letter to the editor

Letter to the Editor: Critique of Kopp’s Column

Why are you giving Mr. Kopp a platform?

It would be one thing if Mr. Kopp presents an opinion. Everyone has a right to their opinion. It is quite another thing however if Mr. Kopp presents a pompous obfuscation of reality that pretends to be an opinion, even if there is a small percentage of people in the community who have been hoodwinked by the allure of what Mr. Kopp is using as the foundation upon which he is propping up his obfuscation of reality that I am politely calling an opinion.  Because this is not an opinion.  This is a purposefully designed intentional diatribe meant to slice and dice any attempt at preventing the wealthy from hoarding and making sure society re-invests because the people that sponsor the ilk of Mr. Kopp would rather live under the illusion that Adam Smith’s unfettered  “invisible hand” inevitably means progress.  A book Mr. Kopp probably hasn’t read, because Adam Smith actually understood that unfettered capitalism actually undermines society and the functioning of the economy.

I will ignore all of the politcal-bombs Mr. Kopp tosses out like a proud sailor relieving himself over the side of a sail boat.   However, uttering the mantra of “Tax, tax, tax and spend” is a straw man argument.  We live in a society where we pay taxes and make investments in society in order to have a functional society and a functional economy.  When you pretend that tax cuts to the wealthy pay for themselves, and then increase spending so that you can give connected insiders sweet government contracts, that’s not the remedy for the mantra that pillories the straw man argument.  That is simply a dishonest argument.  The fact the Mr. Kopp is using it speaks volumes.

Lambast the “tax, tax, spend” all you want, but a society functions best when wealth is syphoned off by taxes into a government entity that can spend on investments that the previous wealth holders would never make.  Do you think the interstate transportation system, or the national railroad network that developed after the the civil war would have developed without government funding? Or the internet infrastructure?   Private corporations make decisions about short-term profits that are often not in the best interest of the larger society.  If we want to leave the decision making to private for-profit entities alone, what evolves is a society distorted by the motivations of those who gain control of the for-profit private entities, and those motivations quickly diverge with the larger interests of the larger society over time, sometimes very quickly.   

Government agencies are captured, legislatures are bribed, media entities are owned, … it’s a long repetitive history that we have to unfortunately relearn every 100 years.    It’s just that now, the benefits of technology make us think that private for-profit entities are benevolent and long-term in their thinking, when that is only transitory.  Eventually the private for-profit entities begin to dominate the public forum to the point that the public forum becomes captured by the lobbyists of the private for-profit entities, twisting the public interest into their own interests, and making sure they hire spokespersons who provide sophistic arguments that justify the status quo. People like Mr. Kopp.

Meanwhile we sink into the state of France prior to the 1780’s, a feckless government owned by competing members of the aristocracy, insisting upon economic privileges, unable to see the damage that the hijacking of the economic system by the hoarding of wealthy has caused upon large swaths of the population. I am saddened that my country is being ripped apart by delusion paradigms disguised as responsible statesmanship. It’s a con game. Or as the old jazz song has it, “Nice work, if you can get it.”

Gino Napoli.

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