« Obama's preacher - in his own words | Main | It's almost Friday! »

The Privileged Class

One of the mostly untouched subjects in debates between Conservatives and Liberals, is a direct discussion about Class Warfare. On the one hand, it is patently obvious that Liberals believe that Society is divided into various cultural and economic strata, which they blame for a number of perceived injustices. On the other hand, Liberals refuse to test many of their assumptions, as indeed is a problem for Conservatives as well. Today, I would like to explore the hypothesis of the privileged class.

The basic assumption among Liberals is that there are certain Americans who, to put it simply, have things too good. They are rich and powerful and are never called upon to "sacrifice", which in the Liberal Lexicon means to voluntarily suffer in order to advance some ideal. Thus, tax cuts are demonized as being solely or mostly for "the rich", even though in actual fact the income tax cuts of the past generation have more often helped lower-income Americans as a percentage effect of their income. Corporations are evil by simple definition of having power to accomplish anything, and anyone who supports the War in Iraq without having personally served in that conflict or suffered the loss of a loved one is somehow disqualified from being able to voice an opinion. The list is by definition never complete, as any targeted enemy can and will be designated as rich or elite, or otherwise marginalized to discredit their position or identity. Conservatives do the same thing, but not to the same degree. Leading Liberals can expect to be stereotyped by their opponents, although Conservatives tend to focus on the argument more than the person.

What's odd about the Liberal perspective, is what happens when a prominent Liberal happens to have money or power. In their case, some sort of exemption is granted by the Left. John Kerry is the epitome of the empty-suit aristocrat, yet he was tapped to be the Democrats' candidate for President in 2004. Kerry followed Al Gore, who made millions for himself shilling snakeoil remedies for the ficticitious but trendy Global Warming scare. And no one familiar with Liberal politics can forget the influence and long-time control by the Kennedy empire.

I think the Liberal notion actually started with good intentions. That is, that people who find themselves blessed with financial or positional advantage should be mindful that they have a duty to those less fortunate, a moral obligation to consider the general welfare in addition to their own well-being. Any experienced businessman can tell you that's smart economics too, as goodwill by a corporation goes a long way and tends to be reciprocated. Besides, who doesn't enjoy having a reputation as a good citizen?

[ -- continued -- ]

Where the Liberals went wrong, though, was when they decided that selective morality should be coerced at times, that it was appropriate to deny rights to certain people because of their politics or personal choices. The Liberals also went wrong in deciding to apply charity through government. In addition to the horrid inefficiencies in having government disburse assistance, there is the moral offense of punishing success in business through "progressive" taxation, and the effective elimination of virtue in the assistance; the good comes from the compassion and the voluntary decision to help - it is quite a false claim to tell someone that money they lost against their will was well used, simply because the people who took it by force like what they did with it. By my lights it's also well outside the boundaries of government authority granted by the United States Constitution, the idea that government should compel you to give money to someone else simply because they have less than you do.

I would also suggest that both parties have a real disconnect with regular Americans. Sure, there has always been a part of the public who would allow themselves to be outraged that a few people enjoyed great success from their own hard work and ingenuity. But more and more, people come to respect that a lot of the rich earn their money and take risks to do it, while members of the House and Senate seem to enjoy a lot of perks, privileges, and money from nowhere that smells an awful lot like graft. The legality of how they got their hoards is frankly beside the point, when the people grabbing the money are in position to make the laws to protect their self-interest. The question about whether or not Roger Clemens used HGH or whether oil companies make "too much money" is a rank hypocritical pose, when the Senators hide how they line their own pockets and fund their futures for when they are out of office. Fewer and fewer Americans see their Congressmen or Senators as defenders of their interests, when so many Senators and Congressmen have biographies that reveal almost no real-world experience. They don't pay Social Security, for example worry about Social Ponzi*. They don't have to pay for health insurance. They usually send their kids to private schools, and in many cases they don't know what rush hour traffic is like, or what it means to buy their own groceries or school supplies, or mail their own letters or even do their own taxes. For the most significant routine activities of life, the people who make our laws have no effective understanding of our world. If there is a privileged class in America, it's the politicians in Washington D.C.

