthy few. The lack of competition is allowing the few to control the many. We need to find our Teddy Roosevelt of today and watch his back. Here is a link to U.S. History.org if you would like more information about the bust up of the Railroads. The candidate running today that most resembles Teddy Roosevelt may be Elizabeth Warren.
3. Overturn Citizens United and Gerrymandering
The Supreme Court ruling allowing Citizens United to stand while gerrymandering is also occurring is a direct assault on the principle of “one man, one vote” and a major reason this country is in such a political mess. Citizens United allows big money to buy elections and should be reversed by all means necessary. Politicians of today listen to big money versus their constituents. This must change.
Per Wikipedia gerrymandering is “ a practice intended to establish a political advantage for a particular party or group by manipulating district boundaries. The resulting district is known as a gerrymander; however, that word is also a verb for the process.”
Further, our rules/laws regarding individual campaign contributions need to be reviewed. Here is a chart showing the limits to political campaign contributions allowed by individuals taken from the following website. https://www.opensecrets.org/overview/limits.php
We have lost our way. Very often the winner in our elections is the one who raises the most money, rather than the one providing the best opportunity to fix our problems or the one that sees the best solutions for the country as a whole and taking steps to seize it.
We are at a pivotal time in our history. What made America great was being the last country standing after World War II and helping to rebuild the rest of the world rather than controlling it. It is time for us to take action to make America great again and the way certainly is not what Trump advocates.
Russia is working hard to have us fail and Trump is either so naive that he does not realize it or is colluding to make it happen for what he perceives as personal gain.