Rhetoric from the left is building again, on the time-worn theme that an insidious trend is channeling most of our wealth to a privileged few — the top 1 percent. Some would encourage stripping this class of their "excessive assets" by confiscatory taxation. However, the results would not begin to solve our massive debt situation.
Labor leadership, in some quarters, are demanding aggressive action to balance the equation between rich and poor. This is a familiar note from years ago. A recent event demonstrates the thrust of it: Teamster President Rich Trumka gave a ranting speech, where he espoused, “This time, we are going to get those sons a bitches out of there." This preceded a speech by President Barack Obama.
The primary impact on "middle class" wealth is the unfortunate loss of good-paying jobs, especially in the manufacturing sector. Many reasons can be attributed to this issue, but, in the main, it is foreign competition. We as consumers plead guilty for participating.
Americans, in the main, are notoriously poor savers. Wealthy people, by comparison, invest their excess money shrewdly and wisely. They can weather economic storms and stay whole, and wealthy as compared to the common worker. That money, by the way, is the major source of investment income and job growth.
There are other negatives impacting the economy, but a prime example is the fiscally dangerous precedent of unionizing public sector employees. The impact is now evident; I say no more.
We cannot tax our way out of this fiscal mess. To say otherwise is political smoke. Washington must somehow synchronize their efforts and blend ideologies. The tax base must be broadened through major reform. Our critical industries need to be nurtured and protected. And, most important, the professional politicians who represent us must be constantly reminded who they work for and held to their promises in real terms.
Richard S. Kostkas