* I am told that our esteemed Congressmen now pay for their Social Security. Of course, if memory serves they still duck Medicare, and with their pensions I doubt they sweat out getting the doctors they want.


TrackBack

TrackBack URL for this entry:
/cgi-bin/mt-tb.cgi/28480.

Comments (26)

I could never understand wh... (Below threshold)
WildWillie:

I could never understand why liberals think it is all right to just take citizens money through taxes on just a vague promise of using it toward "good". The liberals scream when the very same government fines a television station, makes a newpaper testify in court, no fisa, maranda, etc., yet the liberal mindset is: "Come on government, take as much money as you need from us lowly civilians,". ww

I'm amazed at how the left ... (Below threshold)
JLawson:

I'm amazed at how the left seems to think that 'class' is something that you can't change. 20 years back, I was barely employed - having trouble finding a job that paid more than minimum wage. I followed my interests, however, and between the wife and I (got married 14 years back) our annual income is well in the hated 'rich' class. (Figuring the bottom of that is about $80k combined.)

Get a job that's interesting, LEARN about it and how to do it better, and you'll advance. Get married to someone compatible, STAY married, and you'll both end up a lot better than you would if you stayed single.

Get the government involved to make things 'equal' - and we're all screwed.

"If there is a privileged class in America, it's the politicians in Washington D.C."

Amen to that!

"I'm amazed at how the l... (Below threshold)
P. Bunyan:

"I'm amazed at how the left seems to think that 'class' is something that you can't change."

The ironic thing is that pretty much everything the left legislates with the intention of helping the poor and needy only makes their poverty slightly more bearable, while simultaneously further trapping them in the cycle of poverty. The reality is that the poor and needy would be a much smaller segment of the population and ultimately a lot better off were there no "Democrats" to help them.

Yet the poor and needy vote overwhelming for their oppressors. It's kinda like the relationship between drug users and drug pushers.

Only one quibble: It is no... (Below threshold)

Only one quibble: It is not true that members of Congress don't pay Social Security.

Prior to 1984, they didn't, because they in the civilian pension system (CSRS), but that ended. Since then, they have paid SS taxes and been in the system like everyone else.

"I think the Liberal notion... (Below threshold)
Cousin Dave:

"I think the Liberal notion actually started with good intentions..."

I have to disagree with this. I don't think they ever had good intentions. I say this because David Horowitz, who was there and was one of the leaders, has told me so. Some years ago, he was on a radio show and I called in and got through and got to ask him a question. The question I asked him was, "Whatever happend to peace and love and liberating everyone?"

His response: "We never believed any of that. We only wanted our rights so we could use them to take away everyone else's rights."

Too bad your talking points... (Below threshold)
BarneyG2000:

Too bad your talking points don't jive with the facts:
WASHINGTON, Jan. 7 -- Families earning more than $1 million a year saw their federal tax rates drop more sharply than any group in the country as a result of President Bush's tax cuts, according to a new Congressional study.

The study, by the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office, also shows that tax rates for middle-income earners edged up in 2004, the most recent year for which data was available, while rates for people at the very top continued to decline.
http://www.nytimes.com/2007/01/08/washington/08tax.html

Heh. Barney says "facts", ... (Below threshold)
DJ Drummond:

Heh. Barney says "facts", then cites the NYT.

LOL, what a comedian!

from BG's link:Tho... (Below threshold)
ke_future:

from BG's link:

Though tax cuts for the rich were bigger than those for other groups, the wealthiest families paid a bigger share of total taxes.

here are some interesting statistics from that article (buried in the middle of it):
Families in the middle fifth of annual earnings, who had average incomes of $56,200 in 2004, saw their average effective tax rate edge down to 2.9 percent in 2004 from 5 percent in 2000. That translated to an average tax cut of $1,180 per household, but the tax rate actually increased slightly from 2003.

Tax cuts were much deeper, and affected far more money, for families in the highest income categories. Households in the top 1 percent of earnings, which had an average income of $1.25 million, saw their effective individual tax rates drop to 19.6 percent in 2004 from 24.2 percent in 2000.

so, even tho the top tax rate dropped twice as much as the middle rate, they pay more than 5x the effective tax rate.

also, per that same article, one of the reasons for that tax cut difference is the lowering of the death tax. doesn't quite equate with income taxes.

barney, thanks for making our points for us. dumbass.

oh, and calling the CBO non-partisan is a joke. i've yet to see ANYTHING come from them that wasn't to the benefit of democratic talking points. they are government beaurocrats and have an agenda. they always do.

