Monday, April 07, 2008

Make More, Pay Less

Blog Till You Drop - Ezra Klein

I don't really want to comment on the whole "blogging is a sweat-shop type of job" since there are a number of other bloggers who have and I don't have anything to add to the conversation. But Klein does make an interesting point about the apparent inequality between those who work menial jobs and the 'professional classes' who complain about how hard they worked to get to their six-figure salaries. There was a customer in the store recently who made a similar argument, focusing on taxation and how unfair it was that the rich were taxed more than anyone else. Forgetting for a moment the fact that the actual taxation rate for those making over six figures tends towards under 20%, that this woman of the professional class who doesn't have to work as much to make more money than most Americans believes somehow the system is unfairly biased against her is simply laughable. Klein sees this too when he says, "it's hard to argue that attending an Ivy League school where you smoke a lot of pot and pretend you understand Focault is more taxing than entering a service sector job right out of high school. The professional class just likes to pretend that it is in order to lay a patina of virtue and ethics over what are, in fact, amoral decisions of the market."
That right there is what makes the inequalities of this country so hard to allay. More than just the education system, it's the belief that somehow the professional class has worked as hard as the blue-collar workers that make it harder to argue for higher taxes on the rich. It's the mindset that the professional classes are equal to the working classes which cause a great deal of animosity when someone has the gall to stand up and say, "hey, they make a lot more than most and can afford to pay more in taxes." Thus we get a system where the lower and middle classes are expected to pay a proportional amount in taxes when that amount is far more substantial to them than it is to the professional class. So what if that kind of taxation pushes many families close to the brink of bankrupcy, it's only fair, right?

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