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Oxfam America Calls for Tax on 'Pandemic Profiteers' to Fund Covid-19 Recovery and the Common Good

Originally published at http://www.commondreams.org/news/2020/07/22/oxfam-america-calls-tax-pandemic-profiteers-fund-covid-19-recovery-and-common-good

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I’m convinced, we as a nation must undergo a radical revolution of values. We must rapidly begin the shift from a thing-oriented society to a person-oriented society. When machines and computers, profit motives and property rights are considered more important than people, the racism, militarism, economic exploitation and lawlessness are incapable of being conquered.

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“Taxing excess profits during a crisis is an old idea”

Exactly. And one which will not work in this climate of greed and profiteering. In 1945 things were somewhat different. (But good luck if billionaires can be made to part with a portion of their wealth for the greater good.)

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Another great idea, that has worked at other times in other places

However, no Republican will ever support it. And, most Democrats, and no Dinocrats will either. And sure as Hell Biden wont. And Nancy wont if she thinks it has a chance in hell of passing - in the Senate.

So, another needed great idea is DOA

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I definitely appreciate Oxfam America reports and ideas. If we can’t envision something different, we will be forever stuck with the (failing) status quo.

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How about taxing the large profiteers of at least 95%, thereby disincentivising them to continue to hurt those most in need–by gouging, price inflation of food, drugs, etc; and instead offer help during a time of crisis. Or just get the government to do its damn job for a change and start to control the giant corporations. Or a collapse never seen it the US’s history may ensue and we all, including big businesses, go down the memory holes of history.

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Oh it can be by guerrilla type tactics, organization, mobilization, and secrecy. The state is way too powerful to be taken head on. It must start with the ones out of work because they have less to lose than the jobbed ones. Organization and secrecy is key.

Help everyone to fairly make a living.
Tax those that unfairly make a killing.
Stop anyone from making a living killing.

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The change we seek will not come from legislation, obviously. Look at who we would have to rely on for that legislation, and be realistic. It may well not come from voting either, we’ve seen the rampant election irregularities already, and look at the economics of it, its clearly a stacked deck. So if not by legislation, and not by the electoral process, it seems pretty clear the options now are narrowed to only one or less, and because of our decades long indifference, the least desirable one. Well to be clear there is one other option - eternal slavery for us and our prodigy, to the vilest and cruelest masters imaginable. Sounds like a raw deal, but who sat quietly for 45 years and watched, doing absolutely nothing, while the world went to shit! The only blame lies squarely on this country, but more importantly on its people. Too bad they lack the integrity, the common decency, and the moral fiber to own up to their colossal mistake, take the responsibility, and do what it takes to correct it.

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It’s just amazing that such obvious theft is going on right in plain view of the whole world. The degenerate, nihilistic ratbastards in corporate boardrooms are in a cannibalistic feeding frenzy. They are gorging themselves on human flesh. Blood is running down their chins. Their clothes are spattered with blood. Thigh bones and neck bones are scattered on the ground. Purplish kidneys are oozing out of their mouths. Occasionally a human heart still beats, but is quickly skewered by a bayonet or a steak knife. They are proud of what they have done. Proud of the carnage. Proud of their greed. Proud of their selfishness. Proud of their cruelty. Proud of their indifference to the suffering of others.

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Or a worldwide strike to slow the gears of commerce and bring them to a halt. But most people won’t risk the loss of what livelihood they have, and the poor and the jobless, who have little to lose, have no leverage.

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All done with the approval of the 95% of our voting electorate who keep these same people in power every 2 and 4 years at the voting booths.

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The common good has nothing to do with it with these guys and frankly I’m sick and tired of pretending it does.

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Great quote. Never more accurate than today.

REV. DR. MARTIN LUTHER KING JR.: " I am convinced that if we are to get on the right side of the world revolution, we as a nation must undergo a radical revolution of values. We must rapidly begin—we must rapidly begin the shift from a thing-oriented society to a person-oriented society. When machines and computers, profit motives and property rights are considered more important than people, the giant triplets of racism, extreme materialism and militarism are incapable of being conquered.

