Percentage-based Purchases

Some time ago I recall reading of how some countries base their traffic fines upon a percentage of the annual income of the offender. I believe this to be a great practice, as it assigns a penalty relative to the means of the person in violation, and in principal at least, making it “hurt” equally between low and high income earners.

Then the other day I wondered: What if the cost of all products and services were based on a percentage of one’s income?

For example, say the current U.S. median income is $50k/year. A typical consumer television might cost around 500 USD, or 1% of that median earner’s income. So if we then extend that formula across the board, someone earning 22k/year would pay 220 USD and someone earning 120K/year would pay 1,200 USD for the same product!

Such figuring would extend to all aspects of the economy, and would undoubtedly be exceedingly complicated when factoring in entire companies, shipping, wages, etc., but in reality, how much more so than it is already? It would, in effect, flatten the distribution of wealth without overtly re-distributing it.I’m certain someone somewhere must have already experimented with or designed such an economy, and if so, I’d like to hear more about it.

Of course the usual reaction to this thinking will be something along the lines of “Then what incentive is there to make more money if we all pay the same amount?”

Exactly.

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3 Responses to “Percentage-based Purchases”

  1. Great frickin idea man!

  2. The only incentive that there could possibly be in MY mind, is who could the rich buy off to make them look poor in the eyes of the people who “govern” those RULES-LAWS…..The middle to poor class will never have the money (influence) to make the changes needed to make this the country what the founding fathers had in mind. Money Talks…..The “lower class” (whom I’m certainly a member of) never see things for what they are. They’ll vote for who is going to “give them” the most . They don’t understand that it’s THEIR tax dollars being given right back to them in the form of welfare. To most of us it’s “FREE SHIT” and they’ll take whatever they can. Why strive to be better? I’ll just collect my check and food stamps every month. Who’s it hurting? It’s FREE!!!!!!!

    I see it everyday in my neighborhood. It’s really SAD to see but welfare is a career for alot of uneducated people…

    I hope my comment is not misunderstood. I’m not against helping people who NEED help, I’m against helping people who want others to foot the bill for their lazy asses!!!!!!!!!

    • eposognatus Says:

      “The ‘lower class…’ never see things for what they are.”
      “They’ll vote for who is going to ‘give them’ the most.”
      “They’ll take whatever they can.”

      These aren’t really statements about a given class as much as they are about humans. Aside from that, I’m not quite following the relevance of the comment to the original post.

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