Scoffing at the Poor as the Rich get Super Rich–Reverse Robin Hoodism Explained

inequalityNobel Prize winning economist Paul Krugman, a champion of Keynesian economic theories, once said, “I believe in a relatively equal society, supported by institutions that limit extremes of wealth and poverty. I believe in democracy, civil liberties, and the rule of law. That makes me a liberal, and I’m proud of it.” Krugman isn’t alone. In fact, a recent study done by Harvard Business School showed that 92% of Americans would like to see wealth redistributed in a more equitable fashion. Moreover, while some will contend that deviating from the standard laissez-faire capitalism  model is “socialism,” the truth is, we have already diverged from the free market capitalism model. Wealth re-distribution is already happening; we are re-distributing money to the people that need it the least, under the false pretense that they are going to create jobs and the money will “trickle down” to the lower classes. In fact, we have not seen this happen and the Republican party is surely fooling itself if they think the American people are going to continue to fall for their rhetoric that reasonable market regulations are “socialism.” It is just a scare tactic perpetuated by a group that is on the losing end of an argument. They say that insanity is constantly doing something over and over again but expecting different results.



Over the past few months, “big business” has done astonishingly well, while unemployment rates continue to decline at a snail’s pace. The DIJA average has been setting records and Wall St. is rolling full steam ahead, while average citizens still struggle to find employment. The rich keep getting richer, but upward economic mobility has stagnated in the middle and lower classes. Why? Exorbitantly low corporate tax rates and corporate tax loopholes and deductions (that are only available to big businesses and are not available to individuals like you or I) which are coupled with massive corporate subsidies – a.k.a. corporate welfare. All while the corporations continue to offshore their money to avoid taxes, pay their workers minimum wage and ship American jobs overseas.

More importantly, the Republican party continues to propose economic and tax policies that benefit the wealthy while shafting the working class. To make matters worse, cognitive dissonance runs rampant among the GOP electorate. The unsubstantiated fear that anything short of Ayn Rand capitalism is “socialism” induces Republican voters to continuously vote against their own personal interests. For what it’s worth, I am a realist. I realize that everyone being “the same” is not only a fantasy, but a bad idea. However, this does not mean there is no value to reasonable well calculated government regulations on businesses, that support prosperity while achieving a balance between the public good and free market commerce. Moreover, ending corporate loopholes and tax deductions and instituting sensible legislation would not raise taxes on hard working Americans. On the contrary, large, exceptionally profitable conglomerates would be the ones who take the hit, and for good reason. These corporations use American roads to bring their goods to market, roads that are paid for by the taxpayers, hire American workers that are educated in public schools paid for by taxpayers (albeit less often than they used to), and rely on police men and women and firefighters (publicly funded entities) to protect their merchandise from theft and fire damage.

In addition, the argument that these large conglomerate corporations would cut jobs to avoid higher taxes is merely rhetorical conjecture that makes absolutely no logical sense. I mean seriously, does anybody in their right mind sincerely think that cutting ones profits to avoid taxes is a good business strategy? Think about that for a second. Would any intelligent, profitable business owner say something like, “Hey, let me make less money because I’m going to have to pay a little more in taxes?” Of course not, the goal of business is to make money. If I owned a multi-million dollar corporation I wouldn’t scale back my business to pay less taxes, I would want to continue to make a boat load of money and keep my business expanding despite the fact I had to pay a bit more in taxes. Anyone who claims they would scale back their business and look to make less money is either lying or just not very intelligent. It is a horrible business strategy.

We are already living in a country where wealth re-distribution is the norm. Unfortunately, instead of proposing policies that help working class Americans, Republican politicians continue to take lobbyist money from their corporate cronies, instituting policies that benefit their donors by re-distributing money upwards to the rich and the corporations. All while engaging in a mass campaign to convince the populous that anything short of free market capitalism is “socialism” and is something to fear. In turn, the corporations make record profits, create no jobs, and come to the taxpayers for handouts when they screw up. Does anyone see a problem with that? You should. During the “good old days” in the 50’s the corporations and the very wealthy paid between 70% – 90% in taxes, businesses were we no less profitable than they are today, more people were employed, and nobody screamed socialism. It’s time to go back to policies that work, because surely nobody wants to see America actually turn into a scene from the Hunger Games. Or maybe the Republican party does.

Ilyssa Fuchs

Ilyssa Fuchs is an attorney, freelance writer, and activist from New York City, who holds both a juris doctor and a political science degree. She is the founder of the popular Facebook page Politically Preposterous and a blog of the same name. Follow Ilyssa on Twitter @IlyssaFuchs, and be sure to check out her archives on Forward Progressives as well!

