Saturday, August 06, 2011

The Equitable Non-Tax One-Day Solution to the US National Debt of $15 Trillion: Assess an 8% Equity Contribution on ALL Total Assets of $188 Trillion in America Regardless of Ownership

There is an equitable one-day solution to the US National Debt of ca. $15 Trillion and that is to simply assess an across-the-board 8% "equity contribution" on ALL total assets -- regardless of ownership -- of $188 Trillion in America. Note that $15 Trillion is 8% of $188 Trillion. Some estimate the total asset figure may be as high as $300-$400 Trillion, which, if that were the case on the day of record for asset valuation, would reduce the equity contribution to only about 4%.

Nothing could be more fair than this solution as it would equitably -- no progressive assessments -- eliminate the total national debt in ONE DAY -- i.e. the "day of record" for determining the ownership of any and all assets and their value. Under this system, no asset could be hidden from valuation and each asset would have to have an owner of record on the record day, who would be responsible for paying the 8%.

The beauty of this system is that no person is taxed anything at all. The equity contribution is made on ASSETS, regardless of ownership. The owner of record is responsible to pay the equity contribution, which is a one-time payment to wipe out the national debt. After that, the nation would be "clean".

This solution would also apply to institutions such as religions and foundations, who pay no taxes and thus ride free on the US economy to the detriment of those who have to work for a living and who have to pick up the bill for everyone -- inlcuding religions and foundations -- if taxation is the method of government financing. The "equity contribution" solves that problem. No tax here, just an "equity contribution" based on assets.

Robert J. Shapiro, Ph.D. and Aparna Mathur, Ph.D. in The Social and Economic Value of Private and Community Foundations (Sonecon, December 2008), write that:
"From 1997 to 2007, foundation giving soared from $16.0 billion to $42.9 billion..., while total foundation assets grew from $329.9 billion to $669.5 billion..... By 2007, the assets of U.S. private and community foundations were equal in value to all of the fixed assets of the American agriculture, mining, and utility industries; and foundation giving in that year exceeded the GDP of 110 of the 180 countries tracked by the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank."
To show how "equitable" the "equity contribution" solution is, U.S. foundations, who found it no problem to freely disperse $42.9 billion tax-free in 2007, would thus have an "equity contribution" of $53.6 billion, a sum that they can easily provide to bring the nation that permits them to prosper -- tax-free -- back into financial solvency.

Religions are tax havens, not unlike offshore investment paradises. An institution such as the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (Mormon Church) has amassed total church assets of ca. $30 billion (tax-free) and may generate as much as $20 billion in annual revenues (all tax-free). The Mormon Church would have to make an equity contribution of $2.4 billion to eliminate the national debt and to support the nation that permits them to operate the way they do, but for which their church pays no taxes. They are riding free on the backs of those taxpayers, many NOT Mormons, who DO pay taxes.

The Roman Catholic Church, financed by 1 billion members, is by far the richest organization in the world, all tax-free. In 1994 the Vatican Bank had deposits of $40 billion and that amount will be much higher today, also in the USA and its assets. Just consider that the total amount paid by the Roman Catholic Church to settle sexual abuse cases is currently approaching $3 billion. Not only does the American taxpayer indirectly finance these escapades, but, as written at about.com by Austin Cline:
"The assets of the Roman Catholic church alone exceed those of the five largest American corporations combined and cash donations to churches total tens of billions of dollars every year.

Every dollar not paid by churches or other religious organizations must be made up from some other source. When all tax exemptions are taken into account, it is estimated that the average family may pay up to $1,000 in extra taxes every year to make up for the lost revenue not received from churches and religious groups. This includes sales taxes, inheritance taxes, income taxes, personal taxes, and ad valorem taxes."
Under the "equity contribution" program for eliminating the US national debt in one day, the assets of ALL churches would be counted and assessed 8%, and each church would thus finally be paying their fair share for the American government system that enables them to exist and prosper.

Any questions? Or is this too simple for today's modern man, who prefers convoluted, complex and often, in the last analysis, ineffective solutions.

People Don't Like to be Configured: Danah Boyd at Apophenia Speaks Out on Designing for Social Norms (or How Not to Create Angry Mobs)

This lady is right on and this must be one of the best posts on this topic out there. Make sure you read it. At least, that is my suggestion.

I can't count the number of times this year that I have been "angry" or needlessly "irritated" because of software and design changes in programs that I regularly use. Changes THAT I DO NOT WANT are trying to be forced upon me by people who think they know better than I do what is good for me. NOT.

Take a look at danah boyd | apophenia in Designing for Social Norms (or How Not to Create Angry Mobs), as she writes:
"[W]hen you start with a heavy-handed regulatory policy that is not driven by social norms – as Google Plus did – the backlash is intense....

People don’t like to be configured. They don’t like to be forcibly told how they should use a service. They don’t want to be told to behave like the designers intended them to be. Heavy-handed policies don’t make for good behavior; they make for [angry] users." [emphasis added]
There is a lesson there for many spheres of life: social, legal, political, economical, and personal. I am thinking I have to improve on this score myself.

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