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Did The Beatles Help Fuel The Reagan Revolution?


Did The Beatles Help Fuel The Reagan Revolution?

Sam Pizzigati

Overcrowded classrooms. Crumbling bridges. Shuttered libraries. These have become our everyday realities after over a generation of tax-cutting political bravado.

A shrinking middle class. Rising dead-end poverty. The splurges of a new super rich. These have also become the markers of our time.

Is it all the Beatles’ fault?

Did the lads from Liverpool pave the way for the “Reagan Revolution” and the rise of the 1 percent?

Do today’s billionaires owe the Fab Four some gesture of eternal gratitude?


To the wealthy a progressive tax is almost a sin. Oligarchy has made progress on repenting that sin. During WW2 the wealthy paid taxes to help win the war, an involuntary patriotism at best, well have no fear of patriotism dear wealthy people because progress has been made on the inconvenience of having to pay for war! Now we can borrow money (which adds interest to the total costs of the war), we can give tax cuts to the wealthy during the war ( wasn't that a neat trick eh? ) and we can cut social programs to the lower classes to make up the difference and still have them paying for the war instead of the rich or heaven forbid the corporations who went without paying taxes at all if they were big enough.

See progress... ! Bonzo would be proud.


For some reason, I was thinking of that "Taxman" song by Harrison...I grew up in the 60s, being a baby boomer. Being a 'tween at the time, I sang along, thinking oh, if the Beatles say the "taxman" is bad, then he is bad...evil....Recently, I have heard the song again, and thought,
"is this new rich guy (Harrison) bemoaning the fact that he has to pay taxes? this guy who shortly afterwards, became
"spiritual" and followed an Indian guru (phony or not)...and preached love and togetherness and all that
I don't mind paying taxes in the slightest if I feel it will help people, as I figure when it comes my turn to maybe need help, it will be there for me, also being raised a Catholic I was taught to care for the needy and poor/help them, etc. ala Dorothy Day....
Obviously, the Beatles were the typical "what's mine is mine" hypocrites..."I earned it BS"....no, that's only part of it,..the other part was good luck and the fan base that bought your records & concert tickets &
crap merchandise, ...thinking you were gods., as I once foolishly did.
Lennon, who I used to idolize, was a lousy father to Julian and admitted that "Imagine" was "just a bloody song" when an acquaintance pointed out that Lennon seemed to have . a lot of possessions.
Never liked that corny song anyway.


The Beatles and George Harrison had large catalogues of music. Focusing on one song and proposing that the Beatles in sum were responsible for the Reagan revolution is a bit of a stretch. I doubt the Beatles were aware of the tax loopholes that were readily available to the likes of Ian Donald Cameron, the British PM's father. The tax authorities in England in 1960's England were no different of tax authorities throughout time. These authorities tend to police social pioneers. The Beatles were a threat to the establishment. This is how the establishment reacts to such threats. It was so in 1960's England as it is now.


Blaming the Beatles or George Harrison's song for any sort of lack of social resources due to a lack of taxation is just plain rubbish. I think 5% WAS much too small. A penalty for making money as George once said and he was right. I don't begrudge the Beatles for making money in the least. Those that made money off them made far more. The Beatles gave of themselves and they gave a lot. I'm very thankful that they existed and that they gave that time such a beautiful excitement and opened minds to so much. There was nothing like them and I doubt there ever will be again.

It is important to ask a few questions. First off, why would any sane person argue for more taxation on income? Why? How did the U.S. manage to survive very nicely prior to the enactment of an income tax? This tax came paired with the enactment of the Federal Reserve which taxed every dollar printed by charging interest for their use.

Does it not occur to anyone that the PTB simply do not want to put out money for social anything regardless of whether the money is there or not? It is shown time after time that money is there for wars and destruction, propping up big banks with trillions, subsidizing already profitable companies, leasing federal lands for a variety of profitable purposes for next to nothing, giving away patent rights for pharmaceutical development with research paid for by the government. Truly, this list of income draining activities could go on forever. And that is potential income that could easily provide a myriad of social services and opportunities and make life better for everyone.

But those aren't the choices being made by those that reside in government. And they wouldn't make those choices if they were taxing the rich at 99.9 %.
It would just be even more money put out for wars and more expensive weapons systems. More death, destruction and domination.

Also, the California proposition mentioned in this article was necessary. I lived there at that time. It was a property tax measure designed to limit property taxes to a more fair rate. At the time, real estate values were climbing dramatically and property taxes were based on current market value. This had the effect of pricing people out of their homes because they couldn't afford the taxes. Again, in California there are myriad ways to provide tax income rather than doing something like this. It's just absurd.

I liked the last paragraph of this article. I'm going to check the link out for that interview. I've said the same thing many times. That was a remarkable time for England. That country was put on the map because of that time. It made itself known for something other than wars to support empire. Yeah, England really swung in that time and it sure doesn't anymore. But it's not because they don't tax the rich at 95%.


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Prop 13 was fueled by its backers as keeping retirees in their homes, limiting property taxes which had become so high that many people were losing their homes, yes, but somehow included in Prop 13 were commercial properties which benefited major corporations and businesses which of course threw their weight on the Prop's side. Of course the tv ads for Prop 13 were focused on horror stories of elderly people being thrown out of their homes, but which failed to mention the great boon it would be for big businesses, that part, they never mentioned publicly. One of the results of Prop 13 is California's plunge from one of the top states in education to near the bottom, near Mississippi! We end up with some politicians, timidly suggesting exempting commercial properties from 13, though it is "the third rail" in California politics, even today. What we have now, thanks to a really flawed Prop 13 is a situation of grotesque inequity in which some properties are assessed much higher than others just next door. Prop 13, the thing that got passed, was a disaster, and needs to be reformed.