Social Question

ETpro's avatar

Why not declare War on Wealth?

Asked by ETpro (34503points) February 22nd, 2010

Today’s headline says that there are now 15 million unemployed and of those, 6.3 million have been out of work for over 6 months. Many of these people will not get jobs for years to come—even when a recovery is well underway.

Back in the 60s, we declared the War on Poverty and poverty has been slowly growing ever since. The Reagan “Rising tide lifts all boats” tax cuts for the rich are yielding their end results. We have over $12 trillion in federal debt and for the first time since WWII, middle-class income has fallen over the last decade; and the middle class’ share of the wealth of the country has plummeted dramatically.

So we declared War on Poverty and got more poverty. We declared War on Drugs and got more drugs. We declared War on Terrorism and got more terrorism. Isn’t it time to start declaring war on things we actually WANT more of?

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26 Answers

frigate1985's avatar

Prob because it is the wealthy that decide whether we go to war or not and those people wanna hold on to their bling blings

CMaz's avatar

Because “wealth” is a subjective word.

We would be going to war with most people.

TheBot's avatar

I think it’s just the way the wars are carried out. It seems the “war on poverty” for example, has been done half-heartedly. Unless the US changes its structure to the Scandinavian model, or even the French to begin with, there can be no sudden decrease in poverty in the us. War on poverty without radical structural change is so much more long term and hard to define that it becomes one that is easily forgotten.

“War on terrorism” is self-explanatory. Engage in combat with an enemy, and the most direct logical consequence is the rise of that enemy, who needs to keep up with the battle.

War on drugs is also an easy one. Make something illegal, and you also lose control over it. Everything goes underground and networks begin to form and thrive. And I’m not even mentioning the fact that some people place added value on things that are illegal (more “exciting”).

But war on wealth is not possible, nor desirable anywhere. Not possible in the first place because in a society based on private property, the rich are the one with influence, including political influence. Not desirable because they are the ones with productive assets in their hands. They in a sense define what the economy is made up of. The wages they distribute are subject to taxes, creating government income (just think of how much GE or GS bring in taxes) . Sanction people for being rich, and you have a huge problem. You make productive assets more fragile, because you’re trying to beat their leadership down. This in turn can create unemployment or at least make wages lower. Also, if you create this idea that rich is bad, you kill ambition. People will not want to get promoted, or to get raised. Imagine how much this would change the world.

Lower incentives to work hard to better your career would surely generate a huge amount of poverty.

To those who will tell me: hard work does not always equal a better situation, I think it does, and it is safe to consider that to be true on a macro level. Consider “hard” and umbrella term for “creative”, “regular”, “consistent”, “high-quality” etc. It’s not just a notion of how many hours you put in, it’s more qualitative.

And in situations where “hard work” does not result in career progress, it certainly is something to strive for. Some solutions include among other things: better public education, more company training, and more constructive, less conflictual discussions between managements and unions.

mattbrowne's avatar

Declaring wars is not a good idea. We should rather promote compassion and solidarity.

stump's avatar

The whole “War On….” stuff is crap. We don’t even really go to war when we go to war. WWII was the last real all out war. People at home really sacrificed for that war. In wars since then, if you don’t have family in the service, you aren’t expected to sarcifice. If we really did an all out war on drugs, we would succede. If we really did an all out war on poverty, there would be no poverty. So, no. We should drop that style of rhetoric completely.

ucme's avatar

Tsk that’s rich.

wundayatta's avatar

Unfortunately, the war on wealth is one we might actually win! ;-)

CyanoticWasp's avatar

It’s a good idea. Maybe your best ever. After we lose that one, perhaps we can have a War on War and be done with it, once and for all. The War on War to End All Wars.

ETpro's avatar

@ChazMaz Where do you live? I’ve been thinking about a move, and I want to go where everyone is wealthy. Where I live, they have a top 1% that owns almost as much as the other 99% of us do. Wealth is an objective word, just not easy to fully measure.

@TheBot The question was intended to be tongue-in-cheek. Of course, why would I expect a bot to realize that? :-)

@wundayatta Excellent point. Scrap that idea.

