I heard Bill O’Reilly talking the other night and accusing Obama of wanting to do wealth redistribution. This got me thinking: “this is something people think of as negative because it means taking something hard-earned from those who have toiled to earn it and giving it to those whose actions have done nothing to make it.”
Then, my thoughts drifted to a few events, one from Policy class and two more recently occurring at family reunions. First of all, the statistic that something like 97 percent of the wealth is controlled by three percent of the population. The others are a game of Risk with my cousins, and a conversation with Mandy about her family.
As we know the divide of the uber-wealthy and the lower classes is growing. The amount of wealth is continuing to be governed by a smaller percentage of the population. This is fact. This is inevitable if you have read much on behavioral economics. I recommend the “logic of Life” as a book to illustrate this point.
This became clear to me as I found myself on side of a losing campaign in Risk, a game I had not played since young. At one point I decided to hole up in Australia, after spreading too thin and being conquered elsewhere. I thought, ” at least I can defend the bottle neck here in the south pacific by putting all my new resources into the defense of the one country blocking my cousin’s way to world domination. The fallacy that I quickly discovered is that if you had captured continents you amassed more armies because you had more resources, same too for just having sheer numbers of already existing armies. In essence, if you already had wealth, you could make so much more. So there is a tipping point there where defeat is inevitable, no matter how great your geographical advantage. I realized that the percentages were about the same as those discussed previously in policy class, my cousin owned about 95 percent of the board and defeat began to unfold at an exponential rate.
We attended a wedding this last weekend of one of Mandy’s cousins. Their family clearly had some financial advantages over what we have had. Mandy’s cousin and her husband decided for example to rent the condo just purchased to add to their income. Again, having the resources to make more.
So, why wouldn’t the republican stance of lower taxes be better? Because, in this system, the rich get richer and bigger breaks and eventually have control over about everything they accuse the democrats of wanting to give to government. At least in government, we may have a little more influence about whether the money is spent on the common good vs. being spent solely on corporate interests. I think Obama may be right in raising taxes higher on those who can afford to pay more, but in this system where wealth and power are synonymous, it may take an occasional redistribution to keep the Risk scenario from unfolding. After all, unless you quit in the middle, the end game for risk is inevitably the same, one winner and everyone else loses. cheers. vote Obama:)