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Friday, November 14, 2003

Where the Future Went

Based on the ideas outlined in my previous impromptu treatise on economics, I've been thinking that the most reasonable form of taxation (if we assume one must exist at all) is to tax everyone a fixed percentage of their net worth. Do away with all transactional taxes, including income and sales, and scrap corporate tax. The only thing left would be property tax, but "property" here would include bank accounts, shares of stock, and such, and so corporations would contribute to the tax pool by way of being owned ultimately by individuals. The bookkeeping would be a small subset of what is done now--mostly the bits related to the existing capital gains tax.

So on this train of thought, I wondered just what is the net worth of the US, how does it compare to the federal budget, and so what would the percentage have to be?

After a bit of research (thanks Aaron) and number crunching, it appears the assessable individually held net worth of the US in 1998 was about $28 trillion. The federal expenditures that year were about $1.7 trillion....

...or about 6% of net worth.

Six percent. Per year. How do we make any progress at all?

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Simon Funk / simonfunk@gmail.com