One of my guilty pleasures is listening to conservative talk radio. If I have a day, as I did yesterday, where I’m not actually writing as part of my work, I enjoy listening to the Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity programs. Rush and Sean are in fact on vacation this week, but their stand-ins do a credible job.
Anyhow, the guy filling in for Sean Hannity acknowledged that, in our time, the rich are indeed getting richer and the poor are getting poorer. He then suggested that, instead of taxing the rich and making them poorer, we should somehow ‘build up’ the poor to make them richer.
OK, it’s an admirable thought, but how are we supposed to do that?
Once upon a time, the rich got that way through productive investment. For their enterprises to thrive, they needed to hire, collectively, millions of people. And it worked: the rich go their profits, and the rest of us were able to prosper, as well.
Today, the rich invest don’t invest for production: that’s too risky and messy. If there’s any manufacturing to do, better to do it outside the US where it’s cheaper and there aren’t so many pesky regulations.
And if you want to start a business in the US, those same regulations make it genuinely difficult.
Once, the poor were ‘built up’ because doing so brought profits to the rich.
How are we to do it now?