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Conservatives Are Scared Straight by a Frenchman
The central thesis of Picketty's book is that capital ALWAYS gets a better return than labor - typically around 5-8% per year. It's been this way for the past 1000 years or more.

[...The] wealthy elite are always getting wealthier, doubling their wealth every 5 years or so, while the working class is always going to just be getting by.

It's the way capitalism is structured. Capital makes money. Labor earns money - and a lot less money. Maybe that's why it's called "capitalism" and not "laborism."

[...] The way the capitalist system is now, the wealthy elite [...], the Mitt Romney's of the world, are going to get richer and richer, regardless of whether the economy in strong or weak.

Meanwhile, the working class is only seeing an increase in their income - which rarely even turns into an increase in wealth - when the economy is doing well.

Working people are screwed when the economy is doing poorly, while capitalists - people who earn money with money - pretty much always do just fine.

[...] Right now, the top tax rate on capital gains - money made with money - is 20%, while the top tax rate on labor income is 39%.

Even Reagan thought this was crazy, at least on one particularly lucid day.

In a speech to students at Northside High School in Atlanta, Georgia in June of 1985, Reagan point out the absurdity of working-class Americans having to pay more in taxes than millionaires.

He told the crowd of students that, "We're going to close the unproductive tax loopholes that allow some of the truly wealthy to avoid paying their fair share. In theory, some of those loopholes were understandable, but in practice they sometimes made it possible for millionaires to pay nothing, while a bus driver was paying ten percent of his salary, and that's crazy. [...] Do you think the millionaire ought to pay more in taxes than the bus driver or less?"

by das monde on Thu Apr 24th, 2014 at 06:58:39 AM EST

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