The Billionaires Aren’t Starving

Viashayera, for serious, Minnie Mouse:

The Disney brothers’ first success wasn’t all
that lucky for the company. The cartoon’s distributor wrested the
rights to Oswald away from Walt and Roy almost as soon as he had become
popular. This loss was a huge setback for both men, and my grandfather
vowed never to let himself be taken advantage of again. He soon
registered a copyright on a new character named Mickey Mouse. It was
1928, and it was neither the first nor the last time the Walt Disney
Co. benefited from a federal system of protections, laws and taxes that
created fertile ground for building a business empire.

In addition to the copyright protections for Mickey, theFederal Communications Commission regulated the airwaves that carried theDisneylandtelevision series and, of course, theMickey Mouse Club. The transportation and federal highway system built in the wake ofWorld War II
took millions of visitors to Disneyland. The Marshall Plan helped
rebuild devastated European markets into which Disney poured its
products, turning a quaint American company into a global brand.

Taxes are on everyone’s mind lately for good reason. Not only will Congress have to make some tough decisions about theBush
tax cuts soon, but if lawmakers do nothing, the estate tax will
automatically be reinstated after a year’s hiatus — in its 2001 form. A
great deal of misinformation isflying around out there about this, but
most agree that the tax is flawed and needs to be modified.

One thing I do know is this: In a far stricter
tax environment, my grandfather still managed to accumulate and pass on
ample funds to make three subsequent generations very comfortable
indeed. And as an inheritor I am here to tell you, the estate tax is
not as much of a bogeyman as you’ve been led to believe.

According to the teabaggers, all the system does is take your wealth. The system also helped you make it, and few and far between are the times those who benefited from it recognize that.


9 thoughts on “The Billionaires Aren’t Starving

  1. But they WORKED for their money! They worked HARD to make money off the sweat of their employees! Why should they have to give up any of their hard earned money for some freeloading “welfare queens” who just won’t pull themselves up by their bootstraps and get a job?
    Gah. I hate myself a little just for repeating that drivel.
    I’m sick of this “you’re so elitist liberals!” “we work hard so you don’t have to!” bullshit. Liberals work hard too. I don’t know how you can be working today and NOT encounter at least a liberal or two in the workplace. Contrary to popular belief, it’s actually not that easy to live decently off of welfare, nor does everyone who supports aid for the unlucky ones who get laid off or sick or what not decide they’re going to grow up to live off welfare.
    We don’t live in some far off “liberal” “hippie” commune that’s a cross between New York City and Haight-Ashbury in the 60’s. We live in homes and apartments RIGHT NEXT DOOR TO “HARDWORKING AMERICANS”. AND WE RIDE PUBLIC TRANSIT TO WORK WITH THEM TOO! Wake up morons. Liberals are hardworking Americans too. Liberals wake up at ungodly hours of the morning to haul their asses to jobs they hate and break their backs too, all to bring a paycheck home for their families. Furthermore, the idea that intellectuals who use their brains instead of brawn don’t work hard is absurd. I really wish professors would laugh in these people’s faces. It actually isn’t that easy to get a college degree, PhD, published and tenured in between grading papers and reading to make sure your current in your field, etc, etc, etc.

  2. The argument I hear is that this money has already been taxed when the dead guy made it. So, it shouldn’t be taxed again.
    But the guy being taxed is dead. He doesn’t care. (cue David Cross bit)
    But the heiress inheriting the money cares. She wants it all. She says that this will be a second tax on that money, as if the money gives a fuck.
    To her I say, the tip I give my waitress has already been taxed, too. And yet, she has to pay taxes on it. It’s a gift, from me to her, and yet, she has to declare that $2 on a $6 drink.
    The only difference? The waitress has worked for her money. The heiress has not.
    So why do conservatives hate people who work for a living?

  3. Money gets taxed over and over again at virtually each transaction.
    The argument that ought to be made in response to the whining of the obscenely rich is that Thomas Jefferson understood that accumulation of wealth could create artificial aristocracies that would then use their wealth to bend the political process to their own will, thus subverting democracy for the rest of us (and, guess what?! That’s happened…).
    So, agglomerating wealth is inherently anti-democratic.

  4. keep going like this, the revolution should be extra sweet.
    and if they say anything about the deficit, they better pay for these.
    a pox the rich.

  5. We should have “tax me” magnets made up and go around putting them on the back of expensive cars, etc.

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