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The Coming War on Wealth and the Wealthy

Charles Hugh Smith
January 6th, 2021
Of Two Minds Blog
Comments (15)

This article was originally published by Charles Hugh Smith at Of Two Minds Blog. 

Here’s looking at you, Federal Reserve–thanks for perfecting ‘legalized looting’ and neofeudalism in America.

The problem with pushing a pendulum to its maximum extreme on one end is that it will swing back to the other extreme minus a tiny bit of friction.

America has pushed wealth/income inequality, unfairness, and legalized looting to the maximum extreme. Now it will experience the swing back to the other extreme. This will manifest in a number of ways, one of which is a self-organizing populist war on wealth and the wealthy.

To say the system is rigged to benefit the already-wealthy and powerful is a gross understatement. Take the tax code as an example–thousands of pages of arcane tax breaks and giveaways passed by a thoroughly corrupted Congress and thousands of more pages of arcane regulations and legal precedents.

How many pages apply to the bottom 95% of American taxpayers? Very few. There are the standard deductions for mortgage interest, healthcare costs, etc., but virtually no other tax breaks. Very few pages apply to even the 99%–go talk to a CPA and you’ll find there are no more tax breaks for a sole proprietor making $500,000 in earned income than there are for a sole proprietor making $50,000.

99.9% of the tax code benefits the top 0.1% and the corporations, LLCs, and philanthro-capitalist foundations and trusts they own/control. Stripped of artifice and spin, America’s tax code is nothing but legalized looting. This is only one small slice of the entire pie of legalized looting, of course, but it’s one we can all understand.

A sole proprietor pays 15.3% in Social Security and Medicare taxes. Why don’t America’s billionaires pay 15.3% in Social Security and Medicare taxes? Aren’t Social Security and Medicare/Medicaid the bedrock social safety net programs of the American people? Then why does a struggling sole proprietor pay 15.3% tax to support these essential programs and billionaires pay essentially zero?

There’s a term for this disparity/injustice/unfairness: legalized looting. The super-wealthy pay essentially zero percent of their income and wealth to the programs that provide basic economic security for the disabled/elderly citizenry, while Jose the sole proprietor pays 15.3% of every dollar he earns.

So explain to us again why Mr. Buffett can’t afford to pay 15.3% of every dollar of his income to help fund basic economic security for the disabled/elderly. In a system of even the most basic fairness, every dollar of income would be taxed at the same rate. In a system of even the most basic fairness, those with incomes of $100 million would pay the same 15.3% Social Security and Medicare tax as the sole proprietor earning $100,000.

Needless to say, if this most basic fairness was applied to America’s wealthy and powerful, these programs would not be facing insolvency.

If Joe the sole proprietor hits the big time, he pays 32% federal tax over $165,000, 35% over $210,000, and 37% over $524,000. If we add 15.3% to 37%, we get 52.3%. How many of America’s super-wealthy / billionaires pay 52% in Social Security-Medicare and income taxes? Zero.

Could America’s super-wealthy / billionaires afford to pay 52%? Of course, they could–they own the majority of all financial assets and skim the majority of all income. But they won’t, because the system is rigged to benefit the few at the expense of the many via legalized looting.

It isn’t just the inequality of ownership of capital and power that enrages the oppressed; it’s the blatant unfairness of our neo-feudal/neocolonial system. As I explained in Neofeudalism and the Neocolonial-Financialization Model (May 24, 2012) and Welcome to Neocolonialism, Exploited Peasants! (October 21, 2016), the Financial Nobility have “come home” and applied the same rapacious exploitation they perfected in colonialism to the domestic populace.

Here’s looking at you, Federal Reserve–thanks for perfecting legalized looting and neofeudalism in America.

The gulf between the lavishly praised American ideals and the putrid, corrupt reality of America’s neo-feudal system is wider than the Grand Canyon. As the pendulum accelerates to an extreme equal but opposite to the current extremes of unfairness, exploitation, and legalized looting, those who have suffered the consequences of this systemic inequality will find expression in whatever ways are available.

Since it’s difficult to get to the protected compounds of the super-wealthy, the signifiers of the merely wealthy will offer readily available targets. The new Tesla won’t just get keyed; it will be “reworked,” to the great satisfaction of the “workers.”

