WITHER THE WELFARE STATE?

Danish social historian Gunnar Mogensen has been studying the welfare state for over thirty years and has come to the conclusion there must be changes in order to sustain this concept within a society. Mogensen is worried about extensive borrowing which is the basis of most nation’s financing of what we term, welfare payments. He raises some critical questions and we will address them.

1. Mogensen argues against raising taxes. We argue wealthy people must help fund welfare in society. In America, the top 1% of wealthy people control one fourth of our wealth. Surely, reducing this to 10% will still leave them with millions for each family and hardly place a dent in their style of life. We argue for the 10% rule which limits any one percent of the population to that figure. The 10% derives from what the top 1% owned in 1980. I do not recall any stories of poverty for the top 1% in those days.

2. Society must address–NOW– issues of dependence on oil. We must launch a massive program to control use of oil. For example, in every major American city, no cars should be allowed to enter during the day from Monday through Friday. This was done after 9/11 in New York City and people got to work. Instead, there should be mass transit operating trains every five minutes.

3. America must construct a high speed train system that is low cost and will encourage Americans to use them instead of cars. As part of this plan, highways should require toll payments. For those who lack money but must use highways for work, they would receive income tax deductions.

4. Education must be free from birth to death. Tuition costs should be measured against family income. All textbooks should be available online in order to reduce cost of college education. Major academic institutions should offer online degrees for those who want quality education but must work.

5. Low cost national health insurance will reduce illness and thus, in the long run, reduce costs. We recommend placing all Americans under Medicare which is less costly and more economically efficient.

6. End all tax loopholes if one wants more money for government.

7. The issue is NOT lack of revenue. The issue is undemocratic distribution of revenue.