Tuesday, 8 January 2013

Takers and makers

Yes, politicians, we've heard the slogans about ‘strivers’ versus ‘skivers.' It's been done to death now, so please move on to less boring distinctions, because it's not fooling anybody with more than two brain cells to rub together. If you really must reduce society to a T-shirt slogan, there are plenty of more telling contrasts. Such as "takers" (like our cabinet of millionaires and their chums in the City) and "makers" (the rest of us):
 We have become, in the United States, and increasingly all over the world, a society with only two classes: Those who own, and those who owe.  

The owners (or “Takers”) own vast wealth, and loan it out at interest to everybody from students to governments.  They’re continually receiving that interest back in ways that are either tax-free or taxed at very low levels.  (Here in the US we call it “capital gains,” “Interest,” “dividends,” and “carried interest.”  While a working person will pay as much as 39% in federal income taxes, the federal income tax to the Mitt Romneys, Paris Hiltons, and Lloyd Blankfeins of the world is now capped at 20%.  As Leona Helmsley famously said, “Only little people pay taxes.”)

The owe-ers - the indebted - find themselves trapped on a lifelong treadmill paying interest and fees to the Takers.  The owe-ers are also mostly the workers, the people who make things (from manufactured goods to hamburgers), and so are rightly called the “Makers.” 
Thom Hartmann