Millionaire Tax Collection: Will it Kill Us All?

NYPD Protecting what is really important during a rally on Wall Street

Today the news that greeted me, the one that caught my attention, was President Obama’s proposal to begin collecting equal tax from millionaires. Meaning, the same tax rate the middle class pays. This all sounds really nice on paper. After all, the middle class have been getting screwed forever. As a once functioning member of this class myself, and now in a ever descending octave to an economic bottomless pit, it may seem nice that the rich pay their fair share. But oh no mon frere.

What is in the second paragraph is that this is being offered in exchange for support of severe CUTS TO MEDICAID AND MEDICARE.

So if you are feeling so good about yourself as to how we are finally getting even with the mega wealthy, think again. That soreness you woke up with in your butt is the aftermath of us getting screwed again by what George Carlin liked to call “the big red, white and blue dick being shoved up your ass every day!” feeling.

Do not think for a second that it will be different. Only violent shifts ever solve the problems of the rich vs the poor scenario. It has always been that way. In the meantime, forget about them. We need to continue to focus on how to live differently. Less dependent on a system. This week is No Impact Week and it is a good time to take stock in our materialistic natures and try to reorient what we think is important.

As for the millionaires who sit smugly in their castles, counting their worldly goods, and  living vicariously on the edge of darkness, I have two words for them: Czar Nicholas II. (okay, 3 words)

After a reign that was marked with ostentatious living on the backs of the poor, on the night of July 16, 1918, the royal Russian family were arrested and imprisoned. With them were Nicholas II, his wife, his son, his four daughters, the family’s medical doctor, the Tsar’s valet, the Empress’ lady-in-waiting, and the family’s cook. What follows is history, and it has happened over and over and over again.

The executioners drew revolvers and the shooting began. Nicholas was the first to die; Yurovsky shot him multiple times in the chest (sometimes incorrectly said the head, since his skull bore no bullet wounds when it was discovered in 1991). Anastasia, Tatiana, Olga, and Maria survived the first hail of bullets; the sisters were wearing over 1.3 kilograms of diamonds and precious gems sewn into their clothing, which provided some initial protection from the bullets and bayonets. They were stabbed with bayonets and then shot at close range in the head.

I should be clear and say I am not advocating anything. My mild subversiveness has likely gotten me a twinkle on the FBI’s watch list. But I can tell you that I am a harmless artist. What I am expressing is the hidden rage that will eventually emerge from the abused population called America. And it will have no party affiliation. It will have no political agenda. The agenda of the average American is to live and be left alone to pursue whatever they wish. That organic freedom is being questioned on a daily basis. The tax structure has always been unfair. It’s very existence is not even constitutionalized. Our equal access to health care is in serious question. And lobbyists are at this moment selling whatever shred of goodness might be left. They are doing it while we sleep comfortably and await the new fall season in our TV listings.

The Declaration of Independence stated that we have the right to, life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. But as we progress into this war on the poor, it seems that our oppressors feel that only some should have that right. The rest of us are fodder for the fields. Nothing more than a massive dung heap. That is what they are taught at Harvard, Yale and the other halls of superiority.

Do not look for any hope in your daily headlines. There will be none. The news agencies make their money on despair. The only hope for all of us out here in this sea of humanity, is to continue to form community. We need to help each other. Invite a neighbor over for dinner. Buy local. If you do not like how some things are being done, find a way to do them yourself. And find people who will do them with you.

Yesterday we took a trip over to East New York for the Callaloo festival. East New York, for me has always been forbidden territory. Growing up in NYC, it was always known as the highest crime neighborhood in the city, with about 100 murders for the year at one point in a small area. Venturing over there with my family yesterday was filled with old and new feelings. East New York is now one of the prime areas in the city for urban farming. Vacant lots have been turned into small farms, where all sorts of local produce is being grown. I saw collards, tomatoes, yam, squash and some unusual strains of cucumber. I saw a community, trying to find a way through this current crisis. And being an example to the larger community of Brooklyn and the rest of New York.

When I got off the train, though I was very conscious of being a minority in a predominately black area, what I saw was the beginning of a thriving community. Not by any economic standard, but by a human one. I saw a really nice small town. Poverty with dignity. As my father would always say, if you have your health and your friends and family, you have everything.

East New York Farms


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