Class war against the wealthy backfires against the middle class - Mercedes-Benz Forum

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post #1 of 60 (permalink) Old 03-06-2009, 12:23 PM Thread Starter
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Class war against the wealthy backfires against the middle class

Class warfare has costs, but not for the people at whom the rhetorical mortars are aimed.
The drumbeat of anger by the many at the few who travel on private planes and live in big houses is having a negative effect on those who don't.

USA Today recently carried a story about conventions that have been canceled, at least in part, because of the public's negative reaction to seeing some people having a good time while they are not. Management fears condemnation from the public, so they cancel meetings rather than risk negative media attention and public scorn.

This might make some of the enlistees in the class war feel good for the moment, but it does not improve their station in life. It is not the rich who suffer in this war. It is the middle class.

The U.S. Travel Association, according to USA Today, says meetings account for "about 15 percent of all travel spending, creating 2.4 million jobs, $240 billion in spending and $39 billion in tax revenue."

Incentive and motivational meetings generate 40 percent of the business at Marriott hotels, which reports a 12 percent decline. A spokesman blames this on the public vilification of meetings. Marriott says thousands of jobs have been lost due to reduced business. Presumably none of the newly unemployed fly on private jets or live in big houses.

When conventions don't meet, hotel rooms are unoccupied, restaurants are not patronized and wait staff do not earn tips, which figure prominently in their income. Las Vegas, alone, projects losses of $20 million this year from Fortune 500 clients who have canceled events, according to Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority CEO Rossi Ralenkotter. Last month, State Farm Insurance canceled a convention it holds every three years to honor and reward its salespeople. As a result, 17,000 agents, and their spouses, won't be contributing to the economy (or government tax revenue).

It isn't that we don't know the outcome of the misguided policy of "soaking the rich." The last time it was tried was during the administration of George H.W. Bush. A 10 percent luxury tax passed Congress and was signed into law by Bush in 1991 (he opposed its repeal in 1992). Its purpose was seen as a "way of proving that the 1980s glorification of greed and wealth were over," in the words of a 1993 Wall Street Journal story by David Wessel.

During that recession, sales of luxury cars and powerboats dropped significantly, resulting not in CEOs flying coach, but in the laying off of employees from boat and private-airplane companies that build private planes and yachts. When the tax was repealed in the early days of the Clinton administration, many of those who had been laid off were rehired as sales improved.

What was that about how those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it?

The stock market doesn't react to the past, but forecasts the future. With proposed income tax increases and a boost in the capital- gains tax rate, the stock market has fallen at percentage rates last seen in the Great Depression. The elderly and those approaching retirement age are seeing their savings and investments built up over a lifetime wiped out. Where is the party of compassion? Can the elderly, who have increasingly voted for Democrats after being peppered with demagoguery that Republicans will end Social Security, wake up and realize that the more rich there are, the richer they become?

President Barack Obama can cling to liberal ideology and appease the left-wing fringe of his party, or he can do like President Bill Clinton did and reduce capital-gains taxes (how about eliminating them at least for a few years?) and watch the markets respond, re-filling individual retirement accounts and rekindling hope that millions of Americans won't have to abandon their lifestyles and their independence and become dependent on government.

This isn't about politics; it is about doing what works. We know what works. The question is, will the president and congressional Democrats stop worrying about the rich and start worrying about the potential for increasing the number of poorer people?

DispatchPolitics : Class war against the wealthy backfires against the middle class Columbus Dispatch Politics

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post #2 of 60 (permalink) Old 03-06-2009, 12:34 PM
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Class warfare has costs, but not for the people at whom the rhetorical mortars are aimed.


