I was going to write a catchy title to bring in readers – but lets be real. That title (and photos) are everything you need.
So, do me this favor. Go here. Read the (short) article, but more importantly watch the 2:00 min clip (all of you out there who survived through college with movies and SparkNotes/ CliffNotes/ PinkMonkey will love this post).
Now, I bring up all that is going on in the economic world OUTSIDE of the US (the Greek debt crisis, the pressure to make changes in Italy to avoid similar problems, the EU attempting to come together to make widespread changes “during Europe’s worst crisis since the end of World War II”) only to give you some background on the state of Our Current Global Capitalist Society 🙂 It’s an important part of understanding any of the constant bombardment of information in recent days/ months/…. about our economy. Remember: the world is a compilation of transnational, overlapping economic markets that are so far beyond intertwined with each other that when one has a problem (the US’ housing market’s spurring domestic instability) it produces a domino effect.
Now, at home, the most recent news has been about Obama’s proposed legislation and different ways in which to get the economy stimulated and out from underwater (damn Chinese debt). Presidential candidate Rick Perry’s “Cut, Balance and Grow” plan basically proposes to a 20% flat tax while eliminating a large array of upper-income taxes like estates, dividends, capital gains; it would slash government spending and regulation, and allow for private Social Security accounts (essentially cutting the government out of the equation – “giving more Americans more control over their money” to encourage spending). Basically, he would summon a principle called “shared sacrifice” (this op-ed does a decent job of going into that idea) that in rhetoric asks all Americans, of all classes, to share the burden of turning our economy around willingly with certain economic sacrifices and hardships. But, to be curt, his idea of shared sacrifice is BULLSHIT a purposefully-stark contrast to that of Obama and others, including business icon Warren Buffett.
Buffett, though not a presidential candidate, is the namesake for Obama’s attempt to bring the tax rates of our nation’s wealthiest citizens to an equal proportion to that of middle-class Americans. And, although not a supporter of the literal translation of Obama’s policies, he has had quite a bit to say:
Q: Are you happy seeing your suggestion, this new Buffett Rule, becoming more of a basis of a political battle that really has turned into class warfare?
BUFFETT: Actually, there’s been class warfare going on for the last 20 years, and my class has won. We’re the ones that have gotten our tax rates reduced dramatically.
If you look at the 400 highest taxpayers in the United States in 1992, the first year for figures, they averaged about $40 million of [income] per person. In the most recent year, they were $227 million per person — five for one. During that period, their taxes went down from 29 percent to 21 percent of income. So, if there’s class warfare, the rich class has won. ~(Source.)
THIS isn’t shared sacrifice. THIS should wake some people up. How could it possibly be equal if the rich continue to get richer, AND THEIR TAXES ACTUALLY DECREASE as time goes on?? If the #Occupy movement’s imagery hasn’t shown you that the people recognize these inequalities between classes and are willing to demand a change.. if the GOP’s proposals weren’t founded in enough truth to get through Congress before.. when one of Wall Street’s biggest names tells you that you’ve f@cked up, and you’ve been doing it over and over again for the past 20 years? You better believe that you need to make some changes. Now. &FAST goddamnit.