Op-Ed: Wealth Care

Op-Ed: Wealth Care

I believe that the new “Democratic Socialist” members of Congress have their hearts and souls in the right place, but not their heads and minds. Like them, I believe that our federal government should do more and spend more to help make the lives of our citizens better who are poor, near-poor, lower-middle-class, and middle-class, just like all of our traditional allies do. All of our allies have federal governments that do more and spend more in proportion to their population sizes than we do here in the United States. However, there has never been a truly “socialist” economy in the history of the world which was ever able to produce enough wealth to meet the basic survival needs of its citizens. It has never worked. So, it is foolish to call yourself a socialist. You are just giving conservatives a new insult and put-down to try to make you look bad. Do you really want to leave yourself open to being called a “pinko socialist” by conservatives?
A lot has been said about U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s (D-Queens and Bronx) proposal to tax the yearly INCOME of those earning over $10 million per year by 70 percent. The problem with this is that we need to start taxing total WEALTH because that’s where we can get enough revenue to pass a Canadian-style national health insurance program to cover and greatly help 99 percent of Americans (except for the richest 1 percent). That’s where we can get the revenue for our President and Congress to declare a “war on Cancer” and begin to spend enough to find cures for all forms and kinds of cancer so we can put an end to all of this suffering once and for all one day.
Therefore, I propose that we pass a “National Wealth Tax” of 10 percent on all individuals with a net-wealth and net-worth of $10 million and higher. This will generate much more revenue than what Ocasio-Cortez is proposing. USA Today has endorsed the idea of a “National Wealth Tax.” And, of all people, Donald Trump proposed a “National Wealth Tax” of 14.25 percent in 1999. Look it up.
It is possible that we might have a much more equal and truly “Socialist” society one day. But that day is at least 1000-2000 years away. We will all have to evolve and transform spiritually, emotionally, and mentally into much more loving, caring, and compassionate human beings before we are ready for that. Right now, we are simply too individualistic, too selfish, too self-centered, too self-absorbed, too much “into only ourselves,” and too “full of ourselves” and too much into believing that we are “all that” for it to work.
Because as the philosopher Pierre Teilhard de Chardin has observed, humankind is presently at the spiritual, emotional, and mental level of a 12-year-old child. Sometimes I think that it is more like a 7-year-old child.
And, I include myself in that. Because I make mistakes and I fall short of being the kind of person who I can be and should be every day of my life. So, I am not judging anyone else here.
Stewart B. Epstein is a retired professor of sociology and social work.


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