Many people are wringing their hands over the impending fiscal cliff dive that’s due to be televised live on January One. Cameras will be focused on every angle as the economy falls in slo-mo, climaxing in a thunderous SPLAT! when it hits rock bottom.
There is always the off-chance that Congress and the Not-So-White House will come to an agreement before the deadline, but given the divisions between the warring factions it seems less likely every day. The main disagreement is over taxes vs. spending, and the taxers seem to be winning. Politicians are proposing numerous methods of extracting revenue from the populace, aiming mostly at the hated rich, but whatever they do will trickle down to the rest of us in one way or another.
The first thing is to lower the bar on approving new taxes, from two-thirds to fifty-five percent. That means the tax will be okayed mostly by the people who won’t be asked to pay it. Then there is a new gasoline tax, which will “spread the pain” to everyone, and in more ways than one. Everything that requires shipping will become more expensive. Finally, there is a move to increase the inheritance tax, because no one should profit from the success of their forefathers.
Life is going to cost a lot more going forward, and the mantra of the future is jobs, jobs, jobs! If we can create enough jobs and unionize everyone so those jobs pay a living wage, taxes won’t be a problem. But what are these new jobs?
The problem is that as we rush into the bosom of the 21st Century, there are fewer jobs to be had. Entire professions are disappearing day by day. There are no good paying jobs in journalism, thanks to the rise of “citizen journalists” and the demise of newspapers and publications. Manufacturing will become scarce with the advent of cap-and-trade sanctions. Robots will replace flesh and blood employees in many other fields. Even soap opera actors are out of work.
So how do we spread the wealth to the unemployable? Well, there are several people who are not concerned with taxes or jobs. I am speaking of the two individuals who won this week’s Megapowersuperball drawing. The biggest problem those folks will have is trying to shake off the scores of relatives and scam artists who will be trying to separate them from their new-found riches.
So maybe the lottery is the answer, but not as it’s currently set up. First of all, nobody needs three hundred million dollars. It’s a ridiculous number, and many of those who win end up miserable and despondent, worrying that the grandkids are trying to poison them. Why not make the odds, and the winnings, more democratic? Get rid of the stupid bonus number, and reduce the primary numbers to four. Then make the top prize say, $150,000. Instead of a handful of weekly winners, you’d have hundreds of happy citizens who could pay down their debt and have a little left over to spend as consumers, thereby reviving the economy without undue taxation. There could be a rule that no one could collect more than once a year, to help spread the happiness to all.
No need to thank me. Just remember to buy artwork when you win.