the bigotry of the one percent

Bigotry (according to Webster) is the state of mind of a person obstinately or intolerantly devoted to his or her own opinions and prejudices.

I’ve been thinking about the bigotry of the one percent.

They are intolerant of the 47 percent of Americans they call “entitled”—people either too old or too poor to pay federal income tax, people “dependent upon government, who believe that they are victims, that they are entitled to health care, to food, to housing, you name it.”

And yet the people rich enough to attend $50,000 fund-raisers, are blind to their own entitlements: the 15 percent tax they pay on earnings from capital investments instead of the 35 percent salaried workers pay on regular income; the “carried interest” and “fee-waiver conversions”–deferring  tax payments for years.

How about big companies, dependent on the government’s care and feeding, legally stashing money overseas, or energy companies and their oil-depletion allowances? We are told not to punish the “job creators”, but, as a proportion of federal receipts, corporate taxes have dropped from 32 percent in 1952 to less than 9 percent today, while payroll taxes (which many who reportedly “believe they are victims” do pay) have risen from 10 percent of federal revenue in 1952 to 40 percent today.

Median income fell for the second year in a row, but the rich are richer than ever.

Entitled – a legal right to receive something.

Who are the truly entitled?

(See Andrew Ross’s column in The San Francisco Chronicle for the figures above)


5 responses »

  1. Norma, will you be the President’s new speech-writer, please?

  2. Thanks Norma!

    They are venal and don’t care about anyone but their own kind.

  3. Norma – You might enjoy this article (from my friend Taro Gold) It’s both personal and political.

  4. I have this fantasy about a world where everybody has enough, where being healthy and well-cared-for IS a right, where the lives of blastocysts are not more important than the life of full grown human beings with friends and loved ones and years of productivity and pleasure before them, where all people of good will are welcomed and celebrated, regardless of gender, ethnicity, or beliefs, where society and culture and love are more important than Stuff and where we live in harmony with the planet and its other creatures (humans included).

    Every year, every month, heck! every day, I see this fantasy become more tenuous and diluted — because of the money addiction of the 1% and the Stuff addiction of anyone with disposable income. I have no idea how the cycle gets broken.

    I do know that our education system is broken and that children who are educated to compete rather than cooperate are much less likely to have the compassion for others that it takes to make a truly meaningful and happy life.

    I read about a recent bit of research that noted how humans absorb the opinions of those around them. That if everyone around us is talking ultra-conservatism or progressivism, we are unconsciously influenced. That the more each of us openly argues progressive or conservative points of view, the more or less compassionate, respectively, we become.

    There ought to be a law about news agencies lying to people, about politicians lying to people, about ads on television being utterly false. Lies are not “free speech”; they’re not opinions; they’re abstract constructs designed to deceive. Couldn’t laws about fraud apply?
    I include here not only politicians and Fox News, but also cosmetic and pharmaceutical companies.

    BTW, I want Bill Clinton to be the President’s new speech writer. He really knows how to distill the essence of progressive values into a few totally accessible words or phrases. And his refutation of the lies and distortions of this millenium’s John Birchers was so down home and succinct that even an idiot to grasp it.


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