Next Up: America for Ordinary Americans
loot for the average guy or gal
The resounding defeat of Liz Cheney — echoing the resounding defeat of George P. Bush in a race for State Attorney General in Texas — signals the end of an era.
And no, Liz, you are not a Lincoln defining a new era in American politics but one of the last tattered remnants of the old era mourning the glorious days of old.
But what now? Neil Patel has some “Starter Steps” railing against congresscritters that come to represent corporate interests and “upper-echelon Americans” and the “donor class.” He worries that “humanitarian” international concerns should be balanced against the ordinary needs of ordinary Americans.
OK. Let’s do an Einstein and make it as simple as possible but no simpler.
The political formula of the current ruling class is to ally the educated class with the lower class. This formula was created when the lower class was the white working class that amounted to a majority of voters. So it made political sense for the Progressives to declare themselves the benefactors of the working class against the uncaring bourgeoisie, the country-club set. The enemy — for politics must have an enemy — was the bourgeoisie.
Today, this political formula is best illustrated by “Allyship,” in which the Allies (of the educated class) ally with the “oppressed peoples” against the “white oppressors.”
Who are these “white oppressors?” Well, they are obviously not educated class white activists who are “allies.” They are obviously not tech billionaires, because the tech guys are down for the Allyship thing and are doing ESG at their corporations and have DEI shops at their corporations to help the “oppressed peoples.” And as for finance, you’ve got Larry Fink at BlackRock and he is clearly an Ally.
So that leaves the ordinary white middle class as the “white oppressors.” Some oppressors. Meanwhile privileged black writers like Nikole Hannah-Jones and Ibram X. Kendi and Co. are feted all across the lefty universe.
Because politics is tribal warfare by other means, the tribal warriors are the recipients of loot and plunder secured by the victory of the ruling class. As in jobs and grants and sinecures and status for the educated class and goodies for the lower class.
So, the new regime will have a different political formula. The enemy — for there is no politics without an enemy — must be the educated class that has Made Things Worse: economically, culturally, and internationally.
The lower class will not be an enemy, for the ordinary middle class does not have a beef with the lower class. But we would structure the world of the lower class to make work and marriage and upward mobility attractive to lower class people. There would still be a bunch of free stuff, but only enough to keep the lower class peaceable.
The point is: if we had our druthers, what would we do with the welfare state? I say that the welfare state was designed by the educated class as 1) a way to give themselves administrative jobs and 2) a way to buy the votes of the working class with other peoples’ money.
Fundamentally, I propose that we “privatize” the welfare state, meaning that all the benefits of the welfare state, from pensions to healthcare to education to the money to start a small business would be saved in private savings accounts, rather than routed through government.
Thus, instead of paying FICA taxes, American workers would put money, pretax, into their Lifetime Freedom Account. Anyone that put less than the appropriate amount recommended by “experts” would pay a risk-assessment tax. Because if you don’t save you may become a ward of the state. Normal withdrawals from the Lifetime Freedom Account would be taxed at capital gains rates. Lifetime Freedom Accounts would be passed down to heirs exempt from Estate Tax.
Instead of paying unemployment taxes, American workers would put money, pretax, into their Lifetime Freedom Account. Anyone that put less than the appropriate amount recommended by “experts” would pay a risk-assessment tax. If they became unemployed they could “borrow” monies, free of tax, from their Lifetime Freedom Account. If they needed extra cash while unemployed they would get an amount recommended by “experts” and thereafter pay back that amount and the “borrowed” before resuming payments into their Lifetime Freedom Account.
Americans that wanted to start a small business could have their Lifetime Freedom Account either “lend” to their business or “invest” in their business. That’s an interesting concept. Would Americans choose to borrow from their Lifetime Freedom Account and pay back principal and interest, or would they choose to have their Lifetime Freedom Account invest in their business as an equity play, with dividends and capital gains to follow if the business was successful?
Instead of employer health insurance, American workers would put money, pretax, into their Lifetime Savings Account. They would also pay a premium for catastrophic health insurance. They would also pay into a fund for end-of-life care, with three options: heroic, average, and skinflint. Anyone that put less than the appropriate amount recommended by “experts” would pay a risk-assessment tax.
Instead of “free” education, the parents of American children would receive an annual amount, to be established by “experts,” in their Lifetime Freedom Account to be used for the education of their children at the school of their choice, as in government school, private school, micro school, learning pod, homeschooling. Parents could contribute an additional amount, to be established by “experts,” for educational enrichment.
The whole point of this Lifetime Freedom Account system would be to allow Americans to structure their lives according to their own values. The system would be structured so that it would really pay everyone to finance their own “welfare” rather than rely on the state, and work and invest in themselves rather than take free stuff from politicians.
Whatabout foreign policy? I’d terminate NATO and tell the Europeans to get a clue. And I’d stop mucking about in the Middle East, because fracking. China? Let them continue with their Belt and Road Initiative. It’s what they used to do, back in the days of the Silk Road, so let them find out if it’s still a good idea. Russia? I just don’t think that Russia is the existential threat it was after World War II.
Hey kids! This is just the bare bones. But I think that my Lifetime Freedom Account is a cunning idea that politicians could really go to town on. Because all sorts of ordinary middle-class Americans would start coming up with new ways to expand the accounts with tricks and trinkets from the Feds. And I’d rather see the normal process of government loot and plunder being all about how to pander to ordinary working Americans rather than conceited educated Americans or lower-class subordinates as at the present time.