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For Immediate Release
Contact: Susan Daniel (805) 962-1780
A THOUGHTFUL PLAN AMID THE HOWLS OF BUDGET MADNESS -- SCHUTZ'S PLAN FOR A SUSTAINABLE ECONOMY
As debate over the U.S. Economy slides further and further into grandstanding and tired rhetoric, a question too seldom asked is "What is an economy for?" Of course, the purpose of an economy is to generate wealth, to provide a livelihood for citizens, and to ensure the sustainability of society. Our economy today generates tremendous wealth, yet millions remain unemployed and tens of millions -- many of them with "good" jobs -- continue to live in poverty, while plant earth deteriorates at an increasingly alarming rate. Meanwhile, newspapers and airwaves are filled with more of the same "déjà voodoo."
This need not be so, according to economist and social activist Robert R. Schutz, Ph.D., author of The $30,000 Solution -- A Guaranteed Annual Income for Every American, a friendly and readable exegesis of a bold new idea. After 45 years of thought and research and a decade of writing, Schutz has come to the conclusion that there's more than enough to go around; it just doesn't go around. It's not just unfair, it's unhealthy.
Schutz's plan, as described in The $30,000 Solution, is not a rehash of the various schemes for income redistribution. Unlike earlier advocates, Schutz does not expect all citizens to live equally in poverty or at any one level of income; he does not expect government or "the people" to take over the means of production; he does not ask workers to forfeit their hard-earned wages for some imagined "common weal."
Schutz's target is unearned income: interest, dividends, rents, capital gains, winnings, gifts, inheritance, and the rewards of crime. For a long time now, the wealthy have excelled at manipulating and amassing unearned income; in recognition of their cleverness, government has taxed unearned income at a lower rate than earned income from wages, tips, and so on. In The $30,000 Solution Schutz proposes that unearned income now be shared equally by all Americans. Instead of taxing it less, Schutz proposes to tax it more -- up to 100% in some instances. Divided fairly and equally among all, Schutz says, the result would be a guaranteed annual income of around $30,000 tax-free for every adult American. Moreover, Schutz claims, this plan will allow us once and for all to abandon the path of unbridled competition to despoil the resources of our planet.
Of course, Schutz's plan is sure to evoke huge controversy -- not least from the wealthy, whose obfuscatory cries have reduced the current budget debate to ideological diatribe. But Schutz himself has anticipated the howls of his detractors; he sets out his proposals and answers likely objections patiently, one by one, in the form of a Socratic dialogue. In this way, abstruse arguments are broken down into their component parts. Assumptions are shown in plain light as true or false, and fresh ideas are presented simply and accurately, without passion or prejudice. In this way, even the most complicated points are made clear, even to those who have little or no grounding in economic theory -- not least of all the poor, who have everything to gain by participating in a rational discussion of our economy. And for once we can consider not only what to do with our economy, but why we're doing it.
About the Author:
Robert R. Schutz has an extensive background in economics, public policy, and social activism. He received his Ph.D. in economics from the University of California at Berkeley in 1952, after completing degrees in horticulture and plant genetics at the University of Minnesota. Since then he has served as editor of the Monthly Review (of the Federal Reserve Bank, 12th District) and lecturer in economics and business administration at UC Berkeley. He has also been CEO and chief lobbyist of the Lobby for Peace of Northern California, editor of Friends Bulletin and Friends in Unity with Nature, and was a founder, manager, and public affairs director of radio station KPFA, the first listener-sponsored station in North America. He is currently managing editor of Earthlight Magazine.
For additional press information, or to set up an interview with the author, please contact Susan Daniel at (805) 962-1780.
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