Genius and talent don’t only exist among the privileged, and far too often, bright young people who could potentially be the next Einstein or Steve Jobs never get the chance, because of their situation—too little money, too little opportunity. Liberals believe that the best way to help even the playing field is to make sure resources are available for the disadvantaged, to make sure they have access to food, shelter, and education. These things cost money.
It used to be, in the era when labor unions were strong and more businesses were local and home grown, instead of huge corporations, that people got a living wage for their labor. Now they don’t. And so liberals believe that those who have enjoyed the incredible advantages offered by being upper class in America, those who profit massively from the businesses that pay workers shit, should do their part to help those at the bottom. If your CEO makes 20 million a year, and your company makes millions in profits, and your workers can’t feed their families, the government either has to step in and stop that abuse, or step in and fill the gap.
Conservatives like to call this communism and conflate it with progressivism. But it’s a far, far cry from seizing entire businesses and profits, assigning people to jobs and distributing the money “equally” like communist Russia. Liberals believe that a progressive tax structure, in the end, works for everybody. The money ends up back at the top, because of a few factors. One, a healthier, well educated, well-compensated workforce is more productive. Two, poor people spend money. Not on private jets, but consumer goods. This money flows into the economy and ends up feeding business profits. Three, we don’t need to waste as much money on the things that poverty tends to create—crime, homelessness, astronomical health care costs.
On the flip side, conservatives believe the more money concentrated at the top, the better. They think the poor are scum that will suck the teat of Uncle Sam for the rest of their lives. They think the poor can’t be trusted with money. Trickle-down economics has been Republican policy since Reagan, and every Republican presidency has proven it wrong. The 80s saw a devastating recession under George Bush. The 90s boomed under Clinton. The 00s led us to the greatest economic disaster since the great depression thanks to George W. Bush. 08-‘16, the economy has come back under Barack Obama. Do you see a pattern? Liberals do.
And its not like rich Americans have suffered liberal policies. Why does Trump believe doing the same thing Republicans have tried and failed at for years will produce different results? Why do the rich, who haven’t been hurt at all by economic downswings, reap the benefit of tax cuts while poor Americans get their health benefits cut, their salaries kept at starvation levels, and face the loss of life-saving social services? Why does Trump believe that the middle class will benefit if the rich people get richer—even though that has never been the case?