Wednesday, September 08, 2010


Here is the type of economic policy I dislike, simply because it is futile. I will present a vastly different strategy, and one which I am sure everyone will disagree with, until some economists begin to study the ramifications of the issue. This is reaching back way into the Middle Ages, and may freak a great number of people out. I would implement a modern Corvee Law, where every Citizen or Inhabitant is required by law to supply a set number of labor every year as Community Service. It could also be called the Physical Tax. Outrage? Claims of Slavery and Involuntary Servitude? Does Anyone feel the urge to get out the Tar and Feathers?

The Devil is in the details of course. Congress gets to set the number of Community Service hours required of the Individual. All individuals working Corvee service will be guaranteed a Congressionally-sanctioned hourly wage. The individuals doing the Work will receive the Wages. Individuals, though, can substitute for Others, with a prior agreement they have formed; this must be identified by a standard release form which Both have signed, and will be kept for the federal Employer. Citizen/Inhabitants under the Age of 14, or over the Age of 70 will be automatically released from Community Service; though all Others are subject including the Disabled. The Penalty for failure to meet your Community Service yearly will be $10,000 for every year found to be delinquent. The Statute of Limitation on the Penalties will be a standard 10 years, with a potential $100,000 Fine assessed for noncompliance.

Here We have mandatory taxation of a different sort with a huge Penalty for noncompliance. Congress will obviously not insist on a great amount of Corvee labor–probably 100 hours or less. Government will have to supply a great number of labor-intensive Jobs–all of the spectrum from hauling Trash, sorting Trash, to planting Trees. Labor is guaranteed a Wage which can be supplemented by assuming additional Corvee labor for a Price. Congress can set a Wage limit which will not bankrupt the Treasury, but will get Income directly into Households. The Community gets cleaner Parks, better taken care of Elderly, and even painted Street Signs.

Final Note: They are planning on cutting some on me Friday. I may or may not require some intricate surgical technique. I will either be back shortly, or not for a considerable period; they tell me no more than a Month. lgl

1 comment:

Nick Rowe said...

Hope all goes well with you in hospital!

What this really amounts to is an additional fixed head-tax, with the option to pay the tax in kind, with a fixed amount of your own labour. (Rather than find your own substitute, the government takes your money, and hires its own substitute, or spends the money on whatever else it wants.)

Some economist wrote a paper on this, about the draft for the Confederate army, IIRC, where you could pay a substitute to fight in your place. It was titled "Soldiers of Fortune", I think.