Prompt 099: Eliminating Smallpox
99. In 1979, the world officially eradicated smallpox, a deadly disease. Imagine that you've created a vaccine for a terrible disease that could save millions of lives. How would you get it to as many people as possible? Would you try to get a lot of money for your invention? Why or why not?
Again, the precognitive abilities of this book of writing prompts never ceases to amaze me. Or maybe this is just the worst year imaginable by typical fiction writers from the early 2000's. But this is not what I've been assigned to speculate about, is it? Even so: it makes me chuckle in that genuinely-surprised-by-bad-news kind of way. So: what if I were in charge of developing and distributing the COVID-19 vaccine to everyone on the planet?
I really don't want to compare distribution methods to those available in the '70s, since so much in the way of transportation and logistics has changed and/or advanced since then. So I won't hold myself to that handicap. I do acknowledge that this does cost a lot of money, however. So how will the bills be paid? Were I based in the USA at the time, then I'd have more options. These would include:
1. A flat tax on income starting January 2020 through the month when the vaccine was completed. Those who earned more would pay more. A legion of auditors would ensure that eventually everyone would pay their share.
2. Lay the bill at Bezos' doorstep. If he pays, Amazon is on its way to cleansing its image as a blight on humanity. If he doesn't pay, he's outed as the shit heel that he most obviously is.
3. A flat tax on the price paid from mergers and acquisitions. Valuation would be performed by third parties to ensure that transactions are carried out at their proper "market value."
4. Runoff voting by every US citizen, age 15 and up. You have three votes to cast on the interest groups, assigning who will pay the first 50%, the next 25%, and then 13% of the final 25%. The 12% remaining (and anything defaulted by the elected parties) will be levied over the Income Taxes of all working US citizens.
5. The richest of the rich will pay. I mean those in the top 1%, who have $3.5 trillion in wealth (more than the lower 60% of US citizens combined). If it means they liquidate their non-fungible assets to do so, then they are forced to do so. Work out the math so that those with a higher net worth pay more.
Those are five options, just off the top of my head. A guiding principle behind all of them is that the financial class has continued to suck the wealth and earning potential out of the working class even throughout this pandemic, hiding in their gated communities and mansions, snatching up foreclosed properties at an abyssal deep discount (and then sitting on them, planning to "wait this out"), smashing local businesses and consolidating all economic power even further and further away from the common man.
They deserve no mercy, since even when times were the toughest for society they did nothing but sit on their wealth and more more power moves. They've done nothing for the betterment of society. They did not lobby for rent and mortgage forgiveness. Instead they encouraged the establishment of shit companies like Civvl: the Uber of evictions. They have undreamt of, inconceivable amounts of wealth, and they choose to sit on it instead of help the rest of life on the planet to survive. All for an amount they likely wouldn't even notice.
They just don't care. They are the vampire class, and so should be treated as the parasites they are: give back, or die.