Wednesday, June 08, 2011

No Taxes on the rich is about the system not the individuals

My friend Moshe Rothenberg recently posted this on Facebook:

Why would millionaires tax themselves when they hold the controls of power? Virtually every Senator in Congress is at least a millionaire. This system has never been rational; why would they start now? Because Facebook exists? I don't think so.
I'm not sure where this concern about taxation comes from and I'm not sure what Facebook has to do with it, but I think the argument that because Congress is made up of a bunch of millionaires, they wouldn't tax themselves, largely oversimplifies the question. It seems to me that it focuses the argument on the characteristics of the individuals rather than the characteristics of the system. I think both Moshe & I would agree that the problem is the system, capitalism. I don't know how many members of Congress are in fact millionaires but I do know that they are all bought and paid for by the corporate oligarchy ("ruling class" if you prefer). As the cost of political campaigns escalates, the politicians are more and more subjected to that small minority that owns and controls the source of political financing the corporate owners. Without suggesting that the U.S. has ever been a democracy, what used to be considered bribery and resulted in jail terms - with the consent of the Supreme Court - is now labelled campaign contributions and is perfectly legal. I think this is one of a number of reasons capitalism & democracy are essentially incompatible.

No comments: