As to Chris Rock: The real point about Chris Rock is that he’s rich. How did that happen? I bet it’s not because he stood on a picket line until McDonald’s agreed to pay him an above market wage. I bet it’s not because he marched and demonstrated until the government agreed to raise taxes so that it could pay more welfare benefits.
Do you think Chris Rock got rich by stealing from the poor?
I’m guessing Chris Rock developed his skill as a comic, started at the bottom, and sold people a type of humor they were willing to pay good money to see.
We are at the point in the US where the upper 1% of households pay 45% of income taxes. The upper 20% pay 80% of taxes. The bottom 20% pay negative taxes.
Changes in tax policy primarily affect how much of government spending is financed by taxation and how much by borrowing. It doesn’t affect who is poor and who is rich.
Obviously, factory workers don’t control whether the factory is closed or moves. But I must say, the difference between me and the unemployed coal miners in Eastern Kentucky is that in the 1950s, my father took a look around and moved the family the hell out of Eastern Kentucky. He got himself trained as a diesel mechanic and made a middle class life for himself and his family. You have to take your destiny into your own hands.
The Reverend here is selling the politics of envy. He implies that income and wealth are arbitrarily distributed. But wealth is generated from savings — that is, income. Income is created by individual productivity. You could seize the wealth of the highest earners, tax most of their income away, and distribute it to the poor. Do you think the poor would be better off?
How did that work out for Venezuela? Or Zimbabwe? Or South Africa?