Tax the Rich: An animated fairy tale

by Scott Creighton

UPDATE 2:

Republican Ex-Gov: I’d Agree To Higher Taxes On Rich

 

UPDATE: Ok. Now that I am done with the Malala psyop story, let me explain my stand on this. Yes, we need to increase the tax rate on the upper 1% at least to the level it was at during Reagan and Bush days. We also need a good sized transaction tax leveled on Wall Street trades. That would tend to slow down the computer trading I think and certainly help the economy, the real economy, not the artificial one dedicated to “growth’ as opposed to people.

Now, that said, take this into consideration: if we had another 2 trillion dollars in the tax base right now, right at this very moment, what would happen?

Do you think the congress and the dems/republicans would do one single thing differently? Do you think they would stop breathlessly screeching over the manufactured debt monster?

Would they suddenly put money back into REAL public education (not the for-profit model Obama and Bush seem to love) and libraries and parks and public services and infrastructure?

No. They wouldn’t.

That money would be appropriated by the military industrial complex, the intelligence industrial complex, the prison industrial complex or the for-profit education industrial complex. It wouldn’t help at all. The “fiscal cliff” would still loom on the horizon.

Because, and I want to make this very clear… ITS NOT ABOUT THE DEFICIT… ITS ALL ABOUT CHANGING THE SOCIAL PACT THE PEOPLE HAVE WITH THE GOVERNMENT… so more money being put into the system does nothing in fact until we change the kinds of people who decide what to do with it.

“Taxing the 1%” as a campaign is a distraction! It’s being set up to provide the fake left with another bullshit “victory” for Obama like the insurance company bailout bill (Affordable Care Act) was.

There will be a “compromise’ which will include a higher tax rate for the 1% and fake lefties all across the “interwebs” will use that as proof that Obama “stuck it too them” but just like the so-called banker reforms from a couple years ago, it will be full of loop-holes and designed backdoor escape hatches which the high priced tax attorneys for the mega-wealthy will use to keep from paying more this year. And as has already been exposed, part of the deal will be a roll-back of that higher rate next year leaving the new loop-holes of course.

I’m not saying the people behind this campaign understand this aspect of it. They probably have good intentions.

But the problem isn’t not having enough money in the system, the problem is the prioritization of what they do with what they have. Some feel good minor tax increase on the super wealthy isn’t going to fix that… and in fact, it will take energy away from the struggle that needs to be fought.

That’s all I’m saying.

——– original below line ——-

(This is a pretty good effort, but I will be writing later about how the “tax the rich” movement isn’t actually in our best interests. Yes, I know… I said it… )

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35 Responses

  1. When the government actually makes the rich pay higher taxes, they also need to close all the loop holes. Why not penalize any corporation for moving their business to another nation by not allowing any of their now-foreign products to be sold in US and by not allowing them to have US citizenship and taxing them on each dollar they remove from the US. That would stop the rich from flexing their money muscles in revenge of taxes. Money they mostly made in US.
    Yo hell with them.

  2. I agree with you Jan10, but is never going to happen in America the RICH getting taxed to pay there share equal to what Middle class and poor must pay. I would love to see the further posting on this, specially when you say, taxing the rich is not in our best interest, how could that be?
    Corperations and Wall street run this country and it will never be like the fairy tale video said it was years ago, it is a pipe dream that gets tossed out to the masses to keep them at bay, like giving a dog a bone to keep him quiet!

  3. I’m just going to comment on the video: Over 40% of our tax dollars goes to the military. America doesn’t deserve a “happy ending” if it’s Imperial project continues to exist. “Look over there!”; there’s an elephant in the room.

