Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Quote - re Americans - taxes/class

On NPR today I heard a British commentator talking related to taxing the wealthy in the U.S. about Americans (and why Americans don't support progressive taxation):

"19 percent of Americans think that their income is in the upper one percent and 30 percent think that they will shortly be in the upper one percent" - or something similar!


Clarissa said...

How is this possible? Have people been this brainwashed? Are they incapable of looking around, looking at their lives and seeing how silly this is? This is very very strange.

geo said...


I think that a simple answer is "yes".

I think that in the U.S. people most commonly say: "In 5 (or 10) years I hope and expect that I will be doing much better than I am now. While I am not "rich" today, I hope to be in the future." (Most of such people vote and push, not in their own self-interests, but rather in their delusions.)

Now, what percentages of people believe what one could obviously dispute, but the central fact seems to me that people who think that they are "doing well" do seriously delude themselves into Believing (Seriously) that they are: "Upper Middle Class" or even "Wealthy" and far better off in relation to what they really are.

An excellent example of how this is shown and is relevant is how the Republican flunkies repeatedly talk of "small businessmen" and similar referring to proposed tax legislation that could affect individuals with Adjusted incomes of over $200,000 and couples with similar incomes over $250,000. This Does Not magically mean that the "small businessman", a bachelor who earns an adjusted income of $200,001 is going to suddenly owe a lot more. It means that people who are making $500,000/year or $5,000,000/year are going to pay a lot more. These "small businessmen" I know are struggling, but given their issues, I have limited sympathy for them.

Wealth - vs. income figures are even more striking! I'd note:



http://multinationalmonitor.org/mm2003/03may/may03interviewswolff.html as samples of True Reality.

Most people don't understand what "rich" really means and how Unlikely they are to ever be rich.