Thursday, February 24, 2011

Budget Crisis? Duh, Tax the Rich!

By Robert Parry
February 24, 2011

A great tragedy of the United States is that the answer to many of the country’s domestic problems is obvious, even simple, but can’t be done because of a dominating political/media dynamic that rules that solution out.

Read on.


Peter Loeb said...


One often hears the wise counsel
of sacrifice from politicians of
both parties. "We must make the hard choices," we are told. "We
must ALL sacrifice."

I only "hear" these voices: I never
"see" them. I have made the "hard
choice" not to have a TV. I have
only a radio.

Do any of the wise eat meals out?
If so, we are not in the same worlds. I have made the "hard
choice" to eat out only once every
year (my birthday). I have truly sacrificed.

It is not only one party. That is, a particular party's "hard
choices" may include me. Otherwise,
I am probably in another party
encouraging others to make "hard
choices" for my benefit.

I also heard on my radio that a
multi-billion dollar contract has
been awarded to one giant corporation instead of another Boeing.

I wonder if those who worked so
very hard on these competing bids
(and it is not over yet, there are
certainly to be appeals...)
eat out more than once a year.

But then, those gentle philo-
sophical voices keep repeating that
I must sacrifice. We all must ALL sacrifice. We all must "make the
hard choices." It seems to me that
some are making more "hard choices"
than others.

I am often reminded of a poem by
Don Marquis in "the lives and times
of archy and mehitabel". The speaker is a fictional cockroach,
archy, who writes to his "boss"
by jumping on typewriter keys at night and cannot make capital letters.

"i see things from the underside..." he proclaims.

This is an excerpt from the poem,
"the robin and the worm".

a robin said to an
angleworm as he ate him
i am sorry but a bird
has to live somehow the
worm being slow witted could
not gather his
dissent into a wise crack
and retort he was
effectually swallowed
before he could turn
a phrase
by the time he had
reflected long enough
to say but why must a
bird live
he felt the beginnings
of a gradual change
invading him
some new and disintegrating
was stealing along him
from his positive
to his negative pole
and he did not have
the mental stamina
of a jonah to resist
the insidious
process of assimilation...

i am losing my
personal identity as a worm
my individuality
is melting away from me
odds craw i am becoming
part and parcel of
this bloody robin
so help me i am thinking
like a robin and not
like a worm any
longer yes yes i even
find myself agreeing
that a robin must live...

Anonymous said...

This article is so full of problems that it's not salvable.

Forceful expropriation is the solution to all ills? Hmmm... well, I really don't know.

"The solution to these many problems – is to raise taxes on the rich"

Why that should be the case is a mystery to me. It will rather lead to more waste, more war, more nepotism, more big business, more military-industrial-congressional complex and less jobs. Maybe the solution to these many problems is praying harder in the church? Well, not likely either.

"It has been an acknowledged rule of business since Henry Ford that companies thrive when people can afford to buy the products that the factories produce."

This is of course an ignorant speaking and anyone holding this as a "rule in business" should be shifted to the lower floors pronto. The companies for which no-one can afford the product that they produce don't exist. If a competitor manages to produce at a lower price, it will win. If a company pays higher wages to its workers (and it can afford it), it is able to hire higher-quality labor.

"busting unions that represent teachers and other public workers"

As if "employees" working for the only employer that doesn't actually need to fulfill a market function to stay in business and can hoover money from the populace at gunpoint needed "unions". Oh well. If we stopped the wars, we could probably pay off the "unions" for another twenty years.

"How hard that is was made apparent earlier this month as the nation wallowed in a sentimental remembrance of the late Ronald Reagan"

Finally a good point. What is not mentioned is that Reagan, far from being a "low tax" and "small governement" proponent, actually increased taxes and increased government powers, then topped it by a fat inflation tax, too.

"Other wealthy Americans have enriched themselves through holdings in multinational corporations that fattened their bottom lines by laying off middle-class Americans and hiring cheaper replacement workers overseas."

And this is a problem how? I like the constant moaning and bitching by people who are writing texts on PCs that cost a couple of hundred bucks while, if made 100% in America, one would have to shell out several thousands instead.

rosemerry said...

Lots of food for thought. I still cannot understand why the population supports the "Reps", half of whom are already millionaires, pushing the tax cuts for the super-rich, who provide few if any jobs or other benefits for the people. Once elected, the Reps vote for their own interests. The hatred of Unions and socialism,which are accepted as normal in most democracies, seems to me pathologically ingrained in the US individualistic spirit.

Big Em said...

Good article Mr Parry! This IS the obvious solution to the problem, since IT WORKED PREVIOUSLY, which 'anonymous' above and the present Neo-cons and Libertarians don't acknowledge. The best economic era for this country -- especially the middle class -- is widely accepted to be the 1950s, when there was a majority of single-income households who could support a family, home, and new automobile every 3 or 4 yrs, when the marginal tax rate was as high as 93%, there were protective tariffs, and unions were at their strongest. One can argue that there were other extenuating circumstances, but one cannot dispute that these 'socialist' factors did NOT prevent the best years of the US economy on record. In fact, the strongest argument can be made that these ASSISTED in the development of the strong US middle-class after WWII --- without the Rooseveltian regulations/programs in place, we would have quickly reverted back to something like the Gilded Age economic structure.

I would rather see us with higher taxes, better & secure jobs, and yes, even protective tariffs and unions, than follow the third-world model that seems so in vogue today...(ie; a small, rich elite, with an equally small middle-class, existing over a huge, desperately poor lower-class). I'd rather see our government spend $20,000 on welfare/education/jobs for a person than $50,000 for prison, or even more for military units in one of our boutique wars. Unfortunately, too many of my fellow US citizens are enamored of the 'free-market' solutions, simplistic Libertarianism, escapism, and casino solutions, so we're probably going to have to revisit the Great Depression II to get people to entertain serious solutions like re-establishing reasonable taxation, greatly reducing our military imperialism, and committing to true full employment as a national goal.