• joe donofrio

    A Free World

    When you form a society that runs on money, the implied promise is that everyone who participates in the society and follows its laws will be guaranteed a liveable wage. A way to survive with dignity in the agreed upon societal structure. Anyone who works should be paid this livable wage. This includes day laborers and service workers. We are all created equal.
    Our income is also created equal. There are not two types of income. Money earned is money earned and our tax system should reflect this truth. All income is taxed, no deductions, but at a much lower rate. A simple tax system increases national security and should be done immediately just for that reason alone. I believe economists would agree that a simple system can be tweaked during times of crisis with more consistent outcomes. This keeps America strong at all times by limiting the signs of weakness projected abroad. This system makes it easier for people to start businesses. They can understand the tax system without major financial expense or higher education.
    This is an example of a tax system. The percentages would be determined by our collective decisions about what functions we want our government to provide. Businesses would probably use averages to carry profits and losses forward.

    1st $30,000 (Poverty Level) - 0% tax rate
    next $100,000 - 10% tax rate
    next $500,000 - 12% tax rate
    everything else - 14% tax rate

    Joe earns $42,000 – tax $1,200 ($30,000×0% + $12,000×10%)

    This style system does not penalize a person for being just over the line. Fairness is the best solution and a core American ideal.
    One deduction to consider would be business labor expenses. The goal of this deduction would be to reduce the tax burden on labor intensive businesses because they already fuel the economy. This also allows companies to carry excess labor which they can train and use during peaks in demand or growth spurts. A great benefit for companies and a new way to think.
    If money is free speech and a vote is the purest expression of free speech, then by extension we must either limit money in elections or allow people to buy votes since they would just be exercising their free speech rights. I propose a cap on elections at 50% of the jobs yearly salary and 10x for presidential elections. Donations should be capped at $20 per voter, not groups or companies. Each voter can give to as many candidates as they like. Groups and others can encourage their members to contribute directly. Contributions will be recorded and public knowledge. I BELIEVE FREE SPEECH MEANS STAND UP AND SAY IT – ANONYMOUS FREE SPEECH IS A JOKE. Only the candidates can campaign. Outside groups can volunteer their time and passion. Hopefully the news will remember their job and cover candidates equally. This system (“WE WANT DOERS, NOT WOOERS”) functions on free market principles. It promotes more interest, more ideas, and more creativity. A person who can inspire enough people to believe in their cause/plan/vision on a shoestring budget is the person I want spending my money.
    We need to redefine and make clear our collective ideals. The bill of rights is a start. Education and medical care should also have their own bill of rights. What basic rights/services/opportunities do you feel everyone is entitled to?
    Laws should be written in plain language, short and concise. Each law must have a reason attached to it. This reason can be as long as the author wants and details the goals they wish to accomplished with the law. When judges encounter cases that don’t quite fit, they can read the intent. Also the law can be reviewed to see if it is accomplishing its intended goal.
    Regulations should follow the same format as laws. Also regulations should be used as guidelines when the risk is negligible based on scale. Regulators should be allowed to work with small companies to meet the spirit of the law. These adaptions should be approved by a panel of peers to limit corruption and insure that safety standards are appropriate.
    Two things to remember when crafting laws and taxes. First, laws and taxes will never get rid of a product or service. Secondly, laws and over taxation create monopolies for criminals. The more revenue streams you give criminals the more criminals you will have. Murder is one law, we can all agree is a crime, but we should only have laws on the books that are enforced. Fewer laws means that our police can focus on real crime and do not have to enforce or overlook laws that they themselves often don’t believe to be criminal. New York sells less cigarettes now, thanks to their high taxes, good job☺. Of course the truth would be that just as many cigarettes are sold, but now the rest are sold on the black market fueling criminal enterprises instead of local business. Prostitution is against the law. It is supposed to be the oldest profession. The effect of outlawing prostitution creates an environment with no work protection or standards. Criminals fueling their other activities with the proceeds. Maybe if we make tougher laws against prostitution it will go away. Just give it 2 or 3 thousand more years..HA HA. The actor that just died from an overdose probably would be alive if heroine was legal. He would have known the quality/purity of the drug because he purchased it from a vendor who has standards to follow.
    Prisons should be safe models of our community. Sentences should be shorter but only begin when the prisoner chooses to get with the program. It is a punishment. Each prisoner starts off in a cell. If they want to intimidate and cause problems they sit in a cell. No prisoner or guard should fear for their safety. Prisoners should be welcomed back into society because they were reformed and served their time. They should not be feared and chastised by our communities. We need to change out here first before we can truly change prison. A prisoner should never have more opportunities or benefits than a free man.
    Our military leaders just asked the question “Where did all this dishonor in the branches come from?” Answer “An institution always rots from the top down.” What message is sent when billion dollar contracts yield cushy jobs for high ranking officers while parents buy their children dragon armor? Just one of many examples that sends a poor message. The military should be self contained, providing life long careers in all fields. They should try to have every profession represented in our military personnel. Providing food, building bases and housing, wiring, plumbing, educating, medicine, research, etc….No contractors unless the function cannot be performed by military personnel. Plus they have always had a tradition of filling some spots with civilians until the demand can be met with military personnel. Our military personnel should always receive the services that are earned by serving our country(no excuse sir).
    Corporate structure is not American that is why the world thinks America is bipolar. Our two faced leaders don’t help either. The rest of the world see Americans reach out with help and aide (red cross, disaster relief, and so much more). They also see us come in and take their resources and labor without the protection we would put in place for our own workers and environment. We put patents on the DNA sequence for a strain of wheat from India and then say they have to stop growing or pay the patent holder for the right to grow their own wheat(patent holder lost). The problem with corporate structure is it shields owners/executives from responsibility while allowing them to take as much risk as they like. I think it was Dave Mathews who said “Good ideas go to corporations to die”. It is true. Corporate structure leads to homogenous markets that are risk adverse to change and new ideas, but pound foolish on capital and leverage. This almost insane effect occurs because only a few voices control the majority of what gets to market. There is NO FREE MARKET and that is the problem.
    If CEOs and OWNERS were personally liable for their company’s actions regardless of whether they were aware of the crime or problem then that would automatically reduce the size of business and fix too big to fail. Owners would want to keep a closer eye on the inner workings of their companies. TOO big, TOO much risk.
    This topic is for a young republican student who asked her party “What can we do about the left trashing our heroes?” The answer she got was poor. We should look at our heroes from all angles because anything less would do them and ourselves an injustice. The flaws we find in our heroes often makes them greater heroes. Imagine a man growing up learning that blacks are not human, they are slaves. As he gets older and owns his own slaves, he comes to see it is wrong and goes against what he was taught since birth and sets the slaves free. Heroes live flawed lives just like the rest of us, but what makes them a hero is when that critical fork in the road comes along they make the right choice, even if it goes against all that they were taught as children. We all have a hero in us.
    The solution to terrorism is fight injustice wherever it exists. When people have no hope, no opportunity to even be heard, they will speak out. We should try to find out why someone did a horrible act. Not looking to find an excuse for the inexcusable, but to discover the injustice and hopelessness that gave birth to the act of desperation. America being the land of justice was somewhat immune to terrorism because you can’t keep control of your soldiers in a land of unlimited opportunity. If we don’t change our course, we wont have to import terrorist they will grow out of the lack of opportunities and hopelessness that exist here now.
    Our constitution is a living document and will always be relevant. We should stop, look around and ask ourselves, “Does our constitution extend to all?.” Since we are all created equal, I believe it does. Lets fix our own house and lead the world by example.

    Joseph C. Donofrio

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