Redistribution of wealth? Any transaction is a redistribution of wealth - it's not like Moses stomped down from Mount Sinai with the dead solid perfect price of widgets and pork bellies enscribed by the Sharp Fingernail of De Lawd on clay tablets. When money changes hands, there's a little (or big, or medium) redistribution of wealth in the economic cosmos. That's how money is made. Or lost.

Earned Income Tax Credit is one of those sneaky things that allow lower-income individuals to get a little more cash, an odd adjunct to progressive taxation. There's a sales tax, a gasoline tax, and assorted other taxes and fees that people pay regardless of how much money they make, so EITC (or whatever the official acronym is) is a way, intended or not, to redress that regressive-tax (im)balance to some degree.

Pursuing a minimum-wage hike that's sane is like volunteering for root canal, but the pols (from both sides of the aisle) have managed to agree on letting EITC live. For now. It probably pales in comparison to the redistribution of wealth known as the defense budget, and the redistributions of wealth collectively known as "corporate welfare". Maybe you should complain about those first.

Kill the poor

Kill the old

Kill the stupid

Kill the lawyers

Kill the assholes

Kill the psychotic

Kill the paralyzed

Kill the bitches

Kill the retarded

Kill the lame

Kill the drug lords

Kill the gangbangers

Kill thefuck heads

Kill the bastard operator from hell

Kill all the useless, mean spirited, ignorant

all the people that ever pissed on or pissed others off

Kill 99.9 percent of all the people on this planet

we'd still have an element of all that we would destroy

they are us and we are them

no matter how different we are

we are all the same in too many ways

to ever completely get rid of the traits we despise so much

pingouin says: Redistribution of wealth? Any transaction is a redistribution of wealth

Indeed, the term is (necessarily) misleading. "Redistribution of wealth" means: transfer of an individual's money, without his consent, to another individual, with his consent. The misleading terminology allows the concept's proponents to disguise several facts:

  1. It is immoral. The government has no moral right to take my hard-earned money, at the point of a gun (or the threat thereof), and give it to someone who hasn't earned it, for no other reason than that they haven't earned it.
  2. It is a violation of property rights. By "redistributing wealth," the government is saying, in effect, that the person who produces has no right to the values he produced, but that the right to those values belongs instead to whoever claims the greatest need.
  3. It hurts the economy. When one is rewarded for the fact that he's not being productive, the rational thing for him to do, if he has little ability or a great disinclination to work, is to be as unproductive as possible, since that keeps the flow of cash coming. As the rewards increase, so does the number of men for whom it is now rational to be unproductive. (Notice that while rewarding poverty contributes to its spread, the government becomes more adamant about "fighting" it, which it does by rewarding it. Ask yourself how long this can go on.)

Kill the Poor is the opening track on Fresh Fruit for Rotting Vegetables (1980), the first album released by the highly influential punk rock/hardcore band, (the) Dead Kennedys.

The song reflects the strong questioning at the time of the invention of the neutron bomb, a weapon that kills living things but leaves buildings and material possessions intact. Band frontman Jello Biafra delivers the opening lyrics over drumrolls and epic, major chords from distorted guitars -- in fact, the tone seems reminiscent of a rock opera, one of many features of the arrangement that sets its bitter, ironic tone:

Efficiency and progress is ours once more
Now that we have the neutron bomb
It's nice and quick and clean and gets things done

Surely, the persona reasons, such a weapon would serve far less purpose in war than it would on our own territory. The bomb "gets things done" by eliminating the social ills brought on by the existence of this class in one fell swoop. Indeed, a quick, clean victory for the rich! The ironic message is delivered with increasing intensity, excitement, and grittiness in tone, as he becomes seemingly more and more enamored with the idea. A final chord rumbles before the drummer begins to mark time and roll quickly into up-tempo punk rock. Biafra begins to catalog the, ahem, thrilling ramifications:

The sun shines on a brand new day
No more welfare tax to pay

The chorus is a furious, repetitive chant with loud, unsophisticated guitar and bass, fitting of the era's punk aesthetic. The musicologist who introduced me to this song reminds me that the chorus' catchiness has gotten him in trouble on more than one occasion -- he's found himself unwittingly singing "Kill-kill-kill-kill kill the poor!" over and over again in subway stations or crowded streets because the tune is so infectious and deceptively upbeat. This tone, of course, is a bit of black humor and part of the irony of the song -- given enough exposure, the anthem can drive perfectly reasonable people into a fit of poor-killing hysteria. After a second verse and a distorted guitar solo, Biafra gives the final ironic image:

Jane Fonda on the screen today
Convinced the liberals it's okay
So let's get dressed and dance away the night

The piece concludes after another chorus and a more unsettling minor progression -- ending an opening statement representative of the band's work yet to come.

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