Via Atrios, takes Matt Yglesias to task for suggesting that we leave those poor corporations alone and that, instead, we should just raise the top marginal tax rates back to where they were under Eisenhower (yeah, that’ll happen right after President Palin is sworn in).
I agree with Atrios that Drum is too cavalier about dismissing credit card fraud as nothing more than people losing their cards or otherwise behaving irresponsibly. But the rest is a pretty good read, especially this part:
But this isn’t my biggest concern. It’s true that income inequality can be partly addressed by progressive taxation, though I’d much prefer to see it addressed at the source since a healthy economy is one in which everyone benefits, not one in which a small plutocracy hoards the wealth and then doles it out to the working class if and when it can be persuaded to do so. More important is the fact that we liberals shouldn’t view the relationship between businesses and individuals as solely economic transactions. There are core questions here of human dignity and basic fairness that exist quite aside from money…
Even on the left, I feel like we’ve allowed ourselves to buy far too heavily into the homo economicus model of human interaction. But if I can be allowed to put on my old school lefty hat for a moment, that model just doesn’t work when the power relations are too far out of whack. And to a large extent, businesses simply have the whip hand on too many things today.
A society (not to mention a political party which has usually stood up for working people) that allows corporations to treat human beings as mere economic resources, to be used as needed and then discarded, and endorses the libertarian bullshit notion that everything will sort itself out, given enough time and competitive pressures, is not one that I want to be part of.