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A conscious acknowledgement of our common purpose as fulfilment without harm so we may organise ourselves, our justice systems, our economies, our organisations, and our societies to enable our pursuit of it. The organising principle of fulfilment without harm must override the pursuit of money and/or power. Specifically: (more...)

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Could A Capital Gains Tax Lead To A Shared Base Income?

It is possible that the introduction of a Capital Gains Tax (CGT) on shares and property, could eventually lead to a Shared Base Income (SBI). It could be a step on the way. An SBI is a universal income, paid to all resident citizens of a nation over the age of entitlement. It is funded from a half share of income – that is, a 50% flat tax on all income from trade, whether from trade in services, products or property.

Obviously, the CGT must eventually rise to be equivalent to the level of personal income tax, and all tax on income from trade must eventually converge to be a half (50%) share. The other side of the SBI, the Base Income, means that the real tax on income under a certain amount is actually reduced by the introduction of a Base Income. In addition, any income earned over the Base Income, is kept at a consistent rate (i.e. 50%), so there is no disincentive to earning more.

A flat 50% tax on income from all sources of trade also means there is no preference on investment due to different tax levels. Rather, the financial preference is formed by the real value of the return on those investments, that is, those investments earning more will be favoured because they earn more, not because they are taxed less.

My position on shares and property and international commodity markets, has been to break those markets down. For shares, to alter these to one-on-one fixed term, interest paying bonds in businesses, that cannot be traded, but only returned to the business, who then pay them out and reissue to others if they desire. For private property, to limit this to personal ownership for residence purposes only, and for international commodity markets, to restrict these to commodity producers and consumers (no ‘investors’/speculators).

My position hasn’t changed on these markets and the necessity to tie them down if we want to move away from boom and bust, ‘business cycle’ economies, which any sensible person would avoid. However, the move to tax the incomes made in these markets at a level equivalent to the incomes gained from other trade, and eventually at a half (50%) share of income level, could well serve to reduce much of the preferential income treatment these markets receive. It may make these markets less volatile. It should also raise a great deal more cash which can be distributed in a Shared Base Income. In addition, by leaving these markets in place they will continue to suck up the excess cash of those who have it, which, along with the 50% share, will serve to assist in the better distribution of wealth.

Ben Wallace
Author The Common Purpose Manifesto
LinkedIn - http://nz.linkedin.com/in/benwallace13
Twitter - http://twitter.com/BenDWallace

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