Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 80.djvu/617

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A PROGRAM OF RADICAL DEMOCRACY

and those who earn more should have more. Subsidies to children are for the benefit of the nation and the race as well as of the individual. Those we now give, such as free education, should be extended, until the cost of bearing, supporting and educating each child is borne equally by every one. The means for a healthy life should be provided for every child, and all possible opportunities for well-born and promising children. The care of children is dominant above every other privilege or duty of the individual and the state. Children are now supported by the resources of society, and with our existing wealth two or three times as much could and should be spent on each child. When the state attends to this the taxation will be large, but not unmanageable. The chairman of the committee on ways and means of the house of representatives estimates that a one-per-cent. tax on incomes above $5,000 will yield $60,000,000. The wealth wasted or saved from large incomes would consequently yield $200 for each child under sixteen. This sum will suffice, temporarily, if the locality provides schools, books, meals, medical service, etc.

14. A maximum day's work of eight hours and a minimum wage of two dollars. No child labor, except what is of benefit to the child. A maximum annual income for an individual of $5,000; a maximum inheritance of $50,000. Those who can't or won't work must be provided with the necessities of life. Those who can and will work should have not less than two dollars a day at the present purchasing power of money, and work must be provided for all. Eight hours is a day long enough for employment, but more can be accomplished by those who wish to devote more hours to useful work. Child labor, except for the benefit of the child, is absolutely intolerable. The average annual income of those who work is about $1,000 in Great Britain and in the United States. If idleness and waste can be eliminated it will be about $3,000, including women who care for the home. Under existing conditions, if the minimum wage is $600, an ample margin is allowed for competition, and every one can save money. The average wage being $1,000 there may be numerous individual incomes as large as $2,000 to $5,000, or $4,000 to $10,000 for a family. This is as large as any income should be, so long as the average income is $1,000. Each individual would in addition have by inheritance his home and his tools of production, his share of the wealth held by the nation, the state, the county, etc. But the inheritance of no individual should exceed $50,000. Incomes would be doubled by the suppression of idleness, mismanagement and waste and can be again doubled by the further advances of the applications of science. This fourfold increase of wealth will probably be available before any such partial equalization by taxation as is here proposed becomes feasible. Room can be left for competition and savings so long as such incentives are needed. We