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Wednesday, September 5, 2012
As I said yesterday, Disneyland is the model for a better America...
Forty years ago, Disneyland had a "progressive" ticket structure. Different rides cost different amounts of money depending on the "thrill" of the attraction.
I remember fighting with my brothers over who would get the rare and valuable "E" tickets that allowed us to ride the Matterhorn... and who would get stuck with the cheap "A" tickets and have to hang out on King Arthur's Carousel.
Disney doesn't operate that way anymore. It ditched the progressive ticket policy in favor of a flat-rate plan.
Everybody pays the same price to get into Disneyland. It doesn't matter if you spend the entire day riding Space Mountain... or park yourself on a bench in the shade and wait all day for the character parade. Everyone pays the same amount to spend time in the happiest place on Earth.
The United States should adopt a similar policy.
Forget about taxing people on a percentage of their income. The rich guy shouldn't have to pay more for an admission ticket than the poor guy. Instead, everybody should pay the same price for the chance to enjoy all the rides, attractions, and opportunities available in the United States of America.
The tax amount should be based on the same principles Disney uses to set its admission prices. As "Snow White" told me when I called up Disney's shareholder services department, those principles are: "To ensure a good value for the consumer, enable us to keep the park in excellent condition, allow us to pay our employees a competitive rate, and provide a reasonable return to our shareholders."
For example, the U.S. government plans to spend a total of $3.8 trillion in 2013. Since we have roughly 315 million people who call America "home," each person would be required to pay $12,060 to stay here.
That means a family of four would pay taxes of just over $48,000.
That's an obscene amount. But it reflects the current spending habits of the U.S. government. So that's the ticket price. That's what you need to pay if you want to take advantage of any or all of the opportunities available in America.
If it's too expensive, remember what Snow White told me yesterday: "Well... I guess like anything else you might want out of life, you're going to have to work hard and save for it."
If you're unwilling or unable to do that, leave. Nobody is required to stay at Disneyland.
If enough people leave because they can't afford the admission ticket, the government will have to adjust the price – which means it'll have to adjust its spending plans.
Maybe it scraps the plans to build Mr. Obama's Wild Health Care Ride. Maybe it stops subsidizing Solar Powered Fantasyland. Maybe – like any well-run corporation or household – the government starts paying better attention to where it wastes its money.
Then it can lower the price of admission and everyone can enjoy the happiest place on Earth.
It sure worked well for Disney.
Best regards and good trading,
Disney – with its equal-for-all admission policies – is one of the most successful companies in the world. And as Jeff says, the U.S. could learn a thing or two from its policies… "Maybe we should take a page out of the Disney playbook and see if we can adjust our tax policy to turn America into the 'happiest place on Earth.'" Read the full story – including a real conversation with "Snow White" – here: A Mickey Mouse Tax Plan to Save America.
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