The Washington Post

Friday Rant: Hidden Offshore! edition

Time and again, you can’t understand anything by listening to what people say. They can talk and talk and say actually true things and avoid Pinocchios and be smart and earnest and everything, and you still can’t quite get the deal. And that’s because as often as not, it’s not what they are saying that is important, it’s what they are NOT talking about.

One of these not-talked-about subjects, wealth disparity, is now getting talked about. It was ignored, or hidden on purpose, for decades while the money was a-piling up. Then the economic asteroid hit, and after the dust dust cleared, we saw that the rich had built themselves an asteroid-proof house. And there they still reside, the better to lecture us on creative destruction. Very creative of them!

But the other thing that doesn’t get talked about is how the global economy is making a joke out of national governments. This discussion has been locked away in an offshore vault. Go AHEAD and devise a fair system of taxation. If the rich don’t like it, they move their money to a ‘friendlier’ jusisdiction. Be sure, however, to pay YOUR taxes to build the Mighty National Military (patriotism!) that protects their globalized enterprises and wealth. Yes, you are free to JOIN that military, just don’t expect to be training alongside the offspring of the ultra-wealthy. You see, they are job creators, and it’s their job to organize the military so you can have a job in it.

Yes, a globalized economy makes a lot of pure economic sense, and has yielded a lot of benefits. But it has run way WAY ahead of any globalized governance. When Thomas Piketty suggests a global tax on wealth, everybody just chuckles, because THERE’S NO WAY TO DO THAT! Ha ha! Silly thought! Get realistic! There’s no democratic way to affect, or plan, or legislate globalized wealth because while the globalized economy was taking shape and taking over, they simply forgot to mention this subject! It just slipped their minds! Meanwhile, a teenie tiny little something else slipped away from us.

Tom Toles is the editorial cartoonist for The Post and writes the Tom Toles blog. See all of his cartoons here.

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