Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Gee...Think This Might Work Here?

The French uberwealthy want more taxes.
See, there's something about a true revolution...not that America's was a slouch, but stick with this for a moment...where a people rise up against (here it comes) its own government to demand change.
The French Revolution was, in essence, the sea-change the American was not. The American Revolution was the landed gentry being tired of their responsibilities to a king 3,500 miles away who really paid them no mind. The French Revolution was the people's revolution, where a nation stood up against its own resident king and said "Enough!"
People were starving. "Let them eat cake." Rising food prices, higher energy costs and poor infrastructure to even ship food to rural areas, as well as a growing disparity in income equality and a monumental national debt all contributed to a circumstance that finally snapped.
Add to this the resentment of the working and middle classes to the elites, nobles, and wealthy, and the rejection of doctrinaire religion (Catholicism) holding sway over public policy, and you have your basic powderkeg.
Why does this sound so much like present day America? A government out of touch with its people, a people divided into economic strata that are growing apart, and the injection of fundamentalism into public policy.
Twain (apocryphally, via Colombo) said it best, "History doesn't repeat itself, but it does rhyme."
Given French history, it's no surprise that the wealthy in France want to do something to help out. Another Revolution, in a day and age when entire fortunes can be stolen with the click of a mouse, is probably pretty scary. Thomas Jefferson once said that when the government fears the people, there is liberty.
Our government does not fear us. Sarkozy, Bettencourt, and de Margerie do fear the French.
You know, you'd think the Teabaggers would be a pioneering group but when you're organized and motivated by the very people whom you serve, you're a sham, a fraud, a complete and utter tool of those who would keep you in servitude. Former government officials, leaders of the largest corporations on the planet, lobbyists and advisors all make up the hierarchy that is the Tea Party.
The people underneath them don't have a Teapot to piss in, but that's not the problem of the Armeys and Kochs of the world, so long as they can keep them mad at the boogeymen: Muslims, Mexicans, 'Mericans.
That's not to say that there aren't Americans who have money who get it. Warren Buffett, arguably the richest man in the world, does, along with Bill Gates, Sr and several others. They understand what the French people have been born with: a tradition that a nation cannot stand on its own unless each of its citizens can stand on their own. History is replete with examples of nations that tried to hoard, to exploit their people for the benefit of insiders. 
Nations are not Amway. They are not a pyramid scheme. The very fact that you work in your job about as hard as the guy you work for should entitle you to a bit more than the crumbs off his table, because your work makes his life that much easier. A healthy society would recognize this. Europe certainly does.