Monday, March 29, 2010
TAXES - March 25, 2010
In the vise between taxes and debt, there is one fairly evident fact that gets very little attention: the genuine enrichment of one’s life becomes smaller for rich people than for poor as the level of income rises. Indeed, it seems that once the basic needs for comfort and sustenance are accounted for, and the desired education and health care are in good supply as needed, one eventually reaches the point in which the major differentiation is found in comparative display of costly luxuries that attest to the wealth of the owner, inwhat Veblen gave the name of conspicuous consumption. Actually, most of the multi-million incomes wind up in the stock market, competing for the acquisition of paper that is described as “earning money”. Almost none of what is called hot money goes for the funding of new economic enterprise that could legitimately be called investment. When U.S. was deep into World War II and thereafter, the top income tax bracket was 91% and that in Britain was 97.5%. The rich continued a life of luxury, except for the few instances where they faced rationing. After the war, the display of wealth that announced the importance of the user remained the same, except for the few who made millions out of war profiteering. Today, when America is richer per capita than any nation has ever been, we hear the robber barons weeping that millions a year is hardly enough to supply them with the basics of upper capitalist life. And the struggling lower classes are taken in by propaganda that there is not enough money in the economy to clear the debts incurred by decades of living on credit and that taxes on the banksters and other “malefactors of great wealth” would be destructive of the system featuring our worship of money. It is time we paid the debts our Nation has put on the cuff, and time that we secured the money by taxing most heavily the class that has profited most by exploiting a policy of predatory lending.