The Rich Will Always Be With You

Newsflash: Bill O’Reilly is a ridiculous man.  In response to President Obama’s jobs bill, which would close tax loopholes and raise tax rates for the richest in our society, O’Reilly threatened to take his ball and go home:

Bill O'ReillyMy corporations employ scores of people. They depend on me to do what I do so they can make a nice salary. If Barack Obama begins taxing me more than 50 percent, which is very possible, I don’t know how much longer I’m going to do this. I like my job, but there comes a point when taxation becomes oppressive. Is the country really entitled to half a person’s income?

This threat came after an earlier claim that he has “more power than anybody but the President.” Rush, are you listening?

Oh, what will we do without this narcissist buffoon polluting the airwaves as well as the minds of unemployed “low information” voters?  As for his scores of employees, they will surely miss working for such a kind and benevolent boss:

The idea that raising tax rates on the rich and privileged will cause some kind of Randian strike is laughable.  No matter what the top marginal rate is, I’m sure they will manage to get by, as they always have.  Income and wealth inequality, to one degree or another, has always existed in every society, no matter what economic system is in place.  Total utopian equality is a just as imaginary as Ayn Rand’s lunatic visions.  Money has an attraction to itself that causes it to accumulate in pools and become concentrated.  It’s a natural force that has been described by economists for centuries.  The purpose of civilization is to temper a natural force, that can never be overcome.

In an earlier post I tried describe the social contract that we have with one another and the responsibilities of the more fortunate among us.  Harvard Law Professor candidate for the Democratic nomination for the US Senate Elizabeth Warren, who is far more articulate than I am sums, it up perfectly:

“You built a factory out there? Good for you. But I want to be clear: you moved your goods to market on the roads the rest of us paid for; you hired workers the rest of us paid to educate; you were safe in your factory because of police forces and fire forces that the rest of us paid for. You didn’t have to worry that marauding bands would come and seize everything at your factory, and hire someone to protect against this, because of the work the rest of us did.

“Now look, you built a factory and it turned into something terrific, or a great idea? God bless. Keep a big hunk of it. But part of the underlying social contract is you take a hunk of that and pay forward for the next kid who comes along.”

As powerful and clear these words are as text on a screen, the passion and conviction with which she said them is worth seeing and hearing:

My friends at Critical Pages offer a more analytical discussion, as always accompanied by a carefully selected piece of fine art, in their article “Class Warfare, Anybody?”


Recommended:

Greed and Good: Understanding and Overcoming the Inequality That Limits Our Lives (Hardcover)


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The Affluent Society (Paperback)


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The General Theory of Employment, Interest, and Money (Paperback)


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© 2011 – 2014, Fred Bubbers. All rights reserved.

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