Former Secretary of Labor, Robert Reich’s latest book, Aftershock: The Next Economy and America’s Future can, more or less, be summed up in a single sentence: Until we deal with the preposterous wealth disparity in this country, America’s fucked and it’s going to stay that way. (I couldn’t agree more, btw and loved the book). The following excerpt from his February 17th blog post, “The Republican Strategy,” lays the issue pretty nakedly on the table, I think you’ll agree:
Republicans would rather go after teachers and other public employees than have us look at the pay of Wall Street traders, private-equity managers, and heads of hedge funds – many of whom wouldn’t have their jobs today were it not for the giant taxpayer-supported bailout, and most of whose lending and investing practices were the proximate cause of the Great Depression to begin with.
Last year, America’s top thirteen hedge-fund managers earned an average of $1 billion each. One of them took home $5 billion. Much of their income is taxed as capital gains – at 15 percent – due to a tax loophole that Republican members of Congress have steadfastly guarded.
If the earnings of those thirteen hedge-fund managers were taxed as ordinary income, the revenues generated would pay the salaries and benefits of 300,000 teachers. Who is more valuable to our society – thirteen hedge-fund managers or 300,000 teachers? Let’s make the question even simpler. Who is more valuable: One hedge fund manager or one teacher?
Suck on that logic, Teabaggers and rightwing dickheads… take a good long toke!