The Tax Code: Class Warfare
People dread taxes. The tax code is a labyrinth few citizens dare to enter save for the rich and powerful who hire lawyers and accountants to figure out ways to game the system. One corporation paid $26,000 a year to maintain a post office box in Bermuda as its legal HQs. That little trick saved them $40 million in corporate taxes. Not bad. Taxes on the wealthy used to be high. During the Eisenhower years in the 1950s, a fairly conservative period which saw tremendous economic growth, the tax rate for the haves was 91%. Today it’s a third of that and few actual pay that much. In true Orwellian fashion if you raise these issues you are accused of class warfare. There is class warfare all right. It’s been successfully waged by the affluent 1% against everybody else. Interview by David Barsamian.
Richard Wolff is Professor of Economics Emeritus at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst and currently a visiting professor at the New School in New York. The New York Times calls him “America’s most prominent Marxist economist.” He is the author of numerous books including Democracy at Work, Capitalism’s Crisis Deepens and Occupy the Economy with David Barsamian.
Was listening to it on Alternative radio yesterday for an hour, but I have to purchase it. I
Fabio Ciccarelli –
Thanks Mr. Wolff! Would you please add the replies to the expectable objections by someone that knows a little. e.g. Is it correct that the one million Picasso donated to the University would eventually zero an equivalent income but over a few years? I hope to have made myself understood.
James Dillon –
The evolution of the South Central Los Angeles gangs where partly born as a result of the closure of factories that where employing the local populations. These “living wage” jobs created the vibrant communities of Comptom and Watts. With the closure of these factories, the vibrant communities collapsed. Social welfare provided some relief, but not enough paid for with the help of tax dollars. If the jobs lost had been replaced with new economic endeavors in the area we would not have some of the the current persistent issues in So. central LA and other inner city communities. Richard Wolff’s article just touches on the scale of need for understanding the social responsibilities that corporations should have taken on. This issue is not limited to the USA. While many manufacturers have relocated their operations to places in Asia, there is also a potential that this could happen to workers in low wage earning countries.
Wow, I had no idea listening to an interview about taxes could be so interesting! I especially love how he breaks things down so I can understand and apply his ideas to save me money. It is also truly amazing how little most of us really know about our money and governernment. Because, if we truly became educated in a few of Mr. Wolff’s simple ideas, there would be a revolt. I hope this review gets you listening to Mr. Wolff’s ideas and we start changing things for all to benefit.