Wednesday, March 9, 2011

no longer left vs right?

I've seen a few web articles recently saying that the divide in this country is no longer over left vs. right or conservative vs. liberal, but rather corporate vs. individual.

I need to think some more about this (it sounds oversimplified to me), but I suspect there is some truth to it. I've had more experience of being screwed by corporations than by government, and we're moving to a political sphere in which corporations - legal fictions - have more rights than individuals, as the Citizens United decision suggests (and have you looked into the possibility of individual bankruptcy recently?).

I also remember hearing that some of the staunchest opponents of taxing the rich and corporations are the people at the bottom of the socioeconomic ladder. Although this seems counterintuitive, to me it makes sense. I work with welfare clients, and most people on welfare don't stay on welfare; instead, they get jobs. And it's not impossible for a person starting at a minimum-wage job to see his or her salary double in two years.

Now, as I've argued before, humans are pattern-finders. And if one's salary has doubled in two years, it's conceivable that it could double again. And again. In fact, given enough time and luck, it's conceivable that the minimum-wage-job holder could be one of those rich people who's getting taxed to death, at some time in the future... after all, didn't he just go from no job to a doubled salary in two years?

I don't have experimental data to support this, and I'm hypothesizing wildly*, but I suspect this is part of the reason we see support for corporations among the people who are getting the worst deal from them.

*And don't get me started on the difference between a theory and a hypothesis. Oh, please.

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