Ethical Math On Organizing For Housing (fwd)

P. Myers (mpwr@u.washington.edu)
Tue, 9 Dec 1997 20:20:46 -0800 (PST)


this should generate some discussion amongst our group!  Pat Myers

Followup-To: alt.activism.d

|----------------------------------------------------------|
| Note: This article has supportive evidence at the end of | 
|       the 3 paragraphs below explaining 3 simple ways to | 
|       raise $60 Billion for 1 million units of supportive| 
|       housing for the homeless.                          |
|----------------------------------------------------------|

      Ethical Math On Organizing For A True Democracy
      -----------------------------------------------

	The public could easily organize to regain control of 
Government for the public good using the principle of 
exponential growth represented by the equation:  y = 10^x 
where x = 1, 2, 3,..., 10.

	If each of us who are recruited in time period x-1, 
recruit 10 new people in time period x, then in period x the
number of people recruited for democracy is y = 10^x. 

|----------------------------------------------------------|
|	For example, if each of us in the 7th month period |
|recruits 10 new people the month after we are recruited   |
|then in the 8th month 100 million people would be         |
|recruited to promote democracy in numerous possible ways. |
|----------------------------------------------------------|

	We can create a 1-10-100 network of friends, neighbors,
relatives and daily contacts into a modern day town hall 
when our 10 recruits each recruit 10 new others.  Most 
people would trust specific local information from the 10 
people they recruited and know.  Also people would trust 
information from the 100 people their 10 recruits recruited.

	In a modern day town hall, the people in a 1-10-100 
network could communicate their concerns and useful 
information to each other by photocopied leaflets, phone, 
e-mail or direct contact. 

|----------------------------------------------------------|
|	One uniting issue worth organizing over could be to|
|discuss ways to raise the money needed to build the       |
|supportive housing that could help end homelessness.      |
|----------------------------------------------------------|

	There are 3 simple ways to quickly end the homelessness
of over half a million poor people today in America.  The 
solution requires obtaining $60 billion to build a million 
decent rooms of supportive housing--at $60,000 per room.

	One way to raise $60 billion in 1998 is to change the 
effective tax rate from 32 to 38% on the income of the top 
7% of the households who each earn over $100,000. The top 7%
earn about $1 trillion.  Thus a 6% increase in taxes on this
trillion dollars of income is the $60 Billion needed for 
housing.  Note also that in 1979 before the Reagan tax 
breaks these same people had an effective tax rate of 47%.
For the supporting evidence on the above income facts, 
see the New York Times Book Review (7/6/97, p 11).

	Another (and better) way to raise $60 billion in 1998 
to help end homelessness is to adopt a 3/4% wealth tax on 
the top 1% of the wealthiest households who have about $8 
trillion in net worth.  This 3/4% tax on the poorest member 
of this group with $2.42 million net worth would still leave
$2.40 million in net worth.  This $18,000 wealth tax on the
poorest member need not effect their style of living 1 bit.
(For supporting evidence on the above wealth facts, see book
"Top Heavy" (1996) by Edward.N. Wolff on pages 64 and 68.)

	A third way to raise $60 billion in 1998 for supportive
housing is to place a 10% wealth tax on the 400 richest 
Americans who have over $600 billion in net worth.  The 
poorest member of this group would then pay $47.5 million on
their $475 million of net worth. After the 10% wealth tax, 
they still would have left over $427 million. (For 
supporting evidence on above wealth facts , see Forbes 
Magazine, 10/13/97, pages 149 and 392 to 408.)

|----------------------------------------------------------|
|	Note that $100 million invested in a 30 year US    |
|Treasury bond at 6% today would return $6 million a year  |
|for the next 30 years. So don't feel sorry for the top    |
|400. Instead, feel sorry for the half million homeless    |
|today who aren't being adequately helped by them.         |
|----------------------------------------------------------|

	For the Libertarian that doesn't trust government to 
handle money efficiently, the wealth tax on the 400 
wealthiest Americans could be administered by non-profit 
organizations set up to end homelessness like the 
Corporation For Supportive Housing.

	Should we organize to end homelessness--to end this 
social crime and great shame of our time?

	Of the trillions of dollars in new wealth created since
1980 in America, about 99% of this new wealth went to the 
top 20% of American households according to NYU economics 
professor Edward N. Wolff in his 1996 updated book: "Top 
Heavy". 

|----------------------------------------------------------|
|On page 72 of "Top Heavy", Dr. Wolff writes as follows:   |
|                                                          |
|	"Over the period 1983 to 1992, the top 20% of      |
|	wealth holders received 99 percent of the total    |
|	gain in wealth and the top 1 percent 58 percent    |
|	of the wealth growth."                             |
|----------------------------------------------------------|

	The people who earned this enormous new wealth through 
the support of laws made by Congress have clearly not made 
the necessary effort to end homelessness for millions of 
Americans who lacked money for a place to live since 1980.

	If the rich used their money to help build the 
supportive housing needed to end homelessness, this 
discussion of where to get the money for decent housing to 
end homelessness would not be needed.

	If we as a nation allow people to accumulate enormous 
wealth who don't share that wealth to solve vital social 
issues like homelessness, then it is time to take actions 
that will correct this obvious neglect of social concern by 
the wealthy.

	Therefore, let's organize to discuss proper ways to 
share the enormous wealth of America for the common good and
to immediately help end homelessness.  

	Shall we begin?

-- 
                                             davk@netcom.com