Saturday, March 23, 2013

The Rich are different

The old saw has never been more true. The rich not only have more money, but clearly, they are different because the rich only care about themselves. And at this point, they have enough money to buy their own priorites inside the Beltway bubble.

We're not even talking the filthy rich here, these are just your ordinary 1%ers, with an average worth of $14 million. Granted this was a small study in one city, but willing to bet these priorities would be the same in a nationwide survey:
On policy, it wasn't just their ranking of budget deficits as the biggest concern that put wealthy respondents out of step with other Americans. They were also much less likely to favor raising taxes on high-income people, instead advocating that entitlement programs like Social Security and healthcare be cut to balance the budget.

While the wealthy favored more government spending on infrastructure, scientific research and aid to education, they leaned toward cutting nearly everything else. Even with education, they opposed things that most Americans favor, including spending to ensure that all children have access to good-quality public schools, expanding government programs to ensure that everyone who wants to go to college can do so, and investing more in worker retraining and education.

The wealthy opposed — while most Americans favor — instituting a system of national health insurance, raising the minimum wage to above poverty levels, increasing the Earned Income Tax Credit and providing a "decent standard of living" for the unemployed. They were also against the federal government helping with or providing jobs for those who cannot find private employment.

Unlike most Americans, wealthy respondents opposed increased regulation of large corporations and raising the "cap" that exempts income above $113,700 from the FICA payroll tax. And unlike most Americans, they oppose relying heavily on corporate taxes to raise revenue and oppose taxing the rich to redistribute wealth.
Money may not be able to buy happiness, but it buys power and that's apparently good enough for those who wallow in self-delusion, smugly convinced they're self-made millionaires. To be sure there are exceptions, known to me personally, but generally, money kills compassion. There isn't even the barest modicum of empathy in these priorites. [graphic via]

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