Wednesday, January 30, 2019

Our Inverse Welfare State

Dutch Historian Rutger Bregman
Someone asked Dutch historian Rutger Bregman to participate in a recent World Economic Forum discussion panel in Davos, Switzerland.

Interestingly, Bregman, “…told billionaires if they want to solve inequality, all they need to do is pay their taxes.” (Please see the full article with short video clip here.)

A novel idea in Trumpian USA, and elsewhere in the dominate economies – western, eastern, emerging nations, et. al.

Obviously, no matter where in the world, profit and personal greed dominates, while the 99.9% of the “have-very-littles”, i.e. the rest of humanity, passively accepts the status quo, as the Eleventh Commandment: Thou shall remain destitute and serve the moneyed elite as the slave your ancestors were, and you will forever remain.

My guess is that whoever asked Bregman to attend will not do so again.

However, please, watch the video clip.

You’ll also hear Winnie Byanyima’s (Executive Director of Anti-Poverty NGO Oxfam International) outstanding answer to the typical Trumpian-Republican BS line that goes something like, “Stop talking about increasing our taxes because everyone in the world is better off because we’re so great” (voiced by a former Yahoo CFO).

She explained: “Don’t tell me about low levels of unemployment. You are counting the wrong things. You are not counting dignity of people. You’re counting exploited people.”

In another article, at, Bergman stated: “The truth (is) that we are living in an inverse welfare state.”

“These days, politicians from the left to the right assume that most wealth is created at the top. By the visionaries, by the job creators, and by the people who have “made it”. By the go-getters oozing talent and entrepreneurialism that are helping to advance the whole world.”

“Now, we may disagree about the extent to which success deserves to be rewarded – the philosophy of the left is that the strongest shoulders should bear the heaviest burden, while the right fears high taxes will blunt enterprise – but across the spectrum virtually all agree that wealth is created primarily at the top.”

“So entrenched is this assumption that it’s even embedded in our language. When economists talk about “productivity”, what they really mean is the size of your paycheck. And when we use terms like “welfare state”, “redistribution” and “solidarity”, we’re implicitly subscribing to the view that there are two strata: the makers and the takers, the producers and the couch potatoes, the hardworking citizens – and everybody else.”

“In reality, it is precisely the other way around. In reality, it is the waste collectors, the nurses, and the cleaners whose shoulders are supporting the apex of the pyramid. They are the true mechanism of social solidarity. Meanwhile, a growing share of those we hail as “successful” and “innovative” are earning their wealth at the expense of others. The people getting the biggest handouts are not down around the bottom, but at the very top. Yet their perilous dependence on others goes unseen. Almost no one talks about it. Even for politicians on the left, it’s a non-issue.”

Yes, it is.

Yet the fact remains, we live in an inverse welfare state – the .01% are soaking up the welfare.

If I Were A Rich Man - Fiddler on the Roof - 1971 (film) Broadway (1964)

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