Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Are the Rich Really “Voting AGAINST Their Own Best Interests”???

You see it all the time, the richest areas are reliably Liberal, from Manhattan’s Upper West Side, to Palm Beach Florida to the tony sections around Boston, all those neighborhoods are reliably Left-wing.

When working-class voters vote for Conservatives, Liberal Democrats love to rail, “They’re voting AGAINST their own best interests,” so it would stand to reason that wealthy Liberals are voting against theirs, right?

Could it be that "Liberal wealthy people are consistently voting AGAINST their best interests, out of some misguided sense of altruism?

Hardly likely, in fact, virtually and universally NOT.

The fact is that Liberalism/socialism, even Corporatism favors the rich.

High tax rates tax wealth creation NOT accrued wealth.

Excessive regulation serves to protect already established enterprises from the vicissitudes of the market.

Such policies harm those striving to do better (that’s EVERYONE who isn’t already wealthy), while protecting the truly rich at everyone else’s expense.

On the other hand, more social programs HARM working-class people the most, since the tax burden for maintaining them falls to “the higher income earners,” and NOT the “truly rich.”

What about helping make the poor more productive and getting them out of poverty?

OK, how about it?

How does that HELP the working and middle class?

Quite frankly, it DOESN’T. In fact, IF government programs COULD make the poor more competitive, that would only serve to increase the competition for the good jobs that those working and middle class folks rely on for their lifestyles.

There’s absolutely no benefit accrued to working and middle class people from increased social spending.

How about government sponsored healthcare?

Again, that’s a boon to Corporations and local Municipalities, which now cover over 91% of American workers!

A whopping 40% of those uncovered by health insurance are illegal workers, which is why Barack Obama recently backed away from covering “the 15% of workers here who don’t have health insurance,” he ran from the issue of insuring illegal immigrants/migrant workers, since over 80% Americans OPPOSE that.

So, what good would a watered down government managed healthcare program (complete with health care rationing) do for the over 90% of Americans already insured?

Right, it would only diminish their coverage.

But major Corporations would instantly become more profitable by jettisoning those costs and that would greatly benefit those Corporations, the tens of thousands of local Municipalities and both the investors and CEOs of those Corporations – the ALREADY RICH!

Liberals might well argue, “What do those people get from tax dollars going to law enforcement and the Military?”

Well, a hell of a lot more than they do from any social spending, that’s for sure. America’s military arm has been its most effective “diplomatic tool.” It has inflicted “diplomacy” on the likes of Hitler, Tojo, the “Communist Menace”, or “Evil Empire” and recently both the Taliban and Saddam Hussein. While at home, law enforcement and our criminal justice system have kept the non-productive from consistently and significantly inflicting harm upon their more productive neighbors. Come to think of it, that’s the ONLY area where working and middle class taxpayers get any bang for their buck from the government.

Apparently, working and middle class people aren’t supposed to know any of that.

Whoops! I sure hope I didn’t let the cat out of the bag.


Uncle Joe said...

It's all about "fairness" as defined by the latest politically motivated need. Government can't make us all equally rich. It can make us all equally poor.

Nice post.

JMK said...

I think Gerald Ford put it very well UJ, A government big enough to give you everything you need, must also be big enough to take away all you have."

I think we're going to learn some very painful lessons from the 1970s all over again.

I'm not looking forward to it.

heidianne jackson said...

you said "...IF government programs COULD make the poor more competitive, that would only serve to increase the competition for the good jobs that those working and middle class folks rely on for their lifestyles."

this is a misnomer, jmk. in all actuality if it could make the poor more competitive we would all - middle class people included - reap the benefits of lower taxes and more choice in the marketplace. why?

because if it could really do that, the programs would be dicontinued after a single generation when all the poor had been eradicated. the programs aren't setup to make the poor more competitive, they are setup to induce downward mobility so the poor won't feel bad.

you said: ...major Corporations would instantly become more profitable by jettisoning those costs and that would greatly benefit those Corporations, the tens of thousands of local Municipalities and both the investors and CEOs of those Corporations – the ALREADY RICH!"

also a misnomer. corporation taxes would be greatly increased by nationalizing health care. the people in favor of nationalized health care think the corporations (which employee the workingclass) are evil and not entitled to profits of business. thus all (or at least most) money taken in must be handed over to the government. look at massachusettes or california if you don't believe me.

and not all ceo's are rich. are there problems with the pay schemas for many ceo's? yes, of the publically held corps. and that won't be fixed until the shareholders revolt. but for some reason, most people who own shares of stock in a corp either don't realize they can question what's going on, or don't care so long as they get theirs.

can't argue with your logic on law enforcement or national defense.

