Skip to comments.Time To Make Life Hard For The Rich
Posted on 12/26/2017 9:02:01 PM PST by hiho hiho
It is time for polite, respectable, rational people to start saying what has become painfully obvious: It is time to stop respecting the rich, and start stealing from them. In earnest.
Inequality is eating America alive. It has been growing for decades. To say that the American dream is dead is no longer a poetic exaggerationit is an accurate description of 40 years of wage stagnation and declining economic mobility that has produced a generation that cannot expect to live better than their parents did. Not because of devastating war or plague, but because of a very specific set of rules governing a very specific economic system that encourages the accumulation of great wealth among a tiny portion of the population, to the detriment of the vast majority of people. Our political and business leaders have chosen to embrace a system that favors capital over labor. A system in which the more you already have, the more you make, and the less you have, the harder it is to build wealth. It is a system designed to increase inequality. It is functioning exactly as designed. And now, it is about to get worse.
How long are people supposed to tolerate being smacked in the face? By the rich? Who already have more than enough? It is not as though the fact that inequality is a crisis is a fact that snuck up on anyone. Economists have seen the trend for decades, and the general public has been well aware of it since at least the financial crisis. Obama called it the defining challenge of our time. Thomas Piketty became a rock star by writing a very dry book about it. Its not an underground thing. It is well known and well understood by the people in control of the institutions with the power to change it. The response to this dire situation by the Republican Party, which a wholly owned subsidiary of the American capital-holding class, has been to pass a tax bill that will horribly exacerbate economic inequality in this country. It is a considered decision to make a bad situation worse. It is a deliberate choiceduring a time when the rich already have too muchto take from the poor in order to give the rich (including members of Congress and the President) more. That is not a metaphor. That is the reality. That is what the Republican party is about to accomplish on behalf of the donor class, calling it middle class tax relief in the face of mathematical proof to the contrary. Even to my cynical ass, the sheer fuck you-ness of this action towards the majority of the country is breathtaking. This is not just a failure to solve a severe problem; it is the expenditure of vast amounts of political capital to make the severe problem worse so that a tiny handful of people will get wealthier than anyone needs to be.
Ideally, in a democracy, elected leaders reflecting the interests of the people would pass taxes and regulations to reverse the growing inequality here. For that to happen, we would need to end gerrymandering and reform campaign finance and probably abolish the Senate and the Electoral College, and thats just for starters. It is not imminent, in other words. Our broken political system, which is designed to reward money with political power, is actually moving in the opposite direction of a solution. Who is suffering because of this? Most Americans. Certainly the bottom 50% are acutely sufferingmoney that would have been in their paychecks has been instead funneled upwards into the pockets of the rich. Every desperate family that has found themselves coming up short for rent or food or medicine, every American who has downgraded her dreams and aspirations because they became financially implausible, has been directly harmed by the political and economic class war perpetuated by the rich, even if they cannot see the perpetrators with their own eyes. I think that people have been more than patient in the face of this slow-moving crisis. In 2009, when the markets crashed and millions were laid off, nobody rioted and kidnapped the financiers and burned their homes. The outcome of that lack of direct action is the situation we find ourselves in today.
Violence against people is morally wrong and a bad way to solve problems. But capital is different. One thing that would help to create the political environment conducive to solving the inequality problem would be to make the cost of accumulating all that capital too high to be worth it. In other words, to create a downside to being too rich. I have personally stood in a room full of hedge fund titans and billionaire investors warning one another explicitly that inequality must be addressed lest the U.S. become a place like Latin America, where rich people are forced to live behind walls, surrounded by armed guards, because of the very real risks from the rage of the poor. Rich people in this country do not want to live like that. If they see that they must stop being so greedy in order to enjoy their own freedom, they will stop being so greedy. Those conditions have to be created by people who want justice.
Our situation is absurd. Not since the Gilded Age has it been more clear that a few people have too much. Furthermore, the people with too much are investing in political clout to give themselves more. Its just wrong. If the government wont help, we have to help ourselves. Sticking up a billionaire on the street for $100 is not going to do it. But one can imagine other ways that angry Americans might express their dissatisfaction with our current division of wealth: A large-scale online attack against the holdings of the very rich; yachts sunk in harbors; unoccupied vacation homes in the Hamptons mysteriously burned to the ground. Sothebys auctions swarmed by vandals, Art Basel attacked by spraypaint-wielding mobs, protests on the doorsteps of right-wing think tanks, venomous words directed at millionaires as they dine in fancy restaurants. People have a right to life and safety, but property does not. A life spent screwing the little people so that you can acquire lots of stuff loses its allure when you know that all that stuff will be smashed to pieces by angry little people. It is not hard to put together a list of those who should be targetedForbes publishes it every year. Likewise, public campaign finance records give us a pretty good idea of exactly who is funding the politicians who are perpetuating this economic war on behalf of the rich.
