In a recent campaign stop Mitt Romney addressed the subject of increasing taxes on the rich, rejecting the idea and saying “I want everyone in America to be rich.” This isn’t the first time this comment has been made by a politician running for public office and needless to say it won’t be the last. However it begs the question, is this sort of rhetoric anything other than campaign trail flourish and / or wishful thinking. Surely a guy as smart as Mitt Romney knows that everyone can’t become rich, particularly at a time when the American economy is undergoing widespread and possibly generational changes. Those changes may in the end reveal that we here in the United States are at a profound structural disadvantage vis a vis the emerging economies of East Asia and our ability to increase the wealth of our citizens will be far more challenging in the future than it was in the past when we were the undisputed and dominant world economy.
Not to put a damper on the spirit of striving and climbing one’s way to the top, but realistically wouldn’t Romney, or any other politician for that matter, be better off talking about making sure we have policies in place that will give everyone a shot at being middle class? Surely that’s a feat that would be far more realistic as opposed to creating a society where everyone is rich. As a matter of fact to my knowledge that sort of society has never existed. Even in places like Bahrain or Saudi Arabia with their generous oil income distribution policies, everyone isn’t rich so how can Romney hope to achieve that here in the United States?