  4. You are correct. Might want to check out Mish’s article today (if you haven’t already)

    http://globaleconomicanalysis.blogspot.com/

  5. Yeah, I understand what you are saying…. and your probably right.. ‘they’ have so many more nations to abuse… and that takes money… or ‘pretend’ money… Hey, I got an idea….!
    If they can train and trust prisoners to build NASA stuff, make some of our food, toys and other products……. then why not train them to be our army, navy, and air force? It would save a lot of money… (paying them .35 cents an hour)… and many of them already have had intensive training in killing and gun handling.
    Think we can convince them to do that? He he
    and then sit back and watch the newly trained recruits take over Washington…. probably would be better than the gangsters we have up there now !
    (where is Greenmon, he will love this.) :)

  6. Federal taxes don’t pay for anything. It is merely removing money from the system. The government has no real world spending constraint as it is the issuer of the currency. It creates $ by crediting private accounts for goods and services and destroys $ by taxation.

    The so called government debt (bonds) is in fact private savings.

    The ruling class don’t want the government to spend where it is needed i.e. into the real economy of labour and production, because they want the illusion of scarcity to be maintained so they can grab all the public assets and income streams at fire sale prices.

    Privatisation is the real game. More for themselves and less for everybody else.

    • Good points JohnG.

      I just have to disagree with one part of it. Government is not the issuer of the currency. Instead it is the borrower of that currency and needs to back it up with tax revenues from its “human resources” as collateral… With interest.

      Of the gazillion dollars that US owes, only a relatively small percentage of it is owed to China and other nations. The bulk of it is owed to the Federal Reserve, and consequently private bankers, who may or may not be US citizens.

      Had the government been the issuer of currency, and we actually owed all this money to the US government, we could just keep owing ourselves and borrowing more when necessary until things would get back on track.

      And, if we zoom out a little and look at the bigger picture… There is practically no sovereign nation left in the world that is NOT in debt. I know it’s not a zero sum game, but this is a simple impossibility, unless all the nations in the world have been robbed… Which we have been… Therefore, the whole affair is not a problem of economic models and stimulation programmes, but one of criminal nature for most part.

      • I know that the Fed is privately owned, but it makes no real world difference. It is a politically created institution and can be forced to do what it’s told e.g. it must buy all the T-Bills the treasury issues.

        All the rest is accounting. Very profitable accounting for the primary dealers, but only accounting never-the-less.

        Ideally the Fed would be merged with the Treasury and the primary dealer banks cut out.

        The power games make it all seem intractible but if and when more people understand the basic function of having a sovereign fiat nonconvertible floating currency, they will understand the game better and see that the whole game is a hoax.

    • Totally unrelated, but can’t help asking… Just noticed for the first time, after months and months of AE reading and posting, that the time zone on this blog is an hour ahead of EST… Which would put in the easternmost areas of Canada…

      Is that the case, Scott?… (Just curious.)

  7. Why do we even need rich people? They only destroy the people’s economies, and bribe the Government to start wars.

    I keep repeating this because my ability to type is severely limited, so here it is again:

    I am not for “communism.” The present economic disaster has come about because everybody ignored the obvious fact that a nation that allows 1% to own almost everything, while 99% own almost nothing, cannot be free. The 1% exists because they have have accumulated so much power that they do not get taxed at all. Meanwhile, people with normal jobs, even minimum wage jobs (few are informed of this) are required to give up at least 25% of their income to taxes!

    We are back in the Gilded Age of 1931; the 1% rich own it all; the 99% non-rich own virtually nothing. But there is a difference now. All of our productional industry has been sent off-shore, and our workers are without skills and sound education. Beware!

    “George Washington famously said, ‘Government is Force.’” Well he was as slave owner, wasn’t he? But there is more to it than that. Force is not government. Owning slaves is real force! Property implies force, in fact. Too much property implies too much force! What right do the super-rich have to use GOVERNMENT FORCE to “protect” their extravagant wealth? Wealth is force without democracy. Money + information (about other people) = power.