It is nice to imagine a grand, well-targeted computer hack that would neatly transfer billions of dollars out of the accounts of, say, the Walton family and into a charity account that would disburse the money to the poor in untraceable ways. That seems far-fetched. Realistically, what people can do now is to start thinking about ways to make it uncomfortable to be too rich. Socially uncomfortable and otherwise. When the accumulation of great wealth ceases to be a praiseworthy endeavor and instead becomes viewed as a sick, greedy pastime whose only reward is the hatred of your fellow citizens and the inability to live comfortably without fear of your excessive property being destroyed, rich people will rethink their goals. Until then, inequality will keep rising, and everything, for most people, will continue to slowly, slowly get worse.
Leftist crony-capitalism, regulation and government control is what creates this kind of divide. less government, and the more equal as the left claims to care about, is better for everyone.
What a whiny little shit.
Scary fascist with a pen...
Pure unadulterated class envy.
Monkeying with taxes will never be a “solution” to disparate levels of wealth.
I’ve read (and believe) that if we evenly split all the money in the world, over time, the distribution would simply go back to the way it was.
Monetary wealth is more about who you are than what you have.
Remember this name. Hes extremely dangerous and when the time comes he should be dealt with early.
BWAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH....(big breath in)....BWHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA.
The influence of Marxism cannot be exaggerated. Screeds like this demonstrate the collapse of reason and truth into a blather of corrupt, evil demagoguery.
For the first time in many decades this nation stands on the brink of achieving genuine opportunity for its citizenry. Evil people with evil agendas are at war against us. They lie and deceive with a frenzy of hatred. Their absolute rejection of all that is holy and sacred in this nation, their strangle hold on us is about to be broken.
These are the squealing of pigs who have been ravaging our land as they are led to slaughtert. Listen to their cries of horror and pain and rejoice in their end.
Funny. Perhaps, but its people like him that would gladly murder people by the millions.
***BASIC PREMISE ALERT***
This communist, like all communists, does not understand that capital is the fruit of labor. That without labor, there is no capital. Labor is, in effect, capital. One cannot separate labor from capital, as this clownish fraud seeks to do.
The fact that they have this basic misunderstanding of reality makes all their subsequent arguments moot.
Their words are wind.
Get a job.
He thinks the answer to inequity is confiscation or even worse, to remove the role of production from society. He doesnt seem to understand that much of what the rich do, is to create goods and services that people need or want.
This dolt, as a last measure to have his way, should he have the power... would be to pry gold teeth from the skulls of his victim in order to pay his mass murdering henchmen
It puts me in mind of the being that took over my television set some time ago and urged me to explore the Outer Limits.
I believe he may be a scout from another galaxy, far far away and that may explain why he seeks to undermine our way of life.
That face is custom made for a PR-24
Ha,Ha, yea, I was also thinking he looked like a Grey with that noggin.
Hamilton Nolan worked at Gawker until he helped unionize...then Gawker went out of business.
Precisely. It all stems from the false premise that capital is separate from labor, rather than the result of it.
What is fair or just about rewarding sloth with the fruits of another's labor.
Communists believe that their system is fair, when it is exactly the opposite of fair.
This is the line of argument that free men should take.
Hamilton Nolan decided to write his very own communist manifesto. Yeah!
The author is an obvious communist. Advocating for a failed political and economic system. What a joke.
You're absolutely right, that labor creates capital, through the addition of value. For instance, a painting by Picasso might have cost $200 for the canvas and paints. That same Picasso sells for hundreds of thousands of dollars, due to the value added by the artist, compounded by the value added due to scarcity. All of these things add up.
An artisanal loaf of bread might contain $1 worth of ingredients, but sell for 5x that cost, again due to the value added by the skills of the baker, combined with scarcity (you might not be able to buy a loaf of bread that great at Walmart.)
Marxist theory purports to claim that work is the driving factor of economics, while capital is static, but nothing could be farther from the truth. Value i.e. capital, is CREATED by work. Capital is created. Money is "made." There isn't a limited amount of capital. Capital isn't a big pie that everyone has to share, and if one person gets a slice, that leaves less for everyone else. Capital is created by increasing value through work, effectively creating more and more pies.
More than anything else, this shows that the leftist hatred for success that began back before the 1960s here in the USA is still gaining momentum. A perfect example of that line of thought was expressed in the song by "Ten Years After," "I'd Love to Change the World." "Tax the rich, feed the poor, till there are no rich no more." In other words, It's better to destroy the rich than to raise up the poor.
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