Real common wealth

Via The Huffington Post:

The wealthy have made greater use of the common good–they have been empowered by it in creating their wealth–and thus they have a greater moral obligation to sustain it. They are merely paying their debt to society in arrears and investing in future empowerment.

This is the fundamental truth that motivates progressive taxation.

It is a truth that undercuts conservative arguments about taxation. Taxes provide and maintain the protecting and empowering infrastructure that makes our income possible.

Interesting article and worth a read. But it does not explicitly link wealth to privilege, only implicitly. Also, wealth is an accumulation of surplus value beyond the cost of doing business and is therefore a form of tax. Wealth is the amount by which someone has under-paid and over-charged for what they do. Profit is a form of taxation without meaningful political oversight.

Our tax forms hide this truth. They do not indicate the extent to which taxes have created and sustained the common wealth so you could earn what you have.

Like the movement to include or reveal information about the real cost of the goods and services exchanged, this seems to suggest revealing information about the real common wealth contribution to income. For example, how much would one have paid in order to commute to work, or go to the grocery store for that matter, if all roads were toll-based?

I used to advocate this to billing people when charging for bundled services. I suggested that each included service be itemized, showing the cost of each, and then to show each of those charges being zeroed out. This was a way to express the value gained through bundling, and to demonstrate the value of the services being offered.

It makes sense, though it would be complicated. What if, like Canada requires French and English, every price was required to show a real cost. Like, at the gas pump there might be two prices displayed: the point-of-sale charge and the real cost, such that each $3 gallon was demonstrated to actually cost $25, or whatever, in corporate welfare and tax money spent on the military support of industry.

The infrastructure is there at any shop that offers a “member” discount for people that have voluntarily given away their demographic information. So like selling tap water in plastic bottles, the public is already being trained to see “real” cost. Now, if only that “real” cost were the real cost instead of some inflated private tax on people that value their privacy …