    We in the United States of America now have the purest form of what most people would call capitalism. We also have more people in jail than any nation has had in history. The average person has very few rights, you will notice. Only the rich oligarchs have real freedom, of course, as wealth is 99% similar to raw power in wealth-dominated societies. The average class cannot live in socialism, since they are basically too poor, and also, they have no rights. What right do the rich have to impose tyrannical wealth royalism over the rest of us? Why can’t we be free of the absolute power of the super-rich economic royalty?

    End The Rich!

    The super-rich contribute NOTHING to our so-called “economy”! They have sold out 90% of our productional assets down the river to China, India, Japan, etc. All for pure Profit! They care about us about as much a they care about the Iraqi children their government burned to death with white phosphorus!

    No one should be allowed to own more that 20 times what they need to make a living and live comfortably. People should be required to register their substantial holdings, and if they exceed the 20 times limit, a random jury should force them to sell off the excess to reduce their holdings to 15 times what they need. The proceeds should go to the commonwealth. Anything they fail to register should be confiscated, and those who willfully avoid registering assets should be punished. That is the only way to control economic royalism and protect freedom and human rights. Otherwise the 99% will inexorably be reduced to slavery.

    Most of our industry has been sold for profit and shipped down the river to other nations, and there is perhaps only one way to rebuild it. All large industry should be owned and completely controlled by democratic communities and towns. Each community would own an industry, which could only be sold to another community. Some communities would have to be larger than others. For example, an ironmaking operation would require a large community, or consortium of communities. There could be government sponsored research and development communities too. Employees would have to live in the communities that own their industries, and thus there would be a powerful incentive to minimize pollution. Small businesses would be operated by ordinary companies.

    There will be no more rich political parties. No more rich to be protected by vicious policing. Freedom at last!

    Merely taxing the rich a little more will not accomplish enough. We really need to get rid of them. Anybody want to discuss this option? No?

    • Well, I know a huge part of it is an illusion that anyone can get rich, but there is some truth to the fact that accumulation of money and power is a darn good incentive for innovation and development. In that sense, removing one of the best carrots from the equation leaves us with nothing but sticks.

      I feel the real issue is what the rich end up doing with their wealth, and how rich is too rich… For example, Bloomberg is not from a wealthy family, but, now that he is a Jillionnaire and a term limit bending mayor, he is a fascist elite just like the ones who have been rich for generations.

      Couple of things ot consider:

      1. Socialist style (just in principle… i am not a believer of isms) cap on how damn rich one can get…. In other words, if you make more, you pay more taxes… not less..

      2. Separation of money and state. As long as state holds the purse, the people with fat purses will hold the state hostage… And by hiring the not-yet-rich and corrupt, the feedback inhibition makes the problem snowball… (Like the20 million dollars that Susan Rice reportedly has after a “lifetime of public service”, in spite of having had no family wealth or any financial talents)

      3. Arrest the F’ers!!!! If a teenager who steals a snicker bar gets sent to juvenile for a year, how can people like Corzine still walk free???

      Sadly, none of this possible without a revolution… And I don’t have too much faith in revolutions either… Which, more often than not, just replaces the existing tyrannical crooks with other, or future tyrannical crooks

      • How do you separate money and state without giving private interests even more power over the rest of us?
        The biggest problem the productive economy faces is private debt levels i.e. bank credit which the government has little to no control over.
        The key, I think, is democratic control. The fight isn’t against government per se (as the libertarians believe) but about good government vs bad government. We all have governments that are in a cartel with the big money interests against the rest of us.
        We need government to act in the promotion of general welfare and government money is a sector of the economy in total.

        • I agree and to go a step beyond that, this libertarian movement is simply an echo of the core principle of the neoliberal agenda: smaller government.

          Check out what they set up whenever they destabilize a country and neoliberalize it for the benefit of their banker/corporate buddies. They always seem to Balkanize, turning a once powerful and influential state into a cluster of mini-states run by various factions, usually theocratic in nature, and run like the mob or a drug gang runs blocks in a city. It’s much easier to control that way and if one of your little warlords gets too big for his britches, then you can take him out with a drone or a deathsquad much easier than if there were a legitimate central government to contend with.

