Wouldn't individuals just find ways of avoiding making their ‘NEW EQUALITY’ contributions?
Some would, yes. Just as they avoid tax now. But there would be the same laws in place as there are for tax collection to stop them from doing so, and one would hope that they wouldn’t want to avoid paying.
Perhaps we have submitted too readily to the assertion that human beings always want more and more and that they will not respond to other incentives.
Yes, many of us have goals and dreams and want to build successful careers, as individuals or as a part of wider groups, but does it need to be money and a desire for wealth which is the main driver? Perhaps, having asked the right questions and studied the answers, an exciting discovery is made. Maybe we realise that most of these people wanted to be rich purely so they could gain other 's approval and respect.
In a society where the rich were looked down upon, snubbed even, where riches were equated with greed and considered antisocial. In that case would young people aspire to be rich? Or would they not be far more likely to have desires to do the things which brought them approval?Who wants to be unpopular? Unliked? Imagine a place where they had worked all this out, and recognized that the desire to be rich is CULTURAL, not NATURAL.
Imagine a place where young people had new heroes, and role models.
The front covers of magazines would feature new heroes, not millionaire party going heiresses, errant footballers or cheating TV and movie stars, but the individuals whose entrepreneurial skills, economic incite, or sheer endeavour had meant that they had been able use their rewards to build a hospital ward, launch a sports or music school, or co-ordinate an organisation in which every old person in the country was allotted three children who regular visited them eased their chronic loneliness.
Imagine that world. Visualise it.
Nicer than the one you’re in now? Please tell us your thoughts in the forum.
Does great wealth make us happy?
Studies have show that once a certain amount of wealth is attained then earning another million on top of that doesn’t increase our happiness still further. There are limitations on our capacity to translate wealth into well-being. Put simply - We can only drive one car at once. Being super wealthy isn’t necessarily an easy route to a contented life. It can bring problems. Multiple houses and yachts around the world mean that a team of staff is needed to manage the empire, which will come with its hassles. Furthermore, extremely wealthy individuals are only too aware that there are people out there who are jealous and want a piece of their wealth, and their children may even be vulnerable to kidnapping – so before they know it, they’re having to build the walls higher, and fit ever more elaborate alarm systems. Perversely, their wealth, far from creating freedom, has started to restrict it. Instead of wealth reducing their fear – it may increase it.
If one country did this, wouldn't all the super rich go and live somewhere they didn't have this policy?
Quite possibly. But they might be a little lonely. After all, they wouldn’t be able to use the argument that they use against high taxation - that they didn’t vote for the government in power and that they don’t agree with its policies.
So why should they subsidise it?
No, they would be running away from a country where they had been asked to make a contribution – in the sector which they could choose – and only after they had kept for themselves considerably more that the national average income.
In this situation, would these people not be ‘outed’ for what they really are? Would they not be afraid of that?
This movement does need to be global though. That’s where the power of the internet and social networking kicks in.
We need a massive campaign using the internet to spread the NEW EQUALITY message, and to try and establish if the majority of the people in the world want to see it implemented. Governments will then respond to People Power – not corporations. The majority of the people in the world, who are fundamentally good, loving, compassionate etc should have a voice – and the miracle of the internet can begin to deliver that.
What have some leading historical figures said on the subject?
"It is impossible to live a pleasant life without living wisely and well and justly. And it is impossible to live wisely and well and justly without living a pleasant life.”
Epicurus 341-271 BCE
"In a country well governed, poverty is something to be ashamed of. In a country badly governed, wealth is something to be ashamed of.” Confucius
Gandhi had an interesting take on it:
"Capital as such is not evil: it is its wrong use that is evil. Capital in some form or other will always be needed.”
When Gandhi was asked what he thought of Western civilization he replied that he thought it would be a good idea.
The social scientist and philosopher Kenneth E. Boulding said
"Anyone who believes in indefinite growth (in anything physical), on a physically finite planet, is either mad or an economist.”
Is this policy a step in the direction of Communism?
Absolutely not. Communism is a revolutionary socialist movement to create a classless, moneyless and stateless social order. It's an ethos and ideology that everyone is "equal". Communism has been tried and it has failed. Perhaps it failed for the same reasons that capitalism will ultimately fail. Greed. Greed for power, greed for influence, greed for status. The system's shortcomings were that it put all the power and wealth into the hands of the State; and petty bureaucrats became disproportionately influential in people’s lives. Private enterprise was outlawed, meaning that people’s ambitions and dreams were crushed.
NEW EQUALITY only wants to cap wealth. Not eradicate it.
What impact would this policy have on the economy e.g. the rich wouldn’t be able to spend money on luxury goods etc?
There would certainly be fall out, no question. The bottom would drop out of high end luxury goods, jewelry, fine art etc. It is regrettable that jobs would be lost – but with any luck plenty of new jobs would be waiting in the new vastly enlarged charitable sector.
Doesn’t this take away people’s right to free will?
A society without laws and boundaries is an anarchy. People currently do not have the free will to keep all the money they earn. They are bound by law to donate a percentage of it to the state. This is just an extension of that principle, and it would only be introduced if a democratically elected governed passed it as a law.
Do we need to regulate how people make their new equality contributions? i.e. what kind of charities they set up etc.
The charities commission or some such body would have a huge increase in its workload. It would need to ensure that the charities that were being formed were for the public good. They would also advise if too many charities were being set up in one sector and not enough in another.
What makes this policy different to other ideas out there?
The freedom of choice for the earner to decide how their money is used.
Why does giving have to be obligatory? Can’t we just trust that people will give if the policy is optional?
Because that’s the current position, and the reality is that people don’t, and if they do, they don’t give enough.
Wouldn't all the 'fluffy' charities end up with all the money unless somebody decided for you where your money should go?
The charities commission could oversee and when one sector had 'enough' they could insist money was directed elsewhere. Tax would still be paid as normal. So no public services would suffer.
Wouldn't this end up hurting those whom you most want to help?
If you cut investments that high wealth individuals make, you cut the investment income that fuels more growth, jobs, income, taxes, charitable contributions.
I don't agree that this idea would hurt those who want help. Most investing is done by banks, pension funds, insurance companies and the like. They would be unaffected by this. Nearly everyone has a bank account. The bank invests that money. And also, as I make clear in my talk, we need to beware of 'fuelling growth' because we are out growing the resources of the planet.
How can we help this movement? What can we do to move this idea forward?
Vote on the site, like the facebook page, give us your thoughts on the forum, and tell everyone you know to do the same.