Look Down

So why is it that you don’t see traditionally oppressed and disenfranchised groups joining movements like the Tea Party? It’s typically almost exclusively white people, and of those, largely white men, and the sentiment among them seems to be that they feel oppressed because they work a job all the time and haven’t become millionaires for it.

And instead of blaming the wealthy for it, they blame those even worse off than they themselves are, for some reason. They blame the people who have actually largely been systematically disregarded and subjugated over the course of history.

That’s like if you were swimming in a pool and someone reached down and held your head underwater, and you got mad at the corpse floating at the very bottom of the pool for raising the water level a negligible amount.

The wealthy in America, and the biggest businesses, already make more and are taxed less than ever before in our nation’s history. And those with conservative leanings demand even more. Some businesses are effectively taxed $0, so it’s hard to tell how we could get even lower than that.

Yet the middle classes and mid- and low-range businesses blame the poor.

In the mid-20th century, taxes were substantially higher, especially on the wealthy, than they are right now. And executives made substantially less, with the highest-paid making somewhere around 50 times as much as the average worker. Today, the top-ranking executives make over 500 times as much as the average worker.

Money, by the way, is a limited resource. There aren’t infinite dollars to go around — there’s a fixed quantity, and the value of each dollar drops if we print more.

So, considering the tremendous increase in the amount of money that’s taken out of the system by the wealthiest in the country, why blame things like welfare and other social programs for making things harder? Has our spending on those programs really surpassed the difference in executive pay over the last half a century? Or the increase in what can be called “corporate welfare” — government programs that give subsidies and handouts to big businesses and to the wealthy?

Who has more to gain, and the ability to actually gain it? The person at the top making millions or billions of dollars from the unquestioning work of hundreds or thousands or millions of people, who has massive influence over the government and the media, or the person scraping by with a welfare allowance that can barely provide enough to feed their family?

Come on, America. Think.

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