JMK said...

"this is a misnomer, jmk. in all actuality if it could make the poor more competitive we would all - middle class people included - reap the benefits of lower taxes and more choice in the marketplace." (Heidianne)

You're absolutely correct. I was sort of pointing out that it's not in those who are already productive's best interests the make the non-productive more competitive, BUT, yes, without question, programs that actually helped people lear entreprenurial skills and train and re-train for good jobs would be the best possible option.

Of course, that is compltely at odds with the so-called "anti-poverty" agenda. To the social worker, "more poverty = more jobs"...for THEM.

As to nationalized healthcare/universal healthcare or "socialized medicine", that would largely be paid for via increased PAYROLL and INCOME tax rates, NOT corporate and Capital Gains tax hikes.

Virtually EVERY major Corporation now favors some form of government-managed "universal healthcare.

The healthcare burdens for Corporations is untenable at this point and it's only rising.

Same with ILLEGAL immigration, for better or worse, a bottom-line CEO actually favors some degree of ILLEGAL immigration, even if it does lower the average wage or "wage floor," in fact that too is good for the bottom-line. Those corporations that use migrant labor benefit tremendously from the below market labor and pay little of the "invisible" costs related to ILLEGAL immigration - healthcare costs, prison costs, social and educational services, etc.

That's why, through today, Wall Street has given 3X as much to Obama as to McCain!

Sad but true, Big business in the USA is intimately intertwined with government, even Ross Perot had made his fortune, decades ago, in concert with government - printing government checks, as did New Jersey's Frank Lautenberg.

The idea that "a lot of CEOs support the free market," is simply untrue in today's day and age.

I only wish it were so.

Don said...

I too have noticed how Barack Obama has softened upon many of his earlier stances. He's looking more like a politician each and every day.

JMK said...

Don, I think he'll have to soften many of his stances.

It's just naive and foolish to oppose drilling when commodities (like oil) are bought and sold on futures markets, where investors/speculators invest/bet on the FUTURE price of oil based on parameters that will most likely impact supply and demand - like bad weather destroying off shore platforms, the way Katrina did, or the way drilling to bring some of America's known 800 BILLION barrels to market would.

Same with his changing timetable in Iraq, same with his plan for huge tax increases.

Don, higher income and payroll taxes DO NOT tax or punish already accrued wealth, they tax, punish and stifle wealth creation!

Who among us doesn't strive to do better and to have more for our families.

I've always said, anyone who works for a living ISN'T "rich," even if that person is a physician or a Hedge Fund manager earning ten to twelve million dollars per year.

I don't revile people like that.

And they certainly don't hurt you or I!

Perhaps they would IF the economy were a "fixed economic pie," where one person's wealth meant less avaliable for everyone else.

That's NOT the case!

The economy isn't static or fixed, it's very dynamic and fluid. In that regard, the more wealth one person creates, the larger the economic pie gets for everyone else. Wealth creation is just that - it expands the wealth all around. Government must print more currency and those people who earn more money USE that money to buy more STUFF and that creates opportunities and jobs for many, many others.

That's the flaw of Liberal economic policies, they hamper wealth creation and that hurts everyone, especially those who depend on menial jobs, that are often the first cut. For instance, many restaurants cut back and close when the economy contracts and fewer people eat out - the result is fewer jobs for those at the bottom of the economic ladder.

That creates REAL pain.

IF Obama weren't a typical Liberal Democrat, I could actually like the guy. He's a great orator and he has great personal charism, as well. Unfortunately, he also has some really bad policy ideas and he surrounds himself with some of the most Left-wing people in this country.

To me that's very disappointing.

