Sunday, September 19, 2010

The Real Anger in America

Here is the start of an excellent NY Times op-ed by Paul Krugman:
Anger is sweeping America. True, this white-hot rage is a minority phenomenon, not something that characterizes most of our fellow citizens. But the angry minority is angry indeed, consisting of people who feel that things to which they are entitled are being taken away. And they’re out for revenge.

No, I’m not talking about the Tea Partiers. I’m talking about the rich.

These are terrible times for many people in this country. Poverty, especially acute poverty, has soared in the economic slump; millions of people have lost their homes. Young people can’t find jobs; laid-off 50-somethings fear that they’ll never work again.

Yet if you want to find real political rage — the kind of rage that makes people compare President Obama to Hitler, or accuse him of treason — you won’t find it among these suffering Americans. You’ll find it instead among the very privileged, people who don’t have to worry about losing their jobs, their homes, or their health insurance, but who are outraged, outraged, at the thought of paying modestly higher taxes.
It is very odd to live in Canada next door to the US. Canada pays taxes somewhere between the high levels of Europe and the low levels of the US. But I don't read many articles about Europeans screaming about "oppressive taxes" or a constant chatter by politicians about the need to "reduce taxes". There is none of that in Canada. But in the lowest taxed country, that is all you hear. It is odd. All I can say is that the rich in the US are like spoiled and demanding children. No matter how much you give them they are petulant and demanding of more, more, more!

Go read the full Krugman article. He has some excellent links to articles that explore this topic.

The bitter truth about the greedy rich in America is summarized by Krugman in the last two paragraphs of his article:
And when the tax fight is over, one way or another, you can be sure that the people currently defending the incomes of the elite will go back to demanding cuts in Social Security and aid to the unemployed. America must make hard choices, they’ll say; we all have to be willing to make sacrifices.

But when they say “we,” they mean “you.” Sacrifice is for the little people.

No comments: