Class Warfare Blog

January 10, 2019

They Want It Both Ways

A common trope among the vocal rich is that handing out money to the “poor” will make them lazy. “Handing out” and “handouts” refer to welfare, food stamps, a higher minimum wage, you name it. On the flip side, they also claim that “redistributing” money from the rich to other where through higher progressive taxation will remove all of the incentive to invest and innovate.

So, at one end of the spectrum, allowing the poor to keep more of what they make or bumping their wages up to a bare subsistence level will result in them opting out of their jobs (more money = laziness) but allowing the rich to keep more of their income will encourage them to work harder, innovate more (more money = initiative).

Obviously this is merely a reflection of the class disdain the rich have for the poor. The poor are poor because of character flaws, moral weakness, lack of intelligence. The rich are rich because of their sterling character, moral strength, and brilliance. (Donald Trump … uh, is the exception that proves the rule?)

Also, is there any indication either of these “narratives” has any merit?

There is a well known phenomenon in business that as businesses grow and become larger, they tend to grow stagnant. They innovate less and their managers become more interested in milking the cow they have rather than finding new cows. In the recent tax giveaway to businesses, were the billions saved in taxes used to innovate, used to upgrade production, used to compensate workers, any of the things it was claimed it would do? Apparently, the funds were mostly used to buy back stock, which drives up the price of the stock, enriching shareholders and executives with stock options (you do get what you pay for).

Another economic “natural experiment” was the 1950’s and 1960’s economies. Marginal tax rates were sky high from the necessity to acquire funds to pursue World War 2. President Eisenhower refused to lower them, even in the peacetime following. Unions were empowered and laws were passed to provide some leveling of the playing field between labor and capital. So, were people enjoying the good times on welfare? Was there any laziness to be observed? Was innovation stifled because the rich were starved of the funds they needed to fuel the innovations? I think you know the answers to all of these (no, no, no).

So, what is with these narratives?

They aren’t new, they have been around for a century or more. They are, like religious apologies, arguments that sound reasonable but have no basis in reality. They have become memes among the rich folks, repeated often enough to be transferred from generation to generation. They are even sold to ordinary working people because they do sound reasonable and are repeated over and over. The rich are the job creators! Bah, customers create demand, demand creates jobs, and demand in our economy is mostly domestic demand which is stifled due to wage suppression activities on behalf of the rich.

The code word in use is “redistribution,” by which they mean that the rich are taxed and that money is “given” to the poor. The fact that much of the wealth the rich have accumulated is due to “redistribution” through other means is never mentioned. (Look up the history of the oil depletion allowance to see where the majority of the oil barons in this country came from.) The rich are in the business of bribing their politicians (not ours, we can’t afford them) to pass laws that benefit them. Our “representatives” do favors for the rich and nothing for the poor. For example, President Trump’s lackeys rolled back Obama-era regulations that prohibited coal companies from dumping toxic waste into the streams and rivers we draw our drinking water from, redistributing the consequences from the coal company executives to ordinary people. (1. Don’t get sick. 2. Die quickly.)

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19 Comments »

  1. To expound from your least favorite book beginning in Titus 1:6, Paul details for Titus the qualifications for elders, one of which is the ability to “encourage others by sound doctrine and refute those who oppose it” (verse 9). He goes on to say that in Crete there were many rebellious people and deceivers who must be silenced as they were teaching falsehood for financial gain (verses 10–11). At that point, Paul quotes a famous Cretan who wrote, “Cretans are always liars, evil brutes, lazy gluttons” The idlers were the idle rich—nothing has changed.

    Like

    Comment by jim- — January 10, 2019 @ 11:18 am | Reply

    • Even in the Bible, they have regular “debt jubilees” which wiped all debts off, otherwise the rich would leverage all of it and the poor would become permanent.

      On Thu, Jan 10, 2019 at 11:18 AM Class Warfare Blog wrote:

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      Like

      Comment by Steve Ruis — January 10, 2019 @ 11:38 am | Reply

      • The year of release would be a true economic boom, I think. And happy??? Wow. Think about that!

        Like

        Comment by jim- — January 10, 2019 @ 11:44 am | Reply

  2. The tax cutting for the top margins started with Kennedy. He sold the country in the idea tha a rising tide lifts all the boats. He stole that phrase from a conservative European economist. Reagan and Bush lowered them more and now under our present administration and congress they have been reduced even more.
    The result will be a big recession or depress similar to the depression in the thirties following the inequality of the foregoing decades

    That can be changed by voting for candidates who will raise the marginal rates and estate taxes back higher where they need to be.

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by OG — January 10, 2019 @ 11:34 am | Reply

    • And corporate taxes. The corporate contribution to the federal coffers has shrunk and shrunk and shrunk.

