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Excessive wealth

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From Ken Zimmerman (originally a comment) Following the ‘Great Depression’ excessive wealth required justification. Otherwise those who possessed it were looked on as freeloaders and featherbedders who played no or little useful part in society. FDR came from one of America’s wealthiest family’s but proved himself by his work ethic, care for ordinary Americans, and work to save the USA. Even the wealthy who wanted to be ostentatious feared public rebuke and legal punishments if they focused solely on protecting their wealth. At best excessive wealth was tolerated but seldom glorified, at least publicly. Mostly Americans found their heroes elsewhere. Second, WWII reinforced the notion that in winning wars, protecting democracy, ensuring an economy that is both successful and good for

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from Ken Zimmerman (originally a comment)

Following the ‘Great Depression’ excessive wealth required justification. Otherwise those who possessed it were looked on as freeloaders and featherbedders who played no or little useful part in society. FDR came from one of America’s wealthiest family’s but proved himself by his work ethic, care for ordinary Americans, and work to save the USA. Even the wealthy who wanted to be ostentatious feared public rebuke and legal punishments if they focused solely on protecting their wealth. At best excessive wealth was tolerated but seldom glorified, at least publicly. Mostly Americans found their heroes elsewhere.

Second, WWII reinforced the notion that in winning wars, protecting democracy, ensuring an economy that is both successful and good for all Americans the wealthy are not required and often an impairment for these goals. Particularly economic equity.

Third, the tax code, while not outlawing great wealth accumulation did ensure that accumulation was clearly limited and the wealthy’s tax rate was the highest with few escape routes.

All this began to change in the late 1970s. This effort was and is deliberate, cynical, funded by the politically right wing wealthy, and decidedly anti-democratic. Today, the totalitarian propaganda of this effort is almost impossible to escape.

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