When things go wrong, people get mad, and when people get mad, they make mistakes.
I just watched Bill Moyers on public television. He showed a bunch of people saying they are mad at corporations, that corporations are looting the common people.
But corporations are just a form of social organization that is very good at raising capital and producing goods and services.
It is the ruling class who are looting the common people, a ruling class of interlocking boards and CEOs and lobbyists and Congressmen and just plain greedy people who have forgotten to reward the people who are doing the work because they along with almost everyone else in America bought into the notion that greed is good and that it’s okay to take more than your share. I want it all now. It’s time for you to get into me.
The problem is the ruling class and the American social values that have until recently validated the behavior of our ruling class. Greed has been good since Ronald Reagan’s presidency, approximately. We let them get away with it.
The solution is to bring the people in the ruling class down to earth by raising marginal tax rates to at least 75 percent on income over one million dollars. Take the fun out of expropriating the employees and shareholders of their corporations, let the rich bear their fair share of cleaning up the fiscal mess Wall Street created (whether they’re on Wall Street or not).
If they want to take their money out of the country, they probably can, but the IRS is making it more and more difficult. If they want to leave, let them go, it’s still a free country, relatively speaking.
The Tea Party movement and the Republican party are sucker’s games, talking about getting government off people’s backs, when all they’re really talking about is protecting the highly unequal status quo and keeping taxes low for rich people. The bottom half of the income distribution already doesn’t pay federal taxes.
Tax rates in 1944, when the country faced a similar fiscal debt load (but less overall national indebtedness), were 94 percent on incomes over $200,000 (about $2.4 million in today’s dollars).
The problem is not corporations, it’s the people who run them. Peter Drucker’s long-ago dream of “pension fund socialism” failed to materialize (i.e., in which the public controls the corporations through their massive pension fund investments). The separation of ownership and control of the American corporation has been perennial since Berle and Means wrote their class book on it in the ‘Thirties.
So let’s hit ‘em with taxes. Let’s teach the ruling class a lesson. Let’s bring them back down to earth. Let’s raise the taxes on the stratospheric portions of the incomes they pay themselves for products and services generated by the work of others.
Maybe then corporations will return to the pay multiples of only thirty years ago, when the top dog got thirty or forty times the entry level income—as if he or she were a member of the same team, one might say—not a multiple of hundreds of times.
America is a banana republic with nukes until the inequality is reduced.
Raise tax rates on the super-rich who have taken all the income gains for the past decade.