Just in Time for the State of the Union

Tue 01/24/12 at 1:11 pm

I know next to nothing about economics. I never took a class, or read a book on the subject. I might be able to question a Jeopardy! answer or two, but that’s about it. Once upon a time, though, in 1976, I attended a film that did change my life. That film was Network. It boasts an impressive cast and, I was completely mesmerized. It got a boatload of Oscar Nominations and won several of them. I just checked on Netflix, and it’s available on DVD or for streaming.

What brought it to the forefront of my mind, is the decades-old foreshadowing of the Occupy Wall Street movement, in the guise of disgruntled Americans everywhere who were encouraged by a crazy news anchor to get up out of their seats, open a window and shout “I’m mad as hell, and I’m not going to take it anymore.” Without giving too much away, a one on one speech delivered at the end has stuck with me these many years. Essentially, it was about how naïve it was to think borders and countries had anything to do with anything. The world is managed by a few multi-national corporations who have found that exploiting we humans’ penchant for patriotism, country/race identification, religious affiliation and so forth was a tried and true way of distracting the citizens of the world from realizing what was really going on.

I’m not quite ready to declare myself an adherent of the conspiracy theory, though I confess I am intrigued by those secret societies, the Freemasons, Templars, Illuminati, and so forth. And I certainly wouldn’t turn down an invitation to the annual Bilderberg conference.

In spite of my nearly complete ignorance about economic theory(ies), or perhaps because of it, a few days ago, I arrived at what I believe would solve many, if not all,  of America’s economic woes. As has recently come to the forefront, in 1819, the United States Supreme Court decided the first in a long line of cases detailing the notion of “corporate personhood.” In that regard, I propose treating them as such when it comes to paying income tax. I realize this would also probably entail a review and adjustment of existing loopholes.

On a related matter, I am totally on board with instituting a flat tax. I’m confident IBM’s Watson could come up with the percentage everyone would need to pay to meet the present budgetary needs and reduce the deficit. I would also favor determining what threshold amount of income would trigger the tax. No one, rich or poor, corporate or otherwise, would pay any tax on that amount. I have to believe that if IBM’s Watson were enlisted to run the numbers we would see this was, indeed, a viable alternative.

What’s wrong with this picture? The corporations would never stand for it. They would simply move offshore and outsource even more than they do now. The United States would become a “bedroom nation.” But I can dream, can’t I? Imagine.

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