Sunday, September 07, 2008

Justifying Socialism Part II

In Part One I outlined some basic concepts. One of the objections to socialism is that the government would tax everything, making it hard on people. In most versions of socialism, from the less radical to the really radical and thoroughgoing this is not the case. Instead, workers would make more money since employee income would be increased at the expense of managerial and executive income, to say nothing about ownership income. Society as a whole is considered to have an interest in the property making up companies, and some of the revenue from companies would automatically go to a social fund from which universal social programs, like health care, pensions, subsidized housing, and education, would draw their money. The intent with the social contribution would be to spread it over society as a whole in a just way so that businesses that don't make much money, like small businesses in general, wouldn't feel as much of a pinch as would bigger businesses. In liberal society, which is where we live in even though 'liberal' has become a bad word in the U.S., it's not necessarily clear where exactly taxes go to and why, making taxes a perennial political issue. In a socialist society, on the other hand, it would be very clear where the taxes go to because they would come back to citizens in the form of non-cash benefits, like free health care.

The point isn't to make society poor, least of all make workers poor, but to redistribute funds so that the people who do the lion's share of the work get more money than they have made before and to break down barriers that keep people vulnerable to market fluctuations by establishing a universal social income policy.

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