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  • Perfect. Couldn’t have said it better myself.

  • No doubt, that’s what’s happening, in a nutshell. Well done!!!

  • belladogsmom

    Share the Wealth? We all have opportunities, its what you make of them. Why should I be a single Mother that works my ass off 50-60 hours a week in a steeel foundry to give to someone that doesnt want to work? NO THANKS! Get OBAMA OUT of office

    • If the rich f/cks didn’t hoard so much for themselves, you wouldn’t have to work 50-60 hours a week you dumb b|tch, most of our stuff is produced automatically by machines. Our work load to create necessities and most commodities is not what it used to be, yet the people who own the capital and patent the machines can sit on their asses while they charge you top dollar for their cheap disposable products while they continue to get richer. Quit supporting them. Redistributing the wealth is about stopping its concentration in 1% of the population so there enough for rest of us, including your dumb a$$, so we can survive without killing ourselves working 80 hours a week for breadcrumbs. It’s not about handing anything over to people who can’t work or can’t find it. Wake up.

      • Here’s a crazy thought. Cut it out with the sexism.

      • Grazel

        What sexism? If you mean the use of ‘dumb b*tch’ it’s not very sexist. I call guys that all the time, and would you prefer he call her a ‘dumb jock’? While the language may have been crass I wouldn’t call it sexist.

    • Ilyssa

      Bella are you dense? Or do you just not know how to read and think critically? The Republicans you voted for have redistributed the money you work 50-60 hours a week for to the richest people and corporations in America. You are being duped by your own party. Obama has nothing to do with it. Maybe you should consider that the very people you vote for are the same people to sell you out and make you work hard to give your taxes to corporations that make upwards of 1 billion per year the next time you go to the voting booth, Your own party is giving your money to people who are richer than you. Cognitive dissonance strikes again.

    • granadamama

      oh hon….sorry you have to work so hard…really. but, maybe child rearing is not for you? obviously voting is not. i hate to be so judgmental but the people you vote for are doing this to you. why can’t you see that? you vote against your own best interests! and then you listen to “hate talk radio” and they fill your head with a bunch of junk. (or maybe it’s the old guys at the plant?) in any case, the president has very little to do with what you are complaining about. the distribution of wealth in this country is so out of whack. corporations get richer…and they are the ones deciding what happens on capitol hill. next election try really reading the issues and the positions of the candidates before you vote.

    • If I were lucky enough to score a job in a steel foundry I’d be thankful for what I had and eager to pass on some of the benefit to moms who haven’t gotten lucky yet.

      (And yes, I know it’s hard work. It also pays well because those jobs are still union.)

      Just because you’re a selfish **** doesn’t mean everyone is. Quit projecting.

    • jabberwocky

      Obama’s biggest supporters are freeloaders. Remember ObamaPhones.

      • Ilyssa

        You mean phones that were started under Reagan as part of the lifeline program then distributed as cell phones by GWB? You have no clue what you are talking about. Never has been an Obamaphone, never will be. The government doesn’t pay for the assurance program, the phone companies do.

      • jabberwocky

        But Obama lets people have 30 of them at a time.

      • fuct

        Just yesterday, Obama brought me a baker’s dozen of phones with minutes from the local 7/11. Thanks Obama. Jabbercockface you are an idiot.

      • jabberwocky

        An idiot who speaks the truth.

      • Dennis M

        This is the real face of corporate welfare. Lifeline was supposed to help poor Americans, but companies like Sprint and AT&T ended up on the dole with them.

        The feds created the Lifeline program in 1984 to provide landlines (and thus a connection of last resort to emergency services, job prospects and family members) in even the poorest homes.
        Under Bill Clinton, the program was expanded, and in 2008 — at the behest of wireless carriers and on George W. Bush’s watch the feds started offering free cell phones too. The only requirement was that recipients be on Medicaid, food stamps or another state or federal welfare program.

        All those minutes added up: Last year, the government funneled $2.2 billion to the phone cartels to cover the cost of Lifeline.
        Like food stamps(SNAP) people say the ones receiving them are freeloaders when in fact the program is corporate welfare for the benefit of freeloading Big Agriculture.After all why do you think it is run by the Dept of Agriculture?

    • Grazel

      So you’re saying we shouldn’t pay Congress their salaries? You know that those Republican congressmen that you vote for get paid upwards of 200k a year to work 2-3 months a year, and they complain they don’t get enough time off. Those are the ones who don’t want to work, and get lots of taxpayer money to do nothing but sit around at home (or on a yacht, or overseas), money that you worked 50-60 hours a week to earn.

  • belladogsmom

    oh, i didnt agree, so my comment was removed?

