It’s no secret that the economy is messed up. For starters, income and wealth inequality have been growing steadily since the 1970’s. And with a globalized economy, the owners of the means of production can move those means of production to countries with lower wages. This increases their profits, which leads to higher stock prices and bigger bonuses. Those that deal in financial market take advantage of the increased stock prices and make a fortune investing in and selling stocks. Normally, this would just be business as usual, but the wages in America have remained relatively stagnant in that time frame. This problem is exacerbated by the continuation of outsourcing to cheaper countries. The rich have been getting richer at the expense of the American people. In order to make up for the income inequality, the American people have been taking on more and more debt to get by. This increase in debt played a large factor in the recent economic collapse, with many people being forced to default on their loans. And the problem doesn't look like it’s going away anytime soon.

The wealthy in this country have been monopolizing the wealth for years, and it doesn't take a genius to figure out that this trend is unsustainable. Addressing income and wealth inequality has been a focal point of the Obama administration, and redistribution of wealth through taxation is his current solution. The rhetoric of his opposition will demonize this as harmful for the economy. They propose lowering the taxes on the rich as if it would stimulate the economy. The problem with this logic was well documented during the Reagan administration. The rich don’t reinvest the money back into the economy, they save their money in tax havens to avoid paying more than they want to. Supporters of the tax cuts will falsely proclaim the rich to be job creators, although no rich person has ever decided to hire extra people just because their taxes were lower. Truth is: the rich aren't job creators, the people are. You can lower taxes all you want, but jobs respond to the increase in demand, not to the will of rich people. People get hired when the need for jobs arise, not when rich people have extra money.

The problem is that the rich have been monopolizing the money in this country. Less money is going towards the people. When less money goes towards the people, they have less money to spend. When they have less money to spend, they spend less. When they spend less, business goes down and people lose jobs. In the recent economic crisis, this became a downward death spiral, resulting in the worst economy since the Great Depression. You can see how this problem is unsustainable. The only reason that American companies are doing well right now is because of the increase in international markets. The Obama administration has attempted to stimulate demand in America through various stimulus programs. However, this drew the ire of a lot of people that don’t know the first thing about economics. Deficit spending during a down economy is a fundamental concept of Keynesian economics. It’s what eventually lifted America out of the Great Depression. The problem is that fiscal conservatives oppose any kind of spending. They saw the huge stimulus and were intimidated. They managed to reduce the stimulus to a lower amount, despite objections by economists saying that the stimulus should have been twice as large in order to be effective. As such, the results were less than spectacular; Congress erred on the side of prudence and lost.

The fact of the matter is that taxation of the wealthy is one of the few ways within the current system that will be beneficial to the economy in the long run. The monopolization of wealth by the rich simply isn't sustainable. The American economy is based on consumerism. People purchase their way into the American Dream. But with more money stored in tax havens, there is less money in circulation among everyone else. For the last few decades, Americans have made up for this with debt. This can only lead to another economic crisis. By redistributing the wealth, the government can indirectly stimulate the economy. It gives people more money to purchase with, creating demand and ultimately jobs. The issue of taxation isn't about red or blue, Republican or Democrat, or conservative or liberal. It’s about greed. Contrary to rhetoric, it’s not un-American to tax the rich. It’s un-American to continue to let them drain our country of its wealth.
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1 Response Dec 7, 2012

Thank you Kaiju. I especially like the truth in; "You can lower taxes all you want, but jobs respond to the increase in demand, not to the will of rich people. People get hired when the need for jobs arise, not when rich people have extra money." How is it that the quislings who support the wealthy are blind to this?

A lot of the working class and working poor seem to ignore the arbitrage of labor and the rentier society of wage slavery that consumerism and the bias towards wealth and against labor are driving us towards. It is almost like people think that they are going to be wealthy someday. The stupid . . . it hurts.