I'm not sure where the concept of the "rugged individualist", originated but I'm guessing it was around the times of the old west. It was assumed that an individual could migrate west to seek their fortunes if they were willing to work for it.
Right wing talking heads like Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck apply this belief to modern America in order to defend the Republican Noise Machine's propaganda that the most financially successful people are that way by pulling themselves up by their bootstraps with no help from anyone else and therefore woe nothing to society. While I'm sure that Paris Hilton has pulled on many bootstraps, I hardly think that makes her a rugged individualist. The right wing clings to this argument to promote tax cuts for the rich. If they really had their way, not only would rich people not pay taxes, but the government would actually give them more money for being rich because we all know that it would eventually trickle down. The purpose of my diary entry is to deconstruct this claim by citing numerous examples of our interdependence and how those who benefit the most from this interdependence need to pay their fair share to live and thrive in the greatest country on earth that has this magnificent system.
We are presently engaged in occupations in Afghanastan and Iraq. The most well to do are having their financial interests protected and expanded by military contracts and increased oil stocks. Instead of the rich joining the rest of us in shouldering this tax burden, George Bush and the then controlled GOP congress gave these people at the top of the money heap a tax break. I guess George's concept of the ownership society doesn't included owning the financial responsibility of military engagement.
Rupublicans would have you believe that those who make a lot of money in the stock market shouldn't be taxed on their capital gains. Were it not for the SEC which is funded by tax dollars, the stock market would be so unstable and even more subject to corruption than it is today.
I have no problem with people achieving financial success but show me someone that became rich without borrowing monsy from a bank. Our banking system is also funded by tax dollars which again makes us dependent on each other. Also let's not forget the fact that we the tax payers bailed out Bear Sterns to the tune of 60 billion dollars. So much for those self reliant rugged individualists.
The success of businesses is dependent on an infrastructure that is funded by tax payer dollars. Roads, highways, brindges, utilities all make it possible for businesses to be successful. they don't understand that we are all in this together.
Most businesses make their profits by selling their goods and services to working class people. This creates an interdependence between those who are wealthy and the working class.
I've heard Rush Limbaugh mock progressives with a synical whine that we want to build a better future. Yes, we progressives are all about building a better future together and if you look at it even from the viewpoint of simple mathematics and discount the moral implications of this argument. who is going to consume more and add to the economy? A family with a yearly income of $1,000,000 or twenty families making $50,000 a year? We can all do that math