"federal" reserve system-
The Federal Reserve is a Central Bank system whos operational policies are beyond the direct control of government, even if the Board of Governors are selected/confirmed by the President/Senate. The Central Bank system is composed of member Banks who were required to buy into the system with the passage of the Federal Reserve Act (1913). No individual, partnership, or corporation may hold a significant portion of Reserve Bank stock (Section-2.9) and will have no voting rights (Section-2.11). It is essentially a private bankers conglomerate.
The US Government has made two disastrous decisions with regard to Monetary Policy. 1. (1913) It handed over the power to control the National currency by giving the power to print currency to a Central Banking system (Fed) and (1933) it tried to impose currency stability by holding the exchange rate of the currency-to-base-commodity (gold standard) at a constant value. 2. It later (1971) stopped allowing the exchange of currency for reserve-gold and thus detached any semblance of trying to maintain a stable exchange rate. The result? The US currency is no longer required to (1971) and is no longer able to (1913) independently maintain a stable ratio beween currency (dollars) and base-commodity (gold), since a private Central Banking system can print however much currency they want. Additional currency that is printed (to bail-out banks and wall street investment firms from risky and greedy bad-behavior), comes at the cost of everyone else (currency inflation-tax) who earned their currency legitimately (not by trading on margin/debt) and who saved/invested it wisely.
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dynastic wealth and tax policy -
Organized Wealth loves to say that they have achieved their financial position because they earned it or proclaim that they are job-creators. In reality, they effectively "game-the-system" to work to their advantage over everyone else. The easiest way to gain wealth, is to be Wealthy. If capital gains are taxed at only 15% and estate taxes are small, there is nothing stopping Organized Wealth from compounding their holdings without having to lift a finger or contribute to society in any direct way.
If a wall-street-banker/investor has $1,000,000 of seed money (borrowed or someone else's savings), and they invest in a generic total stock market index fund, which yields say a modest 5% rate of return, they "earn" $50,000 (and can sell back the stock to reimburse what they borrowed). They then pay only a 15% tax rate on long-term (conveniently defined as being held at least one year) "capital gains", or $7,500. Meanwhile a middle class head of household working a Full Time Job Earns the same $50,000 amount in Real Wages, has an effective income tax of about ~16%, and pays a little more in taxes ($8,200).
This disparity in life-effort versus taxation-cost only gets worse as an individiual climbs the income bracket. For an individual in the 35% tax bracket (~$416,000 income), their effective income tax rate is on the order of ~30%, compared to a capital gain "earner", who is still taxed at only 15% and at only 20% when above the top 39.6% bracket.
Federal Estate Tax only applies to holdings of ~$5.5-Million or more (individual), which only applies to just ~0.2% of households. The tax assessed on this small percentage of taxed estates is ~40% , which is comparable to the top most income tax bracket of 39.6%. This is money going to heirs as income, but was not "earned" by them in any way. Remember, not one cent of the first ~5.5 million (individual) is touched by the government, and the threshold grows with inflation. Surely this is large enough to ensure that one's children are more than adequately provided for.
If such Tax Dodges and Wealth Transfer mechanisms are to continue to go unchecked, the Wealth Disparity in this Country will continue to increase, to the detriment of the entire Middle class. Middle class Americans should be protected from being out leveraged by Organized Wealth, as they are the most Value Additive and Productive members of our society.
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Monetary Control (Videos)
problem: boom-bust cycles
problem: infinite-loop of debt
Tax Evasion and Wealth Aggregation (Videos)
problem: global tax-haven network
problem: Tax policy & loop-holes
Problem: Ron Paul interview (2011)
Trustworthy Exchanges & Wealth-Balancing
trustworthy exchanges -
The whole purpose of money/currency is to provide a stable and reliable means of transaction between people trying to make exchanges of goods and services. Without a fluid (liquid) asset to facilitate these exchanges, the pace of trade would essentially grind to a halt. Having a currency directly tradable for a stable-commodity helps ensure that the currency cannot be manipulated, since owners of currency can always trade it in for the commodity itself. Having this ability provides a counterbalancing effect to any tendency to inflate the currency (to allow fraudulent spending by printing more currency).
The nature of the commodity doesn't necessarily have to be gold. And the nature of currency doesn't necessarily need to be tied to a single commodity either. Nor does a commodity need to be physical, it could be digital. However, whatever the commodities, they need to be relatively stable in number/rarity over long periods of time. A commodity's number/rarity is the true power behind any exchange system. If government issued paper-currency does not respect that characteristic, it might as well be "Monopoly money", because it can be printed into worthlessness.
It's time to look into the development of alternate systems of exchange, ones that connect directly to stable commodities or publicly controlled digital commodities and allow for a diversity of exchange systems. The more stable-exchange-systems there are in place for the public to use, the more the fluidity of the system as a whole is protected, as values will dynamically balance between the various stable-systems.
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wealth balancing tax policy -
There is a big difference between being rich and being wealthy. Rich is generally consistent with Personal success and is achieved in the course of a person's life time. Wealth is generally consistent with Monopolistic power and is typically something that is transferred to (multiple) descendants beyond the originator's lifetime.
Can there be overlap? Yes, of course, but this is quantitatively rare. Think Rockefeller (Oil), JP Morgan (Banking/Investing), Rothschild (Banking/Investing), Steve Jobs (Tech-Hardware), Bill Gates (Tech-Software), Warren Buffett (Investing), Jeff Bezos (Tech-Marketplace), Mark Zuckerberg (Tech-Social Media), David and Charles Koch brothers (Oil/Commerce), Michael Bloomberg (Tech-Finance), Larry Page and Sergey Brin (Tech-Information), Rob, Jim, and Alice Walton family (Commerce), Sheldon Adelson (Media/Commerce).
Point being, no one is suggesting that success shouldn't reap comparable rewards or that a healthy amount of that wealth shouldn't be passable to their children. However, at what point does such wealth transfer become detached from an individual's own economic vision, entrepreneurial risk, and personal success? That is the question Americans needs to resolve.
It is my belief that inherited wealth requires a strong cap (tax threshold) to ensure that no one person or dynastic-family can become too powerful or influential, particularly when today's "money-in-politics" has such freedom to influence government representation (and thus public policy). Having a healthy estate tax protects against such dynastic wealth, and hopefully prevents society from falling into a form of economic feudalism, where the middle classes disappear. Having a progressive tax policy is also key to keeping wealth-equality between the classes stable, and thus fair.
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