Here’s the new blog tour question for this week:
“If I were Queen of the World, President of the United States, or Silda Spitzer, I would…..”
I’m going to choose Queen of the World, because that makes me slightly more powerful than the other two choices.
If I were Queen of the World, I’d land myself a really good book contract. I mean, you can’t beat that for “platform.”
But seriously, I think I’d take on economics. I would try to do something about American corporations sending their work overseas so they don’t have to pay the workers as much, maybe mandate that a corporation doing business in a certain country has to pay its workers according to the pay scale of the country where they’re based, not the country where they’re paying the workers. (ie, if you manufacture in Sierra Leon and ship the goods to the United States, you have to pay a US minimum wage.)
Exploiting other countries so we can have cheap t-shirts or cheap widgets is a bad thing, and over the next 400 years it will all even out as the outsource countries up their standard of living, but I’d like to accelerate that timetable. I haven’t a coherent strategy right now as to how to do that, but if I were Queen of the World, I’d come up with one.
But I do have a coherent strategy for a more fair way to manage taxes. Right now, sales tax in the States is flat for the most part: if you live in one state, it’s the same sales tax no matter what you’re buying. (This is true for the states I’ve lived in; I can’t speak for all fifty.)
I would stagger the taxes so that if you’re buying on the low end of the scale, it’s a zero sales tax rate. In the middle, it would be a low level tax (say 3%) and at the high end, it would be 8 to 10%. In other words, a car is a necessity in American society, but a Lexus is not. If you’re buying a used Civic, there wouldn’t be any sales tax on that vehicle. If you buy a gently-used Accord, though, it’s a 3% sales tax, and if you’re buying a BMW, it’s 10%.
Same thing with TVs: you’d pay sales tax on the 52 inch flat screen TV, but not on a low-end model. And so on with food, office supplies, clothing… That way, individuals aren’t being taxed on necessities but only on luxuries. And who’s buying luxuries? The people with money who can afford to pay the taxes on it.
You’re going to ask who’s going to determine what’s a luxury item and what isn’t, and frankly, if I’m Queen of the World, I can find a reliable staff of people and give them catalogues to come up with those guidelines for me.
Speaking of hiring a reliable staff, there would be one more important group of staff members. I would hire a team and pay them two million dollars a year apiece to make them bribe-proof. And then, when I had my bribe-proof team assembled, I’d have them ferret out awesome charitable organizations like Heifer International. Organizations that are effective, global, provide necessary services, and give individuals a means out of poverty rather than just a stopgap measure.
And then, as Queen of the World, I would channel money into those organizations so they could be equally as effective on a larger scale. I’d have my own PR people go to work promoting these organizations that were hand-selected by my bribe-proof team.
I know there are real-world logistical problems involved here that I can’t begin to solve in a weblog entry. But financial injustice and poverty–and the hunger and lack of dignity and respect that go along with those–are big deals to me, and I’d want those tackled first to make it a better world. If the world wasn’t better off after my reign than before it, I would have a lot to answer to before God, but even before that, I would have a lot to answer to in my own heart.
Other participants in the blog tour are: AllyKat’s Alcove, The Absent Minded Housewife, And then there were three, Chrisnada’s Journal, the Drunken Housewife, Fat Angie, Housewife 2000, How can I live life in the fast lane if all I’ve got is a bicycle?, la_eme, life in the land of maeve, Ramblings, Ramblings of a Grad Student, Space Age Housewife, Such is Life, Tales of an Ordinary Life, VeryContrary, What’s my life? Wry Exchange