Tuesday, July 10, 2012
George Carlin is Wrong.
I don't go to Facebook so much anymore because people put stuff up like this and it makes me mad and then I go off and waste time writing a huge long post about it which nobody hardly reads anyway. I suppose it gives me a link to post I can use to respond to this junk instead of having to repeat myself endlessly.
George Carlin is wrong on this one. This doesn't make sense to him because (1) he doesn't think of himself as "rich" even though next to me he was Warren Buffet and because (2) he thinks part of the money rich people make "belongs" to the government. People like Carlin think of lowering taxes as "giving" rich people money (possibly because poor people don't pay taxes and so reducing taxes doesn't help them directly). The whole thinking is flawed.
That's like a mugger giving you $5 change for the hundred dollar bill he took from you and expecting you to be grateful for the "gift". It's not a gift, it's just $5 some criminal didn't take from you. How is it we've come to think of the billions we take in taxes from some rich guys as "our" money and not money that belonged to those who earned it.
As to giving money to the poor, that's a noble thing to do. We've done it for thousands of years. The problem is that lately, we've made welfare a right. I used to do counseling with troubled kids. I'd ask them what they wanted to be when they grew up. One young man told me, "When I'm 21 I'm going to get my government check and then the women's will take care of me." His family taught him that welfare was his right because he was poor. There was no thought that he should do anything other than to jump through the hoops to get his government check. Another man I talked to bragged about how many kids he had by how many different women and described how he managed to get money from government checks from most of them. He was proud of his proficiency at gaming the welfare system. There was no recognition that this was in any way wrong.
A welfare system that teaches people to believe this way is not doing what it was supposed to. It's merely a cash payout to the poor so we don't have to feel guilty about them or spend any time trying to really help them by giving them jobs or helping them get homes of their own.
People really do lose any incentive to work if you punish them for working by taking away what you were giving them for free if they do go to work. It's a real problem that taking money from rich people won't help.
I worked for 30 years in the nonprofit sector and worked with all kinds of help systems. I've been broke, I've been on food stamps and have to deal with Medicare. I do know this. The welfare system as run by the government seems designed to prevent people from escaping its clutches.
I think we should be honest about it though. If we're trying to create a permanent dependent class that will vote reliably Democratic, then just send them their checks and do away with all the paperwork and qualification process and all that pretense of wanting them to be better off. Just let rich people pay into welfare like protection money to the Mafia only it's poor people they are afraid of. If rich people give poor people all this money, then they sign a promise not to rise up and murder them in their expensive beds.
Something is deeply wrong with the system. I've seen it. All the rhetoric about punishing the rich by taxing them is only obscuring the problem. The same politicians who tell you they want to tax the rich to help the poor, don't want you to think about why those same politicians are getting millions of dollars in campaign contributions from those same rich people. They don't want you to look too closely and make the connection that those corporate bailouts and huge bonuses to CEOs that wreck their companies are all being funded by middle class taxpayers - the working rich who run the companies, own the businesses and hire the workers in this country. The giant fat cat corporations give lip service to liberal ideals because they know they can buy their way around having to pay those taxes. They've been doing it for decades. When the top tax rate was 76% back in the 60s, it was only the working rich that paid such confiscatory taxes. The giant companies and the super-rich paid virtually nothing but attorney fees.
Who do you think puts tax loopholes for the super rich in the tax laws? It's not the middle class, that's for sure. It's career politicians and the Democrats have historically been the worst offenders, though there have been plenty of Republicans willing to sell their souls for a senate seat.
I just hate to see so many people taken in by the ideological shell game. In the end it will be politicians and the super rich in their fancy houses like the dachas of the Soviet Union's apparatchik, while the rest of us enjoy the uniform misery that is being one of "the people" in a socialist nation.
I've never understood why anyone who has ever read a history text can truly believe that the way to freedom is to create a bigger, more intrusive government. It never ever works.......NEVER.
(c) 2012 by Tom King