Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Income Caps for Robber Barons?

Here's a comment I just left at my friend Mort Mather's Happy Blog, where he has a post advocating regulating income with caps.

I'm with you on the populist furor, but I direct my ire a little higher up, and have different ideas on how to deal with it.

First of all, I don't support a cap. At least I don't think I do. It's interesting to think about. I doubt it would ever happen in this country.

Second, back when those 90% rates were in effect, there were tons of loopholes. The rich never paid that much.

Third, What percent of the owner's income should the players get? Of course, this race to pay the players the most (see Moneyball), raises ticket prices, etc, making baseball a game for rich people only if you actually want to go to the park. But the players are the draw, and it's certainly unfair to pay them like chumps when the owners are raking in many multiples more...

But, yeah, I agree that this is just obscene. Look at this post from the Flowing Data site today. Sickening.

The Bush tax cuts, especially happening in a time of war, were grossly obscene, and cost about what health care would cost. We should start by repealing them early, rather than letting them expire in a few years.

Then, we should raise taxes on the top 5% or so, just to make up for all the loot these robber barons have sucked up out of the system. Conservatives always say it will trickle down and stimulate, but, once again, we see it does the opposite. So, we can shake it loose with higher taxes on the rich, or encourage investment in a green economy through incentives like tax credits.

Funny how I woke up thinking along this line, then found the Flowing Data post, and then found your post... Great minds think alike.
 Now that I've thought about this a little, I would like to point out that a lot of these obscene salaries and bonuses are being paid with taxpayer money. You don't have to read Matt Taibbi to know that there's some really rotten stuff going on on Wall Street. These people are holding our economy hostage, and can obviously do some serious damage if we don't give them what they want.

The way things are going, it's obvious there's going to be some kind of show down. Will we return to the populist days of FDR, where shared sacrifice and massive government involvement put people to work on common projects that help us all? Or will we continue to cower, to vote against our interests (I'm looking at you Republican voters), and to let the richest dictate to our leaders what we can and cannot do? Is this a democracy, or a corporatocracy?

I saw a poll yesterday that almost half the white people in America think Fox News is a legitimate source of news. My first thought on that is what a damn good thing white people will be the minority soon. My second thought was, yeah, but not soon enough. The more I look at this mess, the more I realize it's broken. It's going to take an FDR to fix this crap sandwich all you Republican voters kept spreading mayonnaise on, and I don't know if we have any FDR's around these days.

But thanks for the mind candy, Mort.

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