Not Redistribution of Wealth! Oh No!

We need to help middle class workers prepare for new jobs.
We need this kind of shot-in-the-arm free community college program that the
President is recommending and that he talked about in his State of the Union
address and that infrastructure stuff and child care. But we have learned all too much about “pay for-s” over the past six
 “That’s impossible.”
say the Republicans, “How will we pay for it?”
So then President Obama rolls out his tax plan. And it’s a
doozie – an in-your-face Grover Norquist, No-Tax-Increase-Pledge doozie! And I
am smiling a big smile even though I know it won’t fly. I also think that if we
say it enough and own it enough it could all happen. We could have lower taxes
for the middle class and we could raise the taxes on corporations and the
wealthy. We are the people. It is our government. We are the 99%. They are the
“That’s ‘redistribution of wealth,” say the Republicans as
if ‘redistribution of wealth’ is a mortal sin; as if it rings the ‘communism’
alarm bells in the heads and hearts of all sane capitalists.
Why should such obvious fear-mongering and name-calling
bother us? This is not the days of Joseph McCarthy’s Un-American Activities
regime which set out to ruin many successful Americans by painting them ‘red’
for ‘communist’. Americans have no wish to turn over all their property and
money to the state and start a communist revolution in America.
What is clear to most middle class Americans is that we,
however suspicious, were sort of uneducated on the wiles of politicians, and so
we let these powerful and wealthy people create a set of rules about taxation
and profit which sent most of America’s money to a few greedy,
financially-savvy rip-off artists and that now that these people – these 1% – have
all this money they are damned if they will let us rewrite the rules so that
some of this profit stays with the middle class, and some of it funds the
activities of our federal, state, and local governments in order to provide
ourselves with the services and resources we need to keep America great.
Are we frightened of
a label that was once considered a ‘politically dangerous’ one? Do we really
believe that these people deserve all the monies that have accrued to them?
They don’t employ us anymore, they don’t need us anymore. They want to be
Americans in name only and pay nothing for the privilege.
We did not force our corporations out of America through
middle class greed as these folks would have you believe. I will keep saying
this until we all accept it. Globalization was inevitable. There was always
going to be a moment when our corporations moved into less-developed nations.
Nature abhors a vacuum. Once communism proved inferior as an economic system –
at least the brands of communism that have been tried so far – it was just a
matter of time before these communist countries loosened up. It was only a
matter of time before business men’s eyes got bigger and bigger as they thought
of all the potential buyers living in developing nations, how cheap labor would
be, and how easy it would be to operate in countries with no environmental
There is nothing the American worker could have done to
stop this stampede. Stop letting the 1% blame the 99% for things they had no
control over. Stop letting some simple words, said with a sort of implied
sneer; words like ‘redistribution of wealth’; stop us from changing the way we
tax wealth in America.

There could be backlash, unforeseen outcomes. Going up
against people who are rich and powerful is not without consequences, but if we
are already headed towards a serfdom of low wages and life-long toil, I think
we should risk it. Raising taxes is cheaper, less disruptive, and less costly
in terms of human lives than going through a revolution which is often how
wealth gets redistributed. This is not a threat. This is, however, a
historically accurate observation.
By Nancy Brisson