Wednesday, October 12, 2011


Oh boy! A new, simple solution to incredibly complex problems. Republican Presidential hopeful Herman Cain demonstrated his knack for pizza pricing with this "simple, clear, fair" revenue suggestion. Nine percent income tax, nine percent sales tax, and nine percent corporate tax.

Of course, what this amounts to is a huge tax cut for most businesses and wealthy taxpayers, and a huge increase for middle class and lower income taxpayers. What could be more fair?

We always need to remember that figures don't lie, but that liars do figure. If everyone in your company receive the same percentage raise year after year, the income disparity among the staff will become extreme... sorta like the income disparity in the U.S. Giving everyone the same percentage sounds fair, but is inherently unfair. If one child is starving to death and another is sated, splitting an apple (or a pizza) between them is not fair. Of course, the GOP would say that the best idea is to reward the healthier child by giving him/her the entire apple, so as not to encourage hunger as a food gathering strategy.

There is an African proverb: "Tell me mother, which of your children do you love the most?"
"The one who is sick until he is well; the one who is away until she is home; the one in danger until he is safe."

We need such wisdom and compassion in our public policy, not additional simplistic rhetoric.

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