Thursday, January 30, 2014

Me and Kati (12(

Kati, my darling cat with the beautiful face, we need to have another conversation. Kati, I fear you are developing an eating disorder. You seem to be constantly hungry. Every time I enter the kitchen you seem to believe you should be fed. You are obviously getting fatter. That grieves me no end as I like you as you were before, sleek and elegant, almost blue in the sunshine, energetic and gorgeous. I try not to give in to your piteous whining. I know you cannot possibly be that hungry, but you always win.

But our personal problems aside, there are apparently those who are worse off than we are, billionaires and multi-millionaires who feel they are being unfairly attacked because they are rich. One of them, a particularly obnoxious billionaire, even went so far as to claim he fears a Kristallnacht targeting them. You don’t remember Kristallnacht, of course, as that was at least half a century before you were born, maybe more. It was a terrible night when the Nazis attacked Jewish stores and property, breaking windows, thieving, brutalizing, and so on. He thinks the progressives are in the process of doing the same thing to the rich. He later apologized for using the term Kristallnacht but it’s obvious he fears something like that may happen to the rich. Personally, I think his fear may be a result of his guilt although you would never know it because of his arrogance and disregard for reality.

It is pretty obvious there is unlikely ever to be a real Kristallnacht here. But it is not unlikely, I think, there may eventually be a dramatic change in the tax code when the filthy rich are finally made to pay their taxes. Not just their “fair share” but real substantial taxes, perhaps even up to the ninety percent they paid under the Eisenhower administration. The fact is that even if they paid that much in taxes their life styles would probably not change much. I mean, after all, they would still have their millions and billions, private airplanes, yachts, gold faucets, Rolexes, and they would still be able to feast on unborn lamb and thousand dollar truffles. They might have to reduce the number of their mansions but it is unlikely they would truly suffer like the single moms that can’t feed their children, or the children themselves who are ashamed to go to school because of their rags. So pity the rich, they have it pretty hard these days.

Not that anything like that might happen to them. You might notice that neither Obama or anyone else is seriously suggesting they might actually have to pay more taxes. The idea is not to increase taxes on the wealthy but, rather, to throw a few more sardines to the poor, to increase the pathetic minimum wage from $7.25 to the outrageous $10.10 per hour. Wow, that’s really going to solve the gap between the obscenely wealthy and the obscenely poor. It is absurd, on the face of it, that any individual person in any society, should have a fortune of a billion or more dollars while the majority lack even enough food to eat. I don’t believe everyone should have the same amount of money but the current imbalance is so great, so unnecessary, so unrealistic, so damaging it simply should not be permitted. I don’t know how much is too much but there should be some kind of formula that allows us to keep things on a much more even keel, so to speak.

The argument that those with money are the job creators is utter nonsense. The idea of trickle- down economics will work is even more nonsensical. I don’t know where this strange economic theory originated but it was certainly put into play by Saint Ronnie the Moron and we are suffering from it still. In spite of President Obama’s speeches and promises it doesn’t appear to me any substantial changes are on the way, the Banks and Wall Street are still in charge, the Insurance companies and pharmaceuticals continue to rip us off as if there is no tomorrow, the military/industrial/political complex still claims most of the national budget, the poor continue to be poor although perhaps with a bit more oatmeal. Capitalism, the greatest boon since the Black Plague continues. But not to worry, Superbowl Sunday is imminent.  

Capitalism has destroyed our belief in any effective power but that of self interest backed by force.


Greg Flansaas said...

well said my friend

Donald Burwell said...

Ever the voice of reason. I am going to use Bernard Shaw's quote- Thanks for sharing

Anonymous said...

Banks require repayments for their loans with interest. That repaid money like taxes is destroyed, and moves out of the economy. Only the interest payments survive - but only a small amount of the interest is spent back into the economy. On the net, unless the loans produce NEW REAL ASSETS, the result is a transfer of financial assets from the 99% to the 1%. So unless the (monetarily sovereign)federal government replenishes the financial assets to the 99%, the net result is an increase in inequality, and an impoverishment of the bottom in the form of wage slavery (at extremely low wages). Eventually when no new real assets are being created the loans cannot be repaid and results either in a systemic collapse, as happened in '08, or a continuous transfer of the newly created assets to the top 1% at the time of bankruptcy.
The first thing that needs to be done is to ditch the unrealistic assumptions that underlie the neoliberal view of the world and the socio-economic models that are used to justify it, such as free markets, free trade and free capital flow leading automatically to optimal social, political and economic outcome because it is assumed that they are based on laws of nature. This has no basis in reality.-Steve

Anonymous said...

Economics is a study of morality.
The answer is not a 'take-from-the-rich-to-give-to-the-poor approach.' Asking rich corporations to pay poor people more may seem to be a moral approach but is it economically moral? Will it benefit American society as a whole for our businesses to be 'penalized' for employing American workers?

Rather, the solution should be to give the poor more, while taking nothing from the rich. That would provide the most benefit to the entire American populace.

How can we do it? Our (MONETARILY SOVEREIGN)federal government (not state or local governments who indeed do need revenue) could institute a reverse income tax. The less you earn, the more the government will pay you.

Since taxes do not pay for federal spending, no one would be punished. The poor would be lifted, and even the rich would be lifted, because the entire economy would be lifted.

The reverse income tax would operate like the current federal tax, except that below a certain income level(say $50,000 per year?), the federal government would pay Americans rather than Americans paying the federal government.

The logistics are in place. The IRS already is set up to accomplish this. It would cost nothing, not for you, nor for me, not for anyone.

All that would be required is the admission that federal taxes don’t pay for federal spending, and federal deficits are necessary for a growing economy.-Steve