Sunday, August 23, 2009

Interesting post

The End of the 30-Year Wealth Bubble? mainly quotes a recent news article, highlights a number of key passages, and then ends with what I think needs to be said at bare-bones minimum:

One issue that has perplexed economists on both sides of the political spectrum is how to deal with inequalities in wealth. I am not convinced that the rich are not getting richer, but I will concede that the deflation scenario will wipe out many fortunes.

The fact is that the poor are hurting much more than the wealthy in a downturn. The affluent should be paying more in taxes and they should count themselves lucky and remember Pete Peterson's wise words on the meaning of enough.

h/t naked capitalism

It bears repeating, early and often: Those who are still doing well should, rather than treat their privileged position as some sort of "God-given" birthright (the rabble be damned), consider themselves damned lucky, and that those who benefit disproportionately in this particular economic system should be contributing disproportionately. I'm not talking charity - isolated individuals doing a few good deeds might be a nice self-esteem booster, but does nothing to challenge the structural inequalities that leave so many of us disadvantaged. Besides, the inclination to hoard during economic downturns tends to make charity rather non-dependable. There was a reason why the wealthiest in the US once paid considerably more in taxes about a half century ago. Oh, and while we're at it, to paraphrase Michael Moore a few years ago, kill the Horatio Alger myth.

For those well-to-do who feel the need to pooh-pooh such observations, I'd suggest bookmarking this and remember those very observations on the chance that we might one day in the not-so-distant future encounter each other in line to apply for food stamps. Just sayin'.

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