A caller to Politics Done Right attempted to use Oprah to refute my statement on the wealthy. He failed but created a learning opportunity.
Yes, Oprah built her wealth on us all.
As I discussed that Americans must start asserting their worth on Politics Done Right, a Right Wing listener called to complain. He took exception to me, stating that the wealthy did not do it on their own and, as such, owes much more to we-the-people.
“How many limousines would you allow Oprah Winfrey to have,” Barry asked. “One, two, or three. How many mansions would you allow her to have? How many yachts can she have?”
I told him I did not care because that was not the issue. He wanted to know if I had anything to do with Oprah’s wealth accumulation. I pointed out that I did and everyone who watched her. To be clear, I like Oprah. She simply uses our flawed economic system better than most.
But it is essential for us to understand that our economic system is predicated on those who have the capital or are invited to develop capital, to capitalize on the innovations of others. I pointed out that the engineers, scientists, and innovators that are the foundation of all the technologies that Oprah used to come into our homes were paid once. She can then use that innovation over and over to maximize her capital. Of course, appropriate taxation to recover excess gains for the commons should be standard. It was when we had an upper marginal tax rate that exceeded 90%.
It is false to believe that taxing appropriately harms innovation. Innovation has been robust throughout the world forever, whether a country is communist, socialist, or democratic. Commercialization is a different story. The wealthy do not innovate in the aggregate. They act as little gods who finance the innovation of others in a less-than-equitable manner. Imagine if, instead, we had a less subjective bank collective.
Barry gave me the opportunity to tell the truth few in the mainstream media would touch. Many believe we are too indoctrinated to understand the policies we need to make a genuinely equitable economy that serves all.