Saturday, July 21, 2012

Punishing Success

Republican rhetoric now is focused on making business people out to be Randian heroes. So soon after these "heroes" directly caused a worldwide banking and US real estate crisis, they now whine as if they are under attack. They pretend they made their money out of shear willpower, and when the president calls them out, when he says they built it in an American system, with taxes having paid for infrastructure they use, with normal, non rich people providing the consumer base and the actual labor, they whine about paying too much. They claim Obama wants to punish them for their work. They appeal to laborers to imagine their money being "stolen" in taxes.

The oddest part is that the loudest ones, the ones pushing these ads and politicians the hardest, are almost exclusively heirs to business empires. Romney himself is the child of a president of a once major  auto manufacturer. The Koch brothers, now infamous in liberal circles, pledge millions to politicians who spout this nonsense and set up shell corporations to lobby for more of these policies. They inherited the largest fortune on earth, put together, from a billionaire oil magnate father. Look into these people, who whine so hard about their "hard earned" money being "stolen" by taxation, which in turn should go to maintaining the public, allowing their corporation to operate with a good infrastructure, in a safe country. The shear ridiculousness is not even funny anymore.

The worst part is, they seem to have actually convinced themselves of it. Now, can be odd sometimes, but here is a good example. These corporate agents whine that they are disadvantaged here, they pay too much taxes, it hurts their businesses, then proceed to pay nothing. These "one percent" people claim if you reduce their stagnant, unused wealth they won't hire as many people, going back to a new version of Reagan's "trickle down" economic arguments.

Just look at the first few paragraphs and charts, seen repeatedly. These bitching wealthy have seen massive increases in earnings in the last decades since massive efforts at deregulation of banking and business. The middle class, however, has not seen much at all. The rich just gather more wealth, hoarding it in caves, risking other's money to make more for themselves, never using their money as they claim. This is obvious in investment companies like Romney's own Bain Capital, or in Enron where the whole company collapsed yet the executives remained wealthy as always. This money they earn just sits around, it never goes into the economy.

In very simple terms, an economy is healthiest when cash is liquid. When wealth concentrates, those with it have less and less need to spend it. Yes a billionaire may buy a ten million dollar boat, but they will never spend much past that. They sit on billions, they never borrow money for themselves, and they never spend their paycheck. The middle class, which does control a good chunk of wealth (not as much as before, but still good) must spend most of it. While we get told to save all the time, in reality the economy suffers if money is saved. Credit that people can afford to pay back is the best. Inactive money is like the warehouses of wheat in the Great Depression. Ya it is there, but how much does it help the country, or the starving masses or anyone at all?

The current wealthy are overwhelmingly heirs. They made money with money they got for free. And at no point do they "create" wealth. The money is there, the resources are there, at best workers can input more raw resources, but the majority of the rich only invest in things, never making any kind of real capital. They only concentrate it from the hands of the populace, from consumers and customers. They then pay almost no taxes on this wealth, hiding it and lobbying for insanely low capital gains tax (15% maxed out) which is the majority of their income. They then sit on it, as mentioned a second ago, and it kills the economy, slowly if done carefully, quickly when things like the mortgage crisis, caused by overzealous rich people lying to each other, too.

Taxes, on the other hand, forces that stagnant wealth to actually work, towards welfare for the poor, for infrastructure for all of us, for the education system that allows more people to become actual producers and consumers, who in turn make healthy economies. But the Republicans don't care. They don't think ahead that far. They just want as much money now, and will say any lie to keep it. In the long run, though, it isn't that helpful to have all the money. Once it concentrates into few enough hands, it becomes worthless, since the rest of us will use something else to trade resources. And that is assuming they don't just revolt.

It isn't socialism, it isn't punishment, it is just the way a good capitalist system works. It is the only way a capitalist system works, in the long run.

Logic Priest

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