          Goes back to the days of the British colonial rule. They knew the best way to occupy and control a population was to pit them against each other and break up their central core strength.

          Fast forward to today and what do you have? People like Rivero actually calling for “a thousand mini-states” (and supporting Obama back in March by the way) and libertarians demonizing the notion of “central planning” and the federal government as a whole.

          Of course there is talk of succession and states rights… etc etc etc.

          The central bank isn’t the problem. The privately owned central bank loaning us our own money back to us is the problem. and those who rant against “fiat currency’ also bug me a bit. All currency is fiat. All of it. Nothing has value until we decide it does. Diamonds for instance: rare? think again. But they are extremely valuable because it serves someone’s interest to have them so, and there they are.

          If oil’s value was dictated by “the free market” it would be worth about half what it was in 2000 but instead it’s worth double or triple even. because someone deems it so.

          Gold based or silver based currency serves to make the people with the gold and the silver wealthy and I don’t care how many little bars you might have, you don’t have as much as the Rothchilds and the Bush family so who does that rhetoric serve?

          You can use anything as a measure of currency just so long as the institution that is in control of it’s circulation has the best interest of the nation in mind otherwise, the people become enslaved to a small group of corrupt people and interests. That is why there is a push to get the entire world on our system what I often call the “Global Free Market Wars”

          • “The central bank isn’t the problem. The privately owned central bank loaning us our own money back to us is the problem.”

            It’s only a problem in terms of perception. The Fed returns all its interest after expenses to the treasury.

            The way the Fed operates in the private banks’ interest is a problem BUT the government has the power to change that. If we can get hold of the government.

            If a critical mass of people were to understand how a currency works then the divisive tactics you mention would no longer play because government spending would not be seen as benefiting one group at the expense of another. Because in reality, there is no expense.

            • exactly. But you’re right, you would need to get a hold of the government and the Federal Reserve and Wall Street and the IMF and World Bank and you had better get a hold of the military while you are at it, otherwise you won’t hold it for long.

              And let me say one more thing… you had better get a hold of the launch codes as well because I think these people, having set themselves up for nearly every possible contingency, would pull the trigger if they understood that it was all crashing down around them in the hopes that their stored wealth and access to other leaders in the world would mean they are in charge when the smoke clears. And you might want to get a hold of at least one network as well so you can get real information out to the public when the shit hits the fan. just a thought.

  8. “….but there is some truth to the fact that accumulation of money and power is a darn good incentive for innovation and development.”

    We don’t need no more “innovation and development.” We want our frigging country back.

    END THE RICH. They are toxic. Money beyond all luxury spontaneously transforms into power seeking. It has NO OTHER OUTLET. Power is always power over other people. That means their rights are curtailed. ALWAYS.

    END THE RICH.

    • It’s kind of a slippery slope once you start down that road but I see where you are coming from.Poverty and frustration is very hard on people and usually leads to shall we say “colorful” times. the French Revolution comes to mind which is probably why that establishment hack Noland dressed his “terrorist”Bane in that coat. Wanted to draw the comparison himself. Not that you are in that situation, poverty and frustration, but I sure am.

      Being rich is a matter of perspective. My brother makes more than I ever will and he’s not rich. He’s got several houses and from what I can tell a bicycle that costs around $6,000 but he’s not “rich’. Of course, he doesn’t think he is but to people around here? To me? To his mother who worked her whole life and now cringes when she hears anything about the government reducing Social Security?

      But not to him because he travels in circles with people who are richer. And that’s the problem.

      He doesn’t focus on all of that himself. He is quite happy now and I don’t think he schemes and plots and plans to get more and more and more but there are many out there who do every single day. They are the problem, not people like my brother who some might call “rich”

      So where to draw the line. I think it’s harder than simply looking at a tax return.

