There’s a lot that is both wrong in the world and good in the world. So how can we use the good things to make the bad things better? Obviously the world’s problems are not going to be fixed by a college senior, but a few ideas can’t hurt. Hunger, disease, poverty, illiteracy are just a few of the things that are wrong in the world, but there may be an idea that might help all of these things at once.

I know that we already complain about taxes and no one wants to pay them. One of the annoying things about taxes are that we don’t necessarily know what is being used with our tax payer dollars, but what if there was a way that we could put our tax dollars into something we actually care about? What I am proposing is that we raise taxes slightly, but instead of the tax going directly to the government, it would be given to the organizations that combat illiteracy, disease, poverty etc. Take sales tax for instance. Sales tax is typically around 8%, but say it was increased to 8.5% or 9%, with the extra .5-1% would be given to a cancer research or something along those lines.

The best thing about this idea is that even though it would be a required tax, you individually would get to choose where you wanted your tax dollars to be given. Say you feel really passionately about fighting illiteracy and you already donate to organizations that promote literacy, but now you know that with every purchase you make, an additional small portion would also be given to that organization. With this idea, the organizations and causes that combat all that is wrong in the world will have more funding, and thus be able to do more and hopefully reach their goal sooner, helping more people and ridding the world of the problem.

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8 responses »

  1. Jim says:

    This is a thought provoking idea Hannah. I did my taxes for the first time this year and one thing that I noticed was that for certain state returns I as prompted with a question asking if I would like to earmark a certain amount of my taxes owed to go to certain causes. One had to do with fair elections, I don’t remember what the others were, but it seemed like a really interesting idea at the time. It does seem like it would be nice and possibly advantageous to allow tax payers to have direct say in where their own tax dollars go. I especially wonder what our government would look like if we were given the control to decide over the allocation of all of our taxes. What would our military look like? Would we bail out banks or home owners after the financial crisis?

    • Hannah says:

      That’s an interesting thought, but one that I don’t think would ever happen. If the government lost control of where tax dollars were allocated to, they would lose a significant amount of their own power and put them in a vulnerable state. I still think we should allow the government to decide where tax dollars are going to, but I also definitely think that they should be more transparent so we know where the money is actually going. That’s why I like this idea, because the power remains with the government, but we also get a small voice as to where we would like our money specifically to go. Like how in the Senior Gift Drive you decide where you want your donation to be given (your major, the endowment, Greek life, etc.) but there are still general larger donations made to the school by others, and the organizations that receive this money ultimately decide what to do with it.

  2. Cheryl says:

    I really like this idea! I think the government should consider letting taxpayers have a say in this. It’s a good way to increase taxes without making people upset because they know that their money is being spent on good causes. Also, this will bring in more transparency and potentially free up a lot of funds that would otherwise be spent corruptly. The only problem I think we might need to consider is that certain programs should not be too favored over others

    • Hannah says:

      Even if some programs are favored more than others, doesn’t that mean that they stand a better chance of curing their problem all together? Isn’t that the point of these organizations? To fix and eliminate the problems in the world?

  3. […] The Good Tax « Business Government & Society III […]

  4. Zach says:

    The government supports a lot of non profits through grants and such. While this sounds like an optimistic and good idea, I still believe that there would need to be some sort of administrative body that looked over these extra donations. That body would most likely have to be part of the government. Maybe a fresh take on this would be to allow people to directly choose where the money goes?

  5. Marko says:

    Yeah I agree with all of you guys. Paying taxes would feel less painful if you would know where your money goes. Taxpayers should have some sort of influence for what cause their money goes. For example, I wouldn’t like if my portion of taxes would go to the military and taking life, but I would feel good if it goes toward cancer research and saving life.

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