I believe there could be a way to own a percentage of the means of production, and in certain industries (utilities, for example), in order to allow the public to be invested in the things for which they have inelastic demand.
Well, they can always buy stock.
(Which made me chuckle……because if the government was benefiting from capital gains and dividends, then the idea of regulating corporations and taxing dividends would suddenly disappear.) :-)
Also, Scott talked about much more than just cashing in the welfare state in his piece (VAT, LVT, Robin Hood Tax, Carbon Tax…). I do not see why they are unrealistic proposals.
Well, they are unrealistic because you have to get Americans to buy into the notion that they want to be a typical slow-growth high-tax European model state. Right now, the split in the US between libs and conservatives is pretty close to 50/50. What you’re suggesting is a progressive policy that goes beyond liberal economics, which will alienate more than half the people who today vote Democrat.
Let’s just refer for a moment to the VAT. Have any European relatives that visit the US? I do. This is why they arrive here with a small carry on bag for a two week visit, and leave after buying several large suitcases and loading them full of everything they can. Basic consumer necessities in Europe are expensive as hell because of the VAT.
I’ve even had personal experience with this — — I had to do some business in Copenhagen once and realized once I got there that I hadn’t packed a pair of pumps. All I needed was a pair of basic-quality black shoes, the kind I could pick up at Payless for thirty bucks.
WELL, they don’t have anything like a Payless in Copenhagen, so I had to go to a mall. I knew I could get what I wanted at Macy’s or even Nordstrom’s for about $50, so I was going to be out a few bucks more.
Or not. I was in a store that looked a lot like a Macy’s……….best price I could find was $120 bucks on the cheapest pair they had.
Culprit? The VAT. So, keep in mind that if a family pays $2,000 a year for clothes of various types, and you institute a VAT which raises those prices by a third to give them a UBI……….you have to net out the UBI against the increased costs of goods and services that you caused.