Once again, Barney, you cit... (Below threshold)
SPQR:

Once again, Barney, you cite a link that does not actually support your point.

Your incompetence continues to amuse me greatly.

More from the same article ... (Below threshold)
fg:

More from the same article not mentioned above.
They do not put payroll taxes into the data.

The top 1 percent of income earners paid about 36.7 percent of federal income taxes and 25.3 percent of all federal taxes in 2004. The top 20 percent of income earners paid 67.1 percent of all federal taxes, up from 66.1 percent in 2000, according to the budget office.

By contrast, families in the bottom 40 percent of income earners, those with incomes below $36,300, typically paid no federal income tax and received money back from the government. That so-called negative income tax stemmed mainly from the earned-income tax credit, a program that benefits low-income parents who are employed.

Put another way: rich families were the undisputed winners from President Bush's tax cuts, but people in the bottom half of the earnings scale were not paying much in taxes anyway.

I think the tax issue is a ... (Below threshold)
groucho:

I think the tax issue is a bit of a red herring.
WW says "I could never understand why liberals think it is all right to just take citizens money through taxes on just a vague promise of using it toward "good".
Just where does he think his taxes are going now? More than ever before they are being funneled directly into the increasingly more exclusive private sector, to offshore investments and giveaways to the largest and most powerful multinational conglomerates. Who pays the bill for Blackwater's thuggish escapades, Halliburton's "cost plus" privatization in Iraq and elsewhere around the world, corporatization cloaked in the guise of spreading democracy? Today's taxes, as well as the profits generated by hard working Americans, are being sent elsewhere instead of remaining here for investment at home. All the evil social programs have already been slashed and butchered to the brink of existence. The end result: more crime, poverty and hopelessness.
We have transitioned from a creditor nation and the pillar of the world's economy to a debtor nation with a rapidly shrinking dollar and very little means to turn that around. America is being sold to the lowest bidder. We have become a hollow country. Thousands or millions of Chinese labor for next to nothing under a repressive regime so they can send us poisonous tainted merchandise to be sold at the local store with the yellow smiley face assuring us that it's the all-American way. Buy Chinese! I think we've become immune to the incredible hypocrisy our government has worked so hard to convince us is normal. Been downsized lately? Why?

For the last several decades we've been witness to as well as victimized by a steady redistribution of wealth upward. The interests that control the global economy have no use for a stable, upwardly mobile middle class, the foundation of what America is really all about. Wealth is not to be distributed, it is to be accumulated, without limit or conscience.

I am not now, nor have ever been, a member of the communist party, but I think somehow, some way, the only way we're going to save this country is to start thinking about the greater good; a better life for us all, not just those who can afford it. Taxes are a reality. I pay my fair share without question. The fallacy argument is that the "liberals" want to raise your taxes to continue funding the welfare state in order to maintain their political base. I think most of the country has grown tired of seeing their paychecks shrink, their jobs disappear and their president sell their country out from under them.

groucho,You left o... (Below threshold)
Maggie:

groucho,

You left out BushMcChimpyHitler when you listed
Halliburton and Blackwater.

And as to the suggestion of trying communism
in this country, over my dead cold body. One
the most insane, horrific ideas man ever
concieved or attempted.
You think the corruption that controls this
country is bad, every cock roach would come
crawling out for their bit of power while
the little bit of freedom we've still got
is ripped away. You are nuts.

I'm not particularly concer... (Below threshold)

I'm not particularly concerned about how much taxes the 'rich' pay - because it doesn't affect me. (Of course, being 'rich' ourselves, with a combined income of over $80k, we might have a jaundiced view of things.) If the 'rich' pay less, how much more would the 'poor' have to pay? $1 a year? $20? $50?

Oh, the horror.

Groucho -

Congrats. You may not be a member, you may not be aligned with the Communist party, but you've swallowed their sperm. When I was 30, I had a part-time minimum wage job. Had plenty of time off, shared an apartment, wasn't getting anywhere at all.

