Aristotle, the Greek philosopher, was a Macedonian, and the Greeks despised him because of it. He was the first economist and favored a progressive tax system. He was also the first economist to write about the oil industry. He invented the word economics-Oikovoquika. The father of economics tells the story of the invention of commodities futures contracts, and the first time the oil market was cornered.

The philosopher Thales, getting a tip from an insider, knew that an oil shortage was shortly in the offing, so he bought all the future output of the olive oil trees in the city of Miles. When the season turned and the shortage of oil began, he cranked the price of olives through the roof. The public however, wasn’t at all angry that Thales was skinning them for the oil they desperately needed to eat and keep their lamplights on. Instead the people lauded him for his genius in making such a pile of money.

So Thales scolded them. “You despised me when I was a poor philosopher trying to give you invaluable wisdom for nothing, and now you’re praising me for destroying the economy. You think that a good economy is one in which smart people with inside information make money off of money and get richer beyond their ability to even spend it. But making money from money is against nature,” he pleaded. “A successful economy is one in which money and the exchange of production results in a Good Life for all.”

Today, we now have good progressive democrats like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, our new philosophers of “truth to power,” who demand a return to progressive taxation and the repudiation of the failed neoliberal economic scam of supply-side tax cuts for the rich. Never in the thousands of years of economic history from Sumerian Gilgamesh between 2800 and 2500 BC to the present have economies been successful that pursued regressive taxation.

Now even more neoliberal policies are being promoted worldwide as a cure, with rampant quantitative easing and debt creation and peonage and austerity measures forced upon the populations, at the behest of the financial oligarchs and the one percent. The bunkum of economic theory and its policy advocacy has become much like a novel, with the author hoping that the reader can suspend disbelief long enough to follow the fictitious financial world being forced on us.

We must join Alexandria Cortez and the new blue wave of progressive democrats in demanding a rejection of the fraud of neoliberal economics and demand like Thales a progressive proportional tax structure and an exchange of production that results in the Good Life for all.

There is none so blind as he who will not see.

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Tim Duff is a writer, was born in Mason City and lives in Tonka Bay, Minnesota.


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