Popular Posts

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Diatribe

"I think that when you spread the wealth around, it's good for everybody." (Barack Obama, to enough-already "Joe the Plumber").

What, exactly, does this friggin' mean? I mean this in an entirely non-partisan sense. What the hell does he mean? Who is spreading it? The people who have it? Geez, if I'm languishing in luxury, eating grapes and drinking fine wine, and my neighbor is sitting in abject misery for lack of some crackers, I'll sure as hell "spread the wealth"... but who is the "you" that Obama is referring to?

This seems partisan, but really, there's a deeper point. He's saying that "I think that when government has the ability to take from some to give to others, it's good for everybody." In some limited sense it's true. But in some expansive sense it's sure as hell not. Spreading the friggin' wealth? It's not margarine for God sakes. What the comment reveals is failure to understand that it's not a zero sum game, as if "We all have some X, but some more than others, and we can't count on getting any more, so we'd better gosh darn share it...". What's next, rapping our knuckles with a ruler? This is manifestly... ahh crap forget it...

2 comments:

mijopo said...

Presumably Republicans have felt the same way for quite a while now. As far as I know, neither Republicans nor Democrats have introduced legislation to do away with progressive income tax.

The principle to which Obama alludes is a perfectly obvious one. If wealth accumulates at the top and has no means to cycle down to those more likely to spend it, the economy suffers. And the McCain "attack" on this as socialism, (while, I might add, simultaneously approving the bailout and proposing buying mortgages from bank) is the most disingenuous bullshit I've seen a political campaign since, well ever.

Erik said...

I'm not against the progressive income tax. In some cases I'd rather see higher income tax on personal income, and compensatory lower taxes on businesess...

I think the issue of taxation sometimes masquerades as politics but is really psychological. Some people can't stand the thought of some having so much, while others have so little, and some others can't stand the thought that what some earned, others now somehow have a right too.

But, for the record, the rich can pay their share, and ought to. And the poor ought to receive the amount of assistance that is conducive to them becoming participants, rather than the much less inspiring recipients...