      I did see an apartment in New York at Trump Towers that is on the market for 75 million. I think people who dream of spending that kind of cash for something like that might be good candidates. Them and the idiot who puts that price tag on it.

  9. I’ve been trying to point that out to people for years. Everyone is ridiculously ignorant as to the real spending goes.

    I hate to add extra angst, but how exactly are we going to change the social pact? I guess we could put more faith and energy into the current resistance movements, but I am not optimistic about them at all by this point…

  10. How about we do what we’ve needed to do all along and stop using this stupid invisible unnecessary thing called “money”?

    http://www.thevenusproject.com/

    It takes a lot to digest this concept. Don’t judge it after you’ve actually watched some videos and read some discussions on it.

    There’s been a video floating around recently where the man states clearly, “What would you do if money were no object?” We all have an answer to that. Well, there you go. That’s the resource-based economy right there. The idea that we won’t do anything if money doesn’t exist is a myth sold by the 1% to keep people blind and deaf.

    • You know, the first Zeitgeist was a great documentary but I have to tell you, the whole Venus Project thing kind of makes me a little uneasy.

      How exactly do you try to sell the idea of a “resource based economy” at a time when a fake war on terror is being waged to control the resources of so many less powerful nations? I don’t really get it. It’s a resource based economy right now if the term “petro-dollar” means anything to you. and explain to me what a “resource based economy” looks like cus right now it sure sounds like what the Sauds in Arabia enjoy. Who controls the resources and if you say they are owned by everyone and no one, well then you are talking about so many of the countries that we have invaded because they dared to treat the resources of a country as the property of the people of that country. But they still used currency, didn’t they.

      So I am confused. I have to also admit, the whole idea about “laborers” not being needed because of the technological revolution kinda bothers me. I didn’t set out to be a craftsman, but that’s what I became before I was disabled by DVTs and PEs. So talking about doing away with that faction of society kinda bothers me a bit. It also doesn’t seem realistic. Who fixes the machines? Who sets them up? Who builds them? What don’t we trust to machines which labor which tasks? And what happens in the event that those resources run dry a few generations down the road? Do we loose the skill and the craft to complacency? How do we get by then?

      The whole thing seems pleasant enough, I mean the rest of it, but to be honest, I wonder if there isn’t a little class-prejudice going on over at the Venus Project. But then again, I could be wrong. I only looked into it when Addendum came out and the ending of that kind of put me off a bit.

      • I think that the Zeitgeist Movement website explains things much more clearly Scott. Jacques is a wise man, but a lot of times he is not the best communicator.

        If and when you have time, I think you should check out their material on the subject. They lay it out much more clearly.

        A lot of it has to do with us completely starting over on our society from scratch. It’s all about asking “Hmm, how would we design a truly humane and sustainable society?”

        Here’s the first part, which you can download it. It’s long, but well worth it IMO:
        http://thezeitgeistmovement.com/uploads/upload/file/15/TZM_Orientation_Incomplete.pdf

  11. Jacque Fresco suggests how he advocates for a global audit of resources being done (which can’t currently be done because countries get scared when you ask them for official records of all their resources) and making all of those resources common heritage. He talks AVIDLY against governmental control, and much more about General Consensus, which is what true democracy really is. If the whole of and informed society (not unnecessary elected officials) votes on the issues, not elected officials, then true sustainability can take place – only then can it really.

    Money seeks to undermine anything really efficient, that’s why things break down such as cars. There have been ample opportunities to make society 10 times more efficient than it is, from cars that never break down (henry ford made one out of plant material including hemp) to 1, maybe 2 months of our current war budget being able to eliminate all poisonous water supply on the earth.

    You cannot afford to be ethical in a monetary system. It doesn’t happen, at least not for very long.

