TED Conversations

Bastian Brandt

This conversation is closed. Start a new conversation
or join one »

A basic income tax: Asking everyone within a society to pay 10% BIT and dividing this amount through its population = Basic Income For One

(In the Netherlands for example, this would sum up to a basic income for everyone of $350 a month, in South Africa $90 a month for everyone, etc.)

The idea I am proposing could be implemented everywhere, regardless of the size of the society it is implemented in.

The advantage of such a tax would be:

- Equality

- Families with many children would get more support

- People that can't work would be safe

- The division of poor and rich would shrink and with it criminality

- Everyone would feel more as an equal part of society

If we would tax everyone in the world 10% Basic Income Tax and divide this amount through the world population, we would generate a basic income for every one on earth of $60 and that would be the end of extreme poverty!

0
Share:
progress indicator
  • thumb
    Aug 16 2012: Well, the argument against this would be that the rich guys worked hard for their money and earned their wealth whereas the other guys who are benefiting from this are just freeloading.

    Basically the flaw in this is that it provides disincentive for everyone to not work.

    Also, isn't this effectively like Communism?
  • thumb

    Gail . 50+

    • +1
    Aug 17 2012: I believe that if we are going to keep our economic model in place, that sales taxes should replace ALL other taxes.

    Taxes to corporations are hidden sales taxes. Employer paid employee taxes are hidden taxes. Subsidies to corporations are hidden taxes. Built-in taxes for gas, telecommunications usage, sin taxes, etc are hidden taxes. Let's bring tax out into the open. The USA had a revolution from england because of 1.7% taxes. I see no reason why taxes should be as high as 10% unless you want government to be a mommy or big brother. I find that a threat.

    some years ago, I spent an entire year counting up the taxes I paid - including the hidden taxes that I could compute. (I couldn't compute the hidden taxes built into the products I buy because each level of production passes its taxes on to the company above it (i.e. the engine maker passes its taxes to the car manufacturer). I was aghast.
    • thumb
      Aug 17 2012: This is actually brilliant.
    • Aug 17 2012: I can't find the quote, but I believe it was Milton Friedman that said, during the cold war, that the economic difference between the USSR and USA was that in the USSR the government spent 51% of the people's product and in the USA the government spent 50%. I believe he meant the sum total of all government spending at all levels as a percentage of gross domestic product. It would be interesting to find that figure for today.
      • thumb
        Aug 17 2012: Thumbs up is not working here. Does it have something to do with the controversial?
        Couldn't give one to Gail either.
      • thumb
        Aug 18 2012: Current GDP is over 100%. GDP is not an effective way to measure an economy because automation is putting people out of work (destroying the economy because workers are also consumers that keep the economy alive). This is even happening on Wall Street where massive computers make trades and where the closer you are to the stock exchange determines how well you will do because the information travels at the speed of light and nano seconds are important. Computers make fewer mistakes than humans - be it on Wall Street or in a car manufacturing plant.

        I favor changing the economic paradigm to a cashless one. It would take great cooperation and we would have to be a more educated people, but I believe it's where we're going. I am not speaking of barter here, because bartered goods are just another form of money.

        But if we do maintain a money standard, we should tie the amount in circulation to the population - not to the amount of $$$ Goldman Sachs makes with its computers. And we should cap the top income to insure stability.

        It's good to talk about these things because the Ponzi scheme that now passes as our economic model will be collapsing sooner rather than later. As you can see, it's already started, and growing unemployment (that is guaranteed) will bring even more suffering until there are not enough consumers to enslave themselves to the corporate masters.

        I love Milton Friedman.
  • Aug 17 2012: Here is a variation of your idea.

    Instead of an income tax, use a sales tax. Rich people buy lots more stuff than poor people.

    The latest guestimate that I read was that a 40% sales tax would be needed to replace the current federal tax revenues. Instead of 40%, make it 50% and use the extra 10% to pay back a "basic income for one" to everyone in the country. This would have the effect of making the tax more progressive.

    Politically, I don't think these ideas stand a chance. The politicians are not about to upset their golden apple cart.
    • thumb
      Aug 17 2012: How weird is that! They turned my thumbs up back on!
  • Aug 22 2012: I'm not a fan of flat taxes, for the reasons others have already stated on here. In the UK wealthier people pay 45% I don't think that figure should be reduced. I think all taxes should be based on income. Sales taxes unfairly affect the poorest in society, as it costs them a far higher proportion of their income. In the UK we pay VAT, which is meant for luxury items - products that people can live without. However we pay it on condoms, fuel, most foods, clothes, services... the list goes on!

    Something needs to be done to reduce the gap between rich and poor, but with the rich controlling everything why would they want to make that change?
  • thumb
    Aug 17 2012: I used to be a fan of flat taxes, which this poster advocates, but the more I researched the more I came to the same conclusion as several of the commenters below. It unduly burdens the poor and relieves the rich even though it sounds fair on the surface. Taxing 10% of a person's income, who can barely feed themselves is a huge burden. Taxing 10% of a rich person's income is reason to open another bottle of champagne.

    I like the idea of a national sales tax although I would need to research it more to know what its weaknesses are (no tax scheme is without weakness). Of course from a pragmatic point of view, even if such an idea gained enough momentum to upend the tax law and infrastructure apple cart there would immediately be people that came up with really reasonable and compelling exceptions. These exceptions and adjustments would grow over time as various people cried "unfair" at having to tax baby formula and asparagus. In a few years ... Bam! ... huge tax code and huge bureaucracy to support and enforce all the intricacies of the regulation, and we're right back to where we started.
  • Aug 17 2012: Why would you tax people with higher income the same as people with lower income?
  • thumb
    Aug 16 2012: I think it sounds a LOT more just than what we have.
    • thumb
      Aug 16 2012: Yeah, this sounds just like another variation of the whole idea of the rich giving back to the poor we're trying to do.
      • thumb
        Aug 16 2012: Until now those rich Americans including Buffet and Gates who support more income tax for the rich, have gotten away with murder financially. They got fat and rich with other people financing everything in the societies they live in while paying nothing in taxes through loop holes. It is time they paid something rather than nothing. Communism- please! More crazy paranoid indoctrination. The land of the free and the brave? Spooked by McCarthy for decades and the only ones who are free riders are your rich.
        • thumb
          Aug 16 2012: I meant communism as in everyone gets equal amount of money. Unless, my definition of communism has been really skewed :/

          But in my opinion, the best way for the rich to "give back" to the poor is giving the poor education. You can give a man a fish, but he'll end up wanting more. Gotta teach him how to fish, and you gave him fish for lifetime.