Tax The Rich!


Walter Russell Mead:

When Americans peer ahead into the future, the most consequential question we ask is about jobs: in a world in which manufacturing jobs won’t support an affluent middle class and in which many professional jobs will be transformed by automation, how will most Americans make a living, and what will keep the middle class afloat?

A conventional, widely shared view informs the way that blue America looks at that future. This view holds that the death of industrial society means the death of the mass middle class. When millions of people can’t make a living “making stuff” in factories anymore, wages for the unskilled will fall. America will be increasingly polarized between a small group of high skilled creative professionals and a larger group scavenging a living by serving them: mowing their lawns, catering their parties and so on.

Those who think that the blue model needs to be preserved and extended into the future (including, I think, our current president and most of his top allies and advisors), tend to think that under those conditions we will both need and be able to afford an ever-more active redistributive state. The tycoons and the very successful minority will be so rich, thanks to their continuing gains from globalization and technological change, that they can pay progressively higher taxes to fund basic services and middle class jobs for enough of the rest of the country that something like a middle class society can be preserved. From this perspective, a government-funded health care system is more than a method of delivering health care: it is a way of providing protected, blue-model type jobs when the factories have mostly disappeared. In general, from this perspective you wouldn’t worry about the growth of public employment compared to jobs growth in the private sector; a highly productive private sector might employ fewer and fewer people to generate the wealth that would sustain the larger but much less productive public sector.

This view of the future sees a supercharged private economy pumping huge amounts into the system in a way that, unless corrected by sustained government action, polarizes incomes to an unacceptable degree. It sees a handful of very large and very successful businesses—an information-finance-entertainment complex, perhaps, including everything from movie studios to investment banks to software firms—generating vast profits. Top research scientists and a few other groups will also do well: the celebrity chefs, the famous writers and intellectuals who attract funding and publicity from the lords of the earth, and other clever, creative types. Wall Street, Hollywood and Silicon Valley will anchor the vibrant, creative side of the American economy, but the rest of the country and the very large majority of the citizenry will live much less productive lives.

The people who work in the cutting edge firms, directly or as contractors, will do extremely well and live fascinating lives. But the rest of the country will be cut off from wealth creation. For 4.0 liberals, the programmatic consequences are obvious: tax the productive private sector in order to fund a dignified life for those in education, health care and especially for the large majority of the population without the skills or the creativity that would qualify them to join the productive minority.

The problem with all those “tax the rich” schemes is you always run out of rich people long before you run out of the poor ones.

(As always with WRM, there is a lot more and you should go read it.)

About Myiq2xu - BA, JD, FJB

I was born and raised in a different country - America. I don't know what this place is.
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27 Responses to Tax The Rich!

  1. Lulu says:

    WRM is describing a new form of feudalism. They extract wealth they do not create it. It is the Chicago model of organized crime which is also feudal. Obama has the divine right because of his education and narcissism rather than merit. The media and the Vile Progs are the new clergy and minor gentry who benefit from the new order because they justify, rationalize, and enforce it. The rest of us are serfs who live and die, produce and pay taxes, and serve the master or else. The really hilarious thing is that these idiots think they are doing something new.

  2. conner43 says:

    lulu, what education ? Getting a pass through some good schools, and probably as a foreign student at that, does not an education make.
    I agree with everything else though.

    Let’s not forget that the payers and creators will eventually rebel. They always do.

  3. votermom says:

    I read the full article, I agree, WRM really nails it this time. The blues believe in a new class society.

    The concept of an elite guiding national development for the benefit of those it governs remains operative today among blue partisans, but what’s changed is that the blue elite no longer sees a bright future for the masses.

    … believe that differences of talent and ambition ensure that the world will always be divided between a creative minority and an inert majority, and that the goal of social policy isn’t to eliminate that ineradicable difference, but to ensure that the process of recruitment into the elite is genuinely fair.

    The long job of social evolution, the fight against entrenched power going back to Magna Carta is over. It has done its job, it has brought us into the golden age of absolute and permanent meritocracy. The best now truly rule.
    And something else has also come to an end: the rise of the common people.

    The economy is making us more unequal, but a wise elite can mitigate the harm—if only we are willing to live under their tutelage. That is what liberalism 4.0 offers today; from an ideology of populism and reform it has mutated into a defense of the status quo.

