By Christian Mabry | 03/21/2020, 11:41 AM CST
Since the second rise of Bernie Sanders late last year, the word “socialism” has been thrown around quite a bit, but it seems as though the people who tend to use it most often don’t have its definition handily available.
First, let’s address one of the largest groups propogating this deceptive narrative: corporate media.
It’s abundantly clear to all voters who are truly informed as to why this is being pushed so heavily, so what does it matter? Oh, that’s right–older Americans vote in far higher numbers than any other age group.
Why does that make a difference?
Think about this: senior citizens are seven times as likely to share links to false news articles on social media as those below the age of thirty. On a side note, republicans are over four times as likely to share disinformation as democrats according to the same survey. This puts how easily manipulated the average voter truly is into perspective.
If that’s the case, then why does corporate media do it?
Well, corporate media is more concerned with the interests of its owners than anything else, and if you don’t believe it, just take a look at Joe Biden’s most likely cabinet picks. The list includes the CEO of JPMorgan Chase, the Vice Chairman of the Bank of America, and many other corporate elites.
“That’s why we need to keep Trump in office–so he can keep draining the swamp!” says a highly educated supporter of our current president. Not so fast.
Trump has chosen a myriad of wonderful people to be a part of his fabulous administration too, including bank and financial corporation CEOs. He’s also appointed many other spectacular leaders like Scott Pruitt, a fossil fuel industry lobbist, who he appointed as head of the Environmental Protection Agency.
When this is all taken into consideration, especially given the fact that the DNC and mainstream media have all but openly handed Biden the democratic nomination at this point, it’s apparent that no matter who wins, corporations win.
Now, we should talk to the other group of Americans who spread this nonsense: Trump supporters and “conservatives.”
What is socialism?
According to Merriam-Webster, socialism is “any of various economic and political theories advocating collective or governmental ownership and administration of the means of production and distribution of goods.”
Would outright socialism be a good form of government? Probably not. That’s why Bernie Sanders isn’t advocating for it.
What is he advocating for? Mostly social programs. Scary right? No, not really. We already have many of these programs here in the United States such as Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, public schooling, public libraries, law enforcement, firefighters, pell grants, school lunch programs, the Earned Income Tax Credit, and veterans programs.
We often see the Republican party speaking out against welfare programs as a whole. In Trump’s most recent State of the Union speech, he bragged that he “lifted” seven million people off of food stamps and ten million off of welfare. Ironically, white conservatives make up a very large percentage of individuals enrolled in welfare programs.
“Who will pay for it?”
I could take the easy route and say “Mexico will pay for it,” but I’d rather put it into perspective.
Right now, we pay roughly $100,000,000,000 a year in corporate welfare. As a matter of fact, if you make $72,000 a year, approximately $6000 of your taxes is funneled directly to large corporations in the form of subsidies. That doesn’t sound like “free market capitalism” to me.
Amazingly enough, it doesn’t end there. Here are our current tax brackets:
Now, think about this: if you are a single adult making a little over half a million dollars a year, you’re forking out 37% of your income in federal taxes. This isn’t even taking other taxes into consideration such as state taxes (if your state has them), the net investment income tax, and other various forms of taxation.
At the same time, if you’re Amazon, you can get away with using business tax codes to skate the law. Amazon paid about 1.2% in federal taxes on over $13,000,000,000 last year. Insane, right? Of course it is! Sure, when you average how much they’ve made over the years versus how much they’ve paid, the number is higher, but the rate is still about a third of our top individual tax bracket.
Here’s another shocker: while individual taxes fund nearly half of our federal budget, taxes collected from corporations account for less than 10%. Does that make you feel patriotic?
The fact is, it’s time for corporations to pay their dues. While we work our fingers to the bone to provide for our families, incapable of getting ahead in life due to abysmally low wages, our tax dollars are handed to those same corporations who avoid taxes far more effectively than we could possibly imagine–the same corporations that we keep alive by buying our groceries, vehicles, and homes.
What happens when they finally pay? We might as well reap the benefits. It isn’t free; it’s all of us finally getting what we paid for.
But hey, write everyone a check for $1200 in the midst of a pandemic and suddenly they’re cool with “socialism” because Trump did it, which means it isn’t socialism. That’s how it works, right?
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