At a certain point, I went "Damn, this just ain't cutting it." Then I went out and got a real job, and now, through my own efforts and in partnerhsip with my wife, we're prertty well off.

You gonna take that from me under the guise of "thinking about the greater good; a better life for us all, not just those who can afford it."? I worked hard and steadily to afford it.

Now you're ready to rip me off to give to folks who'd rather slack off. Care to guess what my reaction would be if you tried?

Now, you're so concerned about the government, and taxes, and "We have transitioned from a creditor nation and the pillar of the world's economy to a debtor nation with a rapidly shrinking dollar and very little means to turn that around." Well, cry me a friggin' damn river, because your only course of action seems to be to TAX MORE. And you even worked in evil Halliburton! Bravo!

Damn, that load must have been tasty!

You want to see the US economy rebound? Got two words for you, bud.

Fair Tax.

Our current system is screwed, I agree. The patient's bleeding. The solution isn't to bleed off MORE, but stop the bleeding altogether. The Dems want to open a vein, just like in olden days. Maybe, just maybe, TAXING to the limit doesn't do the job. Time to try something different.

They're already taking from... (Below threshold)
groucho:

They're already taking from you J, bleeding you dry. Just keep on believin', bro.

Yeah, and you want to open ... (Below threshold)

Yeah, and you want to open the tap under the guise of the government 'giving' me something.

Pardon me for being unimpressed with your 'generosity'.

grouchoMore ... (Below threshold)

groucho

More than ever before they are being funneled directly into the increasingly more exclusive private sector, to offshore investments and giveaways to the largest and most powerful multinational conglomerates.

I'm going to make it easy for you. Here's your link:

http://www.census.gov/compendia/statab/cats/federal_govt_finances_employment/federal_budgetreceipts_outlays_and_debt.html

Prove your point.

When I was 30, I had a p... (Below threshold)
Brian:

When I was 30, I had a part-time minimum wage job.

You're clearly lying, since Jay has proven time and again that no one except teenagers actually makes minimum wage.

from BG's link:Th... (Below threshold)
Brian:

from BG's link:
Though tax cuts for the rich were bigger than those for other groups, the wealthiest families paid a bigger share of total taxes.

And you conveniently skip the very next sentence:

That is because their incomes have climbed far more rapidly, and the gap between rich and poor has widened in the last several years.

Besides, that's a red herring. Of course the rich pay a bigger share of total taxes. That's news?

What you don't seem to unde... (Below threshold)
SPQR:

What you don't seem to understand, Brian, is that the top income brackets pay a bigger share of taxes than the lower brackets - out of proportion to their share of income - and that it is getting larger and larger every year. Not just that they pay more, but they pay greater shares of the tax burden each year. The "progressive" nature of our tax system increases yearly and with only a brief downtrend for one year, it has increased over the Bush administration terms as well.

The top 1 percent pay over one third of all federal income tax, and the top 10 percent pay approximately two-thirds.

Further, while the trolls like to talk about the Bush tax cuts cutting taxes of the wealthy, they ignore that those tax cuts reduced the tax burden of the middle class as well.

These are facts that Barney's incompetent attempts at class warfare simply ignore.

Groucho's comments above are just incoherent.

I am amused by the privileg... (Below threshold)
LoveAmerica, Immigrant:

I am amused by the privileged liberals blaming America
A Bone To Pick or Two With Jeremiah Wright


Jeremiah Wright says during his sermon, regarding Obama, "he ain't white, he ain't rich, and he ain't privileged."

Some may quibble with that description. Obama's mother was white, the Obamas' income hit $1.7 million in 2005 and $991,000 in 2006, and he went to Columbia University and Harvard Law School.

Also here is the "change" that Obama "hopes" to bring to Washington. That 's how the messiah will take care of the poor!

Obama requested million-dollar earmark for ... his wife's hospital? Update: And for fundraiser's company?

