The next time you wonder just how far to the left Rolling Stone magazine is, consider that in its first issue of the new year, it actually published an article calling for capitalism to be totally abolished in America and replaced with a socialist structure wherein people didn’t need to work, all assets were taken over by the government, and redistributed to the masses.
Fasten your seatbelts before continuing further:
1. Guaranteed Work for Everybody
Unemployment blows. The easiest and most direct solution is for the government to guarantee that everyone who wants to contribute productively to society is able to earn a decent living in the public sector…A job guarantee that paid a living wage would anchor prices, drive up conditions for workers at megacorporations like Walmart and McDonald’s, and target employment for the poor and long-term unemployed – people to whom conventional stimulus money rarely trickles all the way down…Imagine a world where people could contribute the skills that inspire them – teaching, tutoring, urban farming, cleaning up the environment, painting murals – rather than telemarketing or whatever other stupid tasks bosses need done to supplement their millions. Sounds nice, doesn’t it?
Sounds nice? And where would the money come from? And what would the goods and services produced by so many people requiring higher wages cost? How would people afford them?
Keep your seatbelts on, because the author has an answer:
2. Social Security for All
But let’s think even bigger. Because as much as unemployment blows, so do jobs. What if people didn’t have to work to survive? Enter the jaw-droppingly simple idea of a universal basic income, in which the government would just add a sum sufficient for subsistence to everyone’s bank account every month…A universal basic income, combined with a job guarantee and other social programs, could make participation in the labor force truly voluntary, thereby enabling people to get a life.
So why would we need to guarantee everyone a job with a good wage if folks didn’t have to work as a result of a universal basic income?
And if people didn’t have to work, who would produce the goods and services necessary for life on this planet?
And if no goods and services were being produced, where would the money come from to fund this universal basic income?
Sadly, the author didn’t delve into the impracticalities of his suggestions, but instead continued with this childish fantasy:
3. Take Back The Land
Ever noticed how much landlords blow? They don’t really do anything to earn their money. They just claim ownership of buildings and charge people who actually work for a living the majority of our incomes for the privilege of staying in boxes that these owners often didn’t build and rarely if ever improve…So why don’t the community and the public derive the value and put it toward uses that benefit everyone? Because capitalism, is why.
The most mainstream way of flipping the script is a simple land-value tax. By targeting wealthy real estate owners and their free rides, we can fight inequality and poverty directly, make disastrous asset price bubbles impossible and curb Wall Street’s hideous bloat. There are cooler ideas out there, too: Municipalities themselves can be big-time landowners, and groups can even create large-scale community land trusts so that the land is held in common. In any case, we have to stop letting rich people pretend they privately own what nature provided everyone.
“[W]e have to stop letting rich people pretend they privately own what nature provided everyone.”
That’s a doozy, isn’t it? So people don’t really own the land they pay for.
Sounds like Obama’s claim that business owners don’t actually build their businesses.
Of course, this shouldn’t surprise folks familiar with the author, as Jesse A. Myerson is a media coordinator for Occupy Wall Street.
Figures, doesn’t it? But he wasn’t done:
4. Make Everything Owned by Everybody
Hoarders blow. Take, for instance, the infamous one percent, whose ownership of the capital stock of this country leads to such horrific inequality. “Capital stock” refers to two things here: the buildings and equipment that workers use to produce goods and services, and the stocks and bonds that represent ownership over the former. The top 10 percent’s ownership of the means of production is represented by the fact that they control 80 percent of all financial assets.
This detachment means that there’s a way easier way to collectivize wealth ownership than having to stage uprisings that seize the actual airplanes and warehouses and whatnot: Just buy up their stocks and bonds. When the government does that, it’s called a sovereign wealth fund. Think of it like a big investment fund that buys up assets from the private sector and pays dividends to all permanent U.S. residents in the form of a universal basic income.
But where does that money come from?
As the top ten percent pays 70 percent of federal income taxes collected every year, once you decimate them, there will be no money to purchase their property.
Once again, Myerson didn’t address the flaw in his logic. Liberals never do.
Cue the late Margaret Thatcher again:
The problem with socialism is that you eventually run out of other people’s money.
(HT Dan Gainor)
Noel Sheppard is the Associate Editor of NewsBusters.