Starting A Taxpayer Subsidy Isn’t Easy. Stopping It Is Also Not Easy.

Have you heard or seen the term “baptism of fire”? It takes several forms. “Cutting political teeth” is one. Another is the irony-saturated greeting “Welcome to the world.”

In the 1970s I and a few others I knew received baptisms of fire in Arizona. People for perhaps decades had earned their livings by building dams and canals and wanted their salaries to continue. People whose taxes paid those salaries wanted their taxes spent in ways more important to them.

In the struggles that followed I learned about politics and about myself. I learned too that throughout history probably millions of people received baptisms of fire.

Today the prospect of climate change, especially human-caused or anthropocentric climate change is giving millions of us baptisms of fire. Paraphrasing Walt Kelly’s Pogo, we are meeting our enemies and they are us.

More later. What say you?

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Why start a population subsidy?

Let us imagine we live on an island of 100 people, including the young, the working class, the elderly, and the disabled. Everyone in this society has their basic needs met of food, shelter, health-care, education, and transportation. Everyone who is working age and able to work has a job. It has 100% employment. 

Now, imagine that the community grows to 200 people by birth, same population, same needs, the same percentage have their needs met, and there is a surplus of workers. What options do we have with surplus workers?

  1. Reduce the hours worked for each worker until every worker is employed. 
  2. Increase work by make-work projects, i.e., build dams, highways, schools, other community development, etc.
  3. All who have income pay into a common bucket from which basic living wages can be paid to all citizens
  4. Invest in life-long learning for all ages of citizens. 
  5. Reduce the retirement age for 65 to 60 year old.

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