jeudi, octobre 16, 2008

Come the Revolution?

After an email chat with a friend last night about the possibility that socialism/Marxism might direct our new fiscal policy if Barack Obama and Warren Buffett take over, I started to wonder: how much are things really going to change?

That's what Joe the plumber wants to know, isn't it? Will the spirit of capitalism be destroyed? Will the wealthy be robbed of their rightful earnings? Will the "little man" have a chance to make it in America anymore?

I would say that its close to unarguable that in the past, oh, say, 15 years, our tax policies have become much kinder to the upper middle class and the wealthy (those who earn above 250,000) a year. Those who earn that kind of money could say that it's their money, they earned it, and why should the government take it away from them.

I do think that we are, with the exception of the very poor, going to have to pay higher taxes, whoever gets into office. The amount of debt we are in is staggering - if your kid owed 5,000 on his or her credit card, would you ask someone in Australia to loan him or her money? I don't think so.

I don't feel any pity for the very wealthy, because they are cunning about tax dodges. The more you have, the better you are at hiring folks who will help you keep it. But I have to admit that I admire those of my friends who are sincerely trying to determine who to vote for on the merits, even though it will affect their bottom line. I have one wealthy friend who I think will cast a vote for McCain. Another is undoubtedly going to vote for Obama.

I have these kinds of conversations with my friend Tad a lot. Tad is a Polish immigrant who has done very well over here by working 80 hour weeks. As soon as his normal job is over, Tad drives to someone elses house to fix their electrical system or paint a room or install a bathroom.

Tad is worried, too, that if Obama gets in, his hard earned money will disappear. I have to say, I doubt it. The guys running Washington aren't radicals. A few terms in the House or Senate seems usually to take the edge off of whatever kind of radicalism they have, whether of the right or the left.

It's time for the pendulum to swing back a little bit -- but I doubt its going to swing that far.

A scarier possibility, and a real one, is that we've lost control of the pendulum. Liberal or conservative, that's a possibility that ought to frighten us more than the return of Robert Rubin.

2 commentaires:

Sue a dit…

I've appreciated reading your posts of a more political bent -- mostly because politics make my head spin and I can only tolerate it in small doses. Yet your posts bring a clarity that I don't find in any debate, news clip, or political analyst's ramblings ... Thanks. :)

And I can't let this go by without saying how happy I was to read about Tad. In the few short months that we were around, our whole family embraced Tad, and he us. Our son adored him, and Tad even taught him a few Polish words (as much as a 4 year old could handle). He teared up when we left (as did we). I'm glad to hear that you still keep in touch with him. He's a good, good man.

Hope you're well!

Offcenter a dit…

Sue, thank you for the nice words. Tad is just a great person. I'm glad you were close to him.

Dunno about the clarity, though -- being clear doesn't make me right, Sue!:-)