    • Ilyssa

      Your comment was not removed it is still there clear as day,

      • Dennis M

        I did not see my comment did I post wrong?

      • Ilyssa

        I’m not sure I just write here I don’t moderate the posts

      • Dennis M

        Could it be I posted a link? Is that not allowed here?

  • @Bella if you take the time to read the article it says and I quote For what it’s worth, I am a realist. I realize that everyone being “the same” is not only a fantasy, but a bad idea. However, this does not mean there is no value to reasonable well calculated government regulations on businesses, that support prosperity while achieving a balance between the public good and free market commerce. Moreover, ending corporate loopholes and tax deductions and instituting sensible legislation would not raise taxes on hard working Americans. On the contrary, large, exceptionally conglomerates would be the ones who take the hit, and for good reason. What that means is I am not stupid enough to say that a lazy person deserves your , what I think should happen is the fat cats getting all of the tax breaks and relief funds that come directly out of your hard earned and well deterred pa

    • *deserved paycheck should be redistributing the wealth. It is ridiculous that hard working people such as yourself have to bail major conglomerates out every time they act like idiots yet when you’ve literally broken your back to make ends meat for your family you don’t get help it’s actually the contrary you get kicked in the gut and told it’s not the governments place to help thou even though you’ve worked yourself to the bone and payed your dues. Not to be a smart ass but does that make sense?

    • This isn’t about supporting lazy people. This is about helping people who can’t make it on their own. There are lots of people who are lazy and some of them are rich anyway. They delegate the work they should have been doing because they think it’s beneath them. Then there are some poor folks who don’t seem motivated to get a job. Generally speaking they’ve got some sort of mental issue going on. Our alternatives are either make sure they have a minimum achievable standard of living or watch them starve and die in the street. Maybe you don’t care what kind of a person that makes you but I would rather not have someone’s blood on my hands when I could have helped and I didn’t.

      • Grazel

        It’s about helping the hard working get a fair deal (hey there’s a term from the beginning of socialism in the US – the great depression and inception of Social Security, something the old goats in Congress will take advantage of because it’s only an entitlement when someone else gets it). It’s not about giving to the lazy, it’s about making sure everyone in our country is taken care of. Our (or any) country is only as good and prosperous as the least within it. With our current distribution of wealth, which is drastically different than it was 60 years ago, we’re a 3rd world country with the veneer of a 1st world country. The last time our wealth distribution got near the way it is now was just before the Great Depression and we’re barely hanging on to the edge of another one. I hope we don’t slip over because unlike last time, the gods in their ivory towers have enough resources stored offshore that they won’t topple down into the pit they’ve created.

  • If taxation was fair, if monopolies
    were not permitted, and trade policies were enforced there would be
    no need to redistribute the wealth. Our President Obama is a very
    good speaker and is very well educated, but talking isn’t getting the
    job done. He is being controlled by the republican party that does so
    by doing nothing. The republican party is so well dug in they can do
    nothing and still control the wealth distribution. The politicians
    have us concerned about bullshit issues that have nothing to do with
    our well being as a whole. The term wake up America takes on a
    more serious meaning now more than ever. We have looked at the
    problem and we are the problem because we aren’t concerned with the
    big picture. The nations wealth is in the hands of 1-2 % of the
    population, our retirement funds are on loan while we get 1-2%
    interest and our time is consumed with fighting over weapons,
    abortions, marriage and religion.

    • jabberwocky

      You make some excellent points especially about the bullshit issues.

    • Grazel

      Yes. In school we were taught there were 3 branches of government and they shared power. Even then I realized that most public policy originates with Congress, not with the President. Congress is given the largest amount of power in determining policy. Sure the president can veto a law, but policy can be shaped by the laws that never reach the president just as much, if not more so than the ones that do reach him. If Congress never lets a law that’ll restructure corporate welfare reach the President than it won’t change, even if the President wants it to.

  • Excellent article, I agree completely. I don’t run a billion dollar company but I do manage one that has several million in turnover. My living is possible because of the infrastructure that has been paid for with public money. My living is much more dependent, directly and indirectly, on this infrastructure than say, one of the machinists that works for me. I recognize this and agree that my tax rate, not just amount, should reflect this. Why do I want to pay more taxes? Well, one reason is because its fair and its right. The second reason is that I have kids and I want them to grow up and prosper in a place with educated people, clean water, parks and forests, etc. If you want to live in a nice neighborhood you have to pay for it. If you want to live in a nice country, well, have to pay for that too. To the single mom from the steel mill, I hope that you can keep your job, I hope your health stays good and I hope you never have to ask for help to take care of your kids. But know this, If you you ever do need to ask for help I hope that some of my taxes are there to help you through. I really mean it! We never know what can happen in this life but if we all lend a hand and do our part we can make it through. I’m with Krugman, I’m a liberal and I am proud of it!

