The fundamental difference between economic systems is the answer to the questions: how do we decide what we will produce, and how will distribution take place? In capitalism, each person according to their abilities (financial and human) can decide what they will produce and what they will purchase from other producers within the market. In socialism, production and mechanisms for distribution are decided by the government. Even if the government is 100% representative of the will of the collective, many people will still be forced to perform work they do not prefer, and have choices in goods and services limited by government availability. When production is collectively decided as many as 49.9% of the population may be dissatisfied as representation takes on the will of the majority.
Capitalism is superior because it maximizes individual liberty. The problem with capitalism is as Adam Smith wrote that money makes money. With a little it is often easier to get more, but the great difficulty is obtaining that little to begin with.
Circumstantially Trapped is the condition where a substantial amount of a person’s time is spent earning an income that only meets their needs. If a person is unable to accumulate money through their income, and unable to have time because their time is required to earn the income to survive, such a person is trapped because they are without the time and money to improve their income. Not to mention the stress involved in struggling to meet their financial obligations and potential unexpected expenses and rising costs. There are also developmental disadvantages for children who grow up in homes with circumstantially trapped parents, most importantly, the development of productive and intellectual interests and habits.
The relative few who are able to overcome the odds take center stage in the minds of the masses, but the fact remains that about 2/3rds of people who begin in the bottom 40% of income earners (making about $30,000 per year or less) will remain in the bottom 40% of income earners. Many people’s income isn’t only a situation where they only have enough to pay their expenses, many people’s income fails to meet their expenses. Over 30% of the country has negative wealth, or more debts than assets.4 A significant number of people who have more assets than debts only have wealth on paper because of the appraised value of their homes, where without the value of their homes they too may have more debts than assets.
22% of the workforce earns $10.22 or less, and has annual earnings of about
$18,000 per year.5 To preserve the myth of opportunity in this nation, economists often claim the problems with American underclass prosperity is that Americans do not save. If you’re earning $18,000 per year, how much of that can you save while still sustaining yourself? How long will it take a person earning that until they have enough money to make an investment in themselves, or an investment into a business startup, or to even have the time, stability, and peace of mind to consider what they would do if they did have the time and money to do something? Even for those who make the median income of about $42,000 per year, how much of that can be saved, how long will it take to have enough to improve their income, and how much to have the time to figure out how they would improve their income if they had the time and money to do so?
Some people, numbering in the 10s of millions have very small but severely limiting restraints not only on their income but on their time. A person without a vehicle is limited to income opportunities available on public transportation.6 They also have to spend a much greater amount of their time commuting on public transportation. Being without a vehicle is also being without a capital asset, where if one has a vehicle there are many different ways they can use that vehicle to earn an income. Over 10 million people do not have driver’s licenses,7 which prevents them from earning an income working jobs that require one, as well as increases their stress since many people without licenses own cars and drive. Often driving to reach destinations where they can earn an income. People who have poor credit are prevented from accessing money they could use to finance businesses that would improve their income, and happiness in doing something they are interested in doing. Some people who have poor credit are unable to take advantage of higher income opportunities because of employer credit checks. Many people, if they had the stability to further their education or pursue training to qualify them for higher income employment in a preferred vocation would obtain that training, increase their human capital, and increase their income and happiness. Most importantly, among poor people in this country, working or unemployed lies a vast reservoir of untapped skills, ingenuity, ideas, and abilities because so many people do not have the means to start their own businesses.
What we want is $30,000 for each person in the bottom 20% of income earners.
$20,000 for the next 10% of income earners. $10,000 for the next 20% of income earners. Qualifications include 18 years of age or older, net assets not exceeding
$30,000, and gross household income not exceeding more than $100,000.
100% qualification would put the total cost at 2.3 trillion. After qualifications are considered, we’re probably looking at about half of that cost.
The balance stimulus covers the cost with the benefit. Directly and tangibly in dollars gained and saved as well as through quality of life improvements for the whole of the public. We begin with an immediate reduction of people who qualify for government
Benefits and as people improve their income opportunities through their new found means we have a permanent reduction in those who are reliant on government benefits. As people’s incomes increase, those who previously paid no taxes will earn a taxable income, and those who previously paid a little from a small income will pay more from a larger income. Jobs that previously went unfilled due to a lack of qualified candidates will have qualified candidates to fill these positions as low skilled workers trapped in low paying jobs will have the time, money, and stability to increase their human capital.
Filling these positions means more goods and services are produced and purchased, more profits being made and reinvested, more wages will be paid, more products and services purchased, and so on and so forth. We will see the greatest explosion in small businesses that this country has ever seen. State and local governments will benefit from increased economic activity.
The greatest predictor of criminality is income,8 and the household income a male is born into.9 As household income and stability increases, this country will produce fewer criminals, and not only will the public benefit from increased safety, but we will save money on law enforcement, criminal justice, and incarceration. And those who are involved in criminality or who will resort to criminality because they have nothing to lose because they have little to gain, will have opportunity. Drug dependent people who use substances to cope with their circumstances will have the ability to change those circumstances that precipitated drug use to begin with. We recognize that most human problems are a product of inadequate opportunities for people to have time and money, and the balance stimulus provides the opportunity required to address the aforementioned issues, as well many others.
Any person who is an inmate at the time a balance stimulus is passed, will be eligible if they qualify to receive their balance stimulus payment upon release.
In a little over a year’s time, the United States spent roughly 6 trillion dollars on covid stimuluses. If we judge by cost alone, a 1.2 trillion dollar balance stimulus should produce about 1/5th of the inflation experienced in 2021 to 2022. However, there is a great difference in this allocation. Inflation is the decrease in the value of money. The amount of money compared to the amount of goods and services produced. During
covid we had an increase in the amount of money. and in many places for very long periods of time we had decreases in the goods and services produced. If we have a lot more money and a lot fewer products and services, comparatively goods and services cost more.
The balance stimulus is different in that the money invested will produce an increase of goods and services which will offset the increase in the supply of money. Additionally, while industry and over 80% of the population received money from the covid stimuluses, the balance stimulus money will likely be received by only about 30% of the population. Unlike the covid stimuluses, instead of those who needed it paying for necessities, and those who didn’t need it spending it frivolously, the balance stimulus will largely be spent on investments in improving income. The inflationary effect from a balance stimulus will be at most minimal at first, and then reversing due to a boom in production.
While the balance stimulus is the right thing to do, to liberate circumstantially trapped people, since individual circumstances are produced by the collective, we don’t invoke this moral obligation as the reason to do it; we recognize that it serves the best interests of each individual in this country. The question is, why would we not do something that benefits all of us?