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America's History in the Making

Resource Archive: Search Results

The EPIC Plan

… An act of the legislature repealing the present sales tax, and substituting a tax on stock transfers at the rate of 4 cents per share.
#8230;An act of the legislature providing for a State income tax, beginning with incomes of $5000 and steeply graduated until incomes of $50,000 would pay 30% tax.
… An increase in the State inheritance tax, steeply graduated and applying to all property in the State regardless of where the owner may reside. This law would take 50% of sums above $50,000 bequeathed to any individual and 50% of sums above $250,000 bequeathed by any individual.
… A law increasing the taxes on privately owned public utility corporations and banks.
… A law providing for the payment of a pension of $50 per month to every needy person over sixty years of age who has lived in the State of California three years prior to the date of the coming into effect of the law.
… A law providing for the payment of $50 per month to all persons who are blind, or who by medical examination are proved to be physically unable to earn a living; these persons also having been residents of the State for three years.
… A pension of $50 per month to all widowed women who have dependent children; if the children are more than two in number, the pension to be increased by $25 per month for each additional child. These also to have been residents three years in the State.

Upton Sinclair, Immediate EPIC: The Final Statement of the Plan (Los Angeles: The End Poverty League, 1934); available at http://xroads.virginia.edu/~MA01/kidd/thesis/sinclair3.html (accessed April 3, 2007).

Creator Upton Sinclair
Context California gubernatorial race of 1934
Audience Californians
Purpose To show Sinclair's EPIC (End Poverty in California) plan

Historical Significance

In the 1930s, Upton Sinclair organized the End Poverty in California (EPIC) plan in his bid to become governor. He had repeatedly run unsuccessful campaigns as a Socialist candidate. In 1934, Sinclair won the Democratic Party primary and came close to winning the election. The Republican Party waged a propaganda campaign that called Sinclair a "Red" and a "crackpot," resulting in his defeat by Frank F. Merriam in the general election. The large turnout for Sinclair showed the electorate's willingness to vote for politicians with new ideas and approaches to bring the nation out of the Great Depression.

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