2017-11-20 – Donald Trump promised to build a wall. And he’s doing it (trying at least). It’s not the border wall he talked about during his campaign. That isn’t grand enough. He’s not satisfied just with keeping Mexicans out of the American economy. He wants to keep you out of the economy, too.
Super-businessmen like Donald Trump like to tell you they are for the free enterprise system, but they are not. They don’t believe in freedom. They believe in building a wall between the billionaires and the “losers” and locking the gate. They don’t believe in competition because they only way they can keep winning until they get tired of it (which is never) is to keep all the competitors out.
They never tell you this.
The American economy has a lot of locked gates. Super-businessmen complain about government regulation when it hinders them, but they never complain about government regulation that guarantees them monopoly profits. They never complain about intellectual property regulation that lets them own everything from patents to copyrights to trademarks (often with little or nothing going to the inventor, writer, or artist). They never complain about licensing requirements that keep nurses from practicing as doctors and notaries from practicing as lawyers and carpenters from practicing as engineers and credit unions from acting as investment bankers. (Not saying there’s no reason for these restrictions, just that they protect the fraternity from competition.)
And they do complain when technology changes create cracks in state-sanctioned monopolies that allow competition to come in. That’s what’s happening now as solar and wind challenge the so-called “public utilities.” They don’t like competition at all.
But there’s a chink in the armor. If you go to school and work hard, you can become a doctor or lawyer or engineer or financier.
And for years, our tax code has given aid to people who want to pursue self-advancement through education. There’s a variety of exclusions and deductions that help you go to school.
But if the current GOP tax bill is enacted into law, the education path to self-improvement will be slammed shut for many. And this is particularly true for students who are the closest to the goal: the PhD student. For years, these students have been able to provide services to their universities and get their tuition waived. There were no taxes to be paid on this. But if the GOP tax bill is passed, these students will have a big tax bill—at a moment in their lives when they essentially have nothing.
That is, except for the children of the super-businessmen. They will be fine. They already endow universities with millions of dollars to get their not-so-bright progeny accepted into Harvard. The tax change will have no effect on them.
Only the poor kids and middle class kids will suffer. Most will be unable to bear the extra several thousand dollars they will have to pay Uncle Sam and they will drop out.
The wall is getting higher every day.
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