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Friday, October 21, 2005
If I could change the world...

1. Electoral candidates may no longer say anything about their opponent. Their statements are usually false or exaggerated - and it makes sense - so it's no longer allowed. In fact, no political group can say anything bad about a candidate. They can advance their own candidate, but if there's anything bad to be said about a candidate, the media can do it independently.

2. Everyone must get a license to have children. If you don't get a license and get pregnant or get someone pregnant, you must immediately apply for a license and take the test. If you fail, your child will be removed and placed with competent, licensed parents. The test would include such questions as: Is it ok to leave your child alone in the car? Do children need food? Is it ok to hit your children? Is it ok to make your children sleep in cages? Is it ok to drop your children off a pier? ...and really shouldn't be that difficult.

3. After the age of 70, you must retake the driver's test every other year to keep your license. The whole thing - written, behind-the-wheel, vision, all of it. Look, you're 70, you can find a free day to take the test.

4. New initiative: all homeless people will be picked up and either sent to a treatment facility or taught a skill applicable to building houses: electric work, plumbing, hitting a nail with a hammer, etc. They will then be set to work building houses for homeless people. It all works itself out. This applies even to the tattoo-covered, pierced, able-bodied teenagers standing in the median in front of Wal-Mart.

5. New tax laws: If your household makes under 25k, you pay no taxes. Up to 50k, you pay 5%. Up to 100k, you pay 10%. Up to 150k, you pay 15%. Up to 200k, you pay 20%. Over 200k, you pay 25%. Everyone fills out an EZ. No deductions. No write-offs. No credits. No loopholes. Sorry. Just pay your darn taxes so we can have decent schools, and pay for my homeless initiative.


  1. Scott Z said...

    So -- item #1 curtails free speech, item #2 requires a police/nanny/Stalinist state, item #4 overlooks the vast quantity of the homeless who have mental illness and can't function without medical care, and item #5 is self-defeating: see this data from the US Census for information on how income levels are distributed throughout the country. Your tax scheme would raise revenues of $700 million per year from income taxes on anyone making less than $250,000 per year. The remaining 1699 households in America would face the burden of coming up with roughly $800 billion (yes, that's billion) to make this plan revenue-neutral. See the Tax Policy center data about the composition of taxes.

    2:24 PM  

  2. Scott Z said...

    I'm with you on #3, though -- routine skills assessment for all drivers, regardless of age. If you can't drive, you shouldn't have a license.

    2:25 PM  

  3. The Maharaja said...

    Margaret for America!

    7:56 PM  

  4. Mrs. B said...

    Hey, if I rule the world, I make the rules.

    Oh, and note that #4 does mention that they could be taken to a treatment facility...I didn't overlook that.

    10:45 AM  

  5. Scott Z said...

    Correction -- in my first comment, that should read "remaining 1,699,000 households," not "1699 households." So your tax scheme only requires an average tax liability of $470,865 per household for that group of people, not $471 million per household.

    While we're making up rules for the new world order, can we add
    6. It shall be illegal and morally suspect to use an interactive voice response system (phone menu system) for any customer service purpose. Customer Service implies actually helping those who call in, rather than shunting them to a voice-enabled bit-bucket. The use of call centers in India where people take fake, American-sounding names like Chris and Tony (but are really named something more along the lines of Sridhar or Sanjay) shall be allowed, but looked upon with disdain. Come on, people -- if you're considering renaming your employees, maybe you have larger problems to tackle.

    10:57 AM  

  6. Mrs. B said...

    Ah, yes, I like #6.

    And the tax thing doesn't really bother me. If you make $2mil a year in personal income, you can pay a half mil in taxes. Doesn't bother me at all. And, lest ye protest, if I made $2mil a year, I'd gladly pony up the taxes, as long as the public school that my children attended had decent teachers.

    And, while we're at it:
    #7. Every DMV will be required to hire approximately twice as many employees as they think they need. Further, they may not all take their lunch break at the same time, and the numbering system will be changed to "1,2,3.." instead of "E317,D47,B182" so that you can get an idea of when your number is actually going to be called, and go get a snack if needbe.

    11:16 AM  

  7. Scott Z said...

    The problem with the tax thing is that it's half a mil on average for every household in the bracket. In reality, the vast majority of people in that block wouldn't be able to afford nearly that much in taxes; the distribution of people in that bracket is likely very left-skewed. That means you'd be relying on very few households to provide a large percentage of the national revenue, so one bad year for those few people and the whole country has a bad year.

    Better might be to replace the income tax entirely with a national sales tax. Progressive income taxes encourage people not to earn too much more, lest they owe the government substantially greater proportions of their income. Sales taxes encourage people to save or invest instead of spending.

    #8 Voting is mandatory for anyone 18 or over. You may vote "I don't care," but you must vote. For cryin' out loud, it's supposed to be a democracy!

    10:52 AM  

  8. Mrs. B said...

    Ah, yes, #8 is good. As far as my tax plan goes, we may lose some revenue and have to make it up somewhere - perhaps with a type of sales tax. I'm a big fan of eliminating the income tax and having a type of consumption tax - although, I'd prefer to exclude certain things from sales tax - namely, food (from a grocery store) and necessities (utilities, etc). Not sure how to do that.

    And, while we're at it...

    9. Anyone caught sending out emails promising a mortgage for 1%, or prescription drugs without going to your doctor, or trying to get my bank account information, will earn a mandatory death sentence. In some gruesome and disgusting manner.

    11:49 AM  

  9. The Maharaja said...

    Wow! You guys need drinks.

    2:38 PM  

  10. Scott Z said...

    "Filtering" taxes is a non-trivial administrative effort, but it's commonplace enough that there are tools to do it. Ever notice that in Virginia, the sales tax on groceries is different from sales tax on other goods? The same system can set a tax on some products at 0% and on others at 23%.

    Does 23% shock you? Here's an article which explains why that would be a "fair" tax to replace income, estate, and payroll taxes.

    1:12 PM  

  11. Mrs. B said...

    The only thing about the national sales tax is that the black/secondary market could suddenly become HUGE...

    1:44 PM  

  12. OH Bee Juan said...

    Death to those who try to buck the consumption tax. Consumer Whores.

    8:32 AM  

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