Peralta Community College District's Only Student-Run Publication
Peralta Community College District's only student-run publication.

The Citizen

Peralta Community College District's only student-run publication.

The Citizen

Peralta Community College District's only student-run publication.

The Citizen

    Why it’s time to ‘eat’ the rich — Sometimes it’s hard to digest late-stage capitalism

    by Michelle Snider

    Michelle Snider is Co-editor

    The fight for who holds the most wealth in our country is almost like a couple fighting over the covers in bed at night — except that 99 percent of the country is getting a washcloth while the 1 percent get a king-size plush comforter made out of the finest bald eagle feathers.

    If you check any social media echo chamber, one thing becomes clear: Most people don’t know what socialism is. If the argument is against socialism, it tends to sound like socialism and communism are all the same and they inevitably will end society in doom with Americans eating rats out of trash. Most people cannot separate the economic differences between socialism, communism, and different types of government such as totalitarian dictatorships.

    Socialism is an economic theory that bases social ownership of means of production. It requires our government to work for the people, not lobbyists of foreign countries and big business. Our government would create social-need industries like healthcare, water, and housing while regulating private industries to protect the public from dangers such as corporations dumping toxic waste in rivers and using dangerous ingredients in food.

    When you consider that we already have social security, medicaid, food stamps, public schools and public housing, we have already been an economic mix of capitalism and socialism.

    Opponents against socialism tend to claim that taxation is theft. They often call people who receive socialized programs like food stamps and housing “welfare queens” taking from prosperous businesses and private property owners that provide low-paying jobs to the masses.

    Meanwhile, large corporations pay little-to-no taxes, and in turn use tax loopholes to receive tax refunds.

    Amazon will pay $0 in Federal Taxes on $11.2 billion in profits for the tax year of 2018, according to Forbes. Other profitable companies using tax breaks to pay zero in taxes, according to Bloomberg Politics, are Netflix Inc., General Motors Co., and Prudential Financial. Bloomberg also says that Amazon is projected to receive $129 million in a tax refund. Who’s the welfare queen now?

    The only power the general public has now is in numbers. The only way to change our extreme wealth inequality is to realize we have been divided and categorized by our identities, distracting us from the slow economic coup that rich and powerful individuals have waged against basic human rights and the middle class.

    And while we cannot ignore the issues that marginalized people have had to face being divided from the haves into the have-nots, those who are still in a comfortable warm position need to wake up and work together to change the system before it is too late and they are left out in the cold.

    About the Contributor
    In the fall of 2019, The Laney Tower rebranded as The Citizen and launched a new website. These stories were ported over from the old Laney Tower website, but byline metadata was lost in the port. However, many of these stories credit the authors in the text of the story. Some articles may also suffer from formatting issues. Future archival efforts may fix these issues.  
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