Thursday, September 27, 2012


From CounterPunch:

Upward Redistribution

Almost all of this discussion has focused narrowly on what the government actually takes from people in tax revenue and what it pays out in Social Security, unemployment insurance, and other benefits. This is unfortunate, because tax and transfer policy is the less important way in which the government helps or harms people.


We have also strengthened patent and copyright laws to make the monopolies granted stronger and longer. Currently we spend $300 billion a year on prescription drugs. If drugs were sold in a competitive market, we would save around $270 billion annually. This transfer from consumers to drug companies is about five times as large as the size of the Bush tax cuts to the richest 2 percent.

Labor-management policy is another important area through which the government redistributes income. In the last three decades this policy has been much more friendly to management and hostile to workers. For example, in the Chicago teacher strike, Mayor Rahm Emanuel had gone to court and threatened strike leaders with fines and imprisonment if they did not end their strike.

More here.

Quite right.  It's not just the taxes.  Indeed, it's a full court press on working Americans, all to the benefit of that now controversial group that owns and operates the nation, that one percent of the top one percent, the filthy, filthy rich.  When the government is literally your plaything, you can rig almost the entire economy so as to fill your already full pockets.  Without the enforcement of already existing labor law, businesses can play the so-called "labor market" in countless ways, including pulling up stakes and moving to greener pastures when it looks like workers are thinking about unionizing, which is totally illegal, and on and on.  For that matter, increasing the minimum wage, which is now paying an adjusted for inflation rate equivalent to what workers were getting in 1960s, is dead on arrival when the plutocracy owns Congress.  It's taken decades since this started when Reagan took office, but we now live in an economy that has been structured of, by, and for the fabulously wealthy.

Of course, the justification has always been that "a rising tide lifts all the boats."  But I think it's now safe to say, beyond any doubt at all, that the rich have figured out how to make it such that only their boats rise.  Meanwhile, everybody else's boats just sink.  Why don't people understand this?