Day 510: Attack the Rich

Tom Perkins suggested Thursday that only taxpayers should have the right to vote -- and that wealthy Americans who pay more in taxes should get more votes.
The venture capitalist offered the unorthodox proposal when asked to name one idea that would "change the world" at a speaking engagement in San Francisco moderated by Fortune's Adam Lashinsky.

"The Tom Perkins system is: You don't get to vote unless you pay a dollar of taxes," Perkins said.
"But what I really think is, it should be like a corporation. You pay a million dollars in taxes, you get a million votes. How's that?"
The audience at the Commonwealth Club reacted with laughter. But Perkins offered no immediate indication that he was joking. Asked offstage if the proposal was serious, Perkins said: "I intended to be outrageous, and it was." - CNN Money

Venture capitalist Tom Perkins came under fire after publicly comparing the experience of wealthy Americans to a deadly Nazi campaign that preceded the Holocaust.
"Writing from the epicenter of progressive thought, San Francisco, I would call attention to the parallels of fascist Nazi Germany to its war on its 'one percent,' namely its Jews, to the progressive war on the American one percent, namely the 'rich,'" he wrote, opening a letter to the editor of the Wall Street Journal.

"This is a very dangerous drift in our American thinking. Kristallnacht was unthinkable in 1930; is its descendent 'progressive' radicalism unthinkable now?" he concluded. - CNN Money

Once again our worth is determined by a monetary value. Of course this is the view of people who have money, because this, in their eyes, gives them a higher value. They can now think of themselves as being better than all those other schmucks who don't have as much money as they do. A lot of people have bought into this ideology - maybe not quite so overtly, but in smaller ways. Say you see someone who is working as a cleaner. Your automatic judgement of who they are may include labels like "uneducated", "poor", "probably lives in a small home", "probably has some stereotypical problems at home within their family" - these judgements really depend on the one who is doing the judgements, how they see the world. What I'm getting at is that one of our assumptions is that a person who is working as a cleaner is unable to afford many things and many types of lifestyles - and we're not too bothered about those assumptions - that's just the way it is. Like I said, not quite so overtly, but the thoughts exist within most people that poorer people shouldn't be able to have what richer people have. This exists within us on a subconscious level, so consciously all it is is a tacit acceptance of our cultures, social acceptances and so on.

Obviously the rich will do everything in their considerable power to hold onto said power, but what also happens is that many people who are not wealthy, not by a longshot, also defend those in positions of wealth. They do this because they feel their own comfortable lives are well deserved and that anyone wanting such a life must deserve it, as well as anyone who has an even better life must also deserve it and therefore they are "good people". The other possibility is that they are taken over by the desire to also be wealthy, which would implicitly justify everything that comes with wealth. Remember that everyone is always trying to validate who they think they are - trying to have their actions mirror their self belief. It's called Cognitive Dissonance and everyone has it. You may believe that you are immune to it. You're not. You are alive and therefore you exist within a state of cognitive dissonance. That is how completely self unaware we are - we don't even know that we are lying to ourselves.