A true revolution of values will soon cause us to question the fairness and justice of many of our past and present policies. On the one hand, we are called to play the Good Samaritan on life’s roadside, but that will be only an initial act. One day we must come to see that the whole Jericho road must be transformed so that men and women will not be constantly beaten and robbed as they make their journey on life’s highway. True compassion is more than flinging a coin to a beggar. It comes to see that an edifice which produces beggars needs restructuring."

A true revolution of values will soon look uneasily on the glaring contrast of poverty and wealth with righteous indignation. It will look across the seas and see individual capitalists of the West investing huge sums of money in Asia, Africa and South America, only to take the profits out with no concern for the social betterment of the countries, and say, “This is not just.” It will look at our alliance with the landed gentry of South America and say, “This is not just.” The Western arrogance of feeling that it has everything to teach others and nothing to learn from them is not just.

" A true revolution of values will lay a hand on the world order and say of war, “This way of settling differences is not just.” This business of burning human beings with napalm, of filling our nation’s homes with orphans and widows, of injecting poisonous drugs of hate into the veins of peoples normally humane, of sending men home from dark and bloody battlefields physically handicapped and psychologically deranged, cannot be reconciled with wisdom, justice and love. A nation that continues year after year to spend more money on military defense than on programs of social uplift is approaching spiritual death.

" America, the richest and most powerful nation in the world, can well lead the way in this revolution of values. There is nothing, except a tragic death wish, to prevent us from reordering our priorities, so that the pursuit of peace will take precedence over the pursuit of war. - 4 April 1967

~https://www.democracynow.org/2013/1/21/dr_martin_luther_king_in_1967

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Oxfam America’s Call for ‘Tax on ‘Pandemic Profiteers’ to Fund Covid-19 Recovery and the Common Good’ may Not seem unfair, but they’ve disregarded outright the fact that those ‘Pandemic Profiteers’ are Not thieves Nor looters really.

‘Pandemic Profiteers’ are Not thieves.

The idea of ‘a worldwide strike to slow the gears of commerce and bring them to a halt’ appears silly and outright unbecoming of a human of the Space age. What’s wrong with getting rid of capitalism?

This is the only peaceful way I see for ending capitalism, which depends for the most part on a dependent and submissive workforce to keep it going. What happens if no one shows up for work?

Most people won’t or can’t take this risk, however, and that’s how the system keeps going. What do you suggest?

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I don’t know I think this pandemic is kind of forcing people to take that risk. They are in a position now where they can’t go to work anymore and the government does not care if they get kicked out. I think overall we might be reaching a situation like you laid out. Of course those in power have more wealth than they can ever spend so they believe that they can ride it out while the rest of the country dies.

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I’m reading this conversation you all are having, and I’m appalled by the complete lack of logic. Do you all ever take the time to wonder whether policies like this ridiculous “Excess Profits Tax” helped to prolong The Great Depression? How can companies grow and prosper (including hiring more workers) if they just have any additional revenue beyond their previous averages taxed away? What an outrageously stupid idea. So other companies are struggling due to the impact of the virus. That’s not surprising. But certain ones are doing well and hiring more people. Solution? Let’s tax all of their success away and totally dis-incentivize them to hire more and grow. Now you’re left with all companies struggling. Hence the pain grows and is extended. That’s why these policies extended The Great Depression.

For all of you complaining that it is capitalism causing the problems we’re seeing, which is insane, what’s your alternative? It seems that you think the solution is to tax all of the successful companies and then “give” that money to the people. Fine. What happens when that money runs dry because the companies no longer invest at the level they are now knowing that any “excess earnings” will just be taxed at 95% (read the Oxfam article for the tax reference that this deceiving article refused to even note)?