Please note that I am not promoting a war on wealth and the wealthy, I am merely pointing out that it is as inevitable as the gravity pulling the pendulum.

The war on wealth and the wealthy will manifest politically, socially, and economically. It won’t be a tightly controlled, top-down movement. It will be spontaneous, self-organizing, and unquenchable.

If you don’t understand why a war on wealth and the wealthy is inevitable, please study this chart: the way of the Tao is reversal.

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    Author: Charles Hugh Smith
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    Date: January 6th, 2021
    Website: https://www.oftwominds.com

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    15 Comments...

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    1. Has nothing to do with the wealthy.
      The commoners were betrayed and now it burns to the ground.
      Historically always.

    2. Andrea.Iravani. says:

      I Thank God that I did not bring children into the pre-crime surveillance state in evil country run by ruthless, predatory, post-crime, barbarians! People are pre-crime since the day that they are born. This country is a torture chamber. People spying on American citizens fall into two categories, sex offenders and intellectual property thieves. We know that they have no interest in preventing or prosecuting crime at all. They only have an interest in making sure that people don’t hold the guilty parties accountable. If they were interested in prosecuting criminals, they would be prosecuting the guilty Americans in governments and corporations responsible for 9/11, the missing $21 trillion from the Pentagon, and the scamdemic, among many other crimes against humanity that they have committed on American citizens and the world. Then of course there is the severe problem of missing persons, with over 500,000 missing under a state of total surveillance. Obviously, the surveillance cannot be justified by any non-retarded law abiding citizen. The surveillance state is where most of tax dollars end up going to, which I object to financing. I do not invest in technology companies either. The thing that really pisses me off is Americans that invest in it for their own greed destroying liberty and the meaning of life for everyone else! Venture Capitalists would not even exist, if they could not dump the stocks into over- hyped IPOs either. The stock market is the problem. As long as people are investing in this technolgy, whether for surveillance or war, it would probably not exist, and certainly not to the extent that it does! People cannot expect liberty if they are profiteering from authoritarianism. I am not profiteering from it, but I do not have liberty anyways, because other people are! Even though the overwhelming majority of these investments are held by the uber-rich, it is the mom and pop investors that elevate the uber-rich to their own detriment. It is reaaly insane when you look at it. People can raise the value of billionaires share holdings drastically by trading miniscule amounts of stock. They would never be where they are today if it wasn’t for the
      me too movement in the stock market. Me too as in one being willing to destroy America for my their own financial gain.

      I know that that is not what people want to hear, but it is the truth.

      Andrea Iravani

      Andrea Iravani

    3. Andrea.Iravani. says:

      I Thank God that I did not bring children into the pre-crime surveillance state in evil country run by ruthless, predatory, post-crime, barbarians! People are pre-crime since the day that they are born. This country is a torture chamber. People spying on American citizens fall into three categories, sex offenders and intellectual property thieves, and thieves. We know that they have no interest in preventing or prosecuting crime at all. They only have an interest in making sure that people don’t hold the guilty parties accountable. If they were interested in prosecuting criminals, they would be prosecuting the guilty Americans in governments and corporations responsible for 9/11, the missing $21 trillion from the Pentagon, and the scamdemic, among many other crimes against humanity that they have committed on American citizens and the world. Then of course there is the severe problem of missing persons, with over 500,000 missing under a state of total surveillance. Obviously, the surveillance cannot be justified by any non-retarded law abiding citizen. The surveillance state is where most of tax dollars end up going to, which I object to financing. I do not invest in technology companies either. The thing that really pisses me off is Americans that invest in it for their own greed destroying liberty and the meaning of life for everyone else! Venture Capitalists would not even exist, if they could not dump the stocks into over- hyped IPOs either. The stock market is the problem. If people were not investing in this technolgy, whether for surveillance or war, it would probably not exist, and certainly not to the extent that it does! People cannot expect liberty if they are profiteering from authoritarianism. I am not profiteering from it, but I do not have liberty anyways, because other people are! Even though the overwhelming majority of these investments are held by the uber-rich, it is the mom and pop investors that elevate the uber-rich to their own detriment. It is really insane when you look at it. People can raise the value of billionaires share holdings drastically by trading miniscule amounts of stock. The billionaires would never be where they are today if it wasn’t for the me too movement in the stock market. Me too as in one being willing to destroy America for my their own financial gain. 

