Mouse rant blog vent mouse.

Tuesday, April 20, 2004

Working hard at finding the right family to be born to

Here's an editorial debunking the myth that tax cuts somehow benefit the hardest-working people in the country. In fact, they benefit people born to wealth more than anybody.
Now, I know that the whole "hard-earned" money crap conservatives pour out is there to convince ordinary working Americans that they are getting a tax cut when they're not. After all, we are the ones who are earning our money the hard way--by over-working ourselves at demeaning jobs. But we aren't getting the tax cuts. The other conservative bugaboo is that progressive taxes "punish success".
I really have a problem with that. By that definition, how "successful" you are is based solely on how much money you have. And no one seems to question this, even though it means that Paris Hilton is more "successful" than me, even though I have at least successfully learned there are times when you don't have to answer your cell phone.
It's hard to understand why all this talk about hard work and success has any resonance with Americans at all. We work hard, but we don't get rich. You'd think people's own experiences would tell them that they are getting screwed by this rhetoric. I guess it's true then that many, if not most Americans labor under the irrational belief that our ship is coming in any damn day now and we'll be owning hotels and getting our own reality shows. That has to be it, because otherwise I don't see why people are lining up to vote themselves higher taxes to support the leisure class.
Whether I suddenly get rich or not (and working for the state, my guess is on the not side), I still tend to think we shouldn't be taxing the hell out of the "unsuccessful" people who keep the electricity on, keep the tires on your car from just falling off, teach kids to read, put out fires when they start, make sure you don't bleed to death if you have an accident, diligently make sure your private bank account information stays private and the other millions of jobs we can't function without that fall on the working class. After all, we are the ones whose work is actually most likely to suffer if it's not paying as well as it should, not because we aren't properly "motivated" but because financial troubles can be incredibly distracting.

Via Prometheus 6.


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