Parliamentary Speeches of Maria Klaus. BIRTH OF IDEAL CAPITALISM – On Debt

 

IMG_0744INTERVIEW SOUNDBITES 1

Farmer (with his wife beside him)
“She was so ugly you know. Just a dumpy little woman. And she changed the course of history. Because we were sinking. Not through any fault of our own, but because of the Greeks. They were threatening not to pay, and it would have taken the whole economy down. It was ridiculous! But it was going to happen.”

Member of Parliament
“She was a brilliant woman. The best mind our country has ever produced.”

College student
“After a while people began to see that her ideas were all connected you know. They were all part of a scheme, a grand plan.”

High School kid
“Yeah, and each speech was a step, a piece in a puzzle.”

Member of parliament.
“She was a common woman. Nothing extraordinary. When u saw her this is what you would think. That she was just an ordinary person. And I still see nothing unusual in what she did.”

Homeless man.
“I didn’t know about her. At the time I was looking for food in the dumpsters. You know. In the garbage cans outside of restaurants. Imagine that. Now a days you would never believe such a thing. It is gone forever, that hunger. But she was the one. She brought this idea into capitalism. And it was revolutionary.”

ON DEBT

October 20, Year 1.

Ladies and Gentlemen of the Parliament of Aussland,
These are precarious times we are living in. Our world economy is global and interdependent. Several times in the past decade it has teetered on the verge of collapse. Crises in one country, even an obscure one, can threaten to pull down the entire world because countries, including our beloved Aussland, have borrowed from banks money to cover their debts and to run their government. These debts have been insured against default by other banks. The debts grow almost hourly, by reason of extortionate interest rates. It has come to a point when whole countries can no longer keep up with their interest payments (much less their payments of principle) and are threatening to default on their loans. When this has happened, other concerned nations have rushed to secure them a bailout that only delays the ultimate default for a short time because these economies cannot recover sufficiently to generate the funds needed to pay these loans.
Ladies and Gentlemen. It is only a matter of time. Capitalism, as it is being practiced in the world right now, is broken.
Now, Ladies and Gentlemen. I am not a scholar and economist, but does it follow then that I do not have simple common sense? As far as I can see it, there are three major flaws. Three things that make this form of capitalism unsustainable and fundamentally flawed. We must defend ourselves against them.
1- The capitalists will not share their profits with their workers nor pay them a living wage.
2- The capitalists are not paying their share of taxes to cover the benefits they receive from society. The greatest of the benefits they receive is a steady supply of educated workers, without which their ventures would not succeed.
3- The government has to borrow, therefore, to pay its bills.
They have taken the principles of maximizing their profits to an extreme degree, to the point of impoverishing the workers and decimating the very middle class they depend upon to buy their products and breathe life into their economy through their patterns of consumption. They have shot themselves in the foot by this technique.
Let us remember, ladies and gentlemen, that history had already tried and discarded into obsolescence a system where the worker labored for nothing but his subsistence. It was called slavery, and it failed not just due to its basic immorality but because the anger of the subjugated masses grew to a point where it could no longer be contained.
Ladies and Gentlemen – We are a small nation, not in terms of area but in terms of population. Now I don’t have to tell you, that it would greatly minimize our danger of being drawn into the vortex of a world collapse, if we were to limit the amount of foreign debt our nation incurs. We currently pay sixty percent of our bills with our own money and forty percent with borrowed money. We must pay our own bills. With our own money.
Now, we can do this in two ways. It’s very simple. Either by taxing the capitalists more, or by putting a larger share of the profits into the hands of the worker (higher wages) and taxing him. We can have one or the other or some of both.
I would like to appeal to the patriotism of the capitalist here and to help him to see that it would be far better to part with a small percentage of his profit voluntarily than to wait for an uncertain future when an arbitrary world collapse will engulf our economy. It would be better for him to pay higher wages than to watch a gradually decreasing profitability of his business when the ever squeezed middle class will be unable to purchase his goods.
However, I am not so patient and more practical; we must cut down our deficit to cut down our debt. But let us not make the mistake of thinking that by cutting services to the poor or by squeezing the middle class we will accomplish this. No, Ladies and Gentlemen. We will simply awaken the sleeping giant, and throw our society into the instability and chaos of the disenchanted masses protesting in our streets.
Let us adopt a wiser course. Let us begin to legislate a more ideal form of capitalism, a more fair division of the profit between capital and labor. For it is in the prosperity of all that we will found a healthy, vibrant, and sustainable economy.
I rise before you today, Ladies and Gentlemen, to propose a Deficit Reduction Revenue Act, aimed at reducing our deficit to virtually zero levels in five years.
It contains two provisions:
The first is to raise the minimum wage from its present E8.00 per hour by E1.00 per year for the next five years, at which point only a yearly cost of living increase will be mandated. In five years, when the income is stabilized this will give rise to an increased tax revenue of E2 billion per year, covering 50% of the current annual budget deficit.