This is all nonsense and if... (Below threshold)
MCheck:

This is all nonsense and if you knew even one thing about Senator Kerry you would know he is no empty suit. His military service as a Navy Lt., his outspokeness and leadership over a mismanaged a futile war in Vietnam,his twenty plus years as a US Senator where he has championed the rights of the middle class,veterans and has fought for children's health care as well as healthcare for adults makes you comments seemed mean sprited. He has also fought for honesty and integrity in Congress, and has had major roles in the investigations in the 1980's into the Iran/Contra scandal and BICA. Recently, he has tirelessly tried to bring an end to the wrong war in Iraq and redirect our efforts so that we can really be more secure and strong. Senator Kerry is no slouch and doesn't deserve to be commented on in such an ignorant manner.

Further, while the troll... (Below threshold)
Brian:

Further, while the trolls like to talk about the Bush tax cuts cutting taxes of the wealthy, they ignore that those tax cuts reduced the tax burden of the middle class as well.

Can't blame people for ignoring fabricated "facts" such as yours.

Families earning more than $1 million a year saw their federal tax rates drop more sharply than any group in the country... ...tax rates for middle-income earners edged up ... while rates for people at the very top continued to decline.
I guess getting the facts s... (Below threshold)
jpm100:

I guess getting the facts straight for Brian is quoting a misleading NYT article and then giving no reference to make it harder to refute.

Here's a counter article:
http://www.humanevents.com/article.php?id=18885#continueA

The CBO calculates the effective tax rate for all federal taxes -- including Social Security and Medicare taxes, income taxes and excise taxes. For the bottom 80 percent as a group, that total federal tax fell from 14.1 percent in 2000 to 11.4 percent in 2004 -- a 19.1 percent tax cut. The tax cut was deepest among the poorest fifth (29.7 percent), largely because of the Bush administration's refundable tax credit for children. For the middle fifth, the total tax rate fell from 16.6 percent to 13.9 percent -- a 16.3 percent cut. As for the top 1 percent, their overall tax rate was merely trimmed from 33 percent to 31.1 percent -- a 5.8 percent cut
Another fun fact is why lib... (Below threshold)
WildWillie:

Another fun fact is why liberal lefties, like those above, worry so much about what others make? And why are they so wanting to tax the hard workers of this country more? The point is ALL, of the citizens should want lower taxes. The low income people do not pay income tax but in fact get more back then they pay in. Obama wants to raise 1 trillion dollars over the next 10 years by taxing the "rich" which is people making a combined income of 90K or more. Wow! Those nasty corporations. ww

Brian, you just don't have ... (Below threshold)
SPQR:

Brian, you just don't have the actual numbers to back your rantings, because they don't actually exist. You are a fraud and you really are outclassed on this and it is hilarious that like Barney, you can't figure out how your own incompetence undermines your pathetic attempts.

The Thunder Run has linked ... (Below threshold)

The Thunder Run has linked to this post in the - Web Reconnaissance for 03/14/2008 A short recon of what's out there that might draw your attention, updated throughout the day...so check back often.




Advertisements









rightads.gif

beltwaybloggers.gif

insiderslogo.jpg

mba_blue.gif

Follow Wizbang

Follow Wizbang on FacebookFollow Wizbang on TwitterSubscribe to Wizbang feedWizbang Mobile

Contact

Send e-mail tips to us:

[email protected]

Fresh Links

Credits

Section Editor: Maggie Whitton

Editors: Jay Tea, Lorie Byrd, Kim Priestap, DJ Drummond, Michael Laprarie, Baron Von Ottomatic, Shawn Mallow, Rick, Dan Karipides, Michael Avitablile, Charlie Quidnunc, Steve Schippert

Emeritus: Paul, Mary Katherine Ham, Jim Addison, Alexander K. McClure, Cassy Fiano, Bill Jempty, John Stansbury, Rob Port

In Memorium: HughS

All original content copyright © 2003-2010 by Wizbang®, LLC. All rights reserved. Wizbang® is a registered service mark.

Powered by Movable Type Pro 4.361

Hosting by ServInt

Ratings on this site are powered by the Ajax Ratings Pro plugin for Movable Type.

Search on this site is powered by the FastSearch plugin for Movable Type.

Blogrolls on this site are powered by the MT-Blogroll.

Temporary site design is based on Cutline and Cutline for MT. Graphics by Apothegm Designs.

Author Login



Terms Of Service

DCMA Compliance Notice

Privacy Policy