WomanHonorThyself said...

hiya JMK..right in line with my latest rant on socialized medicine...what happened to our Republic?!!

Barry said...

First of all, you're totally right. Contrary to popular belief, rich people don't give a sh*t about high income tax rates, because they've already got their money.

Still, it's refreshing to see you ask the question, even facetiously, about the rich voting against their own self-interest. Why? Because I'm sick to death of the whiny-ass liberals asking the same question of red-state America based on the most naive and superficial interpretation of the data imaginable.

JMK said...

Hi Barry!

Yeah, it would seem to follow IF working-class and poor Americans are "voting against their best interests" in voting Conservative, then rich people would be voting against theirs by voting Liberal, right?!

In actuality, the rich not only don't vote against their own interests, they are competitive enough to want to make wealth creation for others as difficult as possible...and liberal policies, like hiking tax rates certainly does that.

heidianne jackson said...

jmk,i agree that "Virtually EVERY major Corporation now favors some form of government-managed universal healthcare." however, they are simply being stupid, naive or stupidly naive.

i realize that the PLAN is to pay for the bulk of the "universal" healthcare out of employEE taxes but that cannot be the reality. the burden will be transferred at least somewhat to the corporations as it has been in california and massachusettes. there is just no other way to fund it.

wall street is by and large liberal. has been for a long, long time now. they vote their pocketbooks with no regard to the good of the little guy - same as anyone else. most of them are too shallow to realize that liberal policies hurt wall street because they don't look back at the historical happenings.

as for your assertion that many ceo's don't support the free market you are DEAD WRONG. what you say MAY be true of the corporate giants, but it is NOT reflective of the little guys. and it would be wise to remember that the bulk of the people in this country are employeed by the little guys. i know of whence i speak on this point, jmk, because i am one of the little guys employing people.

JMK said...

Heidianne, those Corporations NOW pay nearly ALL of America's healthcare costs by their providing health insurance for their employees.

It's a staggering cost that is only going up and it's making American companies less competitive in a global market.

The Corporations are right (or at least sensible) to want out of that situation. It hurts the bottomline of those corporations.

Moreover, and this is something EVERYONE should consider, Corporate taxes are merely hidden sales taxes, as those taxes are always and everywhere passed onto consumers (in the form of higher prices) as a "cost of doing business." Corporations DON'T pay the Corporate taxes....they merely COLLECT them, in the form of higher prices!

Your argument is kind of like those well-intentioned people who argue that it's "against corporate America's best interests to continue to encourage ILLEGAL immigration via the offering of so many illicit (below minimum wage jobs)....claiming that "these folks also pay the innumerable costs of ILLEGAL immigration and are witnessing their country being changed, just as are the rest of us."

I'm afraid to say that that argument rightly falls on deaf ears.

No one, not "rich liberals," nor "working-class Conservatives" vote against their best interests, as those interests are really pretty clear.

Same with Corporations.

Big business knows that it's NOT in its best interests to pay for their worker's healthcare.

From their perspective, it's far better to have it paid for out of some form of universal healthcare, paid for by the beleagured taxpayer.

For one thing, corporate taxes aren't going up.

Even Obama's plan cuts the corporate tax, as it hikes the cap gains, payroll and income taxes.

As noted, corporate taxes don't impact the corporation - they're passed on to the consumer. They MIGHT impact sales and that's why corporate America lobbies to keep them as low as possible - to maintain consumer demand.

American business is NOT being "suicidal" as many Conservative pundits claim, by donating by better than 3 to 1 for Obama over McCain...and I say that being as opposed to Barack Obama's liberal policies as anyone.

For one thing, we don't have anything close to a free market in America. We haven't in a very long time. Today's corporations LOVE the Corporatist economy that the U.S., Japan and Western Europe all utilize. It protects established businesses by regulating newer, faster-moving, more innovative start-ups out of the market...and "we the people" don't ever see the costs in terms of new products and cures, etc., that never come to market. The BENEFIT for big business is that it limits competition and cements their gains in place. Most such businesses consider the social costs and the labarynth of social welfare bureaucracies "a small price to pay" for such protection.

