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The kind of "spreading the wealth" Obama advocated, was advocated by Adam Smith in THE seminal book of *Capitalism*, The Wealth of Nations

 
Anonymous Coward
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10/28/2008 08:36 PM
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The kind of "spreading the wealth" Obama advocated, was advocated by Adam Smith in THE seminal book of *Capitalism*, The Wealth of Nations
For what this is worth at this point:

[link to www.newyorker.com]

The rise and fall of Joe the Plumber as a symbol of the American self-made man’s resistance to progressive taxation began on October 12th, outside Toledo, Ohio. As Senator Barack Obama campaigned for the Presidency in a neighborhood of modest homes, a man named Samuel J. (Joe) Wurzelbacher approached. He said that he was getting ready to buy a company that earned about a quarter of a million dollars a year, and he asked if his taxes would rise under Obama’s economic plan. The Senator acknowledged that they might. “Nobody likes high taxes,” Obama said. “Of course not.” Still, he explained:

"I do believe that for folks like me who’ve worked hard but frankly also been lucky, I don’t mind paying just a little bit more than the waitress who I just met over there. . . . She can barely make the rent. . . . And I think that when you spread the wealth around, it’s good for everybody."

The principle that Obama evinced, which most economists would regard as unexceptionable, can be traced to Adam Smith. In “The Wealth of Nations” (1776), his seminal treatise on capitalism, Smith wrote:

"The necessaries of life occasion the great expense of the poor. . . . The luxuries and vanities of life occasion the principal expense of the rich, and a magnificent house embellishes and sets off to the best advantage all the other luxuries and vanities which they possess. . . . It is not very unreasonable that the rich should contribute to the public expense, not only in proportion to their revenue, but something more than in that proportion."

Smith’s notion of reasonableness did not anticipate the Fox News Channel, however. Last Tuesday, Wurzelbacher appeared on that network, where he denounced Obama’s comments as “socialist.” He said that Obama “scared me,” because he “wants to distribute wealth.” Wurzelbacher also granted an interview to the advocacy group Family Security Matters, whose advisory board includes the conservative talk-radio hosts Laura Ingraham and Monica Crowley. By means unknown, Joe’s story of ambition and resentment reached the campaign of Senator John McCain.

...

McCain is right in detecting signs of growing class resentment; some of the angry are turning up at McCain-Palin rallies, where the mood has been not so much socialist as national-socialist. The cause of this resentment is not difficult to explain, and it has nothing to do with Obama’s modest tax proposals. Income inequality—the gap between the richest and the rest—increased dramatically during the Bush Administration. The main reason was that the rich became very, very rich, while middle- and working-class families saw their incomes stagnate or decline. Long before the Wall Street meltdown, rising gas prices and health-care bills pinched even those American households with incomes that rank squarely in the middle classes.

That is where the great majority of actual plumbers live, of course; they don’t make a quarter of a million dollars a year. In 2007, their average annual income was forty-seven thousand dollars, and that figure was buoyed by the recent housing boom. The Bureau of Labor Statistics publishes an income roll call of other occupations with which McCain, once a modestly paid military officer, has evidently lost touch: kindergarten teachers, $47,750; firefighters, $44,130; roofers, $36,340; dental assistants, $32,280; security guards, $24,480; home health aides, $20,850.

At the very bottom of the income ladder, the inflation-adjusted minimum wage—despite two increases in the past two years—remains essentially the same as it was when George W. Bush took office. That wage amounts to less than fifteen thousand dollars a year, before taxes—and, yes, there are taxes to be paid even at that level. The number of Americans living in poverty has grown by more than five million since 2000. And there’s no way to say that ain’t so.
Anonymous Coward (OP)
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10/28/2008 08:44 PM
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Re: The kind of "spreading the wealth" Obama advocated, was advocated by Adam Smith in THE seminal book of *Capitalism*, The Wealth of Nations
So, those who disagree with the "spreading the wealth" comment:

Why do you disagree with it, if it is 100% in line with the most essential work on the topic of CAPITALISM?
Anonymous Coward
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10/28/2008 08:48 PM
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Re: The kind of "spreading the wealth" Obama advocated, was advocated by Adam Smith in THE seminal book of *Capitalism*, The Wealth of Nations
bump
Anonymous Coward
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10/28/2008 08:48 PM
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Re: The kind of "spreading the wealth" Obama advocated, was advocated by Adam Smith in THE seminal book of *Capitalism*, The Wealth of Nations
So, those who disagree with the "spreading the wealth" comment:

Why do you disagree with it, if it is 100% in line with the most essential work on the topic of CAPITALISM?
 Quoting: markusmaximus

Because Lazy Azze folks get over, when I worked my tail off to get where I am today
Anonymous Coward (OP)
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10/28/2008 08:48 PM
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Re: The kind of "spreading the wealth" Obama advocated, was advocated by Adam Smith in THE seminal book of *Capitalism*, The Wealth of Nations
Seriously...I'd like an answer from the Republicans in the crowd (and there are lots of you)...

Republicans make the claim of being THE true capitalists, so why would they bemoan Obama's statement of AGREEMENT with an aspect of capitalism?
Anonymous Coward (OP)
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10/28/2008 08:49 PM
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Re: The kind of "spreading the wealth" Obama advocated, was advocated by Adam Smith in THE seminal book of *Capitalism*, The Wealth of Nations
So, those who disagree with the "spreading the wealth" comment:

Why do you disagree with it, if it is 100% in line with the most essential work on the topic of CAPITALISM?

Because Lazy Azze folks get over, when I worked my tail off to get where I am today
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 488191


What about the waitress mentioned in the article, the one that struggles to make rent.

Is she working any less hard than you?
Anonymous Coward
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10/28/2008 08:53 PM
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Re: The kind of "spreading the wealth" Obama advocated, was advocated by Adam Smith in THE seminal book of *Capitalism*, The Wealth of Nations
The largest surplus in American history was dashed in a few years by the same people that supposedly are leading the charge against "socialism."

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