On Thursday, Sen. Elizabeth Warren, who is running for president, proposed a wealth tax on Americans with assets over $50 million. The tax would start at 2 percent on wealth over $50 million, and go up to 3 percent on wealth over $1 billion.
This, obviously, is a good idea. Inequality is currently at levels nearly as bad as during the Gilded Age. Government workers, after missing one paycheck, are rationing their insulin and lining up at food banks. As Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez pointed out the other day, while Jeff Bezos funds his little spaceships with pocket change, diseases like hookworm are ravaging the South.
The only reason to disagree with such a reasonable and obvious proposal would be if you yourself are rich. Which might explain why GOP strategist Patrick Ruffini decided to whine pathetically about Warren’s policy idea on Twitter.
There is just one thing to say about this: good.
It is true that compounding returns is a major facet of how wealth is generated for the super rich. The fact that rich people don’t need to do anything but sit back and watch their investments accrue in value is the whole fucking problem.
Ruffini then moved on to making the argument that actually, absurd concentrations of wealth are good for the economy. Also, Jeff Bezos should be God-Emperor.
In fact, many economists, even those from financial institutions that support free market policies, disagree that the startup economy is creating good jobs. There’s reason to believe that fewer Americans are employed by startups today than in the past.
“[Companies] over the last 10-15 years, unlike in the ’90s, don’t need to hire as many people because the software—loosely described as machines—is doing the work,” the American Enterprise Institute’s Jim Pethokoukis told Recode in 2015. “It’s the classic case of how many people actually work for Facebook versus its market capitalization. Another theory is that a lot of these companies get bought up or they fail—and if you fail, you can’t hire more workers.”
On the green energy front, wealth accumulation is directly tied to the destruction of the environment via fuel emissions; multiple studies have shown that the highest income members of the highest income countries are responsible for most emissions. Rather than undermining clean energy, a wealth tax could go a long way towards raising money for green energy projects, such as those proposed in the Green New Deal.
Ruffini, unsurprisingly, faced a bit of pushback on Twitter for these views. After he tweeted about how grateful us peons should be for rich people’s generous contributions to our livelihood, writer and former Splinter staffer Alex Pareene replied with a link to a story about racist Redskins owner Dan Snyder’s recent purchase of a $100 million yacht with its own IMAX theater.
Don’t worry, Ruffini has an answer for that too.
There you have it folks. This is the future you can look forward to under the GOP (and/or Democrats who aren’t committed to wealth redistribution): a temp job scraping barnacles off super yachts for rich assholes who are patting themselves on the back for being so generous. They’ll never raise the minimum wage, control housing costs, or implement Medicare for All, so you can look forward to cobbling together as many of these great jobs as you can to pay for your kid’s insulin before they grow up to work in an Amazon warehouse. God Bless America.