Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 80.djvu/613

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A PROGRAM OF RADICAL DEMOCRACY

there are no children, or but one or two. An income tax promotes lying, but it should be adopted, and the sworn statements of all incomes and expenditures beyond the average should be made public. No one deserves more than, say, four times the average income. A man's services may be worth more than that, but they are made possible by the organization of society. A progressive tax averaging fifty per cent, on incomes above $5,000 would be desirable, if it could be collected. Every one who spends much more than the average should be placed under the supervision of the state. The connotation of stealing and robbery has been extended beyond force, but it must be further extended. The tax on corporations is the most excellent and radical measure passed by a recent congress; credit for this should be given to President Taft. In so far as large corporations are undesirable, they should be taxed progressively. The remaining income required by the national government should be from import and excise taxes on products the use of which involves injury, luxury and waste.

7. A local and state progressive tax on real estate and tangible personal property. State and local taxes should be on real estate and tangible personal property, situated where the receipts from the taxes are used. It is not clear that the increment of value on land belongs to the public more than the increment of value on personal property, but a transfer tax on real estate, based partly on the increment of value, can be conveniently collected and would discourage speculative holding. There should also be a large transfer tax on stocks and bonds, the increment of value being taken into consideration. A progressive tax on dwellings is the most useful of local taxes. A house or tenement, the rental value of which or of whose apartments is under $150 a year, especially if owned by the occupants, might be exempt, while a million dollar dwelling might be taxed a hundred thousand dollars a year. Dwellings represent pretty accurately the annual expenditures, and a progressive tax is the most convenient way of taxing these. There should be a high progressive tax on tangible personal property that is not the tools of production—on expensive furnishings, pleasure automobiles and the like. Owners might be allowed to place their own valuation on real estate and personal property, the state or any individual being permitted to purchase it at twenty per cent, advance, the property being redeemable by the original owner on payment of this margin.

8. The conversion of the army into local police forces and corps for engineering work and other improvements. The conversion of the navy into a merchant marine. We should have the best army for defense and improved police forces if all local police were soldiers, one twelfth of their wages being paid by the nation and one month annually being spent in camps and drills. Idling in barracks is a method for the