Unpacking “Class Warfare”

Whether you believe that asking those with more to share a greater part of the public burden is socialism or simply good citizenship, you can’t deny that there are heated feelings on the topic. I am of the persuasion that greed and selfishness- if further assisted by government, will be the demise of this country.

Paul Krugman has some excellent points in today’s New York Times. Among them:

As background, it helps to know what has been happening to incomes over the past three decades. Detailed estimates from the Congressional Budget Office — which only go up to 2005, but the basic picture surely hasn’t changed — show that between 1979 and 2005 the inflation-adjusted income of families in the middle of the income distribution rose 21 percent. That’s growth, but it’s slow, especially compared with the 100 percent rise in median income over a generation after World War II.

Meanwhile, over the same period, the income of the very rich, the top 100th of 1 percent of the income distribution, rose by 480 percent. No, that isn’t a misprint. In 2005 dollars, the average annual income of that group rose from $4.2 million to $24.3 million.

So do the wealthy look to you like the victims of class warfare?

….On one side, we have the claim that the rising share of taxes paid by the rich shows that their burden is rising, not falling. To point out the obvious, the rich are paying more taxes because they’re much richer than they used to be. When middle-class incomes barely grow while the incomes of the wealthiest rise by a factor of six, how could the tax share of the rich not go up, even if their tax rate is falling?

Full story here.

This Socialism Thing Has Got To Go

This originally appeared on Facebook and was written by my friend and Carroll College classmate, Joey Laythe in answer to the question “If America is going Socialist and Socialism is bad–then what is the solution?” Brilliant.

My Cure To End Socialism by Joseph Laythe, Ph.D
If we truly want to go to a “free-market” economy and do away with government interference, we will have to do the following:
  1. End FDIC and pray our banks don’t collapse as they did by the thousands during the Great Depression. In 1932 alone, over 2000 banks closed their doors and, in doing so, closed off access to their depositors $1.7 bill in assets. Bankers will do what’s in the interest of the consumer? Maybe we should be smart and keep our money in our mattresses.
  2. End FDA and pray that our local butcher can handle the new traffic. Please re-read Upton Sinclair’s The Jungle for more about the horrors of the meat packing industry. Food manufacturers should be focusing on profit not on government regulations. Maybe some of us like fingers and rat tails and feces in our meat.
  3. End the EPA and re-start the polluting of the environment with industrial waste, by-products and toxins. Corporations should be free to do with their goods as they damn well please.
  4. End the era of a mandatory Minimum Wage. If a worker wants better pay, let them find another job. We need to compete with Malaysia.
  5. End U.S. Postal Service. Let UPS and Fed Ex do the work, we can afford that. Who cares about security and privacy—we want it privatized. I resent the fact that a uniformed representative of the federal government comes to my door anyway— now that’s intrusiveness.
  6. Let the Federal Interstate system go private. Only wealthy tourists and corporations are using it anyway. Make it one giant corporate toll-road system.
  7. End Anti-Trust Laws. If corporations want to use their leverage against the American consumer, so be it. We can always boycott items. And what’s so wrong with a monopoly—isn’t that the point of capitalism—make more money than the other guy and drive him out of competition?
  8. End safety regulations. If I want to drive without my seat belt and I have an accident and my body flies around in the car and kills other people safely strapped inside, maybe they should have thought twice before getting in the car with me. Oh, and car seats for kids—overrated.
  9. End universal health care. Who gives a rat’s ass about the schmuck in East St. Louis who can’t afford preventive health care even though he’s worked hard his entire life. Maybe if he had been born into a middle class family, he’d be better off. Get born under better circumstances, dude. Let the hospitals and health care companies take care of our pocket books like they are supposed to.
  10. End federal college loans. After all, the only folks worthy of a college education are those whose parents make enough money to send them off on their own. Federal loans simply enable smart kids to get smarter—and we need to stop enabling people.
…and this FEMA thing has to go…let the folks move to higher ground.
And for even more irony, read this.