“The One Percent” is a term that has become increasingly synonymous with rich people, and it usually relates to a discussion of whether they are “paying their fair share” of taxes.
With the One Percent owning the vast majority of wealth in the country, Bernie Sanders was able to make a run at the Democratic nomination on the issue of income inequality.
Many have called the talking point low-hanging fruit politically because it pits 99 percent of the public against the One Percent, who often make more in a month than most people do in a lifetime.
But for political pundit Ben Shapiro, anger aimed at this group is misguided and unjustifiable.
On a recent episode of the Adam Carolla Podcast, Shapiro was a guest and talk quickly triangulated on the United States’ tax situation.
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On the topic of inequality, Shapiro drew a distinction between inequality and inequity, claiming the two are often confused.
“Inequality just means that two things are not equal and inequity means that two things are not fair,” Shapiro said, drawing a distinction between himself and the much taller Adam Carolla.
“That’s unequal. It doesn’t mean it’s unfair,” he said. “And this is true all over life. We’re born unequal. We have capacities that are unequal. I tend to be smarter than people, but have no jump shot. I’m not going to play in the NBA. But that doesn’t mean the NBA is being unfair to me. That doesn’t mean that I’m being disadvantaged in some way.”
Shapiro, who is a devout Jew and a believer in God, found a kindred spirit in atheist Carolla, who shared some details of his upbringing and the belief that it was welfare and food stamps that acted as a “methadone” for his family.
Poverty drove Carolla to “work hard and make something of my life.”
Both are vocally against Democratically endorsed social programs, with Shapiro going as far as saying that such entitlements are evil.
“The greatest evil in history is done when people walk into a room and they see one guy with $4 and one guy with $1, and they think that somehow the guy with $4 must have robbed the guy with $1. Now it’s time to beat the guy with $4 up and put him in a gulag somewhere and take away his money and give it to the guy with $1. We don’t even check out the circumstances and just assume — it’s sort of the Bernie Sanders view of life. Yes, it’s true. Life is unfair. But that doesn’t mean that somebody did it.”
These views aside, it doesn’t mean either member of the One Percent, Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton, will be getting the pundit’s vote in November. In fact, Ben is an outspoken detractor of both, calling Clinton “the most corrupt person to ever run for high office on a major party ticket,” while referring to Trump as someone who “speaks at a fourth grade reading level,” and who has “turned into a sort of running turd tornado.”
— Eric Demamp (@ericdemamp) August 10, 2016
“It’s become where every day he’s sort of hitting a puppy with a hammer,” Shapiro said. Continuing this thread of criticism to Trump’s economic policy and the idea that members of the One Percent (like Trump himself) need to pay their fair share, Ben said the rich already are paying their fair share. He noted that the top one percent of earners pay 46 percent of the taxes in the United States, while the top 20 percent pay 84 percent of federal taxes.
“The rich already are paying their fair share. They’re paying more than their fair share,” he said, adding that the middle class are “bearing none of the tax burden.”
But what do you think, readers? Is Ben Shapiro right about the One Percent and about the danger of social programs? Sound off in the comments section below.
[Image via Pictures of Money | Flickr Creative Commons | Resized and Cropped | CC BY 2.0]