"Not all rich people are jerks" | Bleader

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

"Not all rich people are jerks"

Posted By on 10.26.11 at 01:00 PM

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A friend of mine posted a Facebook link to the Tumblr site "We are the 1 percent: We stand with the 99 percent," which I've found heartening in these days of Republicans snarling at each other and sneering at the general populace, among them the Occupy protesters. Strictly speaking, this civic-minded marijuana grower doesn't make the cut for the top 1 percent—that would be $380,000. But there are plenty of other true 1 percenters making the same case—as, famously, Warren Buffett has.

And then there are the conservative retreads, most recently Republican presidential candidate Rick Perry, who's put the flat tax in play. "Taxes will be cut across all income groups in America, and the net benefit will be more money in Americans’ pockets with greater investment in the private economy," said Perry. But which Americans? Notes the Washington Post, "Perry argues these tax cuts will spur economic growth by creating a more favorable environment for wealthy individuals and corporations to start or expand their businesses. But without significant spending reductions, the tax cuts could drastically increase the federal budget deficit." So it's trickle-down economics and deficit growth all over again?

And what about those formerly middle-class people, standing in line at the food pantry, or those reduced to living in homeless shelters?

In such ugly times, I'm glad to see some fortunate ones who realize that they're fortunate and acknowledge that it's based on, well, fortune, much of it owing to accidents of birth, class, race, and culture. And no matter how many houses or cars or luxury goods they have, these 1 percenters are advocating for social justice and civic responsibility. Maybe that sounds pious. See for yourself:

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