I’ve been writing that the American Dream has been decimated. Oh, the Dream- it’s a dream. But, getting there- it’s not the way it used to be.
When I was a kid, I believed in that dream. I knew getting my degree, working hard, getting married- they would give me a pretty good shot at that dream. Nowadays- it’s harder for me to sell it to my kids. Oh, they’ll probably achieve (is that overachieve) it. Because, unlike their dad, they are going to stick with one of the critical pillars of that dream.
Being married. That is one of the biggest impediments to living the the American Dream. Because it is so much tougher to raise kids, pay for their needs, and have leisure time when one is a single parent. A tradition that has become the norm in America- which holds back the parents and the child.
Or, you could be like some of my friends. Who never had kids. At our age (you know, that eupemistic “senior citizen” label), it seemingly no longer matters whether one couldn’t or wouldn’t have them. (Except that the psyches of those who wanted and failed to have them are clearly damaged.) Not having kids means one needs a whole lot less money. We’re talking a minimum 35% drop in cash needs from that listed in the table above- and, like the one I added for those who are traditional Jews (keeping kosher, providing religious instruction to one’s children, etc.), we are talking about a 50% drop or more.
But, really, more than ½ of us are married. OK. That came out badly. But, you know I don’t mean that if there are 150 million adults and we were all married, there would be 75 million households. Instead of the 115 million adults that are married. But, again, that’s not the issue.
The issue is how much money we need to live the good life. And, while the stock market is thriving, fewer and fewer of us are participating in that venue, so the gains are accruing to the 1%- and not to the rest of us.
We need to level the field. USA Today only outlined the cost of the American Dream. (That’s where I got the left side of the chart.) Not the solution. The solution is complex- but not as complex as our politicians would have us believe. It starts with the tax code and tax collections.
My proposal for corporate taxes is a first step. Because it uses the same premise to tax businesses that operate worldwide that obtain when they operate in the US. To insure that each state in the union gets a fair share of the income a company accrues from activities in its state, we have been using a multi-state compact to apportion various factors. (You can read the whole explanation here.) Using that same logic, the portion of profits that accrue from US operations, US facilities, and US sales will be properly paid to the US Treasury. So that corporations will no longer only yield but 10% of all taxes paid in the US. Meeting s 33 1/3% obligation would be way more in tune with reality and equity.
This will also mean that there will be less incentive for these companies to move their operations overseas. Because unless their sales are coming from ‘there’- and not here- (which is true in some cases), they will be paying the taxes they save now (illegally, in my mind) by moving their operations over there. And, then complaining they can’t steal their money back to the States without paying taxes on that money. (Boo Hoo. You owe taxes on the profits you made due to US operations and sales. Period.)
And, paying their employees a reasonable wage is the other factor. No longer should a company (the larger, more established entities) be able to pay minimum wages to their staff, and declaring to the world how much profits they accrue. Leaving you and me to provide those staff members welfare, AFDC, Medicaid, etc. (Oh, and don’t forget until my plan is enacted they only contribute 10% of all the funds to the US Treasury- so it really is you and me. Oh, and don’t let those polemicist try to claim it’s just the rich paying taxes- the poor and lower middle class provide more than 50% of all the funds the US Treasury obtains in taxes.)
These changes will make the American Dream one for which we can all hope- and not the 1%.