Huffpost Business

Featuring fresh takes and real-time analysis from HuffPost's signature lineup of contributors

Jim Worth Headshot

Saving Us From the Bottom

Posted: Updated:

It's time for a radical new approach!

We've tried trickle-down and it hasn't worked! All that's trickled down is crap.

So as we near, bounce along, or bounce off the bottom in our financial recovery, let's start thinking outside the pox.

Yes, supply side economics has been a pox on this country, on the world -- a pox on capitalism with a predatory financial system and unfiltered greed becoming a malignant cancer.

What caused this insidious and unrelenting disease? How do we reverse it?

Milton Friedman was wrong and those that still follow his philosophy are either blind or ignorant of three decades of decline.

Alan Greenspan, a staunch supporter of Friedman economics, admitted, in testimony before Congress, to being wrong about capitalism. Wrong about deregulation. Incredibly wrong about market self-regulation.

As a result of their miscalculation -- of their failure to include greed in their equation -- the world is experiencing a meltdown of major proportions.

Now, the powers responsible for fixing this global tragedy are making strategic mistakes that will lower the bottom to intractable levels causing even greater suffering for a wide swath of the global population.

The clarion call in global economic circles is 'austerity.' It's amazing that the wealthy people controlling the world's governments think an austere world will be a better solution.

For whom?

A growing portion of the globe has already been laid bare with more and more people living in poverty every forbidding day -- losing their jobs, losing their pensions, losing their homes, losing their dignity.

Austerity will accelerate this negative spiral and slow growth; growth which is necessary to reverse this merciless decline.

So, how do we stimulate growth?

Passing the American Jobs Act would be a good start, but, absent that, let's try something really radical. Something that might actually work.

Let's stimulate the bottom!

It's way past time to make the wealthy pay their fair share for the health and welfare of this country. They've been given a pass far to long and it's time they ante up.

Let's tax the rich and give to the poor; increase demand and stimulate growth. Let's return some of the money they've stolen to those they stole from.

Some call that reparations, some redistribution. What it really is, is wealth fairness.

The wealthy in this country must be made to pay for the wars they encouraged -- for the lives their advocacy ruined, the deaths and permanent disabilities -- the result of their callous apathy.

Past generations have paid for the wars with higher taxes; top marginal rates as high as 94% after World War II. But this generation of wealthy Americans feels no such patriotic obligation.

So, to start, let's create a progressive tax structure that will force the rich to pay for their tacit acceptance of a crumbling society -- an eroding democracy.

Start by increasing individual tax rates to Reagan levels -- around 50%. Then raise estate and capital gains to Reagan levels.

Restructure the corporate tax rate and get rid of all the corporate loopholes (corporate welfare). According to the Congressional Budget Office, corporations in fiscal 2011, paid the lowest effective tax rate, 12.1%, in 40 years. The bigger the corporation the greater the civil obligation. Tax all foreign profit at a flat 10% for retaining it overseas each fiscal year and 28% when they bring it back to the United States.

Putting these funds back into the economy will immediately stimulate demand.

How do we do that?

Social Security recipients, disabled veterans, and retired veterans receive an immediate and quarterly dividend.

Unemployed will be given a split dividend for reemployment based on retention. Low income working families will receive an employment stipend.

Returning veterans will be given a deployment subsidy upon their return from theater.

Renters and homeowners will be provided a value dividend for continued habitation.

Low income college students will receive semester completion benefits for remaining in school and completing their course of education.

Putting money into the hands of responsible people that will immediately put it back into the economy is a smart plan given the history of trickle-down.

The American people are growing weary of the up hill struggle and the crap that has filtered down to them. They're tired of stagnant wages. Tired of having their pockets picked.

There are other ways to rebalance an unfair system and the spring is drawing near. Will it be 'The American Spring?'

A bloody resolution may not be the most desirable way to "level the playing field" but given the current state of affairs may end up being the only solution.

America has a choice. A chance to save itself from the ravishes of poverty. A chance to save our asses from the persistent degradation of the past three decades.

Time is running out so we, collectively, must demand a change in direction -- a radical change that will reestablish the middle-class and strengthen the nation's economy.

We've tried trickle down and it's been miserable for most of the globe.

Don't you think it's time we tried something that works?