The second provision is to tax the dividends from investments and the capital gains (currently taxed at the rate of 12%) at a rate more comparable to the tax currently levied on income (from labor) of the average citizen (23%).
I propose that it be taxed at the rate of 28% for the first year, decreasing by 1% each year for 5 years. Please let me finish. Ladies and Gentlemen, please hear me out. Yes, I know that this will be a very shocking jump and may engender a huge outcry but when we consider the free pass that capital has enjoyed for the past 30 years, it is more of a retroactive adjustment for the handout that they have received, and which has in fact generated our current deficit.
Why should the capitalist be taxed at a lower rate than the worker?
Does he work harder? No, he does not. Every man’s labor carries value.
Is he entitled to more privileges? No, all men are equal in their rights.
Because without this subsidy he will go out of business? No. He will simply make less profit.
Will he pull up and leave the country? Perhaps. But according to the law of supply and demand, another entrepreneur will fill his place. The economy will not collapse if we lose a few capitalists. No, in fact, if we are smart, it may open opportunities for other, perhaps smaller, more balanced, less extreme, or less greedy capitalists (if you wish to put it this way) to come into the market.
Now, by such a tax on dividends and capital gains, we will decrease the national deficit by 100% in one year, gradually decreasing this share to covering 50% of the annual deficit in the fifth year, by which time the increased revenue from taxing income of the worker will also cover 50% of the current annual deficit.
Now, you may well ask: By finally leaving the tax rate on investments at 23% are we being fair? Will we be shooting ourselves in the foot by allowing the capitalist to keep a lower portion of their profits? Will we decimate the upper class and push them into the middle class?
Here I could give you a long list of reasons why this is fair. But I will content myself with three.
1 – By taxing capital and income at the same rate we will be affirming the essential equality of capital and labor in our economy. Both are important.
2 – We will be adjusting our economy to declare that making money from debt, or making money from money, is not superior to making money from production of goods and services. It should have a reasonable cost, and not be allowed to run amok and produce inflated bubbles which then destabilize and cause real damage to the economy and suffering to the human beings within it.
3 – We will be eliminating the extremes of wealth and poverty by using a more equitable share of the wealth of the capitalist to develop the infrastructure from which he benefits and the labor force on which he depends for his production.
Finally, Ladies and Gentlemen, I would like to summarize the benefits of the Deficit Reduction Revenue Act which I have proposed to you today.
It will re-structure our capitalism to a purer form, with greater chance of success due to
1. Zero dependence on foreign debt
2. More equitable distribution of the profits of our prosperity
3. Stimulating the economy by placing greater buying power in the hands of the middle class consumer.
4. Shifting the source of our GNP, to devolve from real goods and services and not from chimeras of speculation.
Ladies and Gentlemen. I submit to you, that going into the future, and in order to stay afloat in this global and interdependent economy, we must right the ship of our capitalism, adjust our sails, and catch a more ideal, less malignant wind.

As reported by Rhea Harmsen

About rheaharmsen

Rhea Harmsen is a scientist, novelist and author of Language of the Spirit, a volume of selected poems. She has also released three novels, The Harvest of Reason, Intermarry, and God Created Women. Harmsen was born in a family with a black father and a white mother at a time when interracial marriage was still illegal in some states. Her parents gave her a vision of world citizenship that informs her writing and her lifestyle and has caused her to reject traditional views of race and gender. Harmsen's article "Science in the Hands of Women: Present Barriers, Future Promise" appeared in World Order in 1998 and provides the foundation for the story line for her novel The Harvest of Reason. She co-published the Monroeville Race Unity Forum Bulletin and authored many poems on racial topics, crystallizing the "conversation on race" in the novel Intermarry. Her work with domestic violence survivors in Puerto Rico inspired the novel God Created Women. Harmsen holds a doctorate in Plant Breeding and Plant Genetics from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She currently resides in Puerto Rico. Upcomming projects are described in her web page at rheaharmsen.com
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