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Rich sucking lifeblood out of economy

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Rich sucking lifeblood out of economy

Old 01-15-2014, 09:55 AM
  #1  
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Default Rich sucking lifeblood out of economy

I saw an article in a local community newspaper. I'm interested in examining one sentence or thought that appeared in the article. I don't really care what the author intended or thought -- I'm interested in taking that thought, which I think many would accept and approve of, and analyzing it.

The statement was "the upper 10% of earners are sucking the lifeblood out of the economy." The article didn't really clarify the several questions that this statement raises to me.

When I read between the lines of that statement I THINK I read the expression ". . . our economy." Rephrasing, "the upper 10% of earners are sucking the lifeblood out of OUR economy." My question to that is . . . who said it is OUR economy or who said it was YOUR economy? The economy is NOT the US government's economy. The economy is NOT the hoi-poloi's economy. The fraction of the economy that represents my law firm is the economy of the share holders in this law firm (I'm not a share holder, by the way) not the economy of the paralegals, not the economy of the docketing clerks, not the economy of the patent agents (I'm one of these), not even the economy of the associate attorneys. The fraction of the economy that represents Halliburton is the economy of the shareholders of Halliburton. The fraction of the economy that represents Koch industries is the economy of the Koch brothers, not the employees of Koch industries.

Passing beyond that review of the term "the economy" -- which I grant is speculative ("reading between the lines" inherently is speculative) -- what can be made of ". . . sucking the lifeblood out?" Does this mean like a business owner who would take out too much from the business to spend on his own high standard of living, leaving the company starved for capital and/or operating funds? I doubt it. I don't believe the author meant that money taken out of the economy by the upper 10% should be left in the economy to be reinvested to generate further growth. No, I take that statement to be a comment on the distribution of the proceeds from the economy -- a comment on how the wealth generated by the economy is distributed among the many people sitting at the table.

Continuing on with "sucking the lifeblood out." This suggests that at least some of the money sucked up by these folks in the upper 10% would more rightfully be distributed to those in the lower 90%. How much? According to what theory? By what right? Really, I don't think there is any theoretical basis for supporting this claim. It is really just a bold demand for more, but there is no threat or coercion revealed.

We are not equal share holders in the economy. The economy is NOT a common property like the air may be a common resource or the ocean may be a common resource.

I'm not saying there isn't another basis for discussing or arguing the distribution of wealth generated by our common effort, but I'm not persuaded by vaguely hectoring and threatening statements like "the upper 10% are sucking the lifeblood out of the economy."

I think we are going to see more and more of this. It is interesting that in the past it was the upper 1% that was demonized and depicted as bad guys. Maybe a mathematical genius among the hoi-polloi decided that if they changed their filter to cleave along the 10%/90% threshold they STILL kept lots of potential fellow travelers while increasing 10 fold the population of folks they could demonize and pillage?

Thoughts? Comments?

Last edited by Alsatian; 01-15-2014 at 10:15 AM.
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Old 01-15-2014, 10:34 AM
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The way I see it, it's the nearly 50% of our population that PAYS NO FEDERAL TAXES AT ALL that's sucking the life blood out of our nation. OR, maybe it's the nearly 40% of the population that get some type of food stamps to "help" out.

Sorry, but that's how I see it, 50% of us paying a bunch in taxes to make up for all that pay nada, nothing, zilch, zero, zip. Hey, it's even OK to screw the retirement benefits earned by service members to save 6 billion over a decade, when two years ago the freakin' IRS paid out 4.8 Billion IN ONE YEAR in earned income credits to people not eligible and not even in this country legally.

And the Beat Goes On.........
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Old 01-15-2014, 03:02 PM
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It's another one of those overly dramatic soundbite phrases that some on the left are so fond of saying. It isn't accurate, has no connection with reality and evokes powerful imagery in some poetic example of bait and switch. "Lifeblood" would tend to make one think something is simply indispensable and the item or thing (in this case the economy) simply can't live without it. If that were the case, then the economy would grind to a halt. Since that hasn't happened, such a statement is obviously inaccurate. Since the author presumably lives in the area, they would obviously know the statement isn't accurate or correct. If they know that, it's hard to give them any credibility.
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Old 01-15-2014, 03:55 PM
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If you really want to pin this on an entity that IS sucking the lifeblood from the economy, look no further than our fat and bloated government.

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Old 01-16-2014, 04:16 AM
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The topic at hand, however old the idea may be, is a liberal way of thinking reinforced last decade during the economic downturn, scandals such as Enron, and the alleged distribution of the Wall Street bailout money. This idea has grown even greater now that anyone who has any financial misgivings can blame it on someone else, rather than own up to their situations. I observe this behavior often in people who are living paycheck to paycheck.

