I’d consider myself fairly politically agnostic. I’ve voted for both sides in elections past and voted for our president to get another four years last week. And as much as the conservatives did a better job turning me off with their tea-party, legitmate-rape, extremism; the liberals put in a pretty good effort to do so by demonizing success and a hefty dose of “fair share” talk. The narritive is unproductive, and in my estimation, untrue:
- The “rich” do pay their “fair share” – In fact, they pay much, much more that their fair share. In 2009, the to 10% of income earners paid 70% of all total taxes. Be clear, I’m not saying that we shouldn’t tax the rich at any higher rate. I’m just saying that we should stop demonizing the 10% who are paying for the services used by the other 90% along the way.
- The “rich” were not born so – 80% of millionaires are first-generation wealthy. The narrative that all successful people must be so because they had huge financial advantages over their peers is bullshit.
- Big business is only part of the problem – Take the mortgage crisis for example; Yes, wall street types caused havoc by manufacturing “financial instruments” that were a house of cards. But, how many stories started with people taking out mortgages they couldn’t afford in the first place. Wall street fucked up, yes. But so did americans who lived way beyond their means. I’d recommend you occupy yourself a job. It’d do more good.
- Personal accountability is crucial – Yes, the rich can and should pay more. But we can’t tax our way out of real, impactful issues that weigh down our whole society such as the absenteeism among african american fathers and rising obesity levels. The government can’t fix deadbeat dads or moms who feed their kids 8 Mountain Dews a day.
- There is no easier place in the world to alter your path – Yes, the income gap is widening at an alarming rate. But be 110% clear, there is no better country in the world to lift yourself out of your current situation. People from all over the world are still trying to get a piece of the good ole’ american dream for a reason. The barriers to success are lower here than ANYWHERE in the world. In a single generation a family tree can drastically changed for the better.
I don’t know how we fix everything, but I’m pretty sure its not by fighting about the tax rate on captial gains.