Thursday, July 30, 2009

How Stupid Are We?

I love my Google mail "targeted" ads. I've mentioned them before with regard to spam/Spam. I love it when I subscribe to a comment thread on Troop's and I get ads for dresses.

I've also gotten ads for kissing (women and men), ads for specialized kinds of computer hardware, travel options to India, volunteer organizations, and so on. I'm always intrigued by the non-obvious connections, and sometimes I click through out of sheer curiosity.

Of course, I get tons of Obama ads. Curiously, in the past month, they've gone from all positive, to about 1/2 being ads for things like "Obamunism" and anti-Obama program material. I suspect that reflects a sea change.

Anyway, back to us being stupid: Recently I got an ad for Health Care For American Now. And I clicked through because, honestly, I hear very, very little support for the...uh...Obamanation currently under consideration.

And I was greeted with this question (here's the link, if you like, I'll probably start clicking through out of spite, every chance I get): WHICH WILL IT BE? AFFORDABLE HEALTH CARE, OR MORE MONEY FOR MILLIONAIRES?

We can ignore the stupidity of that dichotomy for now. We can ignore the notion that somehow Bush's tax cuts are all that stand between us and cheap health care. We can ignore the immorality of the basic premise: That it's okay to take money from people who have more simply because someone can think of a better use for it. We can ignore the economic thickness that presupposes that taking money from millionaires has no other impact other than to "spread the wealth around".

What requires monumental stupidity to ignore, however, is the notion that this will ONLY cost the rich a few of their ill-gotten shekels. This is exactly how the income tax started. A mere half-percent, and only on the most wealthy. They could spare half-a-percent, surely?

The Democrats so successfully beat the Republicans up with the income tax issue, that the Republicans finally caved--much to the shock of many Democrats of the time who were absolutely appalled at the notion of there actually being an income tax.

But it's okay, because this tax would never affect average Americans. And, no, we don't need to include a 10% cap on it because the American people would never stand for 10% of their income being taken from them!

And, hey, look at all those rich people not paying their "fair share" again! Wicked rich people, following the laws to minimize their tax burden! We need an Alternative Minimum Tax.

You know? At some point, you really have to be stupid if you think "it's only gonna affect those guys". It never just affects "those guys". Even the poorest of us end up paying, and not just indirectly through increased costs of everything, but through the inevitable VAT they'll pass to pay for this mess once it gets unwieldy. That is, almost immediately.

So, that's the question: How stupid are we?

The arguments never change. The results are always the same: incremental slavery.

How stupid are we?


  1. We (my husband and I) used to hang out occasionally with a group of friends who were all liberal. Very liberal. This was OK in our 20s, when we too were pretty liberal.

    As we got older, we started having more political arguments, etc. Anyway, I remember a discussion where it became clear that they all believed that rich people in America were lazy do-nothings who had just inherited their wealth. In other words, they "hadn't really earned" their money.

    That makes it a lot easier to take away. (The few people who *had* earned it fell neatly into a vague "evil businessman" category.)

    Anyway, stupid? Yes. But at the same time, it is a worldview--utterly at odds with US history!!--very carefully constructed to justify taking money from The Rich.

  2. Well, I suppose it helps to make sure that everyone's ignorant of US History.

    Also, it helps to remove morality. Otherwise you might get the idea that theft is wrong.


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