A company produces a product that causes permanent damage to the environment. In a free enterprise-capitalist economy, that should be no problem: the shareholders of this company, who stand to profit from the sales of the product, obviously have to pay the cost of manufacturing the product as well. If the product cannot be produced in a profitable manner after these costs are included, in our free enterprise-capitalist economy, the investor money goes elsewhere.
Because it would be utterly contrary to the principles of Free Enterprise to assign to taxpayers and citizens the costs of environmental damage caused by the process of manufacturing ring a product that produces profits for private individuals who have invested in a corporation. That is a subsidy. That is the government putting its finger on the scale. That is socialistic.
That is what we are sold: free enterprise. But what we are sold is far from the truth. As innocently described here as something almost reasonable, corporations that wish to make a profit by eliminating the cost of cleaning up the mess they produce while taking our money want taxpayers to cover part of the cost of production. Don’t forget that tax cuts to high-income earners is almost always part of the package of governance advocated by the politicians who support this scam. “Tax breaks” are invariably camouflage for “government subsidy”. If you are buying a car for $40,000 and the dealership gives you a “price break” of $10,000 so that you only pay $30,000, it is exactly the same as if he had given you $10,000 cash and you paid him $40,000. They are both “hand-outs”.
But it’s clever. In the same sense, most Americans probably really have no clue what a “marginal” tax rate is. They assume that once you cross a certain threshold, like $100,000 of income, the higher tax rate applies to the entire $100,000. Can’t have that. Vote Trump. (The marginal tax rate only applies to the income above the threshold.)
Working class individuals subsidize the investment returns of the rich investors and fund managers. Cleverly camouflaged as “tax breaks”, your politicians– your congressmen and senators and presidents– are diligently working to transfer your money to rich people, one way or another. Since 1980, the trend has been perfectly obvious: the investor class has received fabulous returns on their investments; the worker class has been trapped in ever decreasing buying power and discretionary income.
And Thomas Friedman of the New York Times wants you to be very alarmed because Bernie Sanders would actually do what Obama and Clinton promised but never even dared to consider: stop the government from exclusively serving the interests of the rich.
The sense of panic in the Democratic Party establishment is palpable.
And no surprise that in the face of overwhelming evidence that the New York Times really, fundamentally, supports the established capitalist order, Trump supporters will continue to regard it as a bastion of unfettered progressive socialism.
Because it was never about the politics; it was about you people think you’re smarter than me, don’t you? You look down on me. You think I don’t get it.