    • belladogsmom

      I am retired due to disability, at age 43, and it was NOT a union foundry. I still donate to those less fortunate, but my problem is with the people who have no desire to become educated or to find a job.

      • I believe the point of the article is, the wealthy aren’t creating the good-paying jobs that would keep money circulating here in the United States. Also, the school systems are grossly underfunded – which could perhaps be remedied if these folks were evading taxes – while college tuition prices continue to soar.

      • jabberwocky

        The school system has wasted trillions. We ought to cut off all educational spending.
        We need to cut professors salaries by at least 50%.

      • Ilyssa

        Yes because paying teachers less encourages them to teach our kids more. Of course it doesn’t. No wonder we are ranked 15th in education. Do you know why Finland has the #1 education system in the world? They pay their teachers more than any other country does.

      • jabberwocky

        The problem here in the US is teachers have to be both teacher and parent. Parents don’t parent anymore. They don’t discipline their kids. Teachers have to do this too.

      • Ilyssa, I believe that teachers should be the highest paid and most respected profession in any society, I say this with no reservations whatsoever. The reason I feel so is that education is the only profession that can transform a society or an economy upwards OR downwards in a single generation. No other profession can make this claim. Still, I am a little uncomfortable with assigning a single, and simple, causation to why Finland has the #1 education system in the world. It sounds to me like conservatives who can site that crime has gone down in areas where people carry concealed weapons. The reasons for either of these phenomena are surely complex. Maybe the reason Fins pay their teachers better is because their society values education more and parents encourage their kids more? Or maybe its the long winters? Maybe crime goes down in areas with concealed weapons because there has been a demographic change or there also happen to be more police or the economy has had an upturn? More likely, it is a combination of all of the above factors and a bunch more that I haven’t even considered. I only say this because I feel their are too many “black and white” arguments going on and I feel that we, as liberals, should hold ourselves to the highest level of reasonable discourse. I’m sorry if this comes across as preachy.

      • jabberwocky

        We need to go to computer based learning and get rid of most teachers. We can’t afford teachers. Finland can.

      • I believe you do help the less fortunate because helping out people with need has been a cornerstone of our “Americaness”. The ideas in this article are about making sure that you don’t have to bear this alone. Its about making sure that the super wealthy do THIER part as well. I wish that they could see taxes as a proud obligation and an investment in the future, as I do, but if they can’t they must not be allowed to continue taking without pitching in. They may be willing to send your job oversees but I guarantee you that they will not relocate themselves and their families to China. They are playing a short term, zero sum game and its our future that is in the balance. As for the people who “refuse” to become educated or find a job, there are very few healthy people who “choose” to live at or below poverty levels. It is a miserable existence. Most of these people have severe problems or have made mistakes that landed them there. I understand that you may not want to help those people, personally, I am ok with helping them. Please do understand though, that these people cost less than wall street bailouts and other such nonsense. I am willing to bend to try and see from your perspective, try to bend a little and see from mine. I just like people and don’t want to see any suffering that can be stopped.

      • jabberwocky

        I’m not obligated to take care of my fellow man. I do give to charities and that should be enough.

      • jabberwocky

        We are becoming a country of deadbeats and freeloaders. And did I mention riff raff?

      • Ilyssa

        Yea the deadbeats and freeloaders are the conglomerate corporations that we bail out and allow tax avoidance not the working poor who work 3 jobs just to make ends me. You are really dense.

  • jabberwocky

    If you don’t like your current economic situation let me give you some advice.
    Work harder.
    Have fewer kids.
    This advice is free.

    • Ilyssa

      Work my ass off as an attorney and writer, don’t have any kids, still think you’re a greedy asshole who misses the point that the Republicans re-distribute the money I work hard for to the wealthiest people in the country. Wake up. Get a clue!

  • jabberwocky

    A progressive is just a socialist wearing lipstick.

  • jabberwocky

    We can at least agree that we will always disagree.
    I have money and progressives want the government to take it from me and give it to them. Most progressives don’t have a pot to piss in and have never been very successful. They seem to think I would gladly give up my wealth and give to them because I am so happy they are on the planet Earth. In truth I am not really all that happy they are here. I’ll just keep my wealth.

    • Ilyssa

      Progressives don’t want to take your money and give it them, we want our money to stop being taken and re-distributed upwards to people who already have plenty.

  • jabberwocky

    Obama is not a great president. Actually he is not even a good president. But as long as he keeps making me money I ain’t complaining. I don’t care if he wants to serve a third term. Keep making me richer, Barry.
    What you poor progressives need to do is work harder.