Big Fish and Little Fish
The following is a letter to the editor that I put in my local small town weekly. A LTE has to be around 300 words, but they let me get away most of the time with 325. When writing about economic systems, 300 words is very hard. The feedback so far has been good and they liked the fish imagery. So if you've got a local paper, try something like this:
Big fish eat little fish. That’s how it works. You hear all the time that our corporate taxes are the highest in the world. Sure, but most U.S. corps don’t pay them. 83 out of the top 100 companies paid zero taxes between 1999 and 2005. (IRS study). Zero. Companies like Exxon, GE, Carnival Cruise Line, Verizon use various loopholes to get out of paying any taxes. In the 1950s, corporations contributed about 30% of all federal revenue. Now it is down to 6%. So what happens? The tax burden is shifted to the rest of us small fry in the form of sin taxes, property taxes, and all kinds of licenses and fees that small business fish have to pay. And then the big fish wait until the small fish are gasping for air and then they gobble up their business.
Who are these big fish? The top 400 families have more wealth than 155 million working Americans do altogether. And the big fish make sure that instead of attacking them, we attack teachers, police, fire fighters, ambulance drivers, and child care workers and demand that they give up their deferred pay. And sometimes we even give the sharks subsidies. Is that for the privilege of being eaten quickly?
And no, they don’t need a tax amnesty. We tried that in 2004 and these big corps did not hire more workers.
Personally I'd like to go back to a tariff system and do away with taxes. But that's not the system we've got right now. So isn’t it really time for some shared sacrifices by those free loaders at the top? And time to stop treating them with deference as if they are lords and we are their grateful serfs. They are marauders after our pensions and Social Security and they have no divine rights. We got rid of that idea in 1776.
Time to return to the idea of The United Pools of Small Fish.
(cross posted at feralcatsoffreedom.com)