Re-distributing Income - Upwards

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John Weeks is a professor emeritus at the University of London School of Oriental and African Studies. He's the author of the forthcoming book The Economics of the 1 Percent: 1 Percent Economics, 99 Percent Ideology, and he's the founder of JWeeks.org.

Weeks: "Let me come back to that, that issue, 'cause that's—you ask, you know, why are these—why are the wealthy, why are the rich, why are the 1 percent, why they're against deficits and want the debt to be brought down. I think for the right—for the Tea Party people in Congress and for the right wing all over Europe, they see a historic opportunity before them that they haven't had in 50 or 60 years, and that is to destroy the welfare state—in the case of the United States, to destroy what's left of it,

Because what are the biggest programs in the United States? Medicare and Social Security benefits. And so, I mean, you know, my heart bleeds, but we've just got to get those down, 'cause otherwise America is going to go deeper and deeper in debt. I think that that's their basic agenda.

Because they want to redistribute income. See, currently people pay taxes. It goes to the government. The government makes expenditure. Increasingly, those expenditures are—directly or indirectly affect the 99 percent. What the 1 percent wants is to get rid of that, is to get taxes down and say to people, look, you should be happy your taxes are lower.

But what will be happening in that process is there will be a redistribution of income towards the wealthy, just as has been going on for the last 30 years. I mean, it's not accidental, if you look at the statistics, that the decline in the size of the federal government has gone hand-in-hand with the rise in the incomes of the 1 percent. And I think that that's what they have in mind."

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Retired Monk - "Ideology is a disease"

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