Every year, ordinary homeowners like my family pay a percentage of our house’s value in tax. A house is the biggest asset that most families own. If we lower and middle-class families can pay an annual wealth tax on our only source of wealth, wealthy families can, too. Let’s have a real wealth tax now. Let’s have high estate taxes and break up family monopolies of wealth now.
Democrats take note! On social issues like abortion and gender issues we are deeply divided. We Democrats lose votes on these issues as well as gaining some. But… clear majorities (including many Republican voters) support higher taxes on the wealthy and corporations, more education funding, and expanded government health insurance. America doesn’t resent success, but does object to unfairness. WE CAN WIN ON THIS!
The main reason that societies have declined, as scholars Daron Acemoglu and James Robinson write, is domination “by a narrow elite that have organized society for their own benefit at the expense of the vast mass of people.” Their book on this phenomenon is, “Why Nations Fail.”
For 40 years government has helped the super-rich at the expense of everyone else. Economic inequality is at Gilded-Age levels. The billionaire blight is destroying America. Picture the Earth buried under the shipping trash Amazon generates and billions of Starbucks cups in the oceans as a trade for Billions to Schultz and as the real source of Schultz and Bezos wealth. You get the idea.
We need to redefine the word success as meaning moral. Amazon is a failure because its packing waste destroys the planet. Facebook is a failure because it lies and invades privacy. Starbucks fails as it trashes the earth with plastic waste. Their leaders are failures. Their money is ill-gotten thus criminal. These are not success stories but rape stories.
Authentic success equals responsibility. Most American “self-made” billionaires are human moral failures judged by how they got rich wrecking our planet, our lives and our freedoms. People like the fossil fuel-exploiting Koch brothers are pimps of destruction, not good citizens or even real businessmen. People like those running Facebook are exploiters and pushers of online addiction, fake news and privacy liquidation, not “innovators.”
The question should not be “Are you rich?” but “How did you get rich?”
The extreme redistribution of income to unworthy billionaires is the result of insane government policy: Tax rates on the wealthy have fallen, unions have been undermined, companies have been allowed to grow obscenely powerful , social media has not been regulated, all this while the US lost our lead as the most educated country, all this a generation has become addicted to online lies.
Democrats must reverse this trend. We can win the hearts of America by speaking honestly about the immorality of so much of what we call success.
Make America fair again! Defend the Earth, not private equity!
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