Welcome to the Class War
In the Great Class War between the "rich" and the government, whose side are you on?
This week, MarketWatch reported that by 2030, "the richest 1%" are on track to "control nearly 66% of the world's money." This is approximately $305 trillion, it reported, based on data from the hard-left British newspaper The Guardian, best-selling French Marxist economist Thomas Piketty, and ideologically similar sources. The activist group Oxfam warns that "just eight billionaires have as much wealth as 3.6 billion people – the poorest half of the world."
Such words seem intended to stoke jealousy and envy behind a mask of compassion and fairness. It is unjust, we are to think, that a utopia of pure equality is being thwarted because wealth is redistributed by capitalists instead of socialists.
In the United States, the top 1% pay 45.7% – 2.7 times their "fair share" – of individual income taxes. Under the even more progressive new tax law, the top 20% will pay 87% of all income taxes. The bottom 40% will not only pay nothing, but also get money from the Earned Income Tax Credit and other special provisions that turn our tax system into a welfare system.
Income taxes account for roughly 37% of U.S. government revenues, compared with only about 24% in Europe, where consumption taxes distribute the burden more broadly. In Sweden, they even tax welfare checks, so everyone helps bear society's costs.
Does class warfare produce a healthy society? No, it produces an attitude that those richer than you deserve to have their money taken away – and given to you.
Democrats such as Nancy Pelosi – net worth: reportedly $40 million – offer to rob the rich on your behalf via taxes. But those they polarize increasingly want to rob the hated rich directly, without any self-serving middlemen.
(Have you noticed that Democrats favor "hate crime" laws based on race, sex, and almost every other difference among people – except class? Democrats would go out of business overnight if preaching class hatred against the rich became a crime. It is their bread-and-butter issue.)
MarketWatch concedes that the world's top 1% today controls only $140 trillion, but at 6% compound interest, this is expected to increase to $305 trillion by 2030. What MarketWatch does not mention is that everyone making around $37,000 a year is in the world's top 1% of incomes – and thus, even many of our "poor" are targeted by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) plan for a confiscatory global wealth tax.
"Wealth" in the world comes in at least two currencies – the coin of money and the coin of power.
Real wealth comes from power. You may own a stack of $100 bills, but the government owns the printing press and can conjure as much money as it wishes out of thin air whenever it wants.
Using this power without limit would destroy the value of the U.S. dollar in an inferno of inflation – because even government cannot repeal certain "natural" laws such as the Law of Supply and Demand.
But it has been reported that President Barack Obama proposed to his horrified advisers that the government could mint a $1-trillion platinum coin to deal with a debt ceiling debate. They might have thought he had gone insane by seriously considering such a coin of money and power.
The rich own a fortune in land and fancy homes, say socialist class warriors. But do the rich really "own" what they must keep paying others for? If they stop paying the de facto rent of whatever amount of property tax the government demands, their land will soon be taken by their landlord, the state. Government can also use its regulatory powers to condemn, and its eminent domain powers to confiscate, private property.
Government ultimately "owns" all the land and creates and "controls" the value of all legal money. So who are the real rich – and who is the real enemy of the people in the Great Class War?
Uncle Sam, for example, directly owns 47% of all the land of the United States west of Denver – including 89.5% of Nevada, 69.1% of Alaska, 57.4% of Utah, 50.2% of Idaho, 48.1% of Arizona, and 45.3% of California.
The Institute for Energy Research five years ago estimated that the economic value just of fossil fuel deposits on federal land was more than $150 trillion, which is more seven times today's immediate national debt of $21.5 trillion. The federal annual budget is officially around $4.4 trillion.
Socialists are eager to redistribute the coin of private wealth. Are they also willing to redistribute the coin of government power to the American people, who become smaller and smaller as government grows bigger? Is the left willing to redistribute power to the people?
Could Uncle Sam sell some of his almost limitless property to help the poor and those crushed by heavy taxes? No, socialists will say, because what belongs to Uncle Sam is government's forever – but what has been earned by the private rich is negotiable.
Government is all of us, leftists say. Remember that the next time they charge you $20 to visit one of "your" national parks. Remember that the real meaning of radical Woody Guthrie's famous song is "your land is my land," or as Karl Marx put it, communism's goal is to "abolish all private property." The property will still be there, controlled by its new government elite "owners."
The Bible tells us the poor will always be with us. So, too, will the rich.
The question is which is better – individual rich people, most of whom treat their money not as wealth, but as capital, the green energy needed to create new enterprises and jobs? Or government people rich with a monopoly of force? Their taxation and regulation devour our nation's green capital, yet they make nothing except fatter government – and war.
As President Donald Trump's clash with the arrogant, unelected "Deep State" has revealed, government is just another selfish special interest group.
Mr. Trump shows why we need some independent rich people who can afford to fight gigantic government's never-ending greed for power. That is the real reason why socialists hate and make war against the rich.
Lowell Ponte is a veteran think-tank futurist and author or co-author of eight books. His latest, co-authored with Craig R. Smith, is Money, Morality & The Machine, available free and postpaid by calling 800-630-1492. Lowell can be reached for interviews by email at email@example.com.