Guest opinion: Thank you for being rich!

I am writing regarding Rob Olson’s column, “I love the Rich.” Robbie (Can I call you Robbie?) can only find “vague references from righteous protesters and editorial boards” in regards to the theory of trickle-down economics? Really? Being that this theory is the crux of the argument, some due diligence is in order. A simple Google search yields a wealth of information about the subject. In fact, the International Labour Organization’s World Employment Program conducted a nine-year study that “yielded over 20 books, about 40 journal articles, and over 100 working papers” which contained the collaboration of “almost 100 scholars from all over the world…” regarding information on this very topic. Granted, I’m sure that the content of these publications were inherently “vague” and these international scholars were “righteous protesters” in disguise.

For the sake of argument (and because I am a terrible fake economist) let’s say that the theory is debatable, at best. Actually, scratch that – let’s go CRAZY and say it’s impeccable. Undeniable. Immaculate. A foolproof economic manifestation handed down by the ghost of Reagan himself. Where does the money come from?

Assuming that this effect is not instant, we need to fill in the initial gaps. Enter: spending cuts. Cool beans, tax breaks and spending cuts – perfect together, like caviar and crackers.

Naturally the spending cuts will come from social welfare programs and items such as Medicare and Medicaid (you know, the programs that provide assistance to the non “rich” Americans).

On the surface it’s pretty simple math: cut revenue, decrease spending. Since there aren’t any government sponsored programs that directly benefit those in the top 1 percent you’re forced to cut from the bottom. The problem I see is that you are making a conscious decision to build your economy on the backs of the weakest and the poorest. Fairness of increasing taxes aside, it is not going to change the quality of life for the top 1 percent significantly. Cut welfare or Medicaid and tell me that it does not drastically change the quality of life for the people who rely on those services. Then, have the audacity to say that those people should be thankful to make these sacrifices so that “rich” people can buy fancier shoes that need polishing? Really? Americans do not behave like that.

- Seth Weil

18 Comments

  • katielicious
    May 4, 2011

    And also, thank you movielover for bringing in the laziness accusations. I believe that would be a guilt by association fallacy. Claiming that critics of capitalism are lazy will get you nowhere because it’s too easily proven false by people like myself. 8-)

  • katielicious
    May 4, 2011

    LOL, I guess some one else responded for me. I will say that your asking me about socialist countries indicates that you either didn’t read what I wrote or you are intentionally using a straw man argument.

  • xyoungblood
    May 2, 2011

    Movielover,

    You said: 1) Why do we have a right to steal others money? Ergo, is Bill Gates evil?

    YES

    “Despite Gates’s denials, the judge ruled that Microsoft had committed monopolization and tying, and blocking competition, both in violation of the Sherman Antitrust Act.”

    Why do we bail out failing banks with our tax money, and then watch the banks distribute our money to its people in the form of massive bonuses? TARP 1 – President Bush.

    Why do we allow to big to fail corporations to exist, they are a national security issue, as we witnessed during this republican depression.

    Most people I know lost 40% of their wealth during this economic downturn, because the rich were gaming the system. Money is never lost, it was stolen. Why do you think that its alright for the rich to steal from the middle and lower classes?

    You Said: 2) What percentge of income do the so-called “rich” pay in taxes? What amouint do you think is fair? 40%? 50%? 60%?

    “The Internal Revenue Service tracks the tax returns with the 400 highest adjusted gross incomes each year. The average income on those returns in 2007, the latest year for IRS data, was nearly $345 million. Their average federal income tax rate was 17 percent, down from 26 percent in 1992.”

    Pre-Reagan tax rates of 70% on the super wealthy, kept the aristocracy from becoming true “kings”. And it kept them from using huge amounts of money to speculate in the markets. Again gaming the system for themselves. Gas prices today are a direct result of the rich speculating in oil.

    You said: There are pleny of places we can trim. 3) Are you aware that little old ladies hold a huge amount of wealth in our country?

    Spoken like a true sociopath. Do you really think that elderly women hold vast amounts of wealth? Republicans need to stop attacking the poor, minorities, women, children, infants and the elderly.

    You said: Are you aware that citizens used to live until they were 66, and then died, on average, when they were 67. Now we live until we are 82.

    Are you aware that if we got rid of health insurance companies and shrunk our blood thirsty industrialized military complex and we all paid into a plan our whole lives, nobody would ever have to worry about getting sick or old.

    Some numbers for you movielover,

    2007 numbers. 737 military bases worldwide, employing 2.5 million people.

    2010 military budget: 685,100,000,000

    How about combining the military so that it has only one branch. If everybody had to serve for two years after high school, we would cease having wars and the military would shrink drastically. But I realize that you are part of the American Taliban. And that you want to continue your war with Islam, shred the US constitution and institute Christian Law in America.

    Are you a paid commenter for Cato or heritage?

  • movielover
    May 2, 2011

    katelicious wrote:

    “And I disagree that Seth Weil did not make any arguments. It is true that the top 1% can certainly afford taxes,”

    I have a few simpkle questions for you.

    1) Why do we have a right to steal others money? Ergo, is Bill Gates evil?

    2) What percentge of income do the so-called “rich” pay in taxes? What amouint do you think is fair? 40%? 50%? 60%?

    You wrote: “… while the people who benefit from the programs being cut cannot.”

    You seem to have a paradigm whereby you’re either rich or poor, which is rarely true. We have a vast middle class.

    There are pleny of places we can trim. 3) Are you aware that little old ladies hold a huge amount of wealth in our country?

    Are you aware that citizens used to live until they were 66, and then died, on average, when they were 67. Now we live until we are 82.

    5) How will we pay for 25 years retirement and medical benefits?

    You wrote: “All this being said, my approach to the deficit is what I think to be a no-brainer: cut military.”

    6) Do you know the size of our deficit (yearly)?

    7) How much of a yearly cut do you propose to the military, and how will you obtain the remainder of needed funds?

    Thanks.

  • movielover
    May 2, 2011

    katielicious, could you please name for me some of the successful socialist countries?

    What has France – a quasi-socialist country with educational systems and wealth – ever invented, beyond a good cheese? (And, in contrast, why are hundreds of thousands of inventions born from the U.S.?)

    I do know one chap who has a hankering for socialism and dislikes capitalism. Isn’t it ironic that he hasn’t worked a job in over 15 years, and lives off of the dole from his quasi-rich parents?

  • katielicious
    April 29, 2011

    And I disagree that Seth Weil did not make any arguments. It is true that the top 1% can certainly afford taxes, while the people who benefit from the programs being cut cannot.

    All this being said, my approach to the deficit is what I think to be a no-brainer: cut military.

  • katielicious
    April 29, 2011

    I didn’t remember what you said about grades. You seem smarter than to believe that’s a valid comparison. That’s absurd. I don’t believe GPAs have anything to do with luck. Certainly none of us come into UC unfairly disadvantaged with abilities to get grades. Whatever you put out there is what you get back. That’s not how it works with money. You’re born into different financial situations. You’re not born into different GPAs. I was shocked you would even try to make such a terrible comparison.

  • katielicious
    April 29, 2011

    I would also just like to reiterate that I’m not throwing out all you say, TJM, by having some very strong disagreements. I think the points you make are good talking points. I just personally feel that your perspective overall is a bit extreme.

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