My friend said that if such a tax were established, the wealthy people would figure out ways to get out of it.
A lightbulb went off for me. "Your attitude is that the system is so broken, the wealthy can and will get around any rules."
I paused, processing this. It's an idea that Chris Hayes discusses-- that nobody respects anyone, especially those in power-- in his book, Twilight of the Elite.
Photo by Rob Kall taken at S17 1st Anniversary of Occupy Wall Street
If you don't believe that the system can sustain a law, the system is very broken. I think this is a big part of our problem. We have a congress we don't trust and should not trust, because they have acted in ways to totally betray our trust. Why would we expect them to be capable of passing laws that actually protect the middle class and the poor (who are morphing to be more and more the same in many ways.) Why should we have any trust that any laws that they pass will be bulletproof AND enforced.
I took another walk around the flea market. Of the 1000 plus vendor slots, 98% of them are selling new goods, almost all of them made in China, many of them factory seconds. So many stalls are selling the same goods that the prices are whittled down to the bone, so there's little profit. After they pay the $50 or $65 slot fee for them to park their truck and put their tables up, it's tough to leave with much more than minimum wage. One high school student was paid $70 to set up at 5:00 AM and tear down at around 3:00 PM. Throw in travel back and forth and he's working for less than the minimum wage, with no benefits. These are hard times.
What amazes me is that a lot of these people, total victims of the exploitation by the one percent, will not vote or worse, will vote for Mitt Romney. I can see them not voting, because they don't feel that either party will make a difference for them. And I can understand them voting for Romney, if they're white, since they probably watch Fox News for entertainment and to reinforce their prejudices.
As I write this, I'm watching a HISTORY Channel documentary on the rise of Naziism. Words appear on the screen:
Confisticated, Jewish Wealth would support 30% of the German war effort.
I google this and find a 2010 article in the Telegraph that reports that new research showed it was actually one third. is it really that different, with the one percent and the multinational corporations leaning on the middle class and the poor to pay for corporate welfare and the benefits of government that enable the wealthy to acquire and maintain their wealth-- the police state, the judicial system set up to protect big business and the wealthy?
Perhaps we, the 99% are ALL the Jews of Nazi Germany, who at first were boycotted, then had their citizenship taken from them, before they were herded into cattle cars and into concentration camps.
I grow more convinced every day that electoral politics will not change things. We need to keep working to wake up our friends and family and neighbors to the truth-- that we have been betrayed, that we are being exploited and sold out and that it will take action in the streets to change things.
The Nazis exploited German exceptionalism-- a hubris that lead to the worst crimes against humanity. Already, the recent leaders of the US have met the criteria for war criminals.
These are dangerous times. More and more protesters are being legislated and labeled as terrorists. Will Potter is brilliantly chronicling this at his blog, www.GreenIsTheNewRed.com.
Still, we must not only persevere. We must double down and work harder to raise consciousness, educate people beyond the failed education they get in public school, and get them to see why they must soon be in the streets to protect themselves, their families, their children, their future and the American dream.