Please don't assume that because I accept the ugly reality that corporate interests and free market interests are greatly at odds, that I endorse or like that reality. All I can say about that reality is, that "It is what it is."

So, the CEO's I speak of, are, of course, those of the larger Fortune 500 Companies)...those are the people who help set policy in this country.

I've ran a small business (deck-building) for a long time and I certainly support a free market, but I KNOW that it's foolish to attempt to tell an Ivy League-educated Fortune 500 CEO that he/she is "acting AGAINST theirs and their business's best interests by supporting liberal policies."

They KNOW their own best interests as clearly as you and I know ours. They WANT cheaper labor, yes, even ILLEGAL immigrant labor and they WANT lower operating costs, which some form of universal healthcare would give them.

Remember that Massachussetts has "Romney-Care," which is very similar to the Hillary/Obama-care offered by the Dems - NOT "government-run healthcare," BUT basically government mandated healthcare.

All Romney-care did and what Obama-care would do, are to mandate individually purchased health insurance by all adults not eligible for SSI, or Medicare/Medicaid, just as government mandates auto insurance.

That does TWO things that benefit corporations AND government; (1) it removes the humongous health insurance costs now being borne by corporate America and (2) it would expose a good deal of currently untaxed income (the money workers receive in the form of the value of all that health insurance)...it's a veritable win-win for big business and government.

I like your passion very much Heidianne, but just as I find the liberal arguments that go, "Red staters and blue collar workers are voting against their best interests in voting for Conservatives," ridiculous, it's equally ridiculous for Conservatives to try and make the argument that "wealthy people and big business are voting AGAINST their own best interests in voting in favor of Liberal policies."

It focuses us on the wrong tact, and on the wrong strategy and that is self-defeating.

I'm afraid that all we can do is to make the case for LIBERTY, individualism and decency, because those who benefit from the rigged game that is socialism are not going to convinced that the things that benefit them most are really against their own best interests.

Attorneymom said...

Does anyone care about the middle class??

Liberalism and greed are tanking this Country.

Perhaps if we stop sending jobs overseas, the US economy would rebound.

It is time for a "Pro America" movement. Close the borders. And stop the social handouts to foreigners and the rich.

JMK said...

"It is time for a "Pro America" movement. Close the borders. And stop the social handouts to foreigners and the rich." (attorneymom)

Hi AM! Thanks for taking the time to stop by and for leaving such a thought-provoking comment.

I completely agree on the closing the borders. I've always said that ILLEGAL immigration is NOT an immigration problem, it's an "illicit employer" problem. Unscrupulous employers, from major companies to regular homeowners are hiring workers below minimum wage, thereby lowering the "wage floor" and putting a downward pressure on ALL wage rates.

A very few people benefit from cheap labor, while the rest of us pay hundreds of billions of dollars in ancillary costs (education for children brought here, emergency room treatments that are closing/bankrupting many of our hospitals, prison costs for the felons who sneak in, etc.).

They try and con us by telling us, "Without that cheap labor, a head of lettuce would cost $3 instead of 89 cents."

Fact is, it DOESN'T really cost us 89 cents! It costs us that 89 cents PLUS all those ancillary costs spread out....and it's hard to estimate the ultimate "actual price," but it could be $4 or $5 for that head of lettuce.

Crack down on the illicit employers and the illicit jobs dry up and the overwhelming majority of the illegals here will self-deport.

Pay a decent wage for those jobs and you'll put millions of Americans currently mired in instituional poverty (welfare, etc) back to work and on the road to self-sufficiency and a better life.

Same with Corporate welfare. It's killing us!

And it's a factor of the highly regulated market-based economy (Corporatism) we currently have.

The U.S., Japan and Western Europe ALL have modern Corporatist economies. Te only differ in the ratio of social services and the size and scope of the "safety net," etc. They are all highly regulated economies designed to protect "established corporations" FROM competition by smaller, more innovative and faster-moving start-ups.

In this country this path was developped by J P Morgan and Bernard Baruch.

A universal human condition is that we all seek to maintain the gains we've made and don't much care how that impacts anything else.

