21 November 2010

Dissing the Social Contract

As another follow up to the prior posts about the responsibility of our largest economic benefactors let's look at tax cuts and raising taxes on the wealthiest.

Take a look at this from Truthout and then come back and chat.

It's hard to get around the simple political philosophy of the social contract that we are confronted with: our government is, by law, distributionist. It has to be. When it stops doing that job with fairness and equality in mind for all of its citizens then it fails and breaks that social contract wherein you and I agree to work in businesses that reap financial rewards called profit in order that we are paid fair wages and provided a stable foundation upon which we will make our homes, raise our children and create another generation that fulfills a particular economic role. If the benefits of working so that businesses succeed and make profits no longer accrue to those who actually do the work of business then their is a disconnect and loss of stability.

You can argue all you want that this particular system doesn't work or that it's unfair to the risk-takers to have to pay for the "dead weight"--but these are all narrative terms meant to persuade you--but this forgets the first premise that we live in a country that is supposed to support us all and those risks are not possible without the worker fulfilling his/her role.

I agree not to be a bad actor (a desperate bad actor) and try to take what I need by force from those who have so much more and the "owners" agree to pay me and fund schools and provide fire and police protection.

Again, lots to argue about those particular functions (police in particular). But again, we AGREE to be ruled because it's in our best interest to do so.

When does this stop being the case?

From the Truthout piece you can see it's very clear that at least one party understands this--no matter how much of a white-wash in many other ways--and does create a well-funded government that creates economic prosperity for it population (or more of it, at least). And it's clear there's another party that does not.

1 comment:

  1. I don't understand the justification for a system that rewards only a wealthy few. The Truthout piece was interesting because I hadn't really considered the blatant connection between lower taxes and lack of funding for education. It's easy to hide this lack under the guise of a bad economy, but the economy is only bad because of the tax breaks for the rich, as the article details. The piece did a great job of boiling down what seems to be a complex and hard to grasp issue to something fairly simple. But maybe this is what the pundits of of a certain part want us to think, i.e. it's too complicated for us to understand. Isn't this part of the Orwellian effect? We're told we can't understand it, so we don't try and we give control to people with a very different agenda.