If any country was due for a sharp dose of socialism, it is America.
It’s interesting to see that it’s the rich people in America who are beginning to revolt against the low-tax/shitty public services environment in the US.
“I think that people at the high end — people like myself — should be paying a lot more in taxes. We have it better than we’ve ever had it,” said Warren Buffett on TV last year.
Echoing Buffett last week was Irwin Jacobs, co-founder of Qualcomm , who said that tax rates should be raised in the US to help pay for better education.
He added that the shortage of well-trained workers was a major constraint to the running of Qualcomm while he was building it up.
Another mega-rich American, Craig Barrett, has been complaining for years about the standard of US education and every American, rich or poor, seems to complain about the state of the roads.
Raising tax levels in the US is difficult because even poor Americans seem to feel it is ‘socialistic’ and socialism is a dirty word in America.
I was touched a while back to be told by a US cab driver that he didn’t agree with the health care bill because he thought the Founding Fathers would have expected every American to pay for his own health care.
I thought, but didn’t say, that the Founding Fathers would more likely be appalled that the US system is now rigged so much in favour of the rich that ordinary working people can’t properly support themselves, let alone afford health care.
The current aristocracy of America is just as adept at rigging the system to enrich themselves at the expense of ordinary people as were the European aristocracies which the Founding Fathers wished to put behind them.
A lot of US industry is owned by private equity companies which, by using debt capital rather than equity capital, avoid paying tax on their profits while keeping wages low.
The US worker has not seen a pay rise in a decade, half the population lives on some form of federal welfare, 24% of the national income goes to 1% of the population and rich Americans have seen their personal taxes cut over the last decade,
It would be the first time in history that the rich have led a revolution to improve the lot of the majority of their fellow countrymen but, if Buffett, Barrett, Jacobs and their ilk were to do just that, it would be a wondrous thing to see.