Saturday, June 30, 2012
Posted in The Atlantic, months before the date of this post -- Though I paid so little attention to news regarding the OWS protests that I can't "parrot" any of their slogans (in fact, I never heard that they had a slogan other than "Down with Corporate Greed") -- it would be fair to note that a very distant cousin, Joel Gehman, seems to be an organizer of the Occupy protest in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. I never met the man. I doubt you'll try reading Ferdinand Lundberg's book The Rich and the Super Rich because you don't really want information about the history of favorable tax treatment paid for in the halls of Congress by the 10% of the American population that owns 90% of the wealth. It's not quite fair to opine that they got so rich by cheating the rest of us. It's an old, old story in America -- but I doubt you'll pay any more attention to Alexander del Mar's notes on the Greenback Bond Scandal after the Civil War than you will to the even older news about the Yazoo scandal. Funny, ain't it, how "the facts" often seem so strongly biased against special deals for the rich and their pet politicians and toward liberal theories of prosperity? And how liberal, centrist American politicians -- like Nelson Rockefeller -- have managed to produce long periods of the sustained prosperity that comes with rational government? "A rising tide lifts all boats" is the Liberal shibboleth. If you're not appalled by the notion that Warren Buffet pays tax on his income at less than half the rate his secretary pays, I'll need to remind you again that "_______ don't have politics, they just have enemies." Fill in the blank any way you like -- "fascists, corporatists, the Rich and the Super Rich ... or even liberals." It would be unfair to assume that your politics depend on willful ignorance .... Greed and personal interest likely have a stronger influence. I'm not sure we all want to agree that "Work hard and pay for tax breaks" has often been the American Way to get rich -- but those are the facts. Real and lasting general prosperity, however, means a strong, relatively stable market for bonds -- not the false promise of artificially inflating equity values during the boom phase of the Keynesian cycle. We're all paying for that last boom now.