We are a sad, sick society of money grubbing whores.
The latest Fortune 400 list came out the other day, and everybody is still gushing over Bill Gates and his $54 billion.
His motherfucking software doesn't even work.
Every single one of the cretins on that list got there by lying, cheating or stealing.(I count inherited wealth as cheating)
NOBODY SHOULD EVER HAVE A BILLION DOLLARS, NEVER MIND 54.
It is not in our national interest to allow such accumulations of wealth.
Do you really think that if we confiscated all wealth over a billion dollars, that people would stop trying to become billionaires??? Really?
You could cut it off at a million and none of my friends would "go Galt" - and I have some rich fucking atlas-shruggin' friends.
Back in our dirt farming days, we had slavery, a giant sinful wealth generator. We almost outlawed it in the constitution, but people were shy about giving up the money - and they thought black people were chosen by god to work for white people. Religion sucks that way.
So after the civil war, corporate law was loosened up to encourage investment and trade. It's the limited liability feature that investors love so well - the money you put up in a corporation is a limited bet. You only stand to lose what you put up, but you can gain a lot. If the company you invest in rips off millions of people and owes them restitution, you don't have to pay it if you are just a shareholder. Limited liability. Think Enron. We did this because we initially needed investors to take risks to stimulate the American economy. American business used to be risky. Not so much anymore.
Anyway, in exchange for limited liability, we used to have a rule called ultra vires. It required every corporation to have a purpose that was in line with the public interest. If they went beyond that purpose and operated against the public interest, they could be shut down or sued. The government gives out corporate charters - it's not a right. The government can take them away. Except that we have done away with Ultra Vires. Nowadays, corporations exist for the sole purpose of making money, and if they FAIL to *ignore* the public interest in order to make more money, they can be sued or shut down by angry rich shareholders.
So in exchange for limited liability and the right to fuck over the public for profit, we put a pretty stiff tax on corporations initially. We used to get a pretty good cut in exchange for lowering the risk to investors and letting them ingnore the public good.
. . . You guessed it, we eliminated that, too. The tax on capital gains is now lower than your income tax rate. 15% versus the 25-28% you are probably paying, not including FICA and other payroll taxes.
Over 60% of the income of the very rich is off of investment income - capital gains subject to this reduced rate. When everybody is talking about the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy, that's just on "income from work." They pay around 33% on their wage-related income (if they have any) But they minimize W2 wages to take advantage of the cap gains rate. Thanks for the 17% discount, Jesus!
So we decided not to tax wealth as much as we tax work - that was OK because we had strong unions in this country. Unions that once held Capital in check.
Gone. Irrelevant. Destroyed by lawyers. Union busting law firms. Smart young people who wanted to save the world once, but were lured away by the ballon man with the cloven feet.
BUT - vengeance is mine, saith the Lord: their day finally came in 2008. The mouth of hell opened up and swallowed Lehman Brothers! Bear Stearns too! HAHAHAHA Go back to the hell from which you came, motherfuckers!
huh - uh- wha? hey - no - what? ohhhhh jeeezus.
Yeah - we gave them all our money so they wouldn't fail. We blew it. We could have nationalized the banks and set it all aright. But no. Too European. We said, "It's OK guys, I'll agree to eat baloney and Ramen noodles so that you can keep sodomizing me. It's cool!"
So why? Why? WHY do we fall all over ourselves enabling wealth accumulation for its own sake? coupl'a reasons:
1. we have been trained to worship the rich and hate ourselves.
2. we have been trained to think that our government, the only tool we have to fight back with, is against us and should be reduced in size and power.
I will expand on this, but for now, just remember that the rich got there by being immoral: by breaking all the rules you learned in sunday school. They are not worthy of your respect. You can change your attitude toward the rich.
Second: government sucks, but it's all we've got. We on the left need to gather lawyers, activists, hackers, media, unions - everything we can get our hands on and assume control of the government the same way the neo-cons did. By overwhelming force, deception, and righteous anger.
You and I deserve a better life - the people and companies that have been breaking the rules do not. The people and companies that have been evading taxes do not. The people and companies that have been acting without consideration of the human beings cleaning their floors, working the fields, hauling freight, and writing code deserve to be disenfranchised and punished.