Proposal for a Workers’ Bill of Rights



Our country was founded on the premise that all human beings have the right to the pursuit of life, liberty, and happiness. Until the 1990s, this universal dream was one in which all Americans could follow. In what historians will undoubtedly call the Age of Corporate Feudalism, the major corporations and their allies in the Republican Party began embarking on a curious path of legislation and tax incentives that have created a work environment in which the working class experiences a spiralling degradation of income and benefits while the executives of major corporations become exponentially wealthy.


This document outlines suggestions for correcting this pattern of corporate exploitation while there is still time to remedy the problems caused by the Republican-Corporate alliance. To do nothing will invite a new era of feudalism in which a handful of individuals will ultimately control close to 100% of the available wealth while the working class will be relegated to poverty and serfdom.



Articles of Workers’ Rights

I.                   Fair Wage Ratios

Currently, the executives of major corporations pay themselves exorbitant salaries and bonuses while cutting their employees’ pay and benefits. In a fair compensation system, no employer shall be able to set up corporations for the sole purpose of robbing the employees and customers. To this end, there shall be limits on executive compensation. The highest paid employee shall not be permitted to be paid more than 1,000 times more than the lowest paid employee. If the executives desire more money for themselves, they merely have to give their employees a raise first. It is the employees, not the executives, who earn money for the corporation.

II.                Limitations on Corporate Size

The advent of Wal-Mart and other “Big Box” stores has brought the leading edge of modern feudalism to America. These mega-stores drive down wages, stifle competition, depress innovation, and eradicate local cultural. “Big Box” stores cause smaller, local business to go bankrupt. These mega-stores then rehire the people whose businesses have been destroyed – at pennies on the dollar. This is how Wal-Mart and their ilk “create” jobs. To protect workers from predatory capitalism, no business shall have more than 100,000 employees. Companies already above this limit shall be broken into regional companies of 100,000 employees or less. Mega-corporations deemed to have destroyed local culture shall be assigned a monetary penalty, with the proceeds going toward community revitalization.

III.             Penalties for “Off-Shoring”

Currently, the executive-class fattens their own accounts by sending high-paying American jobs to Third World countries like India and Costa Rica. The Americans whose jobs are replaced often end up with a steep decline in income while the executives earn multi-million-dollar bonuses. For America to remain competitive in computer science, manufacturing, and technology, the practice of off-shoring must stop. To that end, American employees whose jobs are off-shored shall be paid a full-year severance pay. The corporation in question must pay a $250,000 fine, per employee, adjusted for inflation.

IV.             Limits on Corporate Bribes

To prevent future “corporate wars” like the Iraq war (in which America started a war with a Third World country, followed by a corporation favoured by the Administration being awarded an exclusive contract to rebuild said Third World Nation), there shall be legislative restrictions on corporate executives who later become politicians. No elected politician may vote either for or against any bill, act, charter, amendment, or edict that pertains to any corporation that he/she has ever served as an executive. Moreover, said politician may not accept campaign donations from the corporation that he/she once served.

V.                Limits on Predatory Profit-Taking

Given the current climate in which executives plunder their customers for the enrichment of themselves alone, there shall be limits on profits by corporations that act as either a monopoly (i.e. the cable television industry) or collectively (i.e. the oil industry). In these cases, the corporation(s) in question shall be limited to 200% profit. Any additional profit must be either reallocated into higher payroll for non-executive employees (i.e. workers), or into community revitalization programmes.

VI.             Special Taxes for Very Rich

Contrary to reasonable logic, taxing the poor is not a good way to raise revenue for the government. And yet, the Bush Administration created a huge tax cut for the very wealthy while at the same time giving the middle-class and poor only a single, one-time, $300 tax refund. Because this tax break for the wealthy came at the expense of Federal-State fund-matching programmes, many states had to raise taxes to compensate. It was the poor and middle-class that paid the brunt of these tax increases. Thus, the President effectively commanded the poor to give huge sums of money to the rich. This predicament must be reversed. To accomplish that end, any American earning more than $1 million per year must pay 70% tax on the excess income. At income above $10 million per year, the tax rate shall be 90%. By levying the tax burden on those most equipped to pay, the taxes on the middle-class and poor shall be then reduced. No American citizen who makes under $25,000 shall pay a penny in tax. (These figures shall be adjusted yearly for inflation).

VII.          Tariffs for Predatory Third World Nations

Part of how the executive-class has enriched themselves at the cost of American Workers is by running factories in Third World nations that essentially practice slavery. Wal-Mart and other “Big Box” stores import their wares almost exclusively form China and other nations that have appalling human rights violations. To level the playing field for local manufacturers, the tariffs on good imported form Third World countries shall be 250% of the value of the product. These fees shall be used to revitalize Social Security.


By enacting these seven articles, the trend towards American Corporate Feudalism may yet be abated.