The latest attempt of our government to offer tax incentives to employers who expand their workforce is being met with the same yawns that previous unsuccessful new hire tax breaks have received. Is it time to try something new? Here are a few suggestions.
- Start paying interns. Who decided we could exploit our unemployed college graduates by making them work for free in exchange for "a line on the resume?" C'mon folks ‒ this is worse than hiring third-world workers for pennies on the dollar.
- Support local businesses. The next time you start to buy something on the Internet, forget about the convenience of ordering without leaving your easy chair; go out and see if it can be found at a local retailer instead.
- Implement a national sales tax to replace all or at least part of the income tax. Exempt the necessities so that those who can only afford food and clothing can still get by. It's not that I advocate oppressive taxes for the impoverished, I just advocate a system where everyone has a stake. Currently, half of our citizens pay no income tax. Their only stake in the economy is to vote/hope for expanded government benefits which can cripple the system and alienate the welfare recipients from the taxpayers. We don't have to cut the benefits, just make everybody contribute a bit to the greater good.
As long as I'm ranting about the current tax and benefits structure, let's also talk about payback. Benefits for those who are incapable of functioning make sense. Everyone else needs to think of government benefits not as a gift, but as an exchange for community service, military service, government jobs, and helping less capable friends and neighbors. C'mon benefits recipients ‒ let's get busy with paying it forward. When benefits recipients start doing the jobs that state and federal government workers do, we can cut the government workforce and the related cost. The poor still get their benefits, but the society as a whole gets a benefit too.