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If measuring wealth is a problem, I'd look into inflation, and Land Value Tax. Inflation would depreciate money, and land value tax would erode physical possession. Then we can redistribute.

Land value tax in particular seems particularly interesting: if generalised to comprise (almost) all of tax, we can expect a drastic simplification of tax collection, and much less paperwork for everyone when doing all kinds of exchanges, paying an employee, selling goods… at least for unregulated activities. And of course, it would make accumulation of wealth more difficult.

Another route, that several countries have partially and successfully taken, is devoting part of salaries to the common good (tax salaries, at it were): a bit to pay for retirement, a bit to pay for hospitals, a bit to pay for unemployment… this could possibly be generalised to outright communism, where the means of productions are no longer owned by capitalists. (I would avoid a command economy however. We most probably want local stuff to be managed locally. For instance, only people living within 1Km of a bakery should have a say about what the bakery should do, and the people working there should probably decide how they want to work.)

The more pressing problem however is handling the coming recession: as energy (oil, coal & stuff) decreases, so will the GDP (it has already started). I don't know how an "ideal" should look like, but it's certainly not a system that assumes growth that isn't there. I'll just note that without growth, inequalities tend to be much less tolerable.

Compare the junior software engineer who spends months writing an elaborate new system, full of bugs, to the senior developer who addresses the same problem with 10 lines of code. Which camp do you think your proposals, or any wealth tax proposal falls into? As opposed to just fixing the tax brackets, and not re-writing any code.

Depends. How big is the rest of the project? I assume the 10 lines of code you are speaking of are a delta. But depending on the rest of the project, the consequences of that small fix could reach further than anticipated.

The new system may be full of bugs, but why would the old system be any better? I've seen old systems. Some of them get their bugs fixed. Many get their bugs worked around, either by the devs, but often by the users themselves: "don't click here, it makes the program crash!"

As for Land Value Tax, do not confuse land with other kinds of wealth. Land doesn't move. Its surface doesn't change. It's market value can change, but it's not wildly fluctuating, like, say, Oil. That makes it much, much easier to tax than whatever property you build on top of it, or goodness forbid whatever precious trinket you might store in that property.

The other proposition, taxing salaries, works today. Taxing more or less salary is just a knob to turn. And at the time such taxes were put in place in France after WW2, the change was swift, and the "new system, full of bugs" worked. Communism (or something close to it) worked, in a Western, democratic country. Okay, it was only applied to school, roads, hospitals, retirement, unemployment insurance, energy… but that's already a pretty big deal, don't you think?


We could "just fix the tax bracket", but then my first reflex would be have a top marginal rate at 100%. I want a limit on maximum individual income. Something like $10M per year to begin with. That may seem ludicrous, to inflict such a brutal end on the American Dream itself. That's it, game over, no one will get rich ever again. But really, that dream is a lie to begin with.

Better yet, we could tether the limit to the median income. Want to get rich? Make your country rich first. That at least should appeal to patriotism, which I believe is still fairly strong in the US.

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