    • Again, I agree with you in principle, but as a sweeping generalization, I don’t think that holds up so well. There are many people out there who have money and are quite ethical aren’t there? And on the flip side, there are those surrounded by great wealth who are literally penniless who maintain their self control and sense of ethics. And for that matter, all governments which use a monetary system of one kind or another don’t end up like ours and Britain’s has. Many do, but if you notice, a lot of the time we have to send in the economic hitmen to bribe the leaders and when some don’t succumb to that temptation, in go the jackals. That’s been our model for spreading neoliberalism for decades. People write books about it. Take for instance Chavez or Castro or even Gadhafi… we couldn’t corrupt their ethics could we? So they are demonized and assassination attempts followed. As too whether or not it can be maintained for long, Cuba has resisted since the revolution of ’59 and it took lies and NATO and bombs to get rid of the system that Libya created.

      And consider the recent example of Iceland. They got stung by greedy bankers and Goldman Sachs as well, but look how they handled it. They told the banks to f*ck off and arrested the bankers and their complicit lawmakers and now they are doing quite well in comparison.

      I’m not saying this idea of yours is wrong, it may very well be the next evolutionary step in civilization, if neo-feudalism isn’t… but there could be systems that work better than they do now. Quite literally what you are doing is throwing out the baby with the bathwater by saying since all this corruption is out there, that means that the monetary system of any kind will never work. It might work if this neoliberal agenda doesn’t deliberately destroy it.

    • I don’t think money as such is the problem. It’s debt money at interest that ensures the constant transfer of real wealth from labour (nearly all of us) to the rentiers).
      It also makes constant growth necessary (debt has to constantly expand just to pay the interest), which in a finite world is suicide.
      When the debt service can’t be maintained by further credit expansion, the assets get transferred to the creditors.
      Money itself has no intrinsic value, it’s just an accounting entity.

    • I think what we’re going to have to do is look to the hunter gatherer societies to get an idea of what to do next. Their values are much more in line with what we seek. We need to find a way to raise awareness of how humanity and the entire planet is inter-connected, and that we all need to cooperate to survive.

      I think the only way we can do that is by reaching out to other people as much as possible and then coming together for the best solution. And by people, I mean ordinary folk…

  12. Re: willyloman, on December 11, 2012 at 7:59 pm:

    I get all that Scott. But it’s one way of promoting a nonviolent revolution. Knowledge is power etc.

    I’m not saying it will work, but it’s a way of trying without taking up the AK-47s, which as you say, won’t work anyway.

    They haven’t been shooting or detaining us MMTers yet, so I’ll keep banging my drum. :)

    • Look man, whatever works is fine by me. as they say in football and car racing “pick a line and stick commit to it”

      • Have a look at some of the MMTers’ sites. It clarifies a lot about the economy and how we are deceived into the partisanship you mention.

        New Economic Perspectives is a good place to start. Not too dry for an econ blog and consciously written in plain English for the everyman.

        • It seems that “MMT” stands for “modern monetary theory”. I simply dislike complicated “economic” theories, have no use for them. There are always people who want to be the boss. One would think it would not be easy to gain control over other people but it is if you can convince enough of them that they are somehow unworthy. What is this thing about “consensus”? Is this OWS style consensus? I once lived in a “commune” that used “consensus” decision making. It was like living in a jungle. What the intentional community movement often calls “the tyranny of consensus.”

          • It’s not complicated and it isn’t theory as such. It is an explanation of how modern money actually, physically, mathematically works.

            The difficulty in getting the story across is that most people are conditioned to believe that money is a commodity. Or worse, that it is created by the private sector and government is a cost to us all because it must take “our money” to spend.

            See how the banks didn’t squeal when the Fed created $13 trillion dollars for them out of thin air? Yet they demand that the government must balance its budget.

            Why is that?

            You can’t separate economics from politics and have a consistent world view. The financial system is how the powers that be separate us from the wealth we produce and should commonly own.

  13. Now that I’ve learned all about copy/paste, thought I’d paste this up–case anybody missed it.

    http://www.nbcnews.com/business/too-big-fail-means-too-big-jail-1C7555748?ocid=msnhp&pos=4

    r ap

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