The whole ten percent thing is plain absurd. Would that apply to those not living paycheck to paycheck or those who are major shareholders? Who could even provide an accurate answer? In my opinion it is a generalization made to cast blame on others and a tool for democrats to gain political leverage.
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Old 01-16-2014, 07:46 AM
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Think you would like the English class i am currently taking. Pretty much what Cal said is how i see it. Its meant to invoke visual stimulants of one section of earners (Top 10%) are killing (Sucking the lifeblood) the economy (THE Economy meaning the same one each and every one of us depends on).
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Old 01-16-2014, 07:55 AM
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wealth envy strikes again !
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Old 01-16-2014, 10:28 AM
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Originally Posted by olsaltydog View Post
Think you would like the English class i am currently taking. Pretty much what Cal said is how i see it. Its meant to invoke visual stimulants of one section of earners (Top 10%) are killing (Sucking the lifeblood) the economy (THE Economy meaning the same one each and every one of us depends on).
I probably would like your English class. I have a BS in English, minor in Philosophy (and a BS in Electrical Engineering, earned 15 years after I completed my English degree and discovered ,y BA in English wasn't going to pay my bills for me!). I have been a patent agent for the last 7 years and make my living writing patent applications.

Not to pick on you . . . but rather to analyze and dissect your language (this is one of the things Philosophy digs into -- examining our ordinary, everyday language and identify the hidden assumptions and attitudes and then challenge those things).

"The economy meaning the same one each and every one of us depends on."

I won't exactly disagree with that language, but I feel that language hints that the economy is separate and independent from us -- it hints that the economy is something shared in common. If it is a common good, then the question becomes how do we all equitably share that common good.

I used to work for Samsung. At that time (2006) -- and possibly still now, I just don't know as I haven't kept up -- Samsung WAS 15% of the Korean economy. The business of Samsung WAS 15% of the GDP of Korea. Samsung, I would imagine, would say something like "What do you mean with this 'OUR ECONOMY' crap?!!! 15% of that is OURS and nobody's but OURS!!!!!!!"

The economy is NOT a common. The share of the economy that can be associated with Bill Gates is different from the share of the economy associated with me. Said in other words . . . while as voters in a democratic state we are each equal in our vote . . . in the economy we are NOT equal in the wealth that we each generate. Bill Gates has generated more wealth for "the economy" than I have.

If you cast off the idea that the economy is some great amorphous activity that manifests itself as figures that the US government tracks and instead look at the economy as a process of wealth creation and value flows . . . it becomes apparent it is not a common resource, a commonly owned resource.

I'm not an economist, so I'm not going to try to take this further, but I think I have at least exposed the weakness in the concept of the expression "our economy." It may be "our country" but it is not "our economy."

Said in another way, rather than sucking the lifeblood out of the economy, it is more than likely that this upper 10% generate, bring into being, and sustain 50% of the wealth generation and value flows that we refer to as "the economy." They can't suck the lifeblood out because they are creating the lifeblood. If you want to suck the lifeblood out of the economy, kill that 10% of the people and send their assets into outer space.

Last edited by Alsatian; 01-16-2014 at 10:42 AM.
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Old 01-16-2014, 12:54 PM
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Originally Posted by Alsatian View Post
kill that 10% of the people and send their assets into outer space.
I'd like to see us do that with all our legislators.
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Old 01-16-2014, 01:09 PM
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Originally Posted by Tnhunter444 View Post
The way I see it, it's the nearly 50% of our population that PAYS NO FEDERAL TAXES AT ALL that's sucking the life blood out of our nation. OR, maybe it's the nearly 40% of the population that get some type of food stamps to "help" out.

Sorry, but that's how I see it, 50% of us paying a bunch in taxes to make up for all that pay nada, nothing, zilch, zero, zip. Hey, it's even OK to screw the retirement benefits earned by service members to save 6 billion over a decade, when two years ago the freakin' IRS paid out 4.8 Billion IN ONE YEAR in earned income credits to people not eligible and not even in this country legally.

And the Beat Goes On.........
As a Tax preparer I agree but the real suck on the economy are the refundable tax credits for low income people eg: Earned Income Credit, Refundable child tax credit. It is one thing to not owe any taxes or to get a refund for over payment of your taxes but the IRS just hands out money to those who don't make enough money and rewards them with money for each child they have. I see all kinds that come in the office and have to bite my tongue when I have to listen to single parents with six kids complain that they only got $7000 return when they only earned $8000.
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