Tuesday, October 29, 2013

On how the very, very rich people view our world

For starters, many of them seem to deny this is "our" world. They assume they make it possible for the rest of us to survive in this world and consequently they ought to run it. What did we ever do except work for them if we were lucky?

But there are nuances:

A few days ago I was looking through the Board of Directors list at Freedom Works [a right wing political fund] and happened across the bio of board member Mary E. Albaugh. ...

"When our daughters were born, my husband and I envisioned an ever-expanding world of opportunity and continued prosperity. But the government grew faster than our children, shrinking their future prospects and each person's ability to flourish through his own efforts."
Now, these bios are often boilerplate. And Albaugh is just as likely to be a delightful human being as the next person I know little or nothing about. But what a mindset and worldview ... The government grew faster than her daughters and now they're faced with diminished life prospects and ability to flourish.

Joshua Marshall at TPM

Marshall figured out that Albaugh is Betsy Fisher, the owner of a DC clothing store.

This item reminded me of something I heard from a friend the other day. She is employed as an anonymous clerk in a business that helps some very, very rich people keep track of their money. Here's my paraphrase of what she passed on, in wonderment, about the mindset of the clients:

Do you know how billionaires think about taxes? The way they understand how much they are paying works like this: they look at the raw total of the sum that comes in to them annually and mentally deduct everything it costs them to live, including all their residences, entertainments, and purchases. The residue -- what they didn't spend -- is what they think of as their income. Then they calculate what percentage of that unconsumed surplus they pay in taxes and that is what they complain about.

Most of us think of taxes as yet another unavoidable living expense, like the electric bill or the rent. But for rich people, taxes are what the government appropriates out of what they showed the self-restraint not to spend.

No wonder very rich people who pay less than 15 percent of their income -- often way less -- think they are overtaxed. In their way of thinking, the expenses of their lifestyle are simply their right, not something they pay out of their income.

The very rich really are different from most of us.


Rain Trueax said...

The other thing is many of them seem to believe they are immune to climate change or other major earth changes. To some degree, with homes many places, they are, but they still have to breathe the air and have servants or sell their products to somebody else living. They are more connected than they seem able to understand.

Classof65 said...

It is becoming increasingly clear that our government has been purchased by the very rich and that it no longer reflects our needs or attitudes.

I admire your views and activism regarding the death penalty, gay rights, immigration, and climate change, but unless we can take back our government from the control by the 1%, we will soon find that they will use the government to suppress our protests on these subjects and we will find ourselves silenced in one way or another.

Please, please focus all your energy to get all those who have been purchased by the very rich out of our government. Unless you can accomplish that, we will soon lose the right to protest at all...

JudyH said...

I agree with Classof65. The overwhelming influence of the 1% on our government will eventually show itself in the silencing of dissent by all possible means. At that point, you'd just better come join me in France. Until then fight, fight, fight to keep our right to publicly protest wrongs...it still works in France!!

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