QUESTION: Mr. Armstrong; So if I am correct, you have no problem with the inequality of wealth because you have it. Correct?
ANSWER: Let us look seriously at this issue. All of these people who talk about the disparity or inequality of wealth, claiming it is evil, completely fail to even understand the subject. The wealth of someone like Bill Gates and others who created companies like Henry Ford have been looked at or regarded as the super rich and thus evil. The problem boils down to assets v income. Pretend you bought a house in a modest area, say Atlantic City, and then the state passed a law that allowed casinos. Suddenly, your house goes from $100,000 to millions. So you are now “rich.” Since the land value rose, does that mean you should now pay more income taxes every year that may exceed your salary since you own a house that is worth more than average?
Those who talk about the “rich” look at their total asset values and not actual income. The value of someone is based upon their stock holding in a company they created. That is NOT cash. So should they be compelled to surrender that holding? If so, to whom? The government? So now Microsoft is seized by the government. If they sell it in small packages to the average person, the company will not be worth what it once was when the creator is driven out. Apple had to bring back Steve Jobs.
The “super rich” will pay taxes on their income every year but not on their assets, which fluctuate up and down. You may be surprised that most billionaires do not even have $1 million in a checking account. If we tax assets, then you will wipe out all small business that creates 70% of employment. How many farmers died and their heir had to sell off chunks of land to pay death taxes instead of continuing the family business?
You will hear about some billionaire who paid little taxes. That is simply the difference between asset values they did not sell and income. If you bought IBM in 2009, should you be taxed every year on its value that you held but did not sell?
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The Global March of Neoliberalism: The World Inequality Report 2018
Contrary to the assumptions of left-liberal commentators, neoliberalism is not merely a bad policy adopted by “greedy” elites. It is in fact a fundamental systemic rejection of the post-laissez-faire settlement put in place in just about all of the developed capitalist countries after the Second World War. Out with the legacy of the New Deal and the Great Society and forward with what is essentially a resurrection of 1920s capitalism. Because capitalism is a globally integrated system, if neoliberalism exists on a significant scale anywhere, it must exist everywhere. It is thus a “New World Order,” a phrase deployed by G. H. W. Bush and Adolf Hitler.
Neoliberalism is an eminently rational arrangement for the capitalists and their political cronies who instituted it. The system is called capitalism, not laborism, because it was forged for centuries and is presided over by those whose overarching objective is to maintain a settlement that serves the interests of owners of capital. Adam Smith’s tome is called The Wealth of Nations, not The Income of Nations or The Wages of Nations. The bottom-line priority of those who own society’s most valuable asset, its means of production, is that society be organized around the continuous increase of wealth, especially the wealth and income of its wealthiest. The welfare state foils that project. The evidence is unambiguous: after the Depression and during the great expansion of the Golden Age, we witnessed the unprecedented: the share of national income flowing to the one percent continued to fall by an increasing percentage each decade during the ‘30s, ‘40s, ‘50s, ‘60s and early ‘70s. (1) These were the only years in American history when an essential feature of State policy was to increase social services benefitting the working class and redistribute income from the wealthiest to those who do society’s work. And these were also the only years in the history of the republic that featured ongoing and increasing downward redistribution. This was the result of New Deal and Great Society social legislation, and the power of labor unions. Hence, from the perspective of the enlightened capitalist, the legacy of these policies must be reversed.
The World Inequality Report 2018
The undoing of social democracy must be effected on a global scale.
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