Morgan and Baruch (whom Baruch College in the CUNY system is named after) knew that no one would care about the rich wanting to cement their gains in place.

What they felt WOULD attract support from regular people was protection for THEM, from the viscisitudes of the free market, where new companies, with new ideas supplant old ones on a fairly regular basis.

Not only do wealthy people lose their investments and their profitable companies, many regular people lose their jobs, at least until they're re-hired by one of the newer companies.

In short, what Baruch and Morgan did was to sell America on "the stability" of the highly regulated economy.

Once that was in place we're faced with the insanity we've been dealing with over the last half century - whenever a big, established company has fiscal problems (due to bad management or bad invetments) the government "bails them out," with TAXPAYER monies.

That's as much socialism as is any other form of welfare!

The irony here is that so many Americans have been conned into believing that "Corporations are bad (their neither good, nor bad, they provide goods and services and look out for their own interests like ALL organizations and organisms) and that the answer is "MORE government."

So-called "Liberals" are lauding the mortgage bailouts and the government rescuing Chrysler, etc. because such things "saved jobs."

The free market is often cut-throat competitive and highly unstable (with new companies supplanting older ones regularly) BUT it creates the most prosperity for the most people and provides incredible opportunities for those most educated and motivated.

The free market is HARD....it's an arduous, difficult path, with no net, BUT freedom is hard...individual LIBERTY is hard and there's no way to shy away from any of those things because they're difficult...and yet, many of us do.

As to Free Trade, I've often vascillated on this. I am emotionally drawn to the "FAIR Trade NOT FREE Trade" viewpoint, but after looking at all the data (at least the data I've seen so far), I have to acknowledge that free trade does seem to create more jobs here than it costs us.

America has a highly productive, highly motivated and affordable (more affordable now, with the Euro and Yen outperforming the dollar) and companies from Toyota to Honda to VW have all set up plants here. Boeing supplies Qantas with nearly 95 percent of its fleet of aircraft. The Australia agreement. Smaller and mid-size companies benefit too, in that more than one-fifth of all manufacturing workers in the U.S. depend on exports for their jobs. In one state (Illinois), according to Bureau of Census data, 18,656 companies exported goods from Illinois locations in 2001. Of those, 88 percent were small and medium-size businesses, with fewer than 500 employees.

"There may be specific instances where firms moved their operations overseas, but the total benefit to the economy is positive, said Jack Pitney, a professor of political science at Claremont McKenna College.

"Overall, free trade creates more jobs than it costs," Pitney said, and it’s not a contradiction for politicians to support trade agreements while backing stricter policies for illegal immigration. "On the one hand, you’re creating jobs, while on the other hand, you’re simply enforcing the law."

"Between 1993 and 2003, the amount of trade between Canada, Mexico and the United States more than doubled, according to the office of the U.S. Trade Representative. All three countries saw their economies expand by more than 30 percent in the 10 years following the agreement’s implementation. Additionally, Mexico’s export sector has boomed: Wages are higher – and migration is lower – in states that conduct the most cross-border trade."

Here's an interesting article on that topic; http://lang.sbsun.com/socal/beyondborders/part_3/p3_day1_twominds.asp

conservative brother said...

Actually they are jmk. Rich liberals vote for other liberals that portray them as being the scum of the earth, I scratch my head every time I hear Warren Buffet speak. His the most successful and well known investor of our time, yet the guy is a well known liberal. It's pure madness.

JMK said...

The "truly rich" (the Trumps and Gates, etc.) KNOW that the Democrats don't mean THEM, when they deride "the rich," Tyrone. After all, the graduated income tax doesn't touch those folks, as it doesn't tax already accrued wealth, it taxes/punishes wealth creation and work/productivity.

When he Democrats talk about "the rich," they don't mean Bill Gates, Mike Bloomberg and the other nearly 50,000 Billionaires in this country, they mean - the highest income earners.

$116,000/year puts you in the top 10% of income earners - and that's FAMILY INCOME!

Two teachers, a police officer and a nurse are among "the rich," according to the way the Dems define it.

The truly wealthy (those who don't rely on income for wealth) have always supported socialism because it cements their gains in place, by freezing the game while they're on top.

Sad, but true.

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