      I know that that is not what people want to hear, but it is the truth.

      Andrea Iravani

    4. Andrea.Iravani. says:

      I Thank God that I did not bring children into the pre-crime surveillance state into this evil country run by ruthless, predatory, post-crime, barbarians! People are pre-crime since the day that they are born. This country is a torture chamber. People spying on American citizens fall into three categories, sex offenders and intellectual property thieves, and thieves. We know that they have no interest in preventing or prosecuting crime at all. They only have an interest in making sure that people don’t hold the guilty parties accountable. If they were interested in prosecuting criminals, they would be prosecuting the guilty Americans in governments and corporations responsible for 9/11, the missing $21 trillion from the Pentagon, and the scamdemic, among many other crimes against humanity that they have committed on American citizens and the world. Then of course there is the severe problem of missing persons, with over 500,000 missing under a state of total surveillance. Obviously, the surveillance cannot be justified by any non-retarded law abiding citizen. The surveillance state is where most of tax dollars end up going to, which I object to financing. I do not invest in technology companies either. The thing that really pisses me off is Americans that invest in it for their own greed destroying liberty and the meaning of life for everyone else! Venture Capitalists would not even exist, if they could not dump the stocks into over- hyped IPOs either. The stock market is the problem. If people were not investing in this technolgy, whether for surveillance or war, it would probably not exist, and certainly not to the extent that it does! People cannot expect liberty if they are profiteering from authoritarianism. I am not profiteering from it, but I do not have liberty anyways, because other people are! Even though the overwhelming majority of these investments are held by the uber-rich, it is the mom and pop investors that elevate the uber-rich to their own detriment. It is really insane when you look at it. People can raise the value of billionaires share holdings drastically by trading miniscule amounts of stock. The billionaires would never be where they are today if it wasn’t for the me too movement in the stock market. Me too as in one being willing to destroy America for my their own financial gain. 

      I know that that is not what people want to hear, but it is the truth.

      Andrea Iravani

      Why in the hell is the psycho hacking my posts?! Please, kill yourself! MAGA! 

      • Andrea.Iravani. says:

        I just read that the protesters broke door knobs off to enter the capitol, so, they did not just walk through the doors.

        Andrea Iravani

      • Andrea.Iravani. says:

        The post crime scumbag psychos that are hacking and using vault 7 technology on me are guilty if the computer fraud and abuse act. I have been an enemy of the state since 1985, why? Because I discovered that the government was involved in human trafficking and sex-slaves reporting it to all levels of government from Milwaukee Police up to Ronald Reagan, the FBI, and the CIA, after the Epstein bust, I understand why they never did anything about it! Also guilty of not taking the bait to install surveillance cameras after my retarded post crime psycho scumbag neighbors attempted to lure me into installing them working as dolts for the police state. When I called the police about the break ins and hacking, officer Alfonso said to install them, but the worthless fucking retard forgot that their is a security camera at the end of the street that I asked him to check, so he lied and said that they didn’t have access to it, and when i first told him about the break ins and hacking, the retard Alfonso asked, “What makes you think you’re so special that someone would want to stael from you? So, retarded Alfonso, what makes you think that as a worthless post crime retard you are entitled to anything from anyone at all? To the post crime scumbag lowlife hackers, thieves and spies! Yours is not to wonder why, yours is but to do or die! Stop hacking, spying, breaking into my house, including entering my house without my permission with master keys, vandalizing, and stalking me! post crime scum bags! Do the world a favor kill yourselves! MAGA! The world would be better off if you were dead! You are walking poster childs for more abortions, death sentences, defunding the governments the surveillance state, abolishing the stock market, defunding silicon valley, defunding the American education system both public and private, and defunding the DNC and RNC,defunding the media, and defunding the military and healthcare and system! Again and again and again, all have been notified from the Grafton police all the way up to Donald Trump! All have done nothing once again in a country run and by post crime scumbags in an organized crime ring! 500,000 missing persons in a state of total surveillance! Jamie Close from Wisconsin was not found by the police, but by a neighbor that saw her walking down the street after media reports of her parents being murdered and her missing! I have a childhood friend that is a missing person as well as a class mate that was butchered to death and obviously found dead! I also have a brother that was abducted by the Mequon police that illegally entered his house and imprisoned him for drinking less than a half a glass of beer in his own house! My brother is dead now! The Mequon police stalked him wherever he went! They psychologically tortured and terrorized him to death, like the post crime scumbags are tryng to do to me! I am better and stronger than all of you post crime scumbags combined! It is high time that you realize it! I was just born that way! You were not! You will never be anything but worthless losers that the world would be better off without! The facts prove it! Kill yourselves! MAGA! You are retarded mutant degenerates! Your actions prove it!

