What American Voters Owe To Donald Trump
With due respect to Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton (and all the other progressives before them), not until Donald Trump tapped into the anger of average American workers has the income stagnation and accompanying income inequality been put forth in inescapable terms.
Progressives have always spoken about wages and salaries of the masses, but their solutions were considered impractical and did not reflect the real world. Raising wages in a world where the same quality or better can be made in foreign lands, shipped to the US, and sold for far less than a similarly US manufactured good, offered the worst of both worlds, lost jobs and lower pay.
Donald Trump, of course, has not offered any solution at all. Trump, however, has lifted the curtain of what will happen if income inequality is not addressed soon. Xenophobia, tariffs and duties (the end of free trade), and racial/ethnic hatred are on the table if the next President and Congress does not deal with income inequality.
So what do American voters owe to Donald Trump?
Trump has exposed a sizable raw nerve among a significant percent of American voters. The voters live in the riches country in the world, observe daily Wall Street investors making millions, and business executives making decisions which increase their personal pay and bonuses while sacrificing pay and jobs of their employees. This voting group “isn’t going to take it anymore”.
Americans owe Trump for making it crystal clear what lies ahead unless Congress deals with rising income inequality. The Country can look forward to more articulate “Donald Trumps”. In turn, these hate based leaders will likely preside over further increases in income inequality while the overall economic America viability declines.
The income inequality issue is not that top executives and investors are not going to receive higher pay and dividends than the average employee. They will and they must. The issue is how much more.
The most straight forward approach is through the tax code. Using a baseline based upon the 1970s and 1980s the ratio of top executive’s pay to average hourly pay, senior executives and corporations should be asked to meet this ratio with their businesses.
Any company which persists in exceeding this ratio, would incur additional corporate tax and its executives would also… until the ratio meet goal. For those not producing products, like Wall Street traders, dividends and capital gains would be treated as ordinary income if these gains were attributed to companies not meeting the goal ratio.
The objective is income equality using a standard of when US life was good. If it tuns out that globalization or simply business maturity will not support higher average wages, then it becomes an issue of fairness. Why should the top 1/2 of 1% continue to get wealthier while the bulk of employees remain stagnant or decline in wealth?
Sound progressive? Maybe, but remember during the 70s and 80s when life was good and the American dream still seemed possible, these were the conditions and tax rates.
Actually, this solution, reaching backwards, sounds more conservative than progressive.