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Archive for 29. March 2014

I’ll Call it the Perkins Paradox

Or the Plutocracy Worm Hole

 

I’ve had very limited time to blog. This one will be short and sweet…but telling.

According to billionaire Tom Perkins…you know, the guy who compared critics of economic inequality to Nazi’s, his proposal is that only those who pay taxes should be allowed to vote. Of course, this is consistent with our founding fathers’ vision that franchised only property owners, so no big deal. Yet Perkins one-ups the aristocratic hubris of our founders. He said during a talk “But what I really think is, it should be like a corporation. You pay a million dollars in taxes, you get a million votes.”

Wow!

Of course, this should come as no surprise. It’s not even the first time this idea was proposed. But let’s really examine the reasonable consequences of such a proposal. Let’s say that the Perkins Plan were enacted into law. Presumably, he is referring to income taxes, as it would be well-nigh impossible to track all of the money paid in sales tax, property tax, licensing, etc. There would be virtually no reason in the world for anyone in the bottom 90% of income earners to bother to vote since the top ten percent receives over forty percent of the income. In that top ten percent, the overwhelming majority of income gains are within the top one percent of income earners, and the disparities increase among the top .1 percent and top .01 percent (which includes Perkins). So the super-rich would dominate the vote.

We already know what happens when the wealthy dominate the political process. They pay less in taxes. Therein lays the paradox. Once the super-rich have complete control over the government by controlling the majority vote, despite their minority status, they will, of course, vote to eliminate their tax burdens. This should, however, disenfranchise them.

It should, but it won’t. They would have long since disassembled democracy by then.

The bottom line is that the wealthy, especially the super-wealthy, are no longer even pretending to value democracy and human dignity. They have made it clear, over and over again, that they believe they are the only people on the planet who matter. The rest of us are nothing more than unwashed serfs who deserve nothing more than to serve at the whims of the wealthy and accept whatever scraps the give us.