What if the Republicans with this election? What are the natural consequences? Taxes are their signature issue. They have targeted two taxes to either lower or eliminate. The one is on dividends from investments and the other is the inheritance/estate tax which they like to refer to as the death tax. As I think about these two sources of income, I am struck by how little of my actual income comes from these two sources. Apparently, Mr. Romney's income is composed of 80 to 90 percent from these two sources. Perhaps this is true of other Republican candidates' income as well? So if they are successful, a significant portion of their personal income is untouched by taxes that provide for the common welfare as invisioned by a democratic society. They will be able to pass this untaxed income down the generations intact to the heirs of their choice. Creating what type of society?
Dividends are the portion of profit paid to owners of corporations (investors). Since corporations have now been recognized as "persons" with rights equal to yours and mine, owners (investors) now have an offspring that has the potential to pay them almost tax free income if the Republicans have their way forever.
From where do corporations derive their income? All businesses whether they are small or large are driven by one overreaching goal - to make a profit for the owner. Profit assets (preferably cash) exceeding expenses. In the business world, productivity is an asset but wages are an expense.Therefore, the goal is to get maximum productivity for the lowest wage. Other expenses include regulations that ensure clean air, clean water, healthy and safe working conditions, healthcare and retirement benefits, etc. Businesses by their very nature are not, nor should they be, democratic in their administration or governance. Since productivity is the labor of the individual, business owners would rather deal with the individual. It is better business to say, "Take this wage I am offering or no wage (job) for you." There is no desire on business' part for a minimum wage, equal pay for equal work, unions or any other effort to improve working conditions that increase the expense side of the ledger.
As an amateur historian, this scenario that the Republicans are touting is reminiscent of two readily identifiable periods in our history. The first is the "Old South" land of slavery and inherited wealth. We fought a bloody civil war to discard that business model. The second is the "Gilded Age" which ended with the passage of the progressive income tax and other reform policies to get us out of, and to attempt to imsulate us from, great depressions and resultant hardships.
Republican policies would put us back on track to repeat or re-create a reasonable facsimile of these bygone business models. If this sounds attractive to you, then by all means vote Republican. If, on the other hand, you are interested in a future that benefits all Americans and provides for the general welfare, then vote Democratic.
Dr. Nan Cervantes