End Destitution in the United States

I favor medicare for all and for having the U.S. government pay everybody enough monthly income so that, if that is your only income and even if you have little or no assets, you’ll still be able to eat enough to stay nourished and have shelter from the elements –– enough so that many may still be very poor, no one will be left destitute. This program can be financed by a much more progressive and effective tax system, including closing tax loopholes and rigorously enforcing laws relating to collection of taxes.

It is said that in such a society, a large percentage of people would take the money and sit around and contribute nothing to society rather than work. This would not be the case, because this minimum income would be like social security income. Any income anyone can make from work would be added to it rather than substituted for it. Only an insignificant percentage of people would choose to be indolent and remain in impoverished circumstances rather than work and achieve greater economic flexibility. Such people are almost invariably incapable for one reason or another of contributing to society in any case.

It is also said that those who can contribute a lot to society would lose incentive to work and be creative if they had to pay significantly more in taxes. This not the case: Truly creative and productive people are ones who are motivated by inner drive to be creative and productive. They don’t yearn to do nothing but slouch around in comfortable circumstances just because they can’t get much richer anymore than impoverished people yearn to slouch around in shabby circumstances just because they won’t go to bed cold and hungry.

Unfortunately, it would take considerable enlightenment on the part of the public and policy makers –– a revolution of desires –– for such a transformation of our society to be achieved.