Monday, September 07, 2009

1001 Ways To Tune Up The World, Numbers Thirty and Thirty-One.

30/31. Impose a luxury tax that increases exponentially the more people spend/Never watch another Brad Pitt or Angelina Jolie movie again.

I was going to do something different for today's idea of how to tune up the world, but then I saw this headline:
Brad Pitt spends over $80,000 to built maze for his children’s gerbils.

That makes me angry. Not just blog about it angry, but French Revolution angry. Seriously.

Brad Pitt, and Angelina Jolie, are by now the poster children for wasteful selfishness. $25,000 end tables, renting entire hospitals in poor countries (and then lying about how they supposedly gave that country lots of money), and now $80,000 for a freaking gerbil maze.

Our world needs, in some cases, more than just tuning up. It needs a complete overhaul, so today's solution helps build on solution number one by imposing increasingly steep taxes on higher-priced goods so that the idle, foolish rich who enjoy hoarding resources and flaunting their selfishness can pay, finally, a fair share of their money for taxes.

Here's how it would work:

I'd impose an extra 10% "luxury tax" surcharge on any consumer good or service over $500, and increase that to 15% on anything over $25,000. At $100,000 or above, I'd increase the tax to 25%, and at $500,000, I'd put it at 50%.

Which means your flat screen TV would cost you $550, not $500. Brad Pitt's stupid end table would cost him $28,750, not $25,000, and his gerbil run would cost $92,000, not $80,000. John McCain's houses would run him $750,000, not $500,000.

They can afford it, and think of the programs that could be funded if we just make the foolish rich, when they throw money out the window, throw a little towards taxes.

That might make it a little less likely that people will die because they couldn't afford a kidney transplant, that they'll be served eviction papers during a child's birthday party, and more likely that we'll all appreciate the world we live in, even if it doesn't have $80,000 gerbil runs.

Oh, and screw you, Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie. You're terrible, awful people who should rot in hell.

The picture for this entry is not, of course, a photo of some selfish celebrity. Instead, it's a picture of Debbie Aurelio's family. Debbie was the woman served eviction papers during her son's birthday preparations. Her house cost $160,000, or two Brad Pitt Gerbil Runs.

Prior entries:

13. Ban driving any kind of automobile, motorcycle or other personal vehicle within 1-2 miles of downtown in any city with a population of more than 100,000.

12. Abolish gym class; instead, teach kids to play musical instruments.

11. Change copyright laws to allow anyone to use anyone else's creative work provided that the copier pay 60% of the profit to the originator and that the copier not cast the original work in a negative light.

10. Have more sidewalk cafes and outdoor seating.

9. When you have to give someone a gift, ask them what they want, and then get that thing for them.

8. Never interrupt or finish someone's jokes.

7. Periodically, give up something you like for at least a month.

6. Switch to "E-money."

5. Have each person assigned one phone number, and then add an extension for the various phones and faxes that person might be reached at.

4. Abolish Mondays and Tuesdays.

3. Don't listen to interviews with athletes or comedians.

2. Have "personal cashiers" at the grocery store.

1. Don't earn more than $200,000 per year.

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