You might say that this is a takeoff on the novel, play, and film versions of If I Were King and I play the part of the hansom visage and golden voice of Ronald Colman. The story goes that the king of thieves of Paris utters that famous line, “If I were king…” and then the kings gives him his chance. Of course the thief finds out it is a lot easier to wish than to do, what with traitors on the inside of the walls of Paris and the Burgundians outside waiting their chance to play king just as ardently. So what is the first item on the list that one might change? What is the most important act a king or dictator do that would set the tone, the pace, and the right direction? Yes, I hear a few yelling about gay marriage but that is hardly a call to arms for it affects so few individuals. How about an end to racism? Well, no, because you can’t fix stupid and every time we try we end up with a worse problem in spite of the proposed solution. Come on, think carefully. Remember that substantial changes cause substantial chains of events and one better anticipate them. True, there are all the wars to stop but is the same as trying to fix stupid and I don’t think the world is ready yet for a more permanent solution I might propose. No, I think the first main area is economic.
We have too many rich people becoming richer at the expense of those least able to tolerate such a policy. Now this is not to say that the rich people are bad at heart, they just know how to rake in the money by legal and maybe not so legal methods. You and I just don’t have the right mindset and the opportunity to take advantage on human nature and the law. On the other hand we don’t really want to get too prescriptive of proper behavior lest we start witch hunts. Besides, witch hunts cost more money than they save. I know, as supreme benevolent unanimously acclaimed dictator for life or until the work is done, which ever comes first, I hereby proclaim tax reform. All individuals, couples, or families (and by couples I mean you don’t need a certificate issued by the government to proclaim your union, simply fill out a legal contract that specifies the obligations you both can agree to abide by and have adjudicated by a common court or elected referee) will pay a tax rate of ten percent to be divided between the local, county, state, and federal governments. Those who do not earn or otherwise receive more than the highest level of minimum income shall pay no tax. And in the spirit of giving, all those individuals who earn more than two hundred and fifty thousand each year will have all income, wages, etc, taxed at 100%. There shall be no corporations formed to protect personal income. You as an actor, doctor, sports figure, you will not be allowed to form a corporation where you perform on behalf of the corporation and it collects the contracted payment. No, if you want to get rich, you better save your money. That means no multimillion dollar contracts for entertainers, sports figures, and that includes college basketball and football coaches, doctors, lawyers, and any other occupation. I put my foot down right now, no one earns more than five times the rate of the poverty level incomes. There will be no need for deductions. You buy a house, the taxes and interest you pay are your business.
See, isn’t this fun? Now how many of you would support such a program? Yeah, that’s why I’m dictator. No local, county, state, or federal government will be allowed to assess the residence you own or have mortgaged for more than it’s original cost or sales price. The taxing agency will collect no more that 2% each year on that sales value. Upon sale of that property, any income received above the original sales price will be treated as taxable income less any reasonable fees such as realtor commissions, transfer tax and the like. The idea is that we value home ownership as a place to live and not as a vehicle to make money. The income from the sale of your property will not count towards your normal wages. Any inheritance received will be taxed at ten percent and will not count towards you normal wage income. All income from investments will be taxed at ten percent at the time of realized profit. Loses may be carried over for a maximum period of two years. I believe that ten percent of the nations income is more than enough for all the various levels of government in any country. Any more than that is pure theft.
All corporations will be unincorporated immediately. All holders of stock in their respective corporations will now be partners. I find no reason to continue corporations as sacred idols having human rights but none of the responsibilities including death from old age. If you as a corporation, don’t want to die, then I won’t let you live. All partnerships will be limited liability for I do not believe in the lure of deep pockets that so often attract lawyers like flies on sugar. Furthermore, a partnership cannot retain more that 50% of the profits. The rest must be distributed to the partners. Any paid professional managers will have 20% of the first $250,000 of their compensation put into the partnership shares and may not be paid, borrowed, held as collateral, or otherwise returned to the company for repayment until retirement age of 60. The said manager will be separated from the partnership at such time and may no longer be employed or services retained. Once you are retired, that’s it, you are retired. I will not tolerate a professional manager working as a consultant in retirement. Such work comes as a result of contacts made and at the expense of many other individuals who need work. I deem it a conflict of interest as well as a fraud upon the partnership. All hourly employees will receive as part of their compensation 10% of their wage held as partnership shares until retirement under the same conditions as management or professional employee. I call this skin in the game. If you have ownership and can’t sell out until you retire then you will be very committed to the partnership. A partnership president who can’t rig stock prices on false earnings must make sure his money is being well looked after it he is to have a retirement.
This brings to mind the issue of fraud. Management shall not be exempt from responsibility for any fraud committed by any employee. Those who have actively or passively committed fraud or theft and those managers who are responsible for those individuals who have done so will be held responsible. This responsibility will include any monetary claims and criminal penalties. In the cases of Jon Corzine, you will be stripped of your citizenship and deported to a country you least wish to be a resident. Why should we spend our tax dollars keeping the likes of bernie Madoff in jail? I hear Angola is a nice place to live the rest of your life with no social security or investor funds for income. Now when it comes to fraud, the issuance of excessive debt by a company shall be treated as fraud. Those responsible, the officers of the partnership, those who voted for the bond issues, the officers of the financial institutions who assisted in the bond issue, all will be charges and suffer the financial and criminal penalties for that excessive debt.
My reasoning for using tax code to curb excessive compensations is that it is simple and easy. What good does a contract for 25 million a year do you if the various governments are going to take $24,750,000 each year? I’m sorry but if you can’t live on $250,000 a year then there is something wrong with your way of living. And the reason for doing away with corporations is that corporations have just grown too large and unresponsive. It is very difficult to have half a million partners, all with some legal right to specify how the company should be managed. When you are CEO of a corporation you can get away with murder. But a partnership is a very different animal and it keeps the business smaller. Otherwise it becomes very inefficient to operate. The scale of efficiency due to size benefits only those who own the larger size entity, no one else really benefits. Small is beautiful when used effectively. A very large crude oil carrier is efficient at moving crude oil but it is hell when it spills that same cargo. Very large enterprises carry very large risks when things go wrong. I will have more fiats to issue tomorrow, so be ready, I intend to save the world, and please, no prizes.