I posted this same thing on another forum I frequent, and thought I'd do the same here to see how opinions ranged from one to the other. So, I've gotten curious reading so many opinions on here which range from extreme to the other extreme when it comes to wages, taxes, wealth, etc. I'm wondering...in your opinion, what would the perfect setup be for this country to move on most effectively. I'm not looking for hyperbolic "everyone should make a million dollars a year and have houses given to them and the rich will pay 99% of their income in tax" or "only business owners should make anything and everyone else should die and there should be no taxes at all". I'm looking for honest opinions on wages, taxes, benefits, etc. Maybe answering a few questions would help: What would be an average hourly wage for a WalMart worker? What would be an average hourly wage for a worker in the John Deere factory? What would be an average wage for a typical office dweller in a moderate-sized office? What would be an average wage for a skilled engineer? What would be an average wage for a doctor? What would be an average wage for the owner of a 50-person company who fabricates and ships out kitchen appliances? What would be an average wage of the CEO of a company who employs 500 people and has revenues in the mid tens of millions. And finally, the average wage of the CEO of a company who employes 5000 people and has revenues around $10 billion. Taxes... A flat tax? If so, what percentage? Any exemptions (as in, flat over a certain income)? A progressive tax? What are the brackets? Healthcare? Universal coverage, or the same as the current system? Benefits? Any sort of welfare for those who don't make enough to support themselves? Unemployment? Changes to the current budget? --------- My answers: WalMart worker: $12/hour John Deere worker: $18-$22/hour Office dweller: $25/hour Skilled engineer: $75k-$100k Doctor: $100k-$250k, maybe a little higher for surgeons and major specialties 50-person owner: $250k 500-person CEO: $500k-$750k 5000-person CEO: $2m-$4m I could get behind a flat tax. Maybe 15% for anything over $31,200 ($600/wk). Would still have social security/medicare, but at 5% of all earnings. No low limits and no high limits. As for progressive taxing, very few brackets. 10% for $30k-$50k, 15% for $50k-200k, 18% for over $200k. The only deductions would be the number of dependents and marriage (smaller than now). In all of this, all income would be the same. Healthcare: Universal standard care for everyone with private support for those who want it. Take this current system and flush it down the toilet. Benefits: For the poor who just can't make it, enough to survive and be safe. But with enough monitoring to keep waste and fraud in check. Some sort of limit to make sure people don't just live off of welfare endlessly. Unemployment (there wouldn't be any, right? ): Enough for the individual to maintain their home and bills and basic food based on past earnings, but with an upper limit. For instance, someone making $5m a year wouldn't get 100 times as much as someone who made $50,000 a year. I don't have a timeframe in mind. Changes to the current budget? Cut defense quite a bit. Increase education. Increase worker training programs. Reduce corporate welfare. Pay down more debt. Figure out pensions and why they are so much. So what do you think?