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Response to FreeJoe (Reply #79)

Tue May 29, 2012, 12:59 AM

80. I write as though there should be a standard

otherwise communication is impossible and if I say the word "rich" I might as well say the word "guipure" or "flibbertigibbet" because they all mean the same thing, which is precisely nothing. Because rich could mean this or it could mean that.

It seems to me, though, that there is a concerted political effort by many of the rich (as I call them, members of the top 20%) to define themselves as middle class, and to claim that only the top .1% are "really rich". Or perhaps it is defined in an operational way as "somebody who lives on investment income". Which would mean that if I had investments that made $25,000 a year and I lived on that amount, which I surely could having often lived on less, then I would be considered rich, whereas somebody who had a job making $400,000 a year would not be considered rich since they are living on their salary rather than on their investments.

Either way, I consider that to be a pernicious effort. One that I oppose every time it rears its ugly head.

What makes it pernicious, is that it allows policy makers to put forth policies which they claim benefit the "middle class". Two primary examples being Obama's promise to not raise taxes on the middle class, which he then defined as "households making less than $250,000". Except that plan ends up providing about as much benefit to the top 5% as it does to the bottom 60%. Or the payroll tax cut which is again touted as a middle class tax cut, but provides 27.1% of its benefits to the bottom 60% and 26.7% to the top 10%. In the name of the supposed middle class, benefits skew upwards, as the definition of middle class and the definition of rich both skew upwards.

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onehandle May 2012 OP
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FreeJoe May 2012 #79
LineLineLineLineLineLineLineLineLineNew Reply I write as though there should be a standard
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