Friday, December 6, 2013

Robert Reich on redistribution

He makes the point that Obama's speech on income inequality did not mention the word 'redistribution.' I should hope not, given the recent framing lesson that Obama is wisely heeding. But nonetheless Reich is right on the need to create a fair tax system in that the working poor, a lot of people, should be getting more of the earned income tax credit to reduce their tax burden. Yes, that will mean lost tax dollars from the poor, so where do we make it up?

The obvious, from those who can afford it by cutting their tax subsidies, like energy companies, agribusiness, defense contractors, Wall Street bankers. Yes, they are the ones who have been given huge redistribution benefits under the guise of creating jobs, but the jobs are not forthcoming. What they create is massive wealth for themselves, while not sharing it equitably with the workers that create that wealth for them. Yeah, I'm talking to you Walmart. Bottom line: they don't want to play fair because they like getting all the spoils while others suffer. Yeah, sick, I know.

And that's exactly where government comes in to make the system "work for all," as Obama framed correctly. And it works, meaning even the rich stay rich while the working poor are elevated to the middle class and the unemployed poor are giving jobs. True, the rich don't get to be filthy rich, don't get to be sick greedy bastards, but too fucking bad. This is a societal good, and it's more important than your illness.

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