In the interest of fairness, the altar before which we all worship, I have a solution to all our problems. It so obvious that you will kick yourself in the head, if you’re really limber, when I tell it to you. The solution came to me in the shower just as it did to Archimedes in that famous bath. It didn’t occur to me to say eureka until the moment had passed. Nevertheless, the answer to our ills came like a Jovian thunderbolt if I may be allowed to mix mythologies. The precipitating event was a notice that my health insurance arrangements were going to be switched starting January 1 next and that in the interests of fairness I would be privileged to pay more for what I had been getting previously for less. Furthermore, if I didn’t like the situation I could opt out and get less, but I would still have to pay more. In both cases the more I would pay would go to the federal government. After reflection, I realized that this was all in the name of fairness and that I was glad to do my part. Then came the eureka moment (of course without the eureka). Fairness demands that everything be priced fairly.
When you stand on line to buy tickets to a very popular movie look around. You’ll see all sorts of people. They are likely to be young, middle aged old, rich, poor, and in between. Yet, except for children and seniors who may be of very different, backgrounds they all pay the same price for their ticket. Does that sound fair – of course not. Why should someone with ten times the income pay the same price for his ticket as a person receiving food stamps. Doesn’t sound fair to me. The same goes for cars, candy, cameras, houses, hotel rooms, gasoline, and everything else. It’s not fair for those with more to pay the same as those with less. So here’s my solution. Properly implemented it will make everyone happy. If general euphoria does not result it’s not because my plan is wrong, it will be because it wasn’t correctly executed.
The first step is a new Department of Fairness run by a Secretary of Fairness appointed by the president and ratified by two thirds of the Senate. The Secretary shall appoint a Fairness Assurance Task-force (FAT) of no less than 15 experts who will in not more than 12 months following their appointment establish the criteria needed for issuance of a fairness index to everyone resident in the United States.
While FAT may consider any criteria such as the obvious ones like wealth and income they should include, in my opinion, a psychiatric evaluation to be sure that some are not unfairly happier than others and a colonoscopy to make sure a resident is not hiding anything. When these evaluations and criteria are established and then implemented everyone will have a fairness score.
The fairness scale will range from -10 to +10. If you have a score of -10 you will only pay one tenth of the price of any goods or services you wish. As you will see below need is irrelevant because of of a clever tracking mechanism. If your score is 10 you pay twenty times the price. That’s fair; we ask more of those who have more. This differential will allow the program to run a surplus. Everyone over the age of 18 will have a small computer chip implanted in his or her forearm. This chip will contain the person’s fairness score. Children may use their parent’s score until they reach 26 if they so desire.
The chip will connect to the fairness vendor via the internet much the way a smartphone does. Thus the vendor, eg Google or Amazon, will monitor your entire transaction history in real time. Bank deposits and withdrawals as well as all purchases will continuously be monitored allowing your score to change in seconds. Cash will be eliminated as it might make tracking more difficult. If someone with a score of -10 buys a Mercedes for one tenth the default price his score will be immediately be raised so his next purchases will cost him much more. Thus we have a terrific negative feedback the same as that which characterizes biological systems. When you buy something at a store you will just run your forearm under a scanner and the correct price will appear on the cash register which of course will have no cash. If you make a purchase at home your computer will know your credit score. You will sign in to the seller’s web site by passing your forearm by a scanner attached to your computer. Thus any computer anywhere will do. Seller’s will use the same procedure. All transactions will immediately go into or out of your bank account. If you don’t have one FAT will give you one.
Some people may try to game the system. With constant monitoring this will be easily detected. Others will spend irresponsibly causing the terminally compassionate to insist that we intervene no matter how foolish the person is. The solution to this problem is that Google will be in charge of dealing with these unfortunates as well as cheaters. I chose Google because they are totally indifferent to any of their user’s complaints and thus will not be disturbed by handling the feckless. What Google will do is move these unfortunates to California where they will enjoy a felicitous climate and become the wards of the Golden state which as its want will welcome them and provide for their well being. In the unlikely event that California finds them a burden any excess will go to New York.
My system will allow the complete elimination of taxes. The surplus mentioned above will fund the government. The federal government will see that the states and local administrations get their fair share. There should be a little left over which we can give to the Defense Department. Gifts to charities on the government’s approved list will lower your score while gifts to lesser organizations will raise it. In the highly unlikely event that sufficient money to run the government fairly is not forthcoming the range of the fairness index can be raised. The sky’s the limit.
Finally disputes at law, good jobs, and admission to institutions of higher learning will be settled by using a fairness factor factor. This latter factor will determine how much of the fairness factor will be used to settle a dispute or gain admittance to whatever it is anyone wants to be admitted to. If all this seems too complicated don’t worry, a benign government will sort it out for you.
Everything will be so hunky-dory that peace, tranquility, calm, satisfaction, order, happiness, joy, equanimity, justice, felicity, good-feelings, bliss, elation, good humor, glee, exultation, pleasure, and general all around niceness will shine from sea to shining sea. Things will be so swell that there will be no need for political parties or elections. Who will run the country? Everybody will be so satisfied that nobody will care. It will take care of itself.