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We’re being taxed to death!

July 26, 2011

All serious observers would agree, although some reluctantly, that our 21st century capitalist world is best described as an oligopoly.  Mega-corporations control every important industry and have near complete power to set their profit margins as they see fit.

Those who refer to our system as a “market economy” are knowingly or unknowingly perpetuating a gross misstatement about reality, and one of great benefit to the status-quo.  A market economy ruled by competition can be presented as fair and even democratic, but oligopoly power is not a very marketable product to the masses.

We should think of oligopoly profit as identical to taxation which should therefore be subject to the same scrutiny as its government counterpart.  We’re in the habit of demanding the elimination of waste and abuse in government to get the most “bang for the buck” from our hard earned tax money.  There’s absolutely no reason we shouldn’t do the same for the taxation levied on us by the mega-corporations.

So, what do the mega-corporations, their executives, and shareholders do with our tax money?  Unlike at least some portion of government collections, virtually nothing gets spent on products or services valued by the majority.  Profit isn’t used for productive new investment, that’s easily covered by depreciation expense.  Some of our tax money goes to personal yachts, multiple estates, expensive cars, personal jets, fancy clothes, jewelry, fine wine, extravagant parties, and the like.  But most of it isn’t spent at all.  It’s just hoarded into speculative ventures like gold, real estate, the stock market (almost none of which is new investment), currency speculation, mergers and acquisitions, agricultural futures markets, and arbitrage bets of one type or another.  This is where our tax money goes and that’s why, when we look around, the world doesn’t seem quite as rich as one would think given our technology.

At the risk of stealing a right wing slogan, we’re being taxed to death!  What should we do?  Why not assert democratic control over oligopoly taxation and demand that all taxes paid be spent in the public interest?

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