Sunday, September 21, 2008
How are Bill Gates, a Bum, & I the same?
Everyone one of us is born with twenty-four hour days. And three hundred sixty five of them a year.
You. Me. Bill Gates. The welfare mother. Donald Trump*. Barak Obama. And the bum under the bridge. There is one way we are all the same. The units of time. The difference is what we do with them.
If every one of us is truly equal under the law, we must pay an equal share. Obviously, if the currency is money, the seven above cannot all pay the same. But ...
If the currency is the worth of our time, we can. And indeed should. If we all must give one eight hour day a week or its cash equivalent, we are each and all giving 20% of our (working) life. Not some riding for free and some giving 38% or more.
Money or labor should be your choice. If Bill Gates would rather show up and the King County service report point to sweep streets or empty bedpans rather than give up whatever that day would have earned him or if Donald Trump were to prefer to buy his time out in cash, so be it. No one would ride for free and no one would be the sacrificial cash cow. And that bum sleeping under the bridge? For one day a week he would have to rejoin society like every one else and perform some public good like everyone else -- which just might remind him that he is a part of this society too.
There is one last added side effect. Under this system there is less need for a professional politician class buying their comfortable station in life by redistributing other people's wealth though his hands for his own enrichment and power. That alone would bring the cost of our government down and reduce the need.
* Hair preparation time comes out of your own time, not the public's time.