In 2021, our U.S. Federal Government cost $6.82 trillionto operate. In May 2021, the President released a $6.011 trillionfederal budget proposal for fiscal year (FY) 2022. The Third Option Government proposal would only cost $403.7 Billion.
Currently we spend over $300 billion a year just to cover the ‘interest only’ payments on our National Debt (projected to climb to $900 billion within the decade); this is because government only collects $3.3 trillion each year in tax revenue, but operates on a budget twice that amount. Utilizing a National Public Bank, The Third Option would only collect $2 Trillion a year, and with it, completely re-do the country infrastructurally; next we would dump our entire National Debt into the Bank, finally paying off the $29 Trillion we have accumulated through years of going over-budget. This is part of a new sustainable strategy, where our money would constantly be recycled; taxes and debt would be turned into ‘dividends’ that each generation would equally share during their retirement years. These ‘retirement dividends’ would replace Social Security and very quickly eliminate the need for payroll taxesalong with it.
In The Third Option model, ‘We the People’ would declare ourselves the co-owners of—and thus equal shareholders in—the ‘corporation’ known as the United States of America (see Mission Statement). We would collectively hire the federal government to manage what amounts to a giant ‘department’ store, which would sell everyone essential goods and services, like food, water, energy, transportation, communication, housing, health care and education.
First, government would become a lot cheaper; we would now only have to pay for local, regional, and national ‘management’ for these various ‘departments’, while the actual essential needs ‘products and services’ would be produced, distributed and consumed locally (and regionally) by the people themselves, which is no different than the way we do it now. The difference is only in the Democratic Equality created by establishing co-ownership in the wealth that has always been generated by American ingenuity and hard work.
Here is what Democratic Equality could do for Americans:
Establish an ‘Affordable living’. ‘Essential needs’ goods and services would be offered more cheaply, because we could lower supply and distribution costs, and eliminate marketing and profit completely, since essential needs sell themselves, and there would be no sense in extracting a profit from each other for things all of us need. Please note, however, that ‘affordable’ is not ‘free’. The Third Option model still adheres to the American principle that hard work is the only path to success, and the only path toward successful Democracy. The Third Option model simply builds Democracy directly into our economic system, so none of us is forced to keep fighting for something we supposedly secured 250 years ago.
Create ‘Equal Distribution’. The more of us that work (supply, manufacture, distribute, sell), the more of us could afford these ‘essential needs’ goods and services, and as equal ‘shareholder / owners’ in this venture, the more wealth each of us would subsequently accumulate. No Community would be overlooked, because a National Public Bank branch would be placed in every Community, with the resources made available for each to invest in themselves; meanwhile, it would be the sole purpose of federal government ‘managers’—hired locally—to empower each community to maximize their potential.
Facilitate ‘Shared Knowledge’. Through a new Communication Grid, best practices of every kind would be shared nationally in real time; if one community innovates, every community would benefit. Through the same communication infrastructure, people would be able to give feedback locally, which would generate these ‘best practices’. In this way, the new model financially stimulates shared success.
Below is an explanation of how the new Federal Government would be rearranged, including what each department would cost:
Nothing is for free, and what goes around, comes around. No matter what marketers try to sell the rest of us:
The only thing that creates value is hard work.
All our fates are indeed tied together. The extraction of profit by any individual can only be done at the expense of the rest of us. Ignorance of this fact does not alter the damage done. War, poverty, wealth inequality, poor physical and mental health outcomes, pollution, etc., are merely the fruit of a poisonous tree we have planted in an otherwise pleasant garden. ‘Profit-seeking’ will continue to bear this toxic fruit until we collectively strike at the root of the problem.
The Third Option model would turn all income taxation into an investment, by dropping it straight into a National Public Bank; any gain on this investment money could only be realized through our collective effort as laborers and consumers. The amount of ‘dividends’ that accumulate would be the measure of this combined effort. Meanwhile, taxation is by percentage, so relatively speaking, no one is penalized for making more money (if the poor can accept ‘relative equality’, the rich can accept ‘relative taxation’). In this way, ‘over-achievers’ would still be financially rewarded. Equality was never meant to be a financial measurement; The Third Option model is designed to foster a ‘relational’ form of Equality, by ensuring each of us is included in the process and rewarded equally for our part in the process.
Below is an explanation of all Third Option taxation; nothing can be accomplished for free, but taxation does need to be fair and, whenever possible, only paid by those who utilize the services it provides; this is where consumption taxes can prove more ‘democratic’ than income taxes. Much of the legislation necessary to implement this new model is also described below.