Elizabeth Warren is running for the Democratic presidential nomination, so she is out making the rounds, boasting of what she would do as president. She’s planning to run as the weepy champion of the middle-class, so you can expect her to say the “middle class is getting hammered” six million times over the next year. She can’t be a culture warrior, now that her fake Indian cover is blown, so she is going for the bourgeois populism that used to be a thing on the Left, before they discovered anti-whiteness.
Warren’s first salvo is a wealth tax, which will be some sort of levy on those with assets over $50 million. This will be in addition to the regular income tax and she says it will raise $2.75 trillion over 10 years. That’s like saying the plan will allow Big Foot to finally get the unicorn he always wanted. Politicians love making ten year projections, despite the fact no one believes them. It’s just a way for the actors, our rich people hire to run for office, to sound like they are something other than actors. It’s part of the role.
Portly polemicist Kevin Williams was ready to lead the charge against this new communist assault on the rich people who pay him to sing their praises. That post is a madhouse of nonsense, but it is also like reading National Review from 1985. That old crowd is still lighting candles, hoping the Left will get back to talking like socialists, so they can get back to pretending to be conservatives. Comparing what Warren is proposing to the Soviet collectivization programs is dumb even by the standards of Kevin Williamson.
It’s also completely backwards. Historically, the radical position on taxes is all about restructuring society and making it more egalitarian. The Right took the position that the state was primarily in service to the rich, so the rich should pay for it. Sure, the rich tax the poor, that’s why they are rich, but they pay for the state, because it serves their ends. The Warren plan is hardly radical. Every state in America has property taxes. Some have inventory taxes on business and asset taxes on individuals. Asset taxes are common.
Of course, Warren’s game here is to pitch herself as the champion of middle-class white women. Kamala Harris will get the black vote. The question is whether she is black enough to get enough of it. Warren is betting she can scoop up the Sanders vote and the box wine auntie vote, in order to counter the black vote. That’s why she is pitching this idea, which she knows will never happen. It’s a form of virtue signaling in order to shape the narrative of the 2019 election season, heading into the primaries next January.
Still, it is an idea that should be discussed. America has many problems and is probably headed for a very bad end, but if reform is possible, it starts with reigning in the out of control plutocrats. Everyone talks about the racial and ethnic hostility, but one big problem is the degree of inequality. You can make all the libertarian arguments you like to explain why this is not a bad thing, but history says otherwise. Throw in the outright hostility of the rich toward their duties to the nation and it is a dangerous brew.
A debate about an asset tax also does something else that is needed. It raises the issue of why taxing income is acceptable, but taxing other things is taboo. Why do we treat investment earnings as sacred, while the working man’s paycheck is fair game? Take this further, why are we using an industrial age tax philosophy in the technological age? The world is a very different place economically, compared to a century ago when income taxes were invented. It’s time to think about modernizing taxes.
Another thing worth debating is how tax policy changes the behavior of office holders in a neoliberal democracy. Every shabby economics expert in Conservative Inc. can lecture on tax policy and market incentives, but no one thinks about how tax policy changes the behavior of public officials. Income taxes encourage government to attract earners, not builders. Countries become flop houses for stateless economic pirates. That’s what countries are in the global age. They are a pirate’s cove for global capital.
Asset taxes could motivate politicians to attract investment that creates wealth in the nation. After all, if the money available to the politicians is pegged to the asset value of the nation, nationalism makes a lot of sense. That’s why the flunkies and coat holders for the globalist class will be howling in agony at any attempt to debate this idea. Income taxes serve the interest of the post-nation future. Global capital is just a renter, always looking for the cheapest rate, with no stake in the port where they find shelter.
Make no mistake, Elizabeth Warren is as dumb as a goldfish. She’s proposing this because the script writers hired for her told her it will get applause from the demographic she is courting. On this side of the great divide, it offers a chance to talk about bigger issues in practical terms that disgruntled whites can follow. It also offers another chance to be the thoughtful, intellectually serious alternative to the sad clown show that in conservatism. The politics of the future, will need a tax policy to match it.