When conventions don't meet, hotel rooms are unoccupied, restaurants are not patronized and wait staff do not earn tips, which figure prominently in their income. Las Vegas, alone, projects losses of $20 million this year from Fortune 500 clients who have canceled events, according to Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority CEO Rossi Ralenkotter. Last month, State Farm Insurance canceled a convention it holds every three years to honor and reward its salespeople. As a result, 17,000 agents, and their spouses, won't be contributing to the economy (or government tax revenue).
Nice article brought to you by somebody's tourist and travel bureau.

Let's just look at the onesidedness of the one simple paragraph above. If we believe the article those 17,000 agents and their spouses will simply take the money that they would have spent on that convention and put it in mason jars and bury it in the back yard.

What the astute reader might realize is that the money just won't be going to the Las Vegas Economy. Every penny of the 17,000 agents and their spouses will still be fully contributing to the economy and government tax revenues, just not Vegas'.

How many times do we have to go over the "don't pay attention to articles by people who have vested interest in the information". How much advertising does the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority and members of the US Travel Authority do in USA Today annually?


There is no class warfare going on, only a concerted effort to bring reality and responsibility back to our culture of conspicuous consumption.

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post #3 of 60 (permalink) Old 03-06-2009, 12:37 PM
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Class warfare has no place in a dprecession.

Why ?

Because everyone needs help when the economy is in serious shitpoodoo-doo.
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post #4 of 60 (permalink) Old 03-06-2009, 12:40 PM Thread Starter
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Cal Thomas writes for Tribune Media Services and is well-respected for his unbiased and honest reporting. And I am quite sure he has no vested interest in Vegas.

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post #5 of 60 (permalink) Old 03-06-2009, 01:21 PM
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Cal Thomas writes for Tribune Media Services and is well-respected for his unbiased and honest reporting. And I am quite sure he has no vested interest in Vegas.
Cal thomas not Biased?!?!?!?!? In What Universe?

There is class warfare going on: The Wealthy have been waging it for decades, and they are winning. It's about time those of us who weren't born with silver spoons and trust funds fought back.
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post #6 of 60 (permalink) Old 03-06-2009, 04:50 PM
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Class warfare has no place in a dprecession.

Why ?

Because everyone needs help when the economy is in serious shitpoodoo-doo.
Yes, and those who made this happen need to be helped into a nice cozy 6x8 cell to enjoy their retirement for the next 30 years or so.
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post #7 of 60 (permalink) Old 03-06-2009, 05:05 PM
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The point being missed (or skirted, perhaps) is that no one with functioning brain cells cares about the conventions or moneys spent on them. What we care about is companies who are taking huge bailout dollars from the government and spending lavishly on such junkets. Then the middle class (who apparently would benefit from such spending at least according to the article) is on the hook for a part of the tax dollars spent on the convention, so it's just forced redistribution of wealth.

Socialism is a philosophy of failure, the creed of ignorance, and the gospel of envy; its inherent virtue is the equal sharing of misery. (Winston Churchill)
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post #8 of 60 (permalink) Old 03-06-2009, 05:06 PM
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Cal Thomas writes for Tribune Media Services and is well-respected for his unbiased and honest reporting. And I am quite sure he has no vested interest in Vegas.
Have you been kidnapped and are trying to send coded messages for help?

That is nearly as funny as the "apolitical" comment earlier. If you believe Cal Thomas to be unbiased and honest then I also assume you must believe Michael Moore to also be unbiased and honest.

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post #9 of 60 (permalink) Old 03-06-2009, 05:12 PM Thread Starter
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Have you been kidnapped and are trying to send coded messages for help?

That is nearly as funny as the "apolitical" comment earlier. If you believe Cal Thomas to be unbiased and honest then I also assume you must believe Michael Moore to also be unbiased and honest.
Get a grip bear! That is just nuts--like you.

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post #10 of 60 (permalink) Old 03-06-2009, 05:36 PM
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Yes, and those who made this happen need to be helped into a nice cozy 6x8 cell to enjoy their retirement for the next 30 years or so.
Didn't you get a mortgage you can't afford

or was that someone else ?

Confess now.
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