Stakeholder Society Essay, Research Paper
Social equality has long been a dream of many Americans. It would be wonderful to live in a society where everyone had equal or nearly equal opportunities, but the United States will never be the land of equal opportunity because it is just not going to happen because we have been socially stratified for too long to ever be equal. However, as Ackerman and Alstott propose in The Stakeholder Society, we may be able to offer Americans an equal monetary offering from the government, but is this going to work?
Ackerman and Alstott propose to simply raise taxes 2% and give every American eighty thousand dollars sometime in there twenties, considering that they are stable minded and graduated from high school. Recipients would not receive the eighty thousand dollars in one lump sum, but over a period of a few years. When the recipient dies, if they have sufficient funds, they repay the eighty thousand dollars back to the government where it will be used for redistribution.
At first, this sounds like a great idea, however, there are many underlying problems. First of all, there are way too many irresponsible people who will blow their money on toys such as new cars, electronics, or on drugs and become drug addicts. Giving a check for twenty thousand dollars to a twenty-five year old and telling them that they can do whatever they please with it is pretty brave. Giving large handouts will also teach people to spend irresponsibly and not manage their money. They will not know what to do when the money runs out and they are still earning seven dollars an hour at some job that they hate.
Instead of giving any twenty-some year old American eighty thousand dollars, I believe the government should provide a program to provide funding government funding for college. Every American should be able to go to college for free. This is the time when many people accrue large debts through loans and living expenses but if the government paid for it they would not have to worry about paying forty thousand dollars in loans back when they are done with school. This may create problems at first, because of tons of people flooding to college, but eventually it would settle down and numbers would probably not be too much higher than they are today. Almost anyone can go to college now if they really want to, because of all the loans one can get, but they still must repay the loans. Student s who receive government aid must maintain at least a C- average or they must pay their tuition if they want to continue schooling. Graduate training may also be received free of charge, but only if the student earns their four year degree with a 3.0 grade point average, and exceptions may be made considering the difficulty of the school the student attended.
Students will not be the only one s who will receive government money. After calculating the average amount of money spent on a student s education, that figure will be used to appropriate the same amount of money to persons aspiring to start their own business, or towards the purchase of a new home. Of course, legitimate guidelines must be met to receive the money.
Initial funding for this program could be started with the current surplus that our country has. Additional funding for this program will be gained through a very slight tax raise of one quarter of a percent on every United States citizen, and a two percent tax raise on citizens whom take advantage of the government programs. If needed, funding may also be appropriated from military fund cuts, or from other government funds where there is already more money than needed. Money needed for government handouts for programs such as welfare would hopefully decline eventually due to the greater opportunity for education, which would help re-generate the countries surplus. Furthermore, citizens whom do not take advantage of the government program will be exempt from the one-quarter percent tax raise as soon as appropriate funds are and will stay available for the program.
Although government handouts may cause other problems, (like a devaluing of higher education) in the long run it would probably help our society. This program would eliminate a lot of wasted money on people who would simply piddle the money they received from the government away on unneeded things. In this way, it would be more efficient, and the tax raise on people who use the program would keep fueling it for future aid receivers. Through these ways I believe that greater social equality could be achieved, but it would be a long complicated process.