@CyanoticWasp I love that idea. War on war—it’s such an appealing oxymoron.

CMaz's avatar

@ETpro – There is always someone that has more then another.
I make a living, but I consider myself rich.

But, come to Florida. Would luv to have ya.

TheBot's avatar

@ETpro Lol alright then ^^ So much for the 40-line answer haha

Trillian's avatar

In what way would one accomplish this “war on wealth”? Do you mean to wage violence against the wealthy? Start your own little Robin Hood thing? Who would be your Merry Men? Do you think you could stop them from turning mercenary and keeping some of the profits? Or raping the wealthy while they were at it? Or would that be ok, since they’re wealthy, therefore exploitative jerks and probably deserve to be taught a lesson?
How did that uprising of the poor exploited masses work out for the French? Or the Russians?
Would we have organized troops with coordinated assaults? Or just random violence, pilfering. looting and all that that implies?
If we declare war on it, how can we then “have” it? Won’t we have destroyed it?

ucme's avatar

Can I just declare war on the Welsh? Look you isn’t it boyo.

candide's avatar

or on Richard Branson?

ucme's avatar

He’s virgin on the ridiculous.

TooBlue's avatar

Haha funny…not.

ETpro's avatar

@Trillian Did you read the explanation of the question? It would seem not.

Trillian's avatar

Yeah, i did. Sorry, I was just having a bit of fun with this one, as there seemed to be several good answers already. I just forgot the ~ symbol.
I’m really into word play, and…ok, ‘nuff said. I was having some fun with the whole thing and got carried away.

Dr_Dredd's avatar

If we spent as much time and money on the War on Cancer as we did on the War on Drugs or War on Terrorism, we’d have much better survival rates by now. Although there have been some advances, overall, the progress on successfully treating cancer has been disappointing. For instance, look at pancreatic cancer. Survival rates have barely budged over the last 20 years.

So I’m skeptical about the success of any “War on…” these days.

janbb's avatar

How about starting a “War on Wars on….”?

YARNLADY's avatar

I’m opposed.

ETpro's avatar

@Trillian Ha! I usually pick up on sarcasm. Sorry, I must be having a bad day.
@Dr_Dredd The problem is Cancer needs a cure. If a drug company could perfect a wonder drug to just control it for the rest of your life at a cost of $10,000 a month, they would be all over the project like flies.
@janbb Where do I sign up to fight? :-)
@YARNLADY I am opposed to opposition.

PacificRimjob's avatar

(Holds tongue)

Ron_C's avatar

War on Drugs, War on Poverty, Homeland Security, Patriot Act….it all sounds like it came out of the book “1984”. It is all new speak for “you have too many rights and we need to take some away.

If they really wanted to balance the budget they’d rescind the Regan tax cuts, dump NAFTA, pull our armies out of the middle-east, and end tax incentives for oil companies and any corporation that makes more than $100 million a year. We also need term limits, encourage third parties, and rescind the Supreme court grant of person-hood to corporations. We should also encourage unionization, and co-op corporations.

While we are at it, decriminalize drug usage and provide harsh penalties for drug dealing without a federal license. Any acts or crimes committed under the influence of drugs get an adder like when lethal weapons are used. Otherwise if you die from drugs you’re on your own. The government spends too much time regulating morality and not enough watching for corporate cheaters and scams. I would apply the death penalty for any corporate crime that resulted in losses for private citizens of more that 100 million dollars. Emphasis is placed too much on crimes committed by the poor in desperation and not enough on crimes committed by white collar millionaires.

ETpro's avatar

@Ron_C When you run for President, you’ve got my vote.

Ron_C's avatar

Thanks ET, the only office I ever ran for was township supervisor after I lived here for 15 years. Most of the voters said “he just moved here now he wants to run the place”. I’m glad I lost. I don’t think that Americans ever want to hear the truth from their leaders. Look at what happened to Carter when he told the country the facts of live. Ethics seem to have no place in American politics and I refuse to lie to the people I would endeavor to lead. Beside, I hate to give orders.

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