Saturday, February 4, 2012

Safety nets

The richest Americans generally oppose the social safety net. They say it weakens people's moral fiber. Each of us should make it on his own, and society best helps by affording opportunities, not by being the nanny state

At the same time they fiercely oppose any estate tax whatsoever, saying it's their money and they should get to do whatever they want to do with it. They don't concede the point Elizabeth Warren has made that their fortunes were made based on the safety net society affords us all--streets, lights, freedom from armed invasion, airports and airlines regulated (horrors!) by the FAA, public education for their workers...

But forget all that. It's their money! And what they want to do with it is to posthumously give their children a life of ease without effort.

As quarter-billionaire Mitt Romney has done, making all his children effortless millionaires (and paying little or no taxes on these gifts, through tax loopholes cleverly inserted when no one was looking).

So the rich want children to have a huge safety net--their children, that is. It doesn't weaken the moral fiber of billionaires' children to give them life on a golden platter, apparently. 

Just yours.

To be fair to Governor Romney, does believe in the social safety net we currently provide poor people. He said so. But apart from what that affords people, he doesn't care. He said that too, and in context--including saying that if there were a problem he'd fix it. Which means he doesn't see the current situation of poor people and their safety net as having problems. 

Conservatives don't believe that, for conservative reasons, and liberals don't believe that either, though for liberal reasons. Which makes the Governor neither fish nor fowl. 

And to the point of my point here, he certainly hasn't provided his sons with the social safety net they'd have if they were poor. He made them all instant millionaires. 

Okay, so he's a social Darwinist (not that Darwin believed in any such thing, actually). 

Unless you're as rich as he is, though, why would you vote for someone who believes his children deserve the good life without effort, while your kids need the moral uplift of self-reliance? 

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