      On Thu, Jan 10, 2019 at 11:34 AM Class Warfare Blog wrote:

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      Liked by 1 person

      Comment by Steve Ruis — January 10, 2019 @ 11:39 am | Reply

  3. Yes, the rich Republicans and pernicious rich neoliberal Democrats. Last check before the midterms there were no members of Congress with a net worth under a million $. Remember, 60% of humanity lives on less than $600 per year. Our criterion for reality and political discernment must begin there.

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by Zach — January 10, 2019 @ 1:32 pm | Reply

    • As always, we agree.

      On Thu, Jan 10, 2019 at 1:32 PM Class Warfare Blog wrote:

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      Like

      Comment by Steve Ruis — January 10, 2019 @ 1:41 pm | Reply

  4. I’m thinking of running on the Republican ticket in 2020 as a Senator from (fill in the blank). My platform will be to propose the building of state of the art gas chambers and crematoriums to deal with, let’s call it, “the problem of the poor ‘n disabled.” See, the poor and disabled are a bane on America. Let’s just gas the f**kers and cremate ’em and give more tax cuts to the top 1%. (Sad thing is, depending on what state I run in, I damn well might just become a Senator in 2020 behind this idea. MAGA!!!)

    Liked by 2 people

    Comment by inspiredbythedivine1 — January 10, 2019 @ 3:18 pm | Reply

    • Let’s see … kill them with state of the art gas, or crippling charity … either way, job done. Anything but Justice.

      Liked by 1 person

      Comment by Zach — January 10, 2019 @ 3:22 pm | Reply

      • PLEASE!!! Do not forget the cremation part! Jesus, poor and disabled people reek bad enough when they’re alive! Could you imagine the stench of millions of gassed disabled and poor people rotting out in the open? OMG! That’s gross!!!! Lazy friggin’ poor and disabled people! I effing HATE ’em! The bastards! And, please, don’t get me started on wounded disabled vets! Makes me wanna puke! Effin’ pansies suckin’ up resources! SUCK IT UP, YOU WIMPS!! (This message has been brought to you by the “Welfare For The Rich Organization.” They’re dedicated to giving ALL hard earned America dollars to the richest 1% whether you agree with the idea or not. $Amen$)

        Liked by 2 people

        Comment by inspiredbythedivine1 — January 10, 2019 @ 4:07 pm | Reply

        • How much does it cost to join the WRO?

          On Thu, Jan 10, 2019 at 4:07 PM Class Warfare Blog wrote:

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          Liked by 1 person

          Comment by Steve Ruis — January 11, 2019 @ 10:33 am | Reply

          • It’s a GREAT deal! Simply take the amount of your tax dollars that you’ve had stolen from you by the libtards in our Federal Gov’t to support nonsense like food stamps, public housing, Medicaid, disability benefits for vets and other lazy disabled folk, and ship it to the richest person you know and WALLA! you’re in. #MTRR Make the rich richer and end the “problem” of the poor and disabled! Vote IBTD1 in 2020 and support gassing and cremating the poor and the disabled ASAP!

            Like

            Comment by inspiredbythedivine1 — January 11, 2019 @ 11:18 am | Reply

    • As a former US Marine combat vet (Vietnam war) ans also a long time permanently disabled person, I salute your post for being honest. I don’t give a flying fart in hell what you call me or how you treat me as long as you do it honestly. I despise dishonesty. To be honest back at you, with the current state of my personal health, I’d give you my vote tonight. I have my arrangements to be cremated already and there will be NO service of any sort before, during, nor after. All pre-set with the funeral home years ago.

      Like

      Comment by Walter Kronkat — January 11, 2019 @ 8:35 pm | Reply

      • AWESOME!!! My first vote!!! HURRAY!!! Man, get this shit: there are several disabled vets I know complaining that their food stamps will be cut off due to this shut out! HOW LAZY OF THEM!!! Get a friggin’ job or get gassed, ya’ lazy bums!!!! (This message was brought to you by The Christ’s Love Republican Christian Coalition of Very Rich White Non-disabled, Non-military Vets Who Support Inspiredbythedivine1’s Quest To Become A Compassionate US Senator For Rich Republicans.) $Amen$

        Liked by 1 person

        Comment by inspiredbythedivine1 — January 12, 2019 @ 7:51 am | Reply

      • I am with you!

        On Fri, Jan 11, 2019 at 8:35 PM Class Warfare Blog wrote:

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        Like

        Comment by Steve Ruis — January 12, 2019 @ 8:14 am | Reply

  5. Aaaahhhh, well … some are just more blessed at birth.🤯

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by Zach — January 11, 2019 @ 12:19 pm | Reply

  6. I wonder how it would be if a “government” that forces strangers to pay it, didn’t.

    Like

    Comment by Ed — January 12, 2019 @ 11:23 am | Reply


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