The New Enlightenment: A Twenty-First Century Peaceful American Revolution
Robert Bivona, author
The New Enlightenment details 34 public policies that will, if instituted: Lift tens of millions of Americans out of poverty to a standard of living that now exists in the middle class; substantially improve the standard of living of tens of millions more; fundamentally improve our election and lobbying systems; enhance democracy with an innovative, new democratic system; create a $500 billion annual federal surplus; increase GDP by $1.8 trillion. Costs or revenue gains resulting from instituting each policy is included. Defects in our corporate form and political system and abuse of monopoly power and are resulting in vast wealth in a tiny elite, which will be inherited. We are creating a new aristocracy with unprecedented wealth and therefore power. The six Walmart heirs’ have more wealth than the poorest 133 million Americans combined. Much of their $145 billion results from paying over half of their workforce below a living wage. Productivity has doubled since 1979 while wages have stagnated or declined for the majority in a process directing vast wealth to a small elite. A study by the Boston College Center on Wealth and Philanthropy projects that $36 trillion will be passed down to heirs from 2011 to 2061. This will create a new aristocracy with unprecedented wealth, and therefore power. These conditions are fundamentally unjust, and the further they are allowed to advance the more difficult they will be to resolve. Our nation was born in the Age of Enlightenment when extreme economic and political inequalities motivated revolutions. Today, through peaceful means, we again require radical change for similar reasons. If those with extreme wealth lived isolated on a wilderness island they would have little or no wealth. Our society allows, and is an active participant in, wealth creation. Where is the appropriate degree of gratitude? Using tax policies that return a just and moderate portion of extreme wealth and income to the source of the resources responsible for creating it, society, The New Enlightenment details how our society can be fundamentally beneficially transformed. well thought-out … if it could get off the ground, it could be significant.” Noam Chomsky, Ph.D., “world's top public intellectual” in a 2005 poll, Institute Professor Emeritus of Linguistics, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, philosopher, historian, political commentator, activist, one of the founders of the field of cognitive science, eighth most frequently cited scholar in history, author of over one hundred books. “serious alternatives to the ongoing neoliberal hegemony in U.S. policymaking circles …very useful and even inspiring… a valuable resource for people seeking out a coherent vision of how we get from here to there in the struggle for a more just society.” Robert Pollin, Ph.D., Co-director, Political Economy Research Institute and Distinguished Professor of Economics University of Massachusetts, Amherst, member of the Scientific Advisory Committee of the European Commission project on Financialization, Economy, Society, and Sustainable Development, selected by Foreign Policy magazine as one of the “100 Leading Global Thinkers” for 2013. “I just completed your masterful treatise! It is truly the most comprehensive roadmap for national renewal that I have seen! Congratulations!” James B. Stewart, Ph.D., Pennsylvania State University Professor Emeritus of Labor and Employment Relations, Management and Organization, Former President of the National Economic Association, Former Editor of The Review of Black Political Economy, and Former President of the National Council for Black Studies. “I want to compliment you on a well thought out progressive economic and political program.” Michael Ash, Ph.D., Chair of Economics Department, and Professor of Economics and Public Policy, University of Massachusetts, Amherst. “Sensible tax proposals with innovative aspects. If instituted they would greatly increase revenues for important public needs, including substantially improving the economic well-being of the middle class and the poor. Convincing evidence is also offered that the proposed tax and expenditure program will substantially increase GDP, while creating a federal fiscal surplus.” Reuven S. Avi-Yonah, Ph.D., University of Michigan Professor of Law, International Tax LLM Program Director, consultant to the U.S. Department of the Treasury and the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) on tax competition, member of the steering group for OECD’s International Network for Tax Research, trustee of the American Tax Policy Institute.