Wealth and income inequality is a big problem.
Remember Supply Side Economics? From Wikipedia:
In 1981, Reagan significantly reduced the maximum tax rate, which affected the highest income earners, and lowered the top marginal tax rate from 70% to 50%; in 1986 he further reduced the rate to 28%.
And the tax rate is even less for capital gains.
Since taxes on the most wealthy were reduced in the 80s, the distribution of wealth and income has become further skewed.
Likewise, income inequality rose during that same time. From a Wikipedia article on Income Inequality in the United States:
“Americans have the highest income inequality in the rich world and over the past 20–30 years Americans have also experienced the greatest increase in income inequality among rich nations. The more detailed the data we can use to observe this change, the more skewed the change appears to be … the majority of large gains are indeed at the top of the distribution.” —?Timothy Smeeding
Wealth and income inequality hinders democracy, because the rich have more political influence. Wealth and income inequality reduces social mobility. Increasing poverty reduces opportunities for education. Perhaps most damaging to society, wealth and income inequality limits economic activity, because rich people save and poor people spend.
But those tax cuts and a bigger slice of the pie aren’t enough for our local titans of industry. They want more money from the local taxpayers. They want their hobbies subsidized. They want their property taxes reduced, while our property taxes go up.
You could say that it’s not their fault. That they’re just playing the game. That they didn’t make the rules.
But in fact they played a large part in making the rules. The richest people have the most political influence. They bought Congress. They bought influence in state government. They bought City Council. They contributed to the politicians that queered the game. Income inequality didn’t just happen. Income inequality was engineered.
Everyone is looking out for Number 1. But only in the short term. They treat business like a zero sum game, with winners and losers. Really, business deals are supposed to be good for everyone.
You’d think they’d be ashamed, or embarrassed, or maybe even a little self-conscious about their naked attempts to transfer wealth from the poorest El Pasoans to their own pockets.
Au contraire. They’re doubling down.
In 2018, the El Paso City Council approved $1.2 million in improvements to Southwest University Park, home of the MountainStar Sports Group’s El Paso Chihuahuas. In January, 2021, the El Paso City Council approved nearly $5 in park improvements.
Give ’em an inch, and they’ll pick your pocket.