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American finances and the rich
Monday, March 4, 2013
Some thoughts on America's dire finances: Members of the tea party crowd claim we pay too many taxes.
I'd like them to visit Europe and buy some of that $7 gas. It's a draconian way to reduce air pollution. It works in the same way that capital punishment of delinquents stops bullying.
Did I hear you say the U.S. government's reach is too great? Visit Europe. The innate prices of things are too high to begin with because Europe imposes a value added tax. Or visit Canada. Not only is gas higher there, but most purchases are taxed from 5 percent to 15 percent depending on the province.
Why? Is their national health plan better than Medicare? Many users are satisfied; others would agree that Canada's health plan is a map of Minnesota. Does anyone in the U.S. go to Canada for health care?
The title of Sir Thomas More's famous book "Utopia" is simply a word meaning "nowhere," because a country with nothing but perfection is impossible. If Europe is so well managed, why are there so few European exports to the U.S.?
Many jobs were moved abroad. But there is something we can change: The entitled" Investor Court Suit Syndrome, in which investors whose stock value didn't rise to suit them sue the stock's corporation for alleged mismanagement.
Hello? Did anyone take Investment 101, where it is emphasized, "Don't invest money you can't afford to lose"? These suits make corporate managers afraid not to cut head count. Such suits must be prohibited. Eliminating such mischief could return many jobs to America.
Then we have the myth of the self-made mogul. Why are so many of those who demand personal responsibility in others themselves "made men," as they say in New York - people like the Koch brothers, who inherited the predecessor to Koch Industries? And just how many millions do you have to have before you can rest and allow some money to flow to the peasants?
Now to the personal responsibility dogma. To imply that most honest, ordinary citizens can exercise personal responsibility by starting a business, always having access to loans, never getting sick so the hospital sues them - this is just the Horatio Alger fairy tale that allows conservatives to pat themselves on the back while believing that if someone receives government payments he is the scum of the Earth, part of the 47 percent, so unlike their exalted selves. Why do the rich got so emotional over the "death tax"? Because inheritance is their lifeline.
Turning to the myth that liberals are promoting class warfare: Actually, the promoters are the Sean Hannity set. Only yesterday, he was a humble nonentity subbing for Rush Limbaugh, but today he tours the country, enjoying the accolades of the deluded in the bleachers. The vanity and ego of the rich are so monumental that they cannot bear to be ridiculed. Those who impugn them must suffer.
Consider Michael Milken, the Junk Bond King. Some rich investors purchased the foolish but legal bonds and suffered as they tanked. Society put Milken in prison, alleging the bonds were illegal. The actual purpose of his imprisonment was to punish him for embarrassing the rich by highlighting their limitless and comical greed.
The rich do not need a boat, but people in Cameroon need simple wells for water to live; the people in Sierra Leone need anti-malaria measures. You won't hear the rich acknowledge these inconvenient priorities. They are too busy severing employees. (As Mitt Romney said, it's fun to fire people.)
Granted that inequalities are inevitable in a mulligatawny society, but the barely concealed hatred the rich have for the unfortunate is just un-American.
The British custom of intricate social stratification has unfortunately taken root here and has resulted in many unfortunates merely awaiting a leader or movement. But in the present situation, to finish this tract would take forever: moving rocks, exposing the many toads, each of which has a shiny gold coin in its mouth.
Weather JournalChilly holiday weekend AMs