(Source: The Washington Post, Ezra Klein: The Taxes Americans Really Pay, In Two Graphs)
Three burning issues are cooking on the flames in the kitchen while the sink awaits attention. The first is the economy at home, a land that can belong to Elves and Hobbits. The second is Middle Earth – Iran. And the third is the Eye of Sauron – North Korea.
Burdened by the one ring of power over all others, Frodo Obama, has set out on his journey to Middle Earth. In the Shire, after Frodo left, top 40% of the income earners began claiming 78.3% of all that was made and paid 82.1% in taxes to govern themselves and the remaining 60%. Little did Frodo realize in the travails of his travels that those claiming the most also have a tendency to spend the least for every additional dollar they claim. The marginalized 60% have a higher Marginal Propensity to Consume (MPC) than the top 40% in tow with Frodo.
Savings went up because of the top 40%. They save more than they spend. Employment certainty declined in increasing order from the top 1% to the bottom 20%, right to left after September 11, 2001. Real investment has risen somewhat but not as much as necessary to keep the bottom 60% happy, that is, for their utility to be maximized, therefore, taking longer for the economy to return to a stable steady state.
The people are unhappy, waiting for Frodo to return to the Shire whose effective output has become depressed because the unhappy marginalized are producing below their potential and the happy above cannot produce any more than they already are for all those additional dollars they are claiming.
Social sensibility is the “inconvenient truth.” The 40-60 income distribution of the 2010 census mirrors the anticipated 40-60 demographic split between whites and coloreds in the United States by 2050 and is also the expectation of US and European Union (EU) around the world because suppressing the potential output and consumption of the bottom 60 per cent conserves resources.
Meanwhile, in Middle Earth, spring came and went, enveloped by a sudden chill, drooping the blossoms. Frodo’s entourage, under the pall of Sauron, is squabbling, all wanting the one ring.
Power has become an existential burden, unprotected by wisdom. The teeth of Gandalf – a robust United Nations Peacekeeping Force (UNPKF) – need to be seen in Syria because the moral suasion of Kofi Annan is failing, having already failed in the economy of the Shire which Frodo has left behind.
The magic of Gandalf may not need Frodo by the Two Towers in North Korea. The land between the edge of Middle Earth and Sauron can begin to be de-mined and de-fenced to unite the two Koreas to end the war which has not yet ended.
The One ring can only be handled by the UNPKF before it is destroyed in the lavas of Stromboli.