There are certain Republican talking points I get absolutely sick and tired of hearing. It’s like every one of them is handed a set of flash cards with certain words or phrases that they’re supposed to use over and over so that they can ignite the proper level of fear within their conservative voters.
One of these phrases is the term “redistribution of wealth.” It’s a phrase meant to insinuate socialism or communism. You know, the “big bad government” seizing wealth from “hard working Americans” to redistribute out to all the lazy “takers” who are just looking for a handout.
But you know what? In a sense, they’re right. We do have a huge problem with wealth being redistributed in this country. Only they are the ones supporting it and making it worse.
See, the issue of redistributing wealth in this country isn’t 98% of Americans taking from the top 2%. Oh, no — it’s the other way around. The top 2% of Americans have been syphoning the wealth from 98% of Americans for decades now.
A warning to any conservative who chooses to continue to read — you’re not going to like the rest of this article. You might want to just flip on Fox News so they’ll tell you what you want to hear. You know, spoon-fed right-wing propaganda.
Our whole system is rigged in their favor. Just think about it — many millionaires and billionaires pay a lower tax rate (after using their seemingly countless tax loopholes) than many middle class Americans. Hell, there are giant corporations which paid nothing in federal income tax due to clever accounting tricks. Big oil companies earning billions of dollars in revenue, still getting billions of free government dollars thanks to oil subsidies.
And let’s not forget how you can’t get a decent paying job without a degree, even if if you have more than enough experience. I’m not saying that a degree isn’t important, but it’s asinine to see someone with 30 years of experience doing something get passed over for a promotion in favor of someone with absolutely no experience just because they had the right degree. Then you factor in the rapidly rising cost of getting a degree and it already puts millions of Americans in a massive hole before they even get their adult lives truly started.
But guess who benefits from all of that debt? That would be the rich and big corporations.
Or let’s talk about our “credit scores” that come in all shapes and sizes from various companies. These scores rule our lives without any real explanation as to why one score is one way or another score says something else.
In fact, the way at which we go about getting “good credit” is almost absurd. They want you to have debt in order to get more debt. Oh, but not too much debt! And be sure if you have open credit accounts that you carry a balance, but don’t close them out because that might hurt your score — and watch out, applying for credit might hurt your score as well.
Our credit scores make it nearly impossible to dig out of a hole if someone happens to fall on rough times. And who benefits from these scores that cause Americans to pay billions upon billions more each year in fees, higher interest rates and various other charges that keep us in debt for years? That would be big businesses and of course the rich.
Hell, just look at our 2008 financial collapse. While millions of Americans lost their jobs, their savings, their homes — the people who caused the economic collapse in the first place received a cushy bailout (paid for by taxpayers), became richer than ever before and not a single one of them faced any kind of punishment or responsibility for their unethical behavior.
Even now, with stocks at record highs, our economy is still struggling to bounce back fully. The top 2% are flourishing while many Americans still continue to struggle.
Let’s just be honest here, our entire system as it stands now is set up to filter more money to the top 2% from the other 98% of us.
After all, isn’t that what trickle-down economics is? We let them hoard money and they “trickle down” some of it to us. But that’s the problem. Each cycle where we give them what we have, even down to our last pennies, they’re trickling down less and less. How else do you think they’re going to grow their wealth? They can’t give us more than we gave them because then they’d be losing money.
They “give back” as little as possible. They do what the theory says — they “trickle” it back. What trickle-down economics really boils down to is the top 2% of Americans growing their wealth by taking it from the other 98%.
Over the last few decades the rich have become richer than ever while the “wealth” of the middle class has remained stagnant. It’s no coincidence that the wealth at the top 2% rose at its fastest levels in history just before our economic collapse in 2008.
If trickle-down economics actually worked, our success would mirror theirs — but it doesn’t. In fact, the more success the rich have, the less success we usually have. Because when they’re hoarding all the cash (revenue, profits, etc..) that means they’re “trickling down” even less of it to the rest of us. Which of course means we have less while they gain more.
So while Republicans will paint everything from tax rates to the Affordable Care Act to just about anything imaginable as a “socialist liberal attempt to redistribute wealth” — they are the ones who’ve been supporting legislation and economic theories that redistribute the wealth of 98% of Americans for the benefit of the top 2%.
They want to keep the minimum wage low; fight government regulations on corporate greed; oppose ending big oil subsidies; refuse to close tax loopholes for the super rich; support tax breaks for companies that outsource jobs — these are all stances that benefit the rich at the expense of the rest of us.
Because at the end of the day, the vast majority of Americans aren’t envious of the rich. Hell, we really couldn’t care less about them. But what we do care about is when our jobs, our benefits, our raises, our pensions and our retirement are all put at risk just so that the richest among us can become even richer.
So if you want to talk about a “redistribution of wealth,” trickle-down economics and the Republican party are your primary culprits.