The plutocrats, that tiny percentage of people sitting on most of the world’s wealth, have hoarded tens of trillions of dollars, collectively, which they are mostly not investing. It’s as if they want to destroy the middle class–perhaps they think it demands too much. Perhaps a society mostly made up of people at the level of third-world poverty is easier to exploit.

Whatever their reasons, they’re hoarding the green stuff, they’re not investing it. What if, as a society, we thought outside the box, fiscally, in order to enforce a basic level of responsibility on these cash hoarders.

Suppose we make laws specifying that all yearly income above a certain amount–say, everything substantially above a billion dollars– is, well, redirected. If the person has made three billion, the extra two billion, if not quickly invested in a job-creating enterprise, is by law redirected into an investment account controlled by a government bank. The account is still tied to the money’s source. This money will be invested in job creating enterprises chosen by the account managers (the original earner can have input but not the deciding vote) and all profits go back to our original Mandatory Investor except for what’s kept back for taxation. This way everyone wins. Society wins because jobs are created and taxes are collected from profits; the billionaire wins because their money was invested, turned a profit and they got paid.

If we apply this to corporations, the formula will be somewhat different, complexities will arise, but in the end the same principle will be in force.

Suppose the money we borrowed from them doesn’t turn a profit? Eventually it can be repaid. But at the very least they’ll garner interest…

We could call it Mandatory High Income Investment.

Of course, the forced investors will cry that it’s communism, or larceny. Let them. Society can’t afford to let their present irresponsibility continue. The money isn’t appropriated–it’s borrowed. By law.

I know: One immediately thinks, Even if a great many people wanted to get such a law passed, how would we get it by politicians controlled by the plutocrats? A consensus could be built. It might be tried first in some country not so bound up by the wealthy. Perhaps it already has been.

You’re still sure it could never happen? Maybe it could happen, maybe not–but we need these thought experiments, we need to ask ourselves, what is money? Our whole relationship to it needs to be rethought.

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