It’s Not So Much About the Taxes as About Keeping the Wage Slaves Down

There’s a been a minor maelstrom over the Tea Party leader and conservative video blogger who speculated that he might vote for Hillary Clinton because the Affordable Care Act allows him to retire at 50, as opposed to keeping on working until he gets Medicare:

The man himself has (for now) walked it back saying he won’t vote for Hillary, but the fact that it’s even a difficult decision for him is remarkable for what it says about he Affordable Care Act and its gradual impacts on many people’s voting decisions over time.

More importantly, though, it’s another reminder of the stakes of the game for the plutocrats. Most of us operate on the theory that the plutocrats just want to keep as much of their (often ill-gotten) loot as possible without paying taxes. So priorities like universal healthcare and free college tuition are opposed because they would require progressive taxation to implement. And that’s all true to a certain degree.

But the impact on the labor market is often overlooked. Think about the number of people you know who would like to retire or stay home to take care of their kids, but cannot do so because they need to either pay/save for college tuition or pay for health insurance. These people are essentially forced into unwanted wage slavery to pay for services that frankly should be the rights of every citizen covered by a fair, progressive tax system. Just like this Tea Partier who can retire today thanks to the Affordable Care Act, who would otherwise be forced back into the labor market.

The only thing the plutocrats love more than keeping their money sheltered from taxation, is a cheap and desperate labor force. If people could retire and become homemakers comfortable in the knowledge that while they may have a little less money to spend on luxury items, their health and their children’s future would be looked after, how many people would quit their soul-sucking dead end jobs tomorrow?

A lot. Perhaps millions. And that labor market power would mean higher wages, fewer hours and more benefits to keep the best workers and reattract the fence-sitters. The current norm of wage slavery would begin to look much more like honest voluntary employment.

And that likely scares the plutocrats more than even taxes do.

David Atkins

David Atkins is a writer, activist and research professional living in Santa Barbara. He is a contributor to the Washington Monthly's Political Animal and president of The Pollux Group, a qualitative research firm.