"Spread the wealth."
First off, basing your knowledge of an idea on one of your friends is probably a bad idea. If you’re going to play this off like some righteous rant, do your research. Have your friend do some research, because her understanding of the notion of taxing the rich is clearly very minimal if she believes it includes the middle class, or anyone else who is not in control over means of production. As a matter of fact, most anyone who supports higher taxes on the top 20-1% of “earners” only want to bring the rates to what they were in the 90’s, which is still minimal compared to what they were prior to the Reagan Administration (who, I might add, left office with a huge deficit).
Second. Yes, you have advantages. As a self-described member of the middle class you have advantages that working poor families do not. College, for you, does not necessarily mean student debt into your 40’s. Getting sick does not necessarily mean going hungry to pay for your bills, or losing insurance. Even if you were lower-middle or working class, you would have racial advantages over those who have inherited their race’s poverty and find it much more difficult than whites to “pull themselves up by their bootstraps,” and you would have advantages over people of third world countries (where, I might add, the governments bow down to business interests in the hope of prosperity, only for their people to be exploited and their resources to be hoarded). Privilege exists. It’s not an insult, it’s a fact. It doesn’t make you a bad person, you just need to own up to it.
I’m sure if they knew how to manage money wisely, they could have everything we have and then some.
Never, ever ever say this to a poor person. Not unless you want to be punched in the face. Do you honestly have any clue what it is like to live on minimum wage? As a single parent? No? Well then how do you know how capable those people are of handling their money? Are you the entire working class’s personal accountant? You’re not, you don’t, and the fact that you think you can speak for someone else’s abilities simply because they aren’t as well off as you speaks volumes. And you say you don’t have privilege.
So when the government taxes the shit out of presidents of large companies, how can those companies continue providing money for the rest of the employees?
You make it sound as if any wages or jobs come out of the kindness of the bosses’ hearts. They “provide” money for their employees. Bullshit. Without their employees they wouldn’t make a cent.
Let’s not forget, that these taxes on presidents and executives of large companies are paid from income they receive from the company. Their salary is a part of the company’s budget, and the taxes they pay do not affect corporate profits or the budget at all. In the meantime, many of the corporations themselves are paying absolutely no taxes. But where, then, are the jobs? Shouldn’t the record profits these companies are making tax free mean jobs and cupcakes trickled down on us by our benevolent masters?
When business owners can’t afford to stay open, not only do their workers become unemployed, the customers must find other places to go.
Businesses managed to afford to stay open when the top marginal tax rate was twice what it is today. What’s so different now? Even if that weren’t the case, the idea is completely contradicted by companies making record profits, and Executives taking home fat bonus checks after mass layoffs and in times of supposed hardship and austerity. The fact is that, in this system, workers are expendable. They get laid off not so the company can stay afloat, but so executive bonuses and stockholder dividends remain as safe and sound as possible. Taxes don’t cause job loss, greed causes job loss. The profit motive causes job loss. To corporate, you and your friends are literally nothing but a means to an end. You are an expense, you are expendable. Yet, without you, they would be nothing.
In related recent news, most small business owners don’t see regulations and taxes as job killers at all. Go figure. I can’t imagine it’s so much more difficult for huge corporations.
I want to go back to the whole privilege thing real quick before I wrap up:
My mom drives a BMW. We all dress nicely.
My mom drives a 1998 toyota. I take the bus. We all dress in hand-me-downs and thrift store clothes. We are very privileged compared to many people.
My parents own two rental properties and twelve acres of bare land.
How can you possibly say that and follow it with saying you’re not privileged? What goddamn world do you live in? We own half an acre and can barely pay mortgage. Your parents’ renters aren’t privileged enough to say that much. 24 families could live on your bare land. Your family is profiting from other people having the audacity to need a place to stay. You are benefiting from another group’s hardship.
They’re also covering my entire college tuition without loans or anything.
I’m barely getting through community college. I have friends who can’t afford beauty school and yet millions of people go into debt for the rest of their lives to go to college. Millions more have to join military service, and even more see college education as a pipe dream even though they are intelligent.
So my advice to you, my privileged friend, get some real world experience. Talk to some of these people you condescend to by saying they can’t handle their money. Some of them are probably scraping by to pay rent to your parents. Actually listen to them instead of assuming you know better because you are better off. Their problems are not somehow less real or less legitimate than yours, in fact, they are much more legitimate because their problems include getting by where your problems include people calling you privileged.