We are only as strong as our weakest link, and only as good as we we treat those at the bottom. We owe it to ourselves as a sophisticated, enlightened nation that every man, woman, and child in this nation is fed, sheltered, educated and cared for.
We are reaching a point where automation will eliminate many basic jobs. We will have people without work through no fault of their own. It is cruel and stupid to assume that all these people have to offer is looking for some sort of slavery status in order to manage the barest subsistence. it is time that we tax the upper classes enough that every adult in this country has a living wage, regardless of whether or not they are employed. That every child is schooled and fed. Many of you are saying “Rob, that’s socialism, it’s going to create a society of leeches.” The answer is yes, to a degree. So what? We will not be able to invent enough jobs to pay everyone subsistence. People who are not desperate are free to think of new ideas for making things better. Or maybe they just want to compose a song or write a poem. Who cares. There is more than enough tho go around. And yes the ultra wealthy do owe something to our system. To quote Elizabeth Warren:
“There is nobody in this country who got rich on their own. Nobody. You built a factory out there – good for you. But I want to be clear. You moved your goods to market on roads the rest of us paid for. You hired workers the rest of us paid to educate. You were safe in your factory because of police forces and fire forces that the rest of us paid for. You didn’t have to worry that marauding bands would come and seize everything at your factory… Now look. You built a factory and it turned into something terrific or a great idea – God bless! Keep a hunk of it. But part of the underlying social contract is you take a hunk of that and pay forward for the next kid who comes along.”
The Good Senator Warren’s words have the added attraction of being absolutely true. Add to the fact that being born rich doesn’t give you the right to rig the game or force others to suffer just to increase your wealth. You want to be a rich American? You have to pay for it. We have the ability to make this happen. We just need the will.