        Andrea Iravani

        • Andrea.Iravani. says:

          They are so mentally incompetent that they do not know that it is common knowledge that there is organized crime, and it is common knowledge that those involved in criminal activity frequently use the nuts and sluts defense. They hope that they can intimidate me by the vastness of it and their large numbers, but there is no strength in numbers when they have united around being corrupt, evil, stubborn, wrong, and sadistic pirahnas.

          Still Unintimidated,

          Andrea Iravani

    5. James says:

      The war is not against the truly wealthy, the billionaires. They will only continue to get richer.
      The war is against the moderately successful, hardworking, middle working class. Always keep that in mind.

      • Bill says:

        James – You got it exactly right, my words exactly. The Dems. stated they are going to 1-repeal the Trump tax cuts, 2- furthermore, regardless of what JB says, KH and company want to increase taxes on the “wealthy”, (standby for how they define wealthy), 3-make businesses pay more taxes, they know however this will drive up the cost of doing business and the increased costs will be have to be passed on to the consumer (of course the increased costs will be blamed on greedy businesses), 4-increase in taxes on all forms of energy (fuels, natural gas, oil, electricity, etc.) to start funding the massive new boondoggle otherwise known as New Green Deal, and 5- new taxes on utilities (water, sewage, even trash) to also help fund the NGD. All this and more to come will further draw off middle class wealth. In return you get to be a managed disposable resource for the State.
        As usual however, these collected taxes will just disappear into the infinite black hole of federal spending. Besides, money spent by the gov’t, with very few exceptions, has a very low multiplying effect anyway. The greater effect is the reciprocal, that is, the Main Street economy suffers. Everything Wash. DC does is really just sh*t.
        We see now our voting doesn’t matter much, but officialdom does keenly care about those who can buy politicians. Sorry, I meant the mega-wealthy “donors”. These “donors” and people with connections and influence are not going take the hits. Like Geo. Carlin said “It’s a big club, and you ain’t in it”.

    6. Anonymous says:

      Boo Hoo for the rich. It was ill-gotten gains. Just ask Suckerberg, Bozos, Swishy Tim – they’re laughing all the way to the bank – with YOUR tax money.

    7. runnamuck says:

      those poor welthy people i hope thay dont have to fire the pool boy or one of many maids the suffering

    8. Andrea.Iravani. says:

      Something extremely strange is going on with Julian Assange not being granted bail as well as with alternative media that claimed to support Assange criticizing them for not allowing Assange to transition to house arrest with an ankle bracelet. Assange was sentenced to 50 weeks in prison for skipping bail and has been in prison for over 19 months, so he should be freed without any bail at all, without house arrest, and without an ankle bracelet! Both Global Research and Unz Review journalists have been asking for Assange to be under house arrest with ankle bracelet and bail. Why? The only reason that Assange was detained longer than 50 weeks was because of the U.S. extradition request which was denied. Reeks! With advocates like that, who needs the government?! When authoritarians pretend that they are not authoritarians, that is what it looks like! What are they afraid of? What is the objective? To isolate the winner, obviously! Guilty for being superior to them!

      Andrea Iravani

    9. What a sad pathetic life, a greedy hunger for more and more money. Never satisfied, then they die.

    10. Darth Skippy says:

      Reflexive Marxists, who cosplay as historical dictators in the May Day parades, have an errant notion of blue collars being “rich”, as opposed to the financially independent.

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