    • myiq2xu says:

      Unfortunately, those blue elites aren’t as elite as they think. They can’t imagine a system where they are proles.

      • votermom says:

        It’s like ppl who believe in reincarnation all think they used to be Cleopatra and Alexander the Great.

      • Mary says:

        And those blue elites, while they talk an “ideology of populism” and reform supposedly on behalf of those proles, couldn’t give a diggy dog damn about those same proles, wouldn’t be caught dead anywhere around them, as long as their “talk” makes it seem like they care.

        I place many of our “progressive” journalists in that category—big talk, but ensuring they live in their l% gated communities as far away from the serfs as possible. Desperately pushing to be sure they remain in the elites.

        Great article!

  4. votermom says:

    OT but this happened lol

  5. votermom says:

    MyIq, were you in Philly yesterday?

  6. Got the revised W-2 forms from husband’s employer. As I suspected, the “revision” was due to Obamacare. The company has reported on the W-2 $18,000+ as their contribution to our health insurance. Not taxable to us – THIS YEAR! But it is listed in box 12- same as the 401k contribution.
    My question is when does this become taxable as income?
    Second question. Is this an Obamanation move to artificially increase the average income figures for the population?

    I am beyond disgusted. Husband will be 63 this year. He had planned on working til he dropped dead. This will change things for sure. He will be forced onto Medicare at 65 of course- but was going to continue to work- partly to keep the insurance available to me.
    I need to double down on my work search.

    • PS- this puts us in a higher tax bracket. But withholding has not gone up enough to cover it. There’s a fine trap. Need to find out when this crap becomes taxable to us so we can plan to cover the tax bill. WHich will of course leave us even LESS money to pay bills and buy groceries, clothing, gasoline etc.
      I really truly hate all things Obamacare.

        • ACK! Tracking down info is hard- trying to figure out if we have the dreaded “Cadillac” insurance. It is a dollar threshold- not what the actual insurance covers. Go Figure.

        • votermom says:

          Let us know what you find out. 😦

        • Conflicting right now. Hard to find two sources with the same numbers. As it stands right now- with what I have read- we are in the Cadillace range- as it is calculated by adding the total cost- employer contribution plus ours.
          The numbers I am reading range anywhere from a little over 20k to just under 30k.
          If I find anything solid, will report back.
          Wonder how many people will divorce on paper to bring themselves back to single filing status and down a tax bracket (or two)

        • votermom says:

          we are in the Cadillace range- as it is calculated by adding the total cost- employer contribution plus ours.

          It’s not per person covered?
          If that’s so then a family with kids is skarood up the wazoo.

        • VM- from what I am reading- no- not per person, it is either single or family. Period. Some leeway given for high cost states like MA- but again, I can not find any two reputable sources giving the same numbers. IE- Forbes and NPR are not even close. But ALL the articles I have read do indicate it’s family/single. No family of two, three, seven etc. Just those two classes.
          I’ll keep looking.

        • votermom says:

          effing obamacare

  7. votermom says:

    I made a back up twitter account just in case

  8. Somebody says:

    I take a tiny bit of exception to the philosophy put forth in the article. I don’t see that Hollywood or creative authors will be part of the elite. They may start out that way, but they’ll quickly lose their status. Without a strong middle class to buy books and movie tickets the earnings of both with wither away. What earnings do come in will mostly go to publishers and studios executives, leaving crumbs for the authors and artists. One might think they’d have enough in the bank, but most of them wouldn’t make the necessary adjustments to their lifestyle and would quickly end up on skid row.

  9. HELENK says:

    stolen from a commenter at No Quarter

    a good read

  10. HELENK says:

    this might make a difference. he put pro union thugs on the NLRB and this has hurt business.

  11. DeniseVB says:

    I saw that the Fair Tax bill was introduced to Congress, will be interesting to see how far it goes. It just seems too fair, eliminate income taxes and the IRS and only tax what you spend. Safety nets are in place for the lowest earners.

    Proportionate Electoral College votes by CD’s won seems fair too.

    One day we may have a fair minded government 😀

  12. HELENK says:

    I am so sick of hearing about racism.
    why don’t they give a class on helping kids learn the basics

  13. foxyladi14 says:

    Sometimes I wish I could that give up my US citizenship 😯

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