Your Opinion: Response to Brown on greed, economics

Dear Editor:

The gods look down on us and laugh. To amuse themselves they induce Steven Brown to write another letter where he tells the world everything he does not know. Well, he knows one thing Mr. Haslag. If you do not agree with him, you are a liar.

Brown gives passionate testimony to human greed. I have mine, he says. I will keep it but if you want to spend your wealth on the public sphere, have at it. The real irony is that people like Brown can make such mean-spirited comments and then turn around and tithe 10 percent of their income to a religious organization.

The tormentors of Jesus tried to trap him with the question of paying Roman taxes (Matthew 22:21). He frustrated them by answering, “Render unto Caesar the things which are Caesar’s, and unto God the things that are God’s.” So began the discussion of the role of religion in relationship to the state.

For centuries man devoted much time to alchemy. This was the effort to turn base metals into gold or silver. The modern conservative version of this is the elimination of all taxes. Arthur Laffer proposed an economic model in the 1980s which he called the Laffer curve. By reducing taxes the government would raise more money. The underlying premise is taxes reduce economic prosperity. That is one of the tenets of free market capitalism and the fair tax movement. Brown seems a devotee. George H.W. Bush called this “voodoo economics.” Conservative economists repudiate it.

Struggling to make sense, Brown also heartily endorses trickle down economics. Once called Social Darwinism, this is where our “betters” are induced to do the right thing by giving them more of the public wealth. At the same time, we lower class members are punished for our infringement on the upper class. How dare we? This is another free market capitalism tenet espoused by the club for growth, the National Chamber of Commerce and all the usual suspects.

In a final call to worship Brown glorifies America’s small businesses. In America small business is a tax classification you can choose. The Koch brother’s oil industries are a small business and employ 75,000 people and are worth billions. More than 50 percent of America’s small businesses are not small.

Is Steven